The Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions summer season's concludes today with the first dealership shootout and club drag races. Saturday, spectators turned out en masse for the second annual mayor's showdown and additional racing action.
The club is going strong and looking toward the future after two seasons of drag racing on the Kenai Peninsula.
Event coordinator Wendy Hudson said the group is looking to establish a more permanent facility for racing. The second annual event is one way they hope to get the organization's name out in the community.
"We thought it would be a neat way to bring the community together and to give the mayors a chance to see what we were doing," she said. "We see that there is a need for this in the community, not only to we focus on drag racing, but also motocross."
The organization has over 60 members and it averages from 15 to 30 or more racers, said Hudson. Saturday, 23 drivers showed up to test their cars.
Racers were divided into three levels of competition. Street Class vehicles dial in at 9.5 seconds or higher, Super Street Class cars dial in at 8 to 9.49 seconds and Pro Class cars can make the one-eighth of a mile strip in 7.99 seconds or less.
In the Street Class division, Rex Savely took first with his 1974 Plymouth Duster, Marty Anderson was second in a '92 Chevrolet pickup and Brian Robinson ended up in third with his '77 Pontiac Trans Am.
Bill Bushnell took first in his 1974 Chevrolet Nova, Mike Meyers took second in a 1968 Dodge Charger and Scott Walluk took third in a 2001 Ford Lightning pickup all in the Super Street division.
Only seven out of the 23 vehicles were classified at the highest, Pro level.
Bing Borden took first in his 225 dragster, second was Rod Peterkin in a 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and Gary Tullos came in third with his F-560.
Tullos races at the strip regularly.
"It is great to be able to go 100 mph hour in seven seconds -- legally," he said. "I love racing, it is real exhilarating. The people here are really, really nice."
The general consensus is that the atmosphere of the track is like one large family.
"It is a great family group," said Joleen Border, whose granddaughter and husband both race. Her granddaughter, Kristina Coats is 11. This is her first year racing on the track.
"When I get old enough I want to drive with my grandpa," she said.
Coats may have long term goals for drag racing but, Nikki Baker, 12, said this is her last year out on the blacktop.
She said, she began to be with her father and because she liked the speed and the people.
Dan Petroz, a member and organizer of the Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions, said it really is the group of people that come out to race and watch that makes the weekends so fun.
"It's an awesome group of people," he said. "There are a lot more involved than anyone in the club ever expected. If there wasn't a need for it, there wouldn't be so many here."
The lions will be a the strip again today for more racing action and a shootout between Seekins Ford and Hutching's Chevrolet-Glacier Pontiac.
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