NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
Pacific Division 7
Auto Club Famoso Raceway
October 1-4, 2020
by Kirk Walton / Photos by Bob Johnson Photography
Pacific Division 7 Summit ET Finals
This year the NHRA Pacific Division (D7) Summit ET races moved to Bakersfield, California at the historic Auto Club Famoso Raceway October 1-4, 2020. The motorcycle turnout was still good even with all the no-shows (myself included in that group!) with 54 bikes in Saturday’s team race. With Covid-19, D7 decided to switch things up a bit on the races this year. There was still going to be the Gambler, Run for the Money and Team Race but the “Summit Showdown” on Sunday was replaced with a Gamblers race “Bakersfield Brawl” with the cars. Cliff Hall from Team Sacramento won that race. The Saturday team race would be for the trip to the Summit ET national finals in Las Vegas this year.
Thursday, October 1st was the start of the Gambler’s race. 23 entered the race and Don Caesar, Citrus Heights, CA ended up winning against Trace St. Germain, San Jose, CA in the final. Trace ran dead on with an 8, running 9.648 at 134.64 on the 9.64 dial. The reaction time advantage went to Don with a nice .023 vs .093 for Trace. Don ran 9.171 at 140.66mph on the 9.14 dial for the win. Caesar wasn’t done winning. He went on to run his Mustang and won “Run for the Money” in the Sportsman class.
The motorcycle “Run for the Money” was a $20 entry for the second time trial. Those entered would choose a dial in time and the top 16 would race off for the cash in the 1/8th mile. Aaron Pine and Tom Medlin ended up in the final but had to split the money when it got dark and the track didn’t want to turn on the lights.
Those that also made the top 16 were:
“Big Bruce” Lee
The quarterfinal winners were: Tom Medlin over Steve Norling, David Ochoa over Jeff Durfey, Aaron Pine over Mike Cragun, Kahea Woods over Bruce Lee.
In the semifinals, Tom Medlin over David Ochoa, and Aaron Pine over Kahea Woods.
Congratulations again to Tom Medlin and Aaron Pine.
In Saturday’s team race, the 54 bikes that made the call lined up in their team lanes so they wouldn’t have to race each other until the late rounds.
ROUND 1 Winners
John Coburn over Terry Turner
Mike Layton over Mark Avila
Manny Taylor over Marty Layton
Paul Silvas over La Verk Harper
Clayton Howey over Patty Bluett
Matt Bluett over Zach Clarke
Don Caesar over Fred Shoemaker V
Larry Mota over Trace St. Germain
Rick Newport over Aaron Pine
Jeff Durfey over Clay Pollitt
Mike Cragun over Freddie Camarena
David Miller over Justin Baird
Dominique Moultrie over Bruce Lee
David Ochoa over Jonny Stringer
Stephen Stone over Allan Engvall
Gary Stoffer over Steve Norling
Brian Stirrat over Michael O’Neil
Shanon Wisdom over Kahea Woods
Tom Medlin bye
ROUND 1 Bye Back Winner
Marty Layton over Mark Avila
La Verk Harper over Clay Pollitt
Zach Clarke over Patty Bluett
Aaron Pine over Jonny Stringer
Trace St. Germain over Kahea Woods
Michael O’Neil over Bruce Lee
Fred Shoemaker V over Steve Norling
Freddie Camarena over Justin Baird
Terry Turner had the bye.
W. Trace St. Germain 0.031 9.602 135.50
L. Manny Taylor -0.369 8.802 145.64
W. Terry Turner 0.062 9.020 140.36
L. Shanon Wisdom 0.174 8.543 152.18
W. Paul Silvas 0.040 9.672 146.85
L. Zach Clarke 0.168 9.733 137.22
W. David Ochoa 0.054 9.548 105.48
L. Fred Shoemaker V 0.582 10.501 135.58
W. Mike Cragun 0.016 10.107 127.09
L. David Miller 0.100 8.686 149.12
W. Aaron Pine 0.086 8.073 152.47
L. Gary Stoffer 0.004 8.837 146.97
W. John Coburn 0.037 10.242 120.36
L. Stephen Stone 0.022 9.930 139.65
W. Matt Bluett 0.062 10.085 129.73
L. Larry Mota 0.059 8.831 146.24
W. Mike Layton 0.024 12.228 109.73
L. Dominique Moultrie 0.041 9.118 146.56
W. Fred Camarena 0.097 7.813 163.18
L. Marty Layton 0.073 11.339 114.73
W. Clayton Howey 0.040 9.031 154.78
L. Laverk Harper 0.045 9.410 140.83
W. Tom Medlin 0.024 8.224 161.83
L. Brian Stirrat -0.097 9.213 146.19
W. Rick Newport 0.070 8.153 154.39
L. Michael O’Neil 0.087 8.753 147.02
W. Don Caesar 0.014 9.141 148.14
W. John Coburn 0.028 10.243 127.17
L. Rick Newport 0.069 8.118 162.57
W. Matt Bluett 0.100 10.138 128.74
L. Terry Turner 0.046 9.048 131.61
W. Paul Silvas 0.103 9.473 147.58
L. Don Caesar -0.341 34.583 35.54
W. Aaron Pine 0.061 8.103 151.56
L. David Ochoa 0.016 9.258 146.73
W. Fred Camarena 0.075 7.866 155.94
L. Mike Layton 0.160 12.241 107.62
W. Clayton Howey 0.041 9.082 140.71
L. Trace St. Germain 0.083 9.674 133.47
W. Tom Medlin 0.028 8.235 153.84
L. Mike Cragun 0.056 10.124 129.83
The quarterfinals had seven bikes left with John Coburn getting the bye run.
First pair out was Aaron Pine and Matt Bluett. Bluett got the reaction time advantage (.022 vs .046) but could run the number. Pine ran 8.069 at 159.17mph on his 8.03 to Bluett’s 10.180 at 128.07mph on the 10.10 dial.
Freddie Camarena beat Paul Silvas with a reaction time advantage, .066 vs .093 to push Slivas to a .005 breakout. Camarena ran 7.830 at 167.07mph on the 7.76 to Silvas’ 9.475 at 131.20mph on the 9.48.
Tom Medlin also won when Clayton Howey broke out. Reaction time advantage was Medlin’s (.058 to .148) and he ran a 8.253 at 160.90 on a 8.21 dial in time. Howey ran 8.925 at 155.49 on the 9.00 dial.
John Coburn ran 10.319 at 127.01 with a .033 light on his Buell.
John Coburn won when Aaron Pine left way too early for the redlight (-.369). Pine ran it out to a 8.086 at 160.94mph on the 8.04 dial. Coburn let off at the end running 10.499 at 105.84 on the 10.22.
Tom Medlin got a big advantage off the starting line against Freddie Camarena (.038 vs .140). Medlin ran it out to be dead on with a three, 8.213 at 161.46mph on the 8.21. Camarena ran it out to a 7.823 at 169.10mph on the 7.79.
Tom Medlin and with crew with both checks for winning the team race and splitting the run for the money.
The finals was over pretty quickly when John Coburn sounded like it missed a shift. Reaction times were fairly close, .025 for Medlin to a .034 for Coburn but Coburn could only manage a 10.384 at 125.96 on his 10.22. Medlin let off at the end to run 8.298 at 137.79mph on the 8.19 dial in for the win.
This puts Tom Medlin as the NHRA D7 Summit ET champion for the third time (2013,2016,2020) going ahead of the two time winners of Joseph Smith (2001,2004) and Rick Newport 2018,2019).
Tom said after the race, “ET Finals was yet another successful weekend. With the help from Team Fontana, it was one hell of weekend. Thank you Gaige Herrera for the tuning and engine help, also thank you Jessica for your hard work and taking care of the clutch. And thank you Medlin & Son Engineering Ser. For your support, along with my amazing wife that lets me do what I love.”
Medlin will compete at the Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway October 30-November 1st for the Summit ET national championship.
The “Best Appearing” award went to Clay Pollitt. The overall team points win went to Team LVMS (for winning the most rounds in all classes).
– Kirk Walton