Mike and Kathie Craig with Rick Williamson driving won their biggest race in three years with their AA/FD, ending a drought that has lasted almost three years. Not since the 2012 CHRR has the team from Campbell CA been to the winner’s circle. Maybe it was destined to be. The Craigs were the first AA/FD team to enter the Governor’s Cup, and their beautiful blue dragster graced both the event t-shirt and poster. The potent 398 cid hemi Rodeck, capably tuned by crew chief John Russell, ran flawlessly throughout the event. Competing in a race that allowed fuel altereds and fuel dragsters to race side-by-side, Rick Williamson was simply superb. After qualifying the 2012 Steve Davidson dragster #2 and earning a first round bye, Williamson put down better reaction times than those of his opponents which ended up to be a crucial factor in the victory. After turning back a determined James Valencia driving his “Nitro Mas” AA/FA in E2, Rick took a .084 starting line advantage against Terry Cox and “The Cheetah” in the final round. With their dragsters glued to the racing surface, both drivers were able to stay on it all the way to the 1000 foot finish line. Williamson won the best race of the evening on a holeshot: a 5.026/233.92 to 4.968/239.91.
Sharing the top billing with the nitro cars were the blown alcohol funny cars of the California Independent Funny Car Association (CIFCA). After a couple of years absence, CIFCA has been resurrected by James Maher Jr. with sponsorship from Good Vibration Motorsports. Coming into the association’s final race of five events, Wilton’s Tony Trimp was in first place driving Harvey Williams’ “Rough-N-Ready” Corvette. Trimp would go on to make it to the final round as did Hanford’s Ron Ward in his “Urban Legend” ’59 Corvette. Tony got a big jump on Ron off the line and in another wheel-to-wheel thriller, lost to Ward by going .002 too quick (7.498 to 7.512).
In 7.0 Pro, there is a new kid on the block and his name is Jeff Rose. Far from being a youngster, this veteran Livermore CA. drag racer has decided to invade what has become Todd Ellingson’s turf at Sacramento Raceway; Todd has two wins and a runner up in fours races. And sure enough, it was Ellingson again in the other lane for the final round of eliminations. Rose drilled Todd on the ‘tree” with a .013 RT and his 7.036 was just enough to hold off Ellingson's closing 7.026.
In other sportsman classes, the West Coast Pro Gas Association entered 68 members in A/G through E/G and crowned their five class champions. Mike Mossi, the WCPG leader in A/G, had a comfortable lead going into the Governor’s Cup, but lost to event winner Jerry Jahnsen in E1. That left the door slightly open for second place Brent Bockover to sneak in. But, he too, lost in E1, and Mossi won the association’s title. In B/G, it was the Cliff Boyles show, as Cliff grabbed the “Cup” and the WCPG title. Scott Morgan was the event winner in C/G; Lee Roberts the WCPG champ. Track official Rick Fitzsimmons decided to forego working to race and ended up in the winner’s circle with his BBC ’37 Chevy D/Gasser. Harold Binsfeld, heavily pursued by Steve Cloud for number one in WCPG, went four rounds at the Governor’s Cup—just enough to escape Cloud’s charge. In the E/G final round, it was WCPG champion Ken Parks fouling against North Highlands’ Henry Roberson.
Quick Bike, contested on a 7.50 index, served up a classic import versus domestic final round. Darryl Meadows with his Nitrous Suzuki squared off against Greg Justice and his Nitro Harley. Justice was dead-on with a 7.532 ET, but he left early and Meadows got the win despite going 7.410. Finally, it was Don Caesar over Michael O’Neil in NorCal Drag Bike.
Rick Williamson driving Mike and Kathie Craig’s AA/FD was the big winner at Sacramento Raceway’s 46th Annual Governor’s Cup. Williamson was in fine form during eliminations running the second and third quickest times for the event—4.98/233.48 and a 5.026/233.92 for 1000’
The Quick Bike (7.50 index) final round gave the fans just what they had been wishing for—a showdown between Darryl Meadows’ Nitrous Suzuki and Greg Justice’s Nitro Harley. Had Justice not red lighted, his 7.532/172.47 would have taken him to the winner’s circle as Meadow’s broke out with a 7.410/173.72.
Ron Ward’s immaculate ’59 Corvette not only won the CIFCA Best Burnout contest, but also the race. Ward’s consistent string of 7.5s (7.555/7.559/7.512) and quick RTs forced two of his opponents to breakout, including CIFCA 2015 champion Tony Trimp in the final round.
Jerry Jahnsen and the Tom and Jerry Racing ’69 Camaro took the A/G title at the Governor’s Cup. Jahnsen’s reputation for quick RTs really unnerved his opponents, all of whom red lighted against him.
Rick Fitzsimmons had to survive five rounds of eliminations to win D/G. And, he did it with aplomb. In E3, he knocked out the track’s 2015 Pro champion, Jake Guadagnolo, before silencing Dave Sullivan in the final round with a .015 RT.