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Rotary Power Still Impacting Sport Compact Drag Racing
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - 3:22pm

Las Vegas, July 11, 2006 - Over the last few years the sport compact drag racing scene, along with the sport compact aftermarket in general, seems to have lost some of it luster, but sport compact drag racing is still alive and well, and rotary power continues to make an impact on the sport! Although rule and regulation changes over the last few seasons continue to favor newer vehicles, hard core rotary racers continue to innovate and break new ground with the Wankel.

The NHRA MODIFIED Class seems to be the hot spot for rotary racers this season, with several entrants of the rotary persuasion from both Puerto Rico, and the USA in the mix. In the top PRO-RWD class, rotary racing legend Abel Ibarra was not able to secure funding for a full season effort, leaving no full-season rotary challengers in the top NHRA class, in many years, for the rotary fans to enjoy or root for. In the ALL-MOTOR class, three-time NHRA national champion, Jesus Padilla, has not been treated kindly by the NHRA rules makers, and decided not to deplete his tight racing budget, to run for 3rd place or worse in class. It seems the NHRA was sick of seeing a 1st gen RX-7 continue winning the “HONDA” ALL-MOTOR class, and made sure the Honda’s would win a championship this season. But the faithful should not fret as the MODIFIED boys continue to uphold the rotary legend in the NHRA!

This season, rotary power is not only holding the top points spot in the MODIFIED class championship, with Demetrios Karagiannis in his RX-7 FD, but is also holding 6 of the top 10 spots in class. The Mazda RX gang, along with a rotary powered Starlet, are terrorizing the piston boys this season. The 1st gen RX-7s of Mike Lowe and Jorge Lazcano, are holding down the 3rd and 5th spots respectively, with Ken Scheepers’ RX-8 in the 6th spot. The rotary powered Starlet of Jorge Juarbe is holding down 7th place, while Carlos Perez in his '83 RX-7 is firm in the 10th spot. But Demetrios (Dee) Karagiannis in his the Reactive Racing RX-7 FD has been the rotary warrior to beat this year!

Dee started this season with a tough 2nd round elimination at the first round of the NHRA season in West Palm Beach Florida, with things getting even tougher at round two in Virginia, with a DNF. Dee broke early in qualifying at Virginia and was not able to recover. At the always packed and exciting Englishtown, New Jersey, third round, Dee came prepared and ready to battle.

At Englishtown the Reactive Racing FD RX-7 topped the qualifying ladder running and set the track record at 7.62@172, only .02 seconds off the NHRA Modified record. Dee made it thorough to the final race round, but unfortunately experienced an engine failure. It was a great weekend for the Reactive Racing RX-7 which was now second in points overall and building momentum for the championship points race and ready for round four at Atco Raceway in New Jersey.

The stands were packed at Atco, and the RX racers put on a great show for the fans! After qualifying the Reactive Racing RX-7 was 2nd on the ladder, running another 7.62@172. Dee and the RX-7 once again made their way to the final round of racing, in what was a rematch of Englishtown final. It was a great final race, but unfortunately the RX-7 fell just short of victory. But once again Dee and the RX-7 proved to be the combination to beat in class. Reactive Racing’s consistent performances at both Englishtown and Atco propelled the team into the overall championship points lead. It was now time to go west for round five.

Round five, the west coast swing for NHRA was held in Colorado at Bandimere Raceway. Even though the elevation is over 9000ft above sea level there was still great side by side heads up racing. After three rounds of qualifying the Reactive Racing RX-7 was 3rd on the qualifying ladder running an 8.1@166mph. Despite qualifying 3rd Reactive Racing crew battled to the final race once again. The pits were a buzz about the final round modified match up. The Reactive Racing RX-7 was set to face the 2005 Modified NHRA points Champion, and event winner from the 2006 Virginia round. The RX7 got the starting line advantage and never looked back in the final round. Dee took home the win and extended the points lead in the series by sixty points. Now it’s on to round six in Las Vegas this weekend.

This weekend’s (July 14-15) NHRA LAS VEGAS SPORT COMPACT NATIONALS at “The Strip” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, promises to be another exciting event for Rotary enthusiast! So make plans to come out and supports the Rotary Warriors, who continue to impact the sport, that rotaries help create so long ago!

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Awesome! I love to see the ro
July 15, 2006 - 7:10am
Awesome! I love to see the rotaries smacking the piston guys around. Too bad the NHRA is full of cowards unwilling to stand up to Honda.
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I love it! Rotary power kick
July 14, 2006 - 8:45am
I love it! Rotary power kicks a$$ -
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