Goodguys Friday Night Drags Light Up Pacific Raceways
There’s not much better than Nitro at Night! That’s exactly what Goodguys brought to Pacific Raceways with the Friday Night Drags running in conjunction with the 33rd annual Pacific Northwest Nationals this weekend in the Seattle, Washington-area.
Highlighting the event were eight Nitro-burning Funny Cars from the United Nitro Funny Cars (UNFC) group including Kris Krabill driving the “Screamer” ’70 Camaro, Chris Davis’ “Old School Nitro” ’77 Arrow, Bobby Cottrell in the “Northwest Hitter” ’69 Camaro, Drew Austin in the “Pro/Max” ’70 Camaro, Michael Peck Jr. in the family’s “Instigator” ’70 Camaro, Tim Boychuck’s “Happy Hour” ’69 Camaro, Wally Giavia’s “G-Men” ’78 Omni, and the new “Hitman” ’70 Camaro of Tim Eickstadt. The on-track action was hot and heavy from mid-morning until the final round of funny cars hit the track just before the 11pm track curfew.
The Funny Car program was a Chicago-style 8-car shootout pitting the quickest winner from the 6pm session against the quickest winner from the 8pm session. Those two funny cars that went head-to-head in the 10:55pm final round were Bobby Cottrell and the brand new Camaro of Drew Austin. Cottrell drove the Austin & O’Brien “Northwest Hitter” ’69 Camaro to a winning 5.572 / 262.33 in the opening session to claim his final round spot, whereas Drew Austin wheeled the family’s brand new “Pro/Max” ’70 Camaro to a 5.741 / 250.46 victory in the second session.
That set up a true “Northwest Battle” final round as both Funny Cars are Seattle-area based. On top of that, there was a bit of family bragging rights on the line as car owners Bucky Austin and Pat Austin are related – Bucky is Pat’s Uncle.
The build up to the final round slowly brewed and everyone in attendance was eagerly anticipating this winner-take-all matchup under the lights. Unfortunately, the buildup quickly became a letdown as Drew Austin’s Camaro wouldn’t go into reverse after the burnout allowing Bobby Cottrell to streak down the track for a solo victory pass.
The night wasn’t just about nitro-burning funny cars, there was also AA Fuel Altereds making exhibition runs, blown alcohol Pro Mods, and Kim Parker’s nitro-injected A/Fuel Dragster blasting down the track in the low 5-second range at over 270MPH.
The five bracket classes saw just under 150 drivers vying for class wins in Hot Rod 1, Hot Rod 2, Comp, Street Machine 1, and Street Machine 2. The 11pm curfew put a stop to the action before the Street Machine 1 and Street Machine 2 winners could be decided leaving Mike Driscoll and Gary Ensrud splitting the pot in the SM1 class, and Al Young, Chris Cane, and Craig Smith splitting the pot 3-ways in the SM2 class.
Josh Hughes was able to secure the win in Hot Rod 1 driving his front-engine dragster, Gary Estes worked through the Hot Rod 2 class in his ’41 Firetruck claim the event win, and Jason Biscay’68 Mustang earned the Comp class win.
All in all it was a safe and successful night of drag racing, and the perfect way to cap off the opening day of the 33rd Griot’s Garage Pacific Northwest Nationals!
Photos by Steven Bunker & Todd Ryden