Swanson Hydro Graphics
|Posted on October 26, 2017 at 3:10 PM|
2017 Race Season Recap
It’s safe to say that 2017 was the greatest race season we’ve had so far! We had the opportunity to travel to several new tracks, secure two #1 qualifying positions, put down several 5 second runs, and of course, pick up our first NATIONAL EVENT WIN!!
Although this was an incredible season, it did not start out that way. Our season kicked off in Las Vegas at the DENSO Spark Plug Nationals. Afton is a DENSO employee, so she had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas and compete in this race. We chose to stay in Las Vegas for 3 weeks to attend the National, Divisional, and Spring Fling races. This was our first outing of the year, and we did not have the opportunity to test prior to the event (there was still snow on the ground in Iowa!). We fought electrical and transmission issues and did not have any success in the National or the Divisional. By the time the Spring Fling rolled around we finally got the issues figured out was able to win a few rounds in the $20k race. Overall, our trip to Vegas was not a great start to the year and we were disappointed in our results.
This disappointment quickly faded a few weeks later in Topeka, Kansas where we won our first NHRA National Event! This was the greatest experience of our lives and we will never forget that day. Winning a national event is one of the biggest accomplishments a drag racer can achieve, and to win one at a young age (Afton 26, Joe 27) is truly a dream come true.
We spent the summer traveling to new places and experiencing new tracks. We traveled to Chicago IL (2x), Norwalk OH, Indianapolis IN (2x), Topeka KS (2x), Earlville IA, and St. Louis (2x). We raced at Indianapolis for the first time in July at the PDRA Mid-America Showdown 1/8th mile event. This was our first time competing in this circuit and we qualified #11 in the fastest Top Dragster field in PDRA history.
Another exciting race weekend took place at our home track in Earlville, IA for the division 5 race in September. We qualified #1 with a 6.01 @ 232 mph, our quickest and fastest run at the time. This personal best run only held for a few hours when we ran our first 6.00 in eliminations! The limit in Top Dragster is 6.00; we had officially reached the top performance of our category! Our weekend ended with a semi-final finish, which is a respectable weekend of racing.
A few weeks later we continued our streak at the NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis. We qualified #1 in the fastest Top Dragster field in drag racing history! In round 1 we made our first 5 second quarter mile pass, 5.98 @ 232 mph! (Our opponent red lit so we still got the win even though we ran faster than the class limit.) We made it down to the final 3 cars left in eliminations out of a 32 car field and had the opportunity to race on Sunday during the pro’s eliminations. Our weekend ended in the semi-finals when we lost to the eventual winner of the event. A few weeks later we travelled back to St. Louis for our final event of the season. We didn’t have much luck but did set a new personal best ET and mph record, 5.97 @ 234 mph!
Overall, we had a fantastic season. A national event win, two #1 Qualifiers, a national semi-final finish, a divisional semi-final finish, and multiple runs in the 5 second zone over 230 mph. We are currently ranked 23rd in the national points standings out of more than 480 competitors. We could not have done this without support from our friends, family, and sponsors. Thank you to Scot’s Supply in Waterloo, Iowa for backing us this season; your contribution helped us finish our motor and get our season started. Thank you to DENSO for giving us the opportunity to attend the Las Vegas nationals this spring, an opportunity we would not have had otherwise. Thank you to BTE for providing us with an opportunity to become a dealer and have access to high quality products; we won the Topeka nationals immediately after putting in our BTE torque converter.
We have big plans for 2018 with Afton’s Top Dragster, as well as getting Joe’s Super Street S10 truck on track. We will plan to run a similar schedule in 2018 as we did this year with 3 - 5 nationals and 6 - 8 divisionals. Our goal for 2018 includes wins on both the national and divisional levels, as well as a Top 10 finish in the national points chase. We are looking for marketing partners to join us for the 2018 season and hope to have some exciting announcements this winter.