Drag Racing on Labor Day weekend is an American Tradition. And the honor bound tradition of racing at Great Lakes Dragaway is just as strong as ever.
Proudly part of the Time Machine Nationals for the second consecutive year, the Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association’s appearance was a success by any measure one chooses. And not just for our group, but by all reports, for Great Lakes Dragaway as well.
We brought our strongest level of participation and performance yet to this event. And not just for a single night, but two full days. We also reaffirmed our commitment to bring you, our fans, the very best in Nostalgia Pro Stock racing action. We enjoyed visiting with each and every one of you that stopped by our pit area.
Follow along as we highlight our weekend at the Time Machine Nationals.
At Saturday’s pre-race group meeting we welcomed Bob Happakoski in, and welcomed back Ken Wiggins.
It was great to have Ken Wiggins and the “Dirty Rat” Camaro crew back on the track. He takes on Dan Manesis in Saturday’s Round 1 and gets the win light.
Bob Haapakoski wheels the family’s very rare AMX against Bob Cattelino. All AMC (naturally!) under the hood, this car has been in the Haapakoski family for decades. Welcome Bob and Family!
In Round 2 on Saturday, Kelly Dill ran the ‘ll Cotton Pony at full gallop, carding an 8.266 ET at 162.60 MPH. This ended up being the quickest Nostalgia Pro Stock run of the weekend. Kelly also recorded the best reaction time of the weekend, an .004 in Round 1 on Sunday.
Peter Sarauer needed every cubic inch of his Camaro’s Big Block Chevy in escaping Hannah Fleischman in Round 2. She strapped a light on “The Hillbilly”, making this a very close race that Sarauer ultimately won.
Mark Ipsen in the Wally Booth Approved AMC and Arlee Williams III in the “Doc” Holliday Arrow put on an authentic display of the elements that made Pro Stock racing great in the glory days. Side by side smoky burnouts. Wheels up dry hops. and a staging dual! Yea!
Presented by The Gobbler Theater, Liamani Segura sang the National Anthem with passion and precision on both Saturday and Sunday. This little lady brought a tear to the eye of some and a smile to all. It was all perfectly coordinated with the parachutists of Skydive Midwest, who brought the flag of the United States of America to earth in front of GLD’s appreciative crowd.
Not only does Jim Parks own a documented vintage Pro Stock car, he still drives it like it was meant to be. And we’ll add that he does it damn well! With reaction times consistently worthy of a pro, he owned both ends of the track in this Round 3 match on Saturday night.
Bob Cattelino puts on some “Night Moves” in recording a 9.814 under the lights. This Camaro also has some history behind it. It has origins with South Carolina’s legendary Quain Stott.
Here are the roots of a budding rivalry. Hannah Fleischman and Josh Parks square off for the first time on Saturday night. In this round it was Josh’s race. Hannah though will be heard from later in the weekend…
Kenny Wiggins took the seat of the “Dirty Rat” and matched up against Tyler Shenuk. Both cars left hard with Tyler going into an amazing but too early wheelstand, while Kenny ran into sudden trouble when wheel studs sheared off 100′ into the run. The young driver kept the car off the wall and brought it to a halt without injury to himself and minimal damage to the car.
Sunday brought another day of gorgeous weather to Southeast Wisconsin, and with it more fans to Great Lakes Dragaway.
Sunday began with early morning group shots on the track, thanks to our gracious hosts at GLD.
Severe damage to the rear end of Mark Ipsen’s AMC on Saturday necessitated swapping out the 3rd member on the 9 inch. A spare from Dan and the hard work of Steve Fleischman and the Haapokoski Family assured the red, white and blue Concord would be in Sunday’s show.
Hannah insisted on another shot at Josh, so we gave her the opportunity! She takes him down in Sunday’s 1st round with a 10516 ET to Josh’s 10.687. They went at it again in Round 3, with Park’s winning 10.460 to Fleischman’s 10.552. Bet on more of this!
We love having Sam Janik, his dad Stan, and the rest of his family with us. Their Impulse 2 Camaro was painted by Stan, and is motivated by a BBC. Here he takes on Bob Cattelino and the Night Moves Camaro.
Peter Sarauer usually drives Jesse Branham’s Hillbilly Racing Camaro like he stole it, but a right foot that that reacted a little slowly instantly put him behind Cattelino in Round 2 on Sunday. Pete did his best to get past Bob, but it was not to be, losing with the quicker ET of 9.971 to the 10.104 by the “Night Moves” driver. Afterwards, Jesse waved his cane threateningly and Sarauer got the message, winning over Sam Janik at both ends of the track in the night session.
Arlee Williams III is in his rookie season in a very fast car. He’s a quick study and has shown a great deal of improvement since his first appearance. He also has veteran Lamont Hanna in his corner. A definite advantage. Trailing Kelly Dill here, A3’s day is coming.
With the sun setting behind Great Lakes Dragaway’s fans, we were ready to bring the house down for our final round of the weekend.
Kicking off the final round was the All Red White and Blue pairing of Bob Haapakoski and Mark Ipsen. And what a match it was with the characteristic dry hops and a burndown that last 2 minutes! Mark (.014 RT) and his car both were on their game, running 8.872 at 151 MPH. As they say, “the crowd went wild”.
Tyler Shenk got a huge starting line advantage over Arlee Williams with a .025 RT. However with big Hemi power under the hood, “Doc” Holliday proved too much for Shenuk’s Firebird at the top end where Williams drove around the Pontiac. 8.644 for “Doc”, 9.339 for Tyler.
The general consensus around the pits and in the tower was Kelly Dill would drill Dan Manesis on the tree and take the win. Well, Mr. Manesis proved that occasionally Old Guys can still Rule! His eye/brain/foot coordination worked perfectly and generated a .019 RT to Kelly’s uncharacteristic .122. But she and the Pink Pinto were not giving up! They ran a quicker but losing 8.391 ET to Manesis’ 8.486. And again, the crowd went wild!
The Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association gives sincere thanks to the management and all of the staff at Great Lakes Dragaway, and our fans and supporters for allowing us the pleasure of racing for you.
We’ll do it again at our next races, the Big Walker Memorial Race on Saturday September 18th and the Nitrous Street Car Brawl, on Saturday September 24th. Both at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin. Be There!