Sacramento Raceway’s kickoff is a huge drag

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 6:17 PM

This year’s event, Saturday and Sunday, also is an opportunity for drag racing fans to look vintage front-engine dragsters. The NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series started in two thousand-eighth to assistance preserve the association’s history and tradition while providing races for fans who appreciate nostalgia drag racing competition.

Sacramento Raceway’s kickoff is a huge drag

Comic Car Fever is the annual season kickoff at Sacramento Raceway, the area’s only drag strip. This year’s event, Saturday and Sunday, also is an opportunity for drag racing fans to look vintage front-engine dragsters.

The NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series started in two thousand-eighth to assistance preserve the association’s history and tradition while providing races for fans who appreciate nostalgia drag racing competition. Sacramento Raceway has been an NHRA member track since one thousand nine hundred seventy and has had a Heritage event since the series’ inception. Racers compete for a piece of the $30.000 purse, a coveted NHRA Wally Award (named after NHRA founder Wally Parks) and Heritage Series points.

“This weekend is our huge season kickoff,” Sacramento Raceway spokeswoman Deanna Powell said. “There will be many grand nostalgia cars racing and on display. It’s really a grand opportunity to see – and hear – the history of the sport.”

Powell said thirteen Cackle Fire front-engine dragsters will be on display. Cackle Fire cars are nitro-fueled reproductions or restorations of rail dragsters from the one thousand nine hundred sixty. The cars “cackle” while idling and spew enormous flames from their headers when started. Because they don’t meet today’s NHRA safety standards, the cackle fire cars won't compete, Powell said.

Local Cackle Fire car owners comprise Grass Valley’s Jess Schrank, Applegate’s Ronny Hampshire and Yuba City’s Gabe Uyehara. Uyehara is driving the dragster once owned by Sacramento’s Jim Herbert, who died in one thousand nine hundred ninety-ninth. Herbert owned Performance World Speed Shop in Sacramento and was a rival of Tognotti’s Speed Shop; both were large drag racing players on the W Coast.

Competitions comprise the CA Independent Comic Car Organization blown alcohol comic cars, alcohol-fueled dragsters, AA/Supercharged, seven.0 pro dragsters/altereds and several Nostalgia Eliminator categories, including gas, Jr fuel and hot rods.

Sacramento Raceway recently was named the most improved track in District 7, which includes California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, NV and Hawaii. Sacramento Raceway owners Dave and Nancy Smith upgraded the starting areas, track surface and grandstands.

For more information, go to sacramentoraceway. com.

Forsberg, Croft off to quick starts

Auburn’s Andy Forsberg and Roseville’s Willie Croft are leading a local contingent of Sprint Car drivers that's given World of Outlaws drivers fits on their annual West Coast journey that continues Saturday at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway for the Mini Gold Cup.

Outlaws driver Jason Johnson won the Placerville Brief Track Outlaw Showdown at Placerville Speedway, but Forsberg led thirteen laps early in the 40-lap feature March twenty-three and finished third.

“We were all working ... until about noon so we were able to arrive out here ... and running with the Outlaws – these guys are pros,” Forsberg said. “Am I a small disappointed I didn’t win? Of course. We’ve been here twice and been in contention twice, so I don’t know what else to say, other than I'm pleased to be in third place.”

Brad Sweet, a Grass Valley native, is leading the World of Outlaws points chase. He was fifth after slipping off the high side of Turn Two, and Croft was fifteenth. Roseville’s Sean Becker was the quick qualifier, ripping around the quarter-mile clay oval in ten.601 seconds. Elk Grove native Kyle Larson didn't race in Placerville as scheduled after getting banged up several days earlier in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Fontana.

Croft had a career-best Outlaws third-place finish March nineteen at Stockton Dirt Track. Croft and Forsberg are rivals on the Civil War Sprint Car Series for three hundred sixty cubic-inch sprinters, with Croft capturing the season opener latest Friday in Chico. Forsberg, the eight-time and defending series champion, finished third.

Forsberg said he and the other local sprint car drivers have the talent to compete with the World of Outlaws. What they’re lost is the large-dollar sponsorships.

“Our motor cost about $18.000, and we’ll obtain about twenty races out of it before we've to restore it,” Forsberg said. “The Outlaws spend about $65.000 on their motors and race about 10 times before shipping it off. Plus, they’re about four or five years ahead of us in technological advances. They've all the cool toys.”

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