Pickerington racers top tough field

Messenger photos by Pat Donahue
Pickerington Dons Race to Victory in national event. National Trail Raceway in Hebron Oh. was host to the 4th Annual JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals Sept.19-21. The NHRA event is 1 of 3 such national events along with the Cajun, and Pacific SPORTSnationals that spotlight the sportsman drag racers, that normally share the the national stage with the professional racers. Like any national NHRA event, all the racers enter it with hopes of capturing a "Wally", drag racings equivalent to an "Oscar", named after the NHRA founder Wally Parks. Out of over 500 racers from across the country who came from as far away as Oregon, Florida, Connecticut as well as Canada, only 8 would leave with one and this year 2 were from Pickeington. Super Street racer Don Moyer and Don Trasin in Super Comp were almost joined in the winners circle by a third Pickerington racer in the Super Stock class but Rich South had to settle for the runner-up spot, breaking out( going faster than you class allows ) in the final round.

Don Moyers ’67 Camaro with the rat on the side has been a familiar site at National Trail Raceway since the 70’s. Don operates the Automotive Technicians repair center at 7277 E. Main as well as the B.P. gas station at 7616 E. Main, both in Reynoldsburg. He came into the race in pursuit of his 3rd "Wally" having won in the past in 1981 at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis as the first Super Gas winner ever in NHRA national event competition and again at "Trails" at the 2001 Pontiac Excitement Nationals. He worked his way through 6 rounds of Super Street competition, highlighted by a perfect 0.00 reaction time in the 4th round in which he defeated Mark Cook of New London, Oh. by 0.0006 seconds, ( 6/10,000ths of a second ). Don went on to win 2 more rounds to claim that "3rd Wally".

Don Trasin entered the Northern SPORTSnationals with both his Super Gas Firebird and his Super Comp dragster having only raced 3 times previously this season, and this being his only shot this season at taking home the major hardware for the first time in his career. Don exited the Super Gas field early, leaving him to concentrate on only the Super Comp class that run on a 8.90 second index at about 180 mph. Concentrating proved difficult when a close friend was taken from the track mid way through Sunday’s competition after an accident. Motivated by the circumstances Trasin continued to have good reaction times including  0.03 and 0.06 and consistent times in the 8.89 range through 5 rounds of competition to make it to the finals where he faced Jack Swan of Gahanna, Oh. Trasin crossed the line first but ran below his 9.90 index by 1/1000th of a second at 8.899 which would be grounds for a loss unless your opponent does it also. In this case Jack Swan ran the exact same 8.899. Trasins margin of victory was the 1/100th of a second that he gained at the starting line with his 0.014 light to Swans 0.024 Claiming his first national event "Wally". Don Trasins victory would be a bittersweet one, whereas at the end of the race, the drag racing community would learn that Dons close friend Doug McRobie didn’t survive his injuries and was lost at Licking Memorial Hospital. Don dedicated the win to him and he and fellow racer and friend to the McRobie family, Bill Webb gave their "Wally’s" to Dougs Wife Irene and his son Wyatt.

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