Monday, July 26, 2010

BG Oil 4th Annual Manufacturer's Cup Challenge Rocks Barona Dragstrip! Racers, sponsors, fans enjoy the show of the year!

Last March, Drag Corner Promotions came to the owners of Barona Dragstrip with the idea of putting on an event that focused on the sportsman drag racer. But we also wanted it to have all the bells and whistles of an NHRA national event. Well, The BG Oil 4th Annual Manufacturer's Cup Challenge had all of that and then some! The weekend kicked off Friday night with a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. Donated items were raffled off throughout the night with the 50/50 drawing alone raising nearly $500.00. And what better way to really get the weekend started? A cacklefest, of course, which included the nostalgia dragsters of "TV Tommy Ivo", Chris, "The Golden Greek" Karamesines, Mooneyes, Bob Hansen's "Wynn's Spoiler" and many more. Several lucky individuals who had purchased tickets during the evening for the chance to sit in these cars took their seats as the cars were being prepared to start. The cars fired up one at a time so that every car had it's center stage moment. Header flames lit up the sky and the smiling faces of the lucky few who were sitting in these beautifully restored pieces of drag racing history. Also, as part of the evenings entertainment, power drummer and all around nice guy Vinny Appice donated items for the raffle and signed autographs for fans and friends. Vinny, who played with DIO, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell to name just a few, was also kind enough to sit in with the band during the night and did a three song set which absolutely rocked the house! (watching him warm up was worth the price of admission!) Vinny not only was there Friday night but hung out all day and into the night on Saturday and really enjoyed the show.

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, .

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.

What a line up of cackle cars. That's Chris
Karamesines "Chizler" built from the ground up
by Bob Hansen for it's owner, Ron Johnson.

Mooneyes owner Chico Kodama making a few
last minute adjustments to there famous nostalgia

Bill Speidel, in the seat of Bob Hansen's "Wynn's
Spoiler", had a grin on his face the whole time he
was in the car!

...we think he liked it.

And he's STILL smiling!

Left to right, Mike with wife Conni, Susan and
Bill. Susan wasn't too sure about the whole,
"Put my husband in the seat of a nitro car" thing
but she survived. Mike, does BG produce nitro?
...just a thought.

Vinny Appice has become a drag racing fan. He
hung out Friday night and all day and night
Saturday. Welcome aboard! almost forgot we were at a drag race.
Vinny rocks!

Erica coming up to the line for her first exhibition
run of the day. She and the car were spot on all
day winning all of her match races.

The return road at Barona is like no other. It's
like driving through the park...and there are picnic
areas on either side of the road where many racers
like to set up their pits. Too cool...

A broken part in the shift linkage kept Wyatt
Radke, driving the BG Oil Manx, from winning rounds
but it didn't keep him from putting on a show. Nice
job, Wyatt!

While Kimberly sang the National Anthem, she
had one eye on the flag and one on her boyfriend,
Bart Rogowski, as he was skydiving in during the
opening ceremonies.

Yeah, he was THAT close!

...and right on target!

Paul Rodriguez with the BG Oil colors.

Rich timing it perfectly.

I think Kimberly was glad he was on the ground!
Come on, wasn't his first rodeo!!

Kimberly was hugging everyone, even her
nephew Dane Roblee.

Paul and Bart....great job.

All the gang with their ground crew.

Long time supporters of Dalcorp Racing, Walter
and Anita Martin, serving up some great eats.

Phil "the hammer" Baglieri driving the BG Oil
Chevelle ran well all day but couldn't pull down
any wins for the GM team.

Irwindale regular and crowd pleaser, Pete "Wild
Man" Gallop.

The most recognized car in drag racing history,
"The Winged Express" driven by Mike Boyd for
Mousie Marcellus.

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?

Erica chopped the tree down all day. In the other
lane her next victim...a front engine dragster.

Tony Franco in the "Terminal Velocity" jet car
with a warm up run....literally!

Another Irwindale regular, Brett Bell, went on
to win all the cash in the gambler's race on
Saturday night.

Runner up for overall driver's honors was Greg
Phillipson in his beautiful "Flyin' Philly" Nova.

"Mernie" kept everything organized for Drag
Corner and did an awesome job in the weeks
leading up to the race. Thanks, Marianne!!!

Mernie even had time to be the trophy girl!

Kevin Canatsey, left, had about as much fun as
anyone at the event. Here, with long time friend
Mike Roblee (facilities manager for Drag Corner)
celebrates with Kevin as he picks up his prizes
for one of his two wins for the GM team.

"The Hammer" squaring off with "Limo Girl"
during one of the round robin matches. Old GM
verses new Mopar.

"Limo Girl", aka Wyatt Radke's fiance', had a
great day and drove well running a 9.01 on a
9.00 dial in her last round. Great job, Teresa!

The family was out in force; Aunt Janis, right,
enjoying the action with Phil, Kimberly and Bart.

Erica with a proud mom after her last win.

....good times with good friends.

Team Ford sponsor and captain, "Ernie the Attorney",
puttin' the hurt on another victim.

At the end of the day it was Team Ford that
came out on top. April Ortiz handed out all the
goodie bags to the winners. "Ernie the Attorney",
team captain and sponsor receives his just rewards
from April.

The action at night was awesome! Check out
those header flames...and what's going on under
the car as well.

"Tuna Pete" Baleno took off his race promoter
shirt and put on his firesuit. He put down an awesome
run against "The Screamin' Norwegian" and the
Purple Reign gang. Pete's 5.21 silenced the 5.54 run
of Jerry's Camaro. Nice job, Pete!

....The Winged Express.

At the end of the evening Tony wanted to go
for the track record.....

....and he got it! Remember, these are 1/8 mile

Overall winner of the event was Jim Adams.
Ironically, he hadn't raced for awhile and wasn't
even planning on coming out. We bet that $1,000.00
check in his hand made him glad he came!!
Congratulations Jim!!

Stormy put on quite a show every time down
the track and was the "People's Choice" award
winner. Thanks Stormy and crew for letting it
all hang out all weekend!

One of the nicest guys in drag racing...and new
track record holder Tony Franco. When we
thanked him for coming out to the event he
simply said, "Hey, I just love to run my car."
And run it you did. You're the man, Tony!

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