Goodguys Friday Night Drags Ignite Pacific Raceways
Vintage Drag Racing took over Pacific Raceways for the Goodguys Friday Night Drags in conjunction with the 32nd running of Pacific Northwest Nationals presented by Griots Garage. Over 200 racers packed the pits competing in a five different bracket classes with the evening highlighted by eight Nitro burning Funny Cars from the United Nitro Funny Cars group, and a duo of unique match races. Those match races consisted of the Hilton Family’s Nostalgia AA/FD lining up against Randy Bradford’s Fuel Altered, and Garrett Richards’ Pro Mod Mustang took on Drew Austin’s injected Nitro front engine dragster.
The all-day action began at 10am with bracket car time trail runs before leading into eliminations at 4pm. The Funny Cars and match races hit the track at 6pm and 8pm with the funny car final round being contested under the lights just after 10pm.
Duking it out in the Chicago-style funny car final round was Jim Maroney driving Jim Broome’s “Speed Sport” 1978 Dodge Omni who carded the quickest winning run during the 6pm session with a 5.81 / 240 blast. Bobby Cottrell driving the Austin / O’Brien Bardahl-backed 1969 Camaro also made the final round cut when he carded a winning time of 5.71 / 244 in the 8pm session.
In the final round Maroney was first off the line but both drivers were fighting their cars to the finish line from half track on. Maroney’s Speed Sport stopped the clocks first with a 6.41-second pass bettering Cottrell’s 7.18 ET and claiming the tough win. It was the first time in four years that the Austin / O’Brien Funny Car didn’t find the winners circle at this unique one-night event.
Other big winners of the night were Tracy Weingard (Hot Rod 1 – 1933 Willys), Tony Lambert (Hot Rod 2 – 1954 Bel Air), Jeff Warnke (Street Machine 1 – 1969 Nova), Kenny O’Keefe (Street Machine 2 – 1969 Malibu), and Kevin Youngs (Comp – 1948 Anglia).
Goodguys history with Vintage Drag Racing runs deep and the Friday Night Drags during the Pacific Northwest Nationals is a barn burner of an event that just gets better as the years go by. The local fans pack the stands until the last cars go down the track, the regional racers loyalty support the event year after year, and the car show participants roll out and load up in a dedicated special parking area in the pits.
We’re bringing you the goods from our vantage point on the starting line with this jammed-packed gallery of high horsepower action. Be sure to put the Pacific Northwest Nationals on your “to-do” list for an upcoming season, and don’t pass up on the Friday Night Drag Racing festivities!
Photos by Steven Bunker and Todd Ryden