Michael Johnson Associate Editor
February 17, 2008
Contributers: Paul Rosner Photos By: Paul Rosner

EFI Renegade - Little Georgie Porgie Seeger (Thanks, Scott) ran really well at Columbus last year, but he hasn't been out as much to back up that performance this year. Like last year, he was again running really strong at Columbus. George was in the 8.60s during qualifying to land in the third spot, and he continued to run strong during eliminations. In the final against Brian Mitchell, the track wasn't picking up what he was putting down, allowing Brian to jump out front and stay there.

Hot Street - Thanks to the mild temperatures and a sticky track (at least for the slick-tired cars), Hot Street racers were flyin' at Columbus. Justin Curry was the quickest of the bunch with an 8.797 at 151 mph, but Team Powerhead teammates Ben Mens and Mike Demayo were right on his heels with identical 8.815 runs. Ben earned the number-two qualifying spot thanks to a smidge faster trap speed. However, Mike and his SN-95 ride hit paydirt with consistently quick reaction times combined with 8.80s in eliminations. In the final against Tim Eichorn, Mike slipped to an 8.915, but Tim had problems, handing Mike the win.

Hot Street - Tim Eichorn had extra pit help the weekend of Columbus in the form of Kentucky Sam Vincent, whose car was hurt and unable to compete in Super Street Outlaw. Tim qualified down in the eighth spot, but that's not very far from the top in Hot Street. Hot Street's top qualifier Justin Curry boasted an 8.797, but Tim's 8.92 wasn't anything a quick reaction time couldn't make up. That's exactly what enabled him to get to the finals: his quick reaction times. His first round competition Trace Meyer was a no-show so no worries there, but Tim used a 0.430 light to get past Robert Blankenship in round two, and then a 0.411 reaction time to get past David Murray in the semis. Kentucky Sam's luck must've spread to Tim's car in the final, allowing Mike Demayo to run away with the win.

Real Street - Tim Matherly had a few issues at Columbus. First of all, he thought his Two-Valve powerplant let go, but it was actually just a cam follower. Unfortunately, the engine was already out by the time he checked the little stuff. Then his car began going slightly left on launches instead of the usual straight-as-an-arrow take-offs. Tim was able to calm the car down enough to take the win over Bruce Hemminger in the final.

Real Street - In case anyone thought Bruce Hemminger had something hidden up his nitrous bottle, an NMRA tech went through his nitrous system after qualifying, and everything was found legal. Bruce loved how his car performed up to the 330-foot mark, but not so much after that. Even so, he qualified in the top spot with a 9.80 at 136 mph, with Tim Matherly and Michael Washington the only other Real Street racers sharing the 9-second zone. During Sunday's eliminations, Bruce ran solid 9.80-9.90 flats, but in the final against Tim, his 10.04 wasn't able to match Tim's 9.90.

Real Street - Pitted right next to fellow Real Street racers was Craig Baldwin's car, but our boy Craig was nowhere to be found. That's because the car is now owned by Brian McCormick. Brian has a PHD (Papa Has a Dealership) since his dad owns Bob McCormick Ford, and Brian owns a motorcycle dealership in Hughesville, Pennsylvania, called Ye Olde Cycle Barn. Before he started racing fast cars, Brian ran NHRA Super Stock and Super Comp classes. The cars he ran were automatics, so he was still getting used to the shifting in Real Street. He qualified with a stout 10.12 at 133 mph and made it to the semifinals where Tim Matherly welcomed him to the jungle with a 9.89 to Brian's 10.12.

Real Street - Jim Breese hurt the engine in his Real Street ride at Atco, and he just got it back right before the Columbus race. During routine maintenance after round one of qualifying, he found water in the oil. The engine came out to replace both head gaskets, but then he hurt the engine third round of qualifying so he had to take it out again and put in the spare. All that work made it possible to make eliminations, but then he smoked the clutch against Bruce Hemminger to end his weekend.