On Saturday the day started with tune up runs for the afternoon's round robin competition. One of the things that makes the Manufacturer's Cup Challenge so popular is that it's a no elimination format. The four teams, Mopar, Chevrolet, Ford and Wild Card are pitted against each other in three rounds of competition. The team with the most win cards is the overall champion and takes home a ton of prizes donated by all of the supporting sponsors. In addition, with each round win, they received contingency prizes which ranged from a bag of car care products to a set of slicks from M&H! So even if your team didn't do so well you could pick up as many as three contingency prizes throughout the afternoon.
After the morning sessions and several exhibition runs it was time for the opening ceremonies...and another first for Barona. The ISM Exhibition Skydiving Team formed and organized by Bart Rogowski flew in to begin the show while Dalcorp/AREA 51's own Kimberly Nocita sang the National Anthem. Bart came in first with a high speed "swoop" followed by Paul Rodriguez flying the BG Oil colors and Rich Piccirulli with the American Flag. You could hear the gasps from the crowd as the three came in and Kimberly finished the anthem just as Rich touched down right on target. It was a high energy moment that was also very patriotic and made you proud to be a citizen of this great country. Many people commented afterwards that seeing the American Flag flown in that close to them gave them goose bumps. We agree.
Then it was on to some great racing and competition. The exhibition cars were unbelievable with passes by The Winged Express, the jet car Terminal Velocity driven by, or should I say "flown by" Tony Franco, Stormy Byrd and many, many more. The pictures below will tell the story. At the end of the day it was Team Ford who won the BG Oil 4th Annual MCC event and Jim Adams taking home the overall driver's award and a check for $1,000.00!
Thank you BG Oil, (PetroSpecs and Elbert Distributing) for sponsoring this race and making it all possible, Barona Dragstrip for providing a great racing venue and to all of our associate sponsors and team sponsors. The list is long and you can check out all those who were involved by going to the Drag Corner web site, http://www.dragcorner.com/ .
Lastly, thanks to our families and friends who did so much to make this event such a huge success. Debbie Nocita, Lynn Christy, Marianne "Mernie" Chew, Bill and Colleen Heublein, Mike and Kristy Roblee, Kimberly Nocita, Erica Nocita, Bart Rogowski, Pete Baleno's family, Buster Baglieri, April Ortiz and Ashley Koser. Thanks also to contributing photographers Don Atkinson, Peter Liebig, Pam Schavrien, Darrell Conrad and DJ Olender.
As Don Julian, Barona's track co-owner/operator said, "It was the best event we've ever had here." Can't wait til next year!
Bob Hansen (center) with BG Oil exec's Bill Speidel
and Mike McCarthy.
The Dalcorp cars ready for action.
...we think he liked it.
And he's STILL smiling!
Yeah, he was THAT close!
...and right on target!
Paul Rodriguez with the BG Oil colors.
Rich timing it perfectly.
Paul and Bart....great job.
All the gang with their ground crew.
Stormy Byrd....what a classic shot.
Chico, on the right, with DragFink artist Jeff DeGrandis.
....this takes you back a few years, doesn't it?
Mernie even had time to be the trophy girl!
....good times with good friends.
....The Winged Express.