The Data Logger

Notes from the pits for May 19-23, 2021

by Neil Van Zile

Drag Racing – The Next Generation

I plan to do an in-depth feature about the new generation of drag racers, but for now, I’ll just mention recent highlights of a couple of them.

Mac Starks, Jr., son of the late Mac Starks, was at New England Dragway this past weekend to debut his new MacAttack Corvette roadster Super Gas car. Mac Sr. raced a Camaro in Super Gas at LVD for many years and Mac Jr. took over the driving after his father’s death and won a couple of Divisional events with the car before selling it to build this new machine. Mac Jr. was running some test & tune laps in preparation for the New England Nationals in June.

Mac Starks, Jr.
Mac Starks, Jr.’s Corvette Roadster S/G
The Mac Starks in 1997
The Mac Starks in 1997

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Logan Horton made a very impressive showing in his racing debut at New England Dragway on May 22. After getting his Jr. Dragster license only the week before, Logan cut some great lights and ran very consistent ETs during qualifying. In fact, his RTs were good enough to earn him the bye run in the first round. Then he made it through the next round with a great move at the stripe, letting his opponent break out. It shows very good racing awareness for such a new driver. 

Wayne & Logan Horton
Wayne & Logan Horton

Logan’s dad is Wayne Horton, a very successful racer at NED for a number of years. Wayne has always been one of the most focused racers I have ever known, and he is using that focus to make sure that Logan is as prepared as he can possibly be. Watching Logan and Wayne interact on the starting line is like watching a seasoned professional team. They both know their roles, and they both do their jobs. It’s kinda fun to watch.

Ron Childs pulls off a Four-fer
(is that even a thing?)

Ron Childs can be seen towing his bright red Vega on an open trailer most weekends. He usually hits New Oxford Dragway on Friday night, about a half hour from his home in Lewiston, and then heads to New England Dragway for the bracket points races on Saturday and Sunday.  

This past weekend, Childs pulled off an amazing feat, four wins over three days at two different dragstrips. 

It started on Friday, when he pulled off a double at New Oxford, winning in both the Modified and the Nostalgia eliminators. 

Ron Childs
Ron Childs and girlfriend Angelique James in the New Oxford Victory Lane

Childs followed that up with a win in Tim’s Speed & Custom Street on Saturday, and then he took the trophy in Outlaw 10.5 True Street on Sunday.

Ron Childs
Ron Childs wins the double at New England Dragway

Ron might consider getting a bigger car to carry his trophies home if this keeps up.

Strong New England showing at Maple Grove

Maple Grove Raceway held the first two races in this year’s Top Challenge Series on Saturday and Sunday, May 22-23, and there were a large number of racers from the New England region on hand. I counted at least 25 regular competitors from the four tracks in this region in the run sheets.  Three of them earned trophies over the course of the weekend.

On Saturday, Brandon Miller of Canterbury, CT was the winner in Top Dragster, and his dad Dave Miller took the win light in Top Sportsman. 

Brandon and Dave Miller each won at Maple Grove
Brandon and Dave Miller each won at Maple Grove

On Sunday, Don Milson of Richmond, RI was the winner in Super Comp, and Derry, NH native Val DiGenova lit the red bulb for a runner-up finish in Top Dragster.

That amounts to three winners and one runner-up from the total of ten eliminators. Way to go!

The Willards Do It Again

For the third week in a row, a member of the Willard clan has made the trip to the Winner’s Circle at New England Dragway, or, as I have started calling it, The Willard’s Circle.

Janice Willard

Janice Willard – Super Comp Winner – May 15, 2021

Janice Willard won the Dennis K. Burke Super Comp eliminator on May 15, and her husband Nick won the Eastern Propane & Oil Super Pro eliminator one week later, in the same car. It kinda gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Honey, can I borrow the car?”

“Yes, but only if you bring home a quart of milk and a trophy!” 

Nick Willard
Nick Willard – Super Pro Winner – May 22, 2021

Add in Jessica’s runner-up finish in Super Comp on May 23 and that amounts to four wins and two runner-ups for the family since May 8.