The competition continued to ratchet up during week three of the 2021 season at Byron Dragway. The weekend featured the series opener for High School Drags on May 1st, a double-header weekend for Jr. Dragsters May 1-2, and the series opener for the Midwest Index Shootout on May 2nd.
All photos are courtesy of W.R. Swanson Photography & Media.
While much has changed over seven decades of racing at Byron Dragway, some things remain the same. That was the case in High School Drags on Saturday, as familiar last names reached the final round. Finalists Evan Folk and Kaden Mulligan are both third generation drag racers. Folk of Durand drove his ’08 GMC Sierra to the race win by virtue of a red light start by Mulligan in his ’07 Chevy Silverado.
Saturday also included the second points race for Jr. Dragsters. In Jr. Elite, Charlie Weiler of Marshfield, Wisconsin took home the win over Ryan Mackey of Algonquin. Mackey, with an 8.01 dial-in left first against Weiler’s 7.91 dial-in. While both drivers left the starting line too early, Mackey red lighted first, allowing Weiler the final round victory.
2020 Jr. Novice track champion, James Pfohl of Clinton, Iowa, reached his second final round and first victory of 2021. Pfohl’s final round opponent was rookie driver Madyson Goike, of nearby Stillman Valley, in just her second points race ever. Goike, a quick learner from a drag racing family, had the better reaction time but Pfhol ultimately scored the win by running closer to his dial-in. Pfhol ran 8.959 at 68.00 mph on his 8.90 dial-in while Goike ran 11.088 at 55.26 mph on her 10.98 dial-in.
Leaving little time to regroup, Jr. Dragsters quickly returned for their third points race on Sunday, May 2nd. Jr. Elite saw two of the most consistent drivers in the final round with Danny Ellis of Burbank getting the win over Sydney Senko of Elwood. Ellis consistently ran dead-on his dial-in on multiple occasions, including the closest to dial-in round in time trials. Meanwhile, Senko consistently had the best reaction time of the day, setting the stage for a big final round matchup. Senko continued to demonstrate her starting line skills, with a big reaction-time advantage. Ellis, however, took the win by running much closer to his dial-in, going 7.913 on his 7.90 dial, while Senko slowed to an 8.291 on her 8.05 dial-in. Watch the Jr. Elite final round from Byron Dragway TV.
In Jr. Novice, Mia Rybarski of Tinley Park was victorious over Brody Degnitz of Slinger, Wisconsin. Rybarski made a statement in the final round, with a .005 reaction-time. Degnitz was also very competitive at the starting line, with an .041 reaction-time. At the finish line, Degnitz broke out running 9.150 on his 9.18 dial-in while Rybarski ran 9.906 on her 9.08 dial-in. Watch the Jr. Novice Final Round from Byron Dragway TV.
Jr. Dragsters also enjoyed a bonus fun run race to conclude the day. Ellie Mae Bacon won the 6-9 year old age group over runner-up Riarlynn Snodgrass. Emma Bird won the 10 & older age group over runner-up Madyson Goike who reached her second final round of the weekend.
Sunday featured plenty of heads-up, door slammer action with the kick-off of the Midwest Index Shootout series.
In Street Brawler, 2020 Champion Tracy Reeder of Mt. Morris, continued his winning ways. Reeder was both the number one qualifier and the race winner. Street Brawler runner-up, Anthony Parks of Franklin Grove, took his newly sponsored Pipeco Inc. Pontiac Firebird to the final round. Parks had the starting line advantage but Reeder ultimately took the win by running closer to his index. Watch the Street Brawler Final Round from Byron Dragway TV.
In Street Intimidator, 2020 Champion Jeff Smith of LeClaire, Iowa drove his ’65 Olds 442 to the race win over number one qualifier Trevor Beer of Elgin. Beer, driving his ’09 Pontiac GXP had the better reaction with an .037 to Smith’s .060. However, Smith was closer to his index, going 7.791 on his 7.75 index while Beer went 8.071 on his 8.00 index. Watch the Street Intimidator Final Round from Byron Dragway TV.
In Street Heat, Kevin Hunt of Decatur was both the number one qualifier and race winner against Brian Payne of Waterman, who was both the number two qualifier and runner-up. Hunt drove his ’70 Dodge Dart to an 7.529 on a 7.50 index while Payne’s ’84 Camaro ran too quick, going 7.408 on his 7.50 index. Watch the Street Heat Final Round from Byron Dragway TV.
In Street Limited, Doug Lange of Hampshire took the win over Jon Reynolds of Rockford. Lange, the fifth place qualifier, was .044 at the starting line and ran 6.911 on the 6.90 set index. Reynolds, who qualified third, was .065 and too quickly ran 6.855 on the 6.90 set index. Watch the Street Limited Final Round from Byron Dragway TV.
In Pro Avenger, race winner Scott Frost of Elgin was victorious over runner-up Ricky Peña of Palos Park. Frost, the sixth place qualifier, drove his Chevelle to a 6.503 on the 6.50 set index. Peña, the fifth place qualifer, drove his Chevy II to a 6.533 on the 6.50 set index. Watch the Pro Avenger Final Round from Byron Dragway TV.
In Pro Dominator, fourth place qualifier Marty Thornton of Kingston, who had stellar reaction times all day long, scored the race win against number one qualifier Justin Kamp, also of Kingston. Although Kamp was slightly closer to the 6.00 index, running 6.105 to Thornton’s 6.118, Thornton’s .012 reaction-time would seal the deal and land him in winner’s circle. Watch the Pro Dominator Final Round from Byron Dragway TV.