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Sean Shaffer Scores $50K Saturday Victory at Fall Fling West

Day #3 of the Fall Fling West presented by RAD Torque Systems raced into action Saturday morning with a Run for the Money time trial.  Next on the schedule was the Panella Race Engines $50,000 main event.  In addition to the main event, race promoters Peter Biondo and Kyle Seipel added a 64-Car $10K Shootout to the program.  The Shootout was reserved for racers who did not advance to round three of the $50K.

As we moved through eliminations, racers looked to collect the Goethe Enterprises Bounty Award by taking out Friday’s $10K winner Chris Northup.  With the sun setting behind the mountains, eleven racers returned for round six of the Panella Race Engines $50K.

The remaining racers included the GearWrench Pro final round contestants Tim O’Moore and Jonathan Fiello along with Sean Shaffer who was double entered in his roadster and dragster.  Friday winner Chris Northup was still alive as were Todd Coltrin, Marko Perivolaris, Larry Spitall, Chuck Hawk Jr., Sugar Shane Carr, and Logan Warr.

Tim O’Moore earned the $1,000 Last Man Standing Pro Class bonus after using a .010 light and a 6.087 on his 6.07 dial to stop Fiello who was .028 and dead two to his 6.50 dial.  Coltrin used a .004-pack to drop Perivolaris while Shaffer was .012 dead eight to shut out Spitall.  Northup kept his double up hopes alive when his .006 to .032 reaction time advantage was too much for Hawk to overcome.  Carr used a .014 light and a one above 4.581 to stop Warr who was .030 and two under.  Shaffer took the bye in his dragster to remained double entered.

With six cars remaining in the Panella Race Engines $50K, Northup and Carr opened eliminations.  Carr was .011 take .025 to breakout .005 sending Northup to the semifinals.  Northup’s .009 light left put him in contention for the semifinal bye.  Shaffer, in his roadster, stopped a red-lighting Coltrin to advance one of his entries to the semifinals.  Bottom bulb racer O’Moore then squared off against Shaffer in his dragster entry.

If O’Moore wins and post a .008 or better reaction, he gets the bye to the final.  If not, Northup goes to his second consecutive final round.  A win by Shaffer would see him race himself in the semifinals.  Shaffer grabbed the advantage off the line, .005 to .025, and cruised to a two over 4.853 to move two entries into the semifinals.

With Northup on the bye and Shaffer owning the other two entries, the semifinal round was skipped, and we moved directly into the final round.  After a short negotiation on the split, the two childhood neighbors and Idaho residents faced off in the Panella Race Engines $50K final.

Shaffer grabbed a .019 to .034 lead off the line and held on for the win posting a 5.105 on his 5.10 dial to keep Northup from doubling up.  Northup’s 5.261 on his 5.25 dial-in came up two hundredths short at the stripe. Shaffer’s victory stopped Northup’s Fall Fling West win streak at 18 rounds!

The 64-Car $10K Shootout saw eight racers advance to round four.  There Cliff Hall stopped Rodney Snider, Gary Wamboldt defeated Kevin Johnson, Hannah Cook defeated Friday runner-up Joe Leavitt, and Aaron Marcum move past Roger Comstock.

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In the semifinals, Marcum used a .019 light and a one above 6.777 in his S-10 to stop Cliff Hall who was .026 at the tree and .03 under at the top end.  Cook and Wamboldt squared off in the other semifinal pair with Cook taking a .025 to .030 advantage at the tree.  As they approached the stripe, Cook ripped it too much giving the stripe to Wamboldt by .002.  Wamboldt’s two above 4.743 was just enough to stop Cook’s three above 4.660.

The Shootout final paired Marcum, another Idaho based racer, against Wamboldt from Colorado.  Wamboldt took full control off the line grabbing a .005 to .026 reaction time advantage.  That advantage allowed Wamboldt’s 4.736 on his 4.72 dial to stop Marcum’s one over 6.777 lap.

The Fall Fling West presented by RAD Torque Systems continues Sunday with the Silver State Refrigeration $10K.  The Fall Fling Reaction Time Challenge begins at 8.30 with eliminations starting at 9 AM Sunday morning.

This story was originally published on October 18, 2020. Drag Illustrated

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