New England is known for many things, one of which is great-tasting lobster. All around New England Dragway, located in scenic Epping, New Hampshire, there are more lobster houses than you can shake a stick at. When the Fun Ford Weekend rolled into Epping, however, the lobster crew gave way to some serious clams, especially in the Street Renegade class.
With $10,000 up for grabs in the Street Renegade class, some of the heavy hitters made the trip to duke it out for the greenbacks. When all was said and done, 10.5-inch-tire staple Manny Buginga ran the table from start to finish, taking home the SR win and the clambake. Buginga squared off against Travis Franklin in the money round. Franklin gave it his all, hitting a psychic 0.005 reaction time, which outdid a normally decent 0.021 light by Buginga. It was all over after 60 feet, however, as Franklin, knowing he'd have to step it up against Buginga-who had run a best of a 7.58-overpowered the track. Buginga cruised to victory, running a 7.61 at 189 mph.
The 10.60-second index class known as Street Bandit saw a pair of Fox-bodies in the trophy dash as the hatchback of Bob Cottone took on the notchback of Tom Conrad. Both drivers were nearly identical in reaction time, with Cottone scoring a squeaker of a holeshot with his 0.091 to Conrad's 0.092. At the stripe, a 10.60 earned the win for Cottone. Conrad tried valiantly to take Cottone down, but he could only muster a 10.67 in the final.
Reggie Burnette came up one...
Reggie Burnette came up one round short of taking home the prize in Mod Comp. He put together a great run in the final with an 0.024 reaction time and a 12.82 on his 12.80 dial, but it wasn't enough to overcome Joe Parisi's winning effort.
In Street Stang, three racers went at it for the class win. With the points battle between James D'Amore III and Mark Anderson heating up and most likely going down to the wire, it was imperative for both drivers to have a good showing. When the smoke cleared, it was Anderson holding the cup at the end of the day, with a final-round triumph over Tom Conrad. Anderson earned a sizeable holeshot advantage with his 0.034 reaction time and ran a 12.52 on the 12.50-second Street Stang index. Trying to make up for the time he lost on the starting line, Conrad kept his foot pinned but went under the index with a 12.47-second breakout time.
Mod Comp saw the Mustangs of Joe Parisi and Reggie Burnette duke it out. Both racers were killer on the starting line, with Burnette's great 0.024 light just a tick behind Parisi's near-perfect 0.007 bulb. At the 1,320 marker, both drivers were a few hundredths of a second off their respective dial-ins, but Parisi's 12.75 gunned down Burnette's 12.82.
Tom Conrad made it to two...
Tom Conrad made it to two final rounds and, unfortunately, came up short in both of them. His first loss came in the final of Street Bandit, where his 10.67-second effort was further off the 10.60-second index than opponent Bob Cottone's dead-on 10.60.
Tough Truck saw Robert Chuhran's Light-ning line up against Bob Cochran's vintage Ford truck. Only 0.04 second separated the pair in reaction time and, at the stripe, both ran under their respective predictions. Once the computer finished figuring out the math, though, the win light was glowing on Chuhran's side, as his 11.67 was less of a breakout than Cochran's 11.80.
Ultra Stang had a good draw of cars, and when the battle was done, the '05 Mustang of James Brown stood tall over the '07 Pony of Dave Saunders. The race was over as soon as it began, as Saunders left the starting line too soon, handing the automatic win to Brown, who motored to a 14.18.
True Street saw 54 cars complete the 30-mile cruise and subsequent three trips down the quarter-mile. Tim Potvin took home the crown, as his 10.37-second average was nearly 0.3 second quicker than runner-up Todd Rochefort's 10.60. Potvin's effort to secure the win was aided by an opening 10.12-second blast.