Ray Majia returned to VW drag racing in a big way!

So-Cal Bugorama at Fontana

CB Performance presents the return of VW drag racing to the Auto Club Speedway Drag Strip
By Dean Kirsten | May 5, 2014

Photos by Dean Kirsten


It's been two years since we enjoyed 1/4-mile VW drag racing in southern California. Thanks to a pesky law suit claiming that the drag strip produced too much noise for the "neighbors", the facility was closed down until things could be sorted out. And after a massive concrete sound wall was built, we now have the green light to go racing!
Doug Harvey just finished putting his Top Eliminator New Beetle back together for this race. Front-engine (air-cooled) New Beetle has run 7.80s, but Sunday, he just could not hold it in place on the starting line, and rolled the lights.
Highlighting VW's return to Fontana was the side-by-side matchup of Kris Lauffer and Eric Calabrese in Pro-Mod. Kris ran a 8.09/183 off the trailer and was Number One Qualifier. In the final, Kris lead Eric to the finish (8.22/182.67mph to 8.39/168.26mph). In Pro-Turbo, Dimitri Bakolas came back from a rollover just nine days ago, to win class, over Ikaika Figueroa (10.27/138.37mph to 11.04/134.63mph). In Top Eliminator, quickest time was set by Chad Davis (Touareg V-8-powered rail) 6.82/200mph, but pushed a head gasket out doing it. In the class final, Steve Hopf ('27-T roadster) topped Doug Harvey (10.16/140.80/11.80/66.66mph).
Dan "The Man" Adelsperter in Pro Eliminator action (12.21/104.08mph).
In the Heads Up Super Street class, it came down to rematch of Phoenix, as Shawn Geers went against Ron Fleming. Geers took his second win of the season, but edging out Fleming, (10.07/134.18mph to 10.36/126.42mph). Allen Weiss made it two in a row, as he took the Super Comp final against Drew Kremers (11.01/101.67mph to 12.39/108.93mph). Pro Gas was a great match up of number of closely paired VWs. Tony Klink ran 10.90s all day, but red lite aginst Steve Korach in the first round. That put Kevin Barrett and Steve in the final, with Barrett taking the win (11.05/120.60mph to 11.87/111.41mph).
Allen Wiess found the right lane sketchy in the morning, so he moved to the left lane with much better results. Allen won Super Comp.
Certainly, the Powder Puff ladies came out in force at Fontana. With a full field, the main event came down to a classic dial-in dual between the 10-second sedan of Sacha Cerny, against the 13-second street car of Kathie Craig. With Kathie way out in front, Sasha hit the gas .082-second too quick and red lite. Great racing ladies! Super Gas went to Robert Anderson over Todd Houston, who killed a mainshaft on the starting line. Pro Eliminator went to Michael Durkee, who topped Scott Stephen (13.70/69.87mph to 17.75/54.26mph). Sportsman class saw another Durkee take the win, this time Rossi came out on top driving a late-model VW for the win, over Miguel "Jake Jacome" in a '62 Bug. And finally,the Trophy Class win was taken home by Primo Olivares over Joe Shean.
Powder Puff final matched Sacha Cerny (near lane), against Kathie Craig. There was over a 3.5-second head start for Kathie on this one, which is a very long time in drag racing! Sacha went too soon, getting the red light, giving the race to Kathie (13.48/98.01mph to 10.94/121.26mph).
Now it's time to look at the car show, which was scored by the staff of Bugorama, giving "Cool" awards to the custom VWs, and "Best Stock" to the vintage group. The big winners of the day including Jim Motto chopped '65 Bug from the past, for Promoter's Choice award for Air-Cooled. And Dan Galich for his '08 R32, for Promoter's Choice for Water-Cooled. Host Club Choice went to Corey Hatfield for his radical chopped/sectioned/slammed/welded/you name it Volksrods! Best Interior went to Richardo Rosales, Most Original Car to Kelly Whittemore's 1966 Squareback, and Best Patina to Jeremy Orozco for his '63 Bug. Best Construction award for Tim Drake's '68 Avenger GT kit car, and Best Use of Color to Steven Ephrain's 1961 Bug.
Semi-final round in Pro Eliminator; Scott Stephen took out Eric St. James (13.49/72.76mph to 15.78/87.05mph).
Jeff Shean ran 11.21/118.27mph in round one of Pro Gas.
Scott Bakken got way, way up in the Pro Gas semi-final. It slowed him just enough to allow Kevin Barrett to get by him, and on to the final. Bakken ran 11.19/117.35mph on this pass.
Michael Durkee won Pro Eliminator with a 13.70/69.87mph over Scott Stephen.
The only Fiat in competition.... Pat McDermott unleshed his wild VW-powered Fiat in Pro Mod and went to the semi-final against Eric Calabrese (8.48/152.93mph for Eric, and a trailing 9.62/151.48mph for Pat.
Tons of traction, Jason Fuller at the controls..
CAR SHOW Results Promoter’s Choice, Air-Cooled; Jim Motto, Big Bear Lake, CA, ’65 chop top; Promoter’s Choice, Water-Cooled; Dan Galich, Fontana, CA, ’08 R32; Host Club Choice; Corey Hatfield, Chino Hills, CA, ’68 Volksrod; Best Interior; Richardo Rosales, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, ’61 Bug; Best Patina; Jeremy Orozco, Victorville, CA, ’63 Bug; Best Use of Color; Steven Ephraim, Fontana, CA, ’61 Bug; Best Special Construction; Tim Drake, Highland, CA, ’68 Avenger kit car; Best Stock Single/Double Cab; Tim Wagner, Redlands, CA, ’66 Single cab; Best Stock Thing; Tony Enos, Apple Valley, CA, ’74 Thing; Best Stock ‘Vert; Deano, ’67 convertible; Best Stock Type 3; Kelly Whittemore, Menifee, CA, ’66 Squareback; Best Stock ’68-’79 Bus; Danny & Tristin, Norwalk, CA, ’71 Westy; Best Stock Pre ’67 Bus; Mario Rios, Redlands, CA, ’66 bus; Best Stock ’68-’79 Bug; Phillip Ransom, Temecula, CA, ’72 Super Beetle; Best Stock ’65-’67 Bug; Christian Rossi, San Bernardino, CA, ’66 Bug; Best Stock ’58-’64 Bug; Rocky Kavanagh, Los Angeles, CA, ’59 Bug; Outstanding Engine Air-Cooled; Craig Yanes, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, ’63 Bug; Outstanding Water-Cooled Engine; Dan Galich, Fontana, CA, ’08 R32; Coolest Volksrod; Corey Hatfield, Chino Hills, CA, ’68 Volksrod; Coolest Off-Road; Sal Baptista, Redlands, CA, ’71 Baja Bug; Coolest Passat; RickDoyle, Phelan, CA, ’03 Passat; Coolest Golf, John Hunniford Jr., Fontana, CA, ’08 GTI; Coolest Rabbit; Ali Nayak, Hermosa Beach, CA, ’82 Pickup-Caddy; Coolest Dune Buggy; Richard Cushman, Chino, CA, ’69 dune buggy; Coolest Camper; Danny & Tristin, Norwalk, CA, ’71 Westy; Coolest Single/Double Cab; Tim Wagner, Redlands, CA, ’66 single cab; Coolest Thing; Mike Cook, Victorville, CA, ’74 Thing; Coolest ‘Vert; Diego Vazquez, Ontario, CA, ’55 ‘Vert; Coolest Type 3; Johnnie Kaddashin, Glendora, CA, ’69 Squareback; Coolest Karmann Ghia; Hector Avalos, South El Monte, CA, ’64 Ghia; Coolest Pre ’67 Bus; Joe Ryna “Sugar Bear”, Rialto, CA, ’62 Bug; Coolest ’68-’79 Bug; Chip Rodriguez, Victorville, CA, ’69 Bug; Coolest ’65-’67 Bug; John Hunniford, Fontana, CA, ’65 Bug; Coolest Bug ’58-’64 Bug; Jeremy Orozco, Victorville, CA, ’63 Bug; Coolest ’Pre ’57 Bug; Harvey Ruben, LaJolla, CA, ’55 Bug.
Biggest upset in Pro Gas came in round one, when Tony Klink red lit against Steve Korach.
DRAG RACING Results Eserini Top Eliminator; 1. Steve Hopf, Riverside, CA, ’27 T-Roadster, 10.16/140.80mph; 2. Doug Harvey, Wildomar, CA, ’06 New Beetle, 11.80/66.66mph; Bugpack Pro Mod; 1. Kris Lauffer, San Marcos, CA, ’54 Bug, 8.22/182.67mph; 2. Eric Calabrese, Simi Valley, CA, ’57 Bug, 8.39/168.26mph; Pro Turbo; 1. Dimitri Bakolas, Las Vegas, NV, ’65 Bug, 10.27/138.37mph; 2. Ikaika Figueroa, Garden Grove, CA, Ghia, 11.04/134.63mph; Heads Up Super Street; 1. Shawn Geers, Westminster, CA, ’58 Ghia, 10.07/134.18mph; 2. Ron Fleming, Yorba Linda, CA, ’66 Bug, 10.36/126.42mph; CB 044 Pro Gas; 1. Kevin Barrett, Covina, CA, ’56 Bug, 11.05/120.60mph; 2. Steve Korach, Rio Linda, CA, ’68 Bug, 11.87/111.41mph; Bugformance Super Comp; 1. Allen Wiess, Chino, CA, ’67 Bug, 11.01/101.67mph; 2. Drew Kremers, Reno, NV, ’60 Bug; 12.39/108.93mph; Super Gas; 1. Robert Anderson, Apple Valley, CA, ’63 Bug, 16.61/98.15mph; 2. Todd Houston, Chico, CA, ’60 Bug, broke; Pro Eliminator; 1. Michael Durkee, Inglewood, CA, ’60 Bug, 13.70/69.87mph; 2. Scott Stephen, La Mesa, CA, ’70 Bug, 17.75/54.26mph; Sportsman Eliminator; 1. Rossi Durkee, Inglewood, CA, ’01 GTI, 14.22/98.58mph; 2. Miguel “Jake Jacome”, Pasadena, CA, ’62 Bug, 14.15/81.35mph; Trophy Class; 1. Primo Olivares, Pasadena, CA, ’64 Bug, 13.34/111.75mph; 2. Joe Shean, Long Beach, CA, ’67 Bug, 14.11/91.41mph.
Super Street final, Shawn Geers out-motored Ron Fleming.
Top Eliminator went to Steve Hopf, driving a water-cooled VW-powered '27 T-roadster (former Duane Pizzo car?).
Wild Pro Mod action as Eric Calabrese got the early head start, but Kris came around him and won the big race (8.22/182.67mph to 8.39/168.26mph).
Kathie Craig was tops in the Powder Puff class, going against Sasha Cerny in the final.
Staging Lanes, ready for Round One of Eliminations.
Jim Motto has owned his cool chopped sedan with real BRMs for decades... Won Promoter's Choice for Air-Cooled VWs. Still looks great.
Coolest 'Vert went to the '55 of Diego Vazquez of Ontario, CA.
Coolest Volksrod and Host Club Choice had to go to Corey Hatfield's more-than-radical '68 Volksrod!

 More to See...

Northwest Vintage Meet Biggest Ever!
Big Bear Bash 2014: Once around the lake!
Big Bear Bash 2014 Day Two
Big Bear Bash 2014 Kick Off
Memorial Day Sunday's Bug-Out 75 wowed all
Mid-America's 16th Annual Funfest
What you missed at the FunFest Swap Meet
World Famous Kimball VW Block Party!

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POWDERPUFF NOTCHBACKS
A pair of racing Notchbacks? You bet! These fine examples of the unique VW Type 3 are owned by Tamara Lopez and Julie Payton, both of California and members of the Volks Addiction So Cal club. They also both compete in the Powder Puff drag racing class. Read their story in the August 2014 issue of Hot VWs magazine.

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