Gordon Boven earned the overall Classic Grand Championship title at the NAPA Auto Parts Halloween Classic XXIII event. Racers braved unseasonably wet weather for largely 4 of the 5 days of Firebird’s season closing boo bash in western Idaho.
The five-day event offers a $45,000 purse, along with titles in the NHRA Idaho State Championship. The featured four main eliminator champions (Super Pro, Pro, Heavy and Sportsman) also vied for the overall four-way Classic Grand Championship.
To set the field for the four-car runoff, Gordon Boven (`72 Cuda) ran 5.88 (5.88 dial) 115.56 in the eighth mile distance to stop Rick Northup (`83 Firebird) who finished at 6.99 (6.99 dial) 103.13 in the Super Pro final. In Pro, Jim Coryat nailed a 5.88 (5.88 dial) 119.23 with his `67 Nova to defeat a 5.73 (5.74 dial) 117.71 by Phil Hudlow (`68Dart). In Heavy eliminator, Susan Wikfors (`70 Duster) clicked of a 7.32 (7.33 dial) 93.00 to stop Bruce Nickerson (`65 Satellite) who redlit by -.018 in the final. Mike Ritz (`14 Corvette) ran 7.87 (7.85 dial) 85.80 in Sportsman against the `87 Ranger of Austin Jennen who ran 8.05 (8.06 dial) 84.32.
In the final four showdown for the overall Classic title, Ritz beat a redlighting Wikfors, while Boven knocked out Coryat. For the overall Halloween runoff and the $6,000 winner’s check, Boven ran 5.86 (5.88 dial) 117.03 against a redlighting Ritz (-.030 foul).
Don DePeel (`74 Kawasaki) won the Sled/Bike class with a 5.51 (5.49 dial) 127.51 to beat Zak Pededra (`97 Polaris) who finished at 6.37 (6.30 dial) 105.00.
In the Lucas Oil Top Gun Shootout open to the event’s quickest 32 qualifiers, the final saw Rayce Kidd (`68 Camaro) run 5.09 (5.09 dial) 136.39 to upend the `06 Dragster of Tom Clark who ran 4.60 (4.59 dial) 151.02 to claim runner-up.
Other winners over the weekend included: Casey Compton and Christopher Northup in Super Roller; Matt Compton and Jerry Durant Jr. in No-Box/Hi Roller, Bill Muchow and Greg Davis in No Box/Gambler; Don Trafford and Liz Micheletty; Jerry Trolard in Last Chance; Stan Deming in the Quality Trailer Club Runoff; Steve Stuart for both “highest” and “longest” in the Air Firebird” wheelstand show.
Junior champions included Andres Chavez in Jr. Lightning;Casey Youngstrom in Jr. Thunder; along with Saturday age division champions – Alan Cox, Summer Field, Cooper Chun, Kiley Harrington, and Jake Nickerson.
Bill Bader & Family Founder’s Award: Dean Hamann, Jerry/Judd Trolard, James, Andrea & Heather Higgins, Earl McCollough and Bruce Glascock, principally members of the Melba Outlaws racing club.
Special awards were presented to: Rob Asbury—Best Appearing Full Bodied; Dairld Wurtz—Best Appearing Open Bodied; Dan Lafferty—Top Gun “full bodied” low qualifier; Robert Tehle—Top Gun “open” low qualifier; Alan Cox—Best Appearing Junior; Munster’s Club – Bader Family Founder’s Award; and Jason Mercer, Kelowna, B.C.
Kid’s Costume award winners: Brynn Howell-Scariest; Nevaeh Brooklyn-Most Unique; Milo Northup, Christina Northup-Prettiest; Lucas Oats, Chelssie Hennicon-Misc.
Adult Costume award winners: Darlene Twitty (Hillary Clinton)-Scariest; Cheyenne Price, Bryan Duvall (Dead Couple)-Couple; Kuna Knuckle Draggers (Flintstones)-Most Original; Tessa Lancaster, Teresa Hutto (Naughty & Nice Angels)-Sexiest. Honorable mention: Steve Canton (Carnival Leader & Lion); Mason McCoy (Twisted Clown); Liz Micheletty & Ryan (Andy’s Toys); Alex Smith (Bam Bam); Suzie Hall (Firecracker w/beer); Kristi Shawver, Ryan DuBois (Bigfoot & Hunter).
Child Costume award winners: Brynn Howell (Scariest); Nevaeh, Brooklyn (Most Unique); Milo and Christina Northrop (Prettiest); and Lucas Oats, Chelssie Henrickson (Outstanding Costume).
Best Decorated Pit Area: Melba Outlaws (Munsters); Kuna Knuckle Draggers (Kuna Badrock Garage); Linda Panunzio (Nightmare at Christmas).
Best Decorated Race Cars: Petitt Family; Nick Marsala and Susan Wikfors.
Staff Costume: Dennis Law (Gilligan); Rachel & Tammy Silva (Cruella de Vil and members from the One Hundred and One Dalmatians); Gary Himes (Captain Hook).