Not even a brief rain delay could slow the fast cars and fast times at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce last weekend, highlighted by Jim Onda’s consistency in his Super Pro paying off and by two long-time Junior Dragster racers claiming their first wins.
Super Pro saw an all-dragster finale, with Onda, from Danielsville, and Buford’s Don Brown Jr. Onda jumped a .019 green light on a 4.85 dial-in, as Brown claimed the tree with a formidable .008 reaction time on a 4.83 dial. The men were neck-and-neck until Onda crossed first with a dead-on elapsed time at 141.77 mph for the win. Brown finished with a 4.84 second run at 141.76 mph, giving Onda a .005 margin of victory.
Pro finalists Travis Bryant, of Bowman, and Eric Smith, of Baldwin, faced off in their final passes. Bryant dialed in at 6.36 seconds against Smith’s 6.81 prediction. Smith was a little too eager, and launched early with a -.024 red light, instantly giving the win to Bryant, who followed with a safe .109 green light.
Mickey Morris made up for lost points after going out in the semi-finals in last weekend’s Sportsman race. Morris, of Ellenwood, pulled up against Blairsville’s Kevin Davis in the finals. Davis had the handicap tree with his 13.18 dial-in against Morris’s 13.03 prediction, and left the line with a .130 green light. Morris came after with a .078 reaction time, catching up and taking the win with a 13.05 run at 99.13 mph, a better package than Davis’s 13.22-second run at 96.73 mph.
Loganville’s Paul Cavanaugh raced a borrowed ’01 Hayabusa against Scott Reynolds, of Cartersville, on a ’98 Buell in the Motorcycle finals. Reynolds had the handicap tree with his 12.75 dial-in, and took off with a .068 green light. Cavanaugh, dialed at 9.75, left the line with a .059 reaction time, gunning it to close in on Reynolds. Reynolds crossed the line first, but broke out with a 12.71-second run at 102.50 mph. Cavanaugh won the race with a 9.78 elapsed time at 138.58 mph.
Third generation racer Hunter James, 11, of Cartersville, met 11-year-old Austin Carden of McDonough in the 8-12 Junior Dragster finals. James had the handicap tree with his 9.66 dial-in, and left the line with a .037 green light. Carden followed with a .087 reaction on his 8.92 dial-in. Carden outran himself, breaking out with an 8.90-second run at 73.52 mph, while James took the win in 9.68 seconds at 66.44 mph
Jennifer Jarrett, 17, of Cartersville, made it to the 13-17 Junior Dragster finals against 15-year-old John Gordon, Hiram. Jarrett was dialed in at 7.90, just a little quicker than Gordon’s 7.99. Gordon left the line a little too early with a -.004 foul, handing Jarrett the win.