The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


August 26, 2013

Records off the strip fall, too

CORDOVA, Ill. — Over the weekend, people in and around Cordova, Ill., may have felt a jarring rumble. This of course is what happens when two Top Fuel dragsters and other high-powered motor vehicles square off at the Cordova Dragway’s strip every year for the annual World Series of Drag Racing.

But another reason for this may have been caused by the roar diehard motorheads packing the stands. It turns out, drivers Melanie Troxel and Laura Johnson weren’t the only ones setting records over the weekend.

The official attendance total from the 60th Annual O’Reily Auto Parts World Series hasn’t been tallied, but public relations man Tazz Hines said Aug. 23 and 24 saw the most racing fans visit the strip in decades. Further evidence of this was a startling 400 cars piled up into the weekly amateur races hosted by Cordova.

“Saturday night was record setting, without a doubt,” Hines said. “We don’t have the totals for it, but for the first time in close to 20 years we sold out our parking. When all the numbers get in it’ll show this’ll probably have been the biggest World Series we’ve had.”

Cordova Dragway pulled out all the stops for its six-decade celebration. Organizers brought back racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, considered one of the greatest Top Fuel racers in history. Big names such as Troxel, Johnson and others added fuel to the top-of-the-line showcase.

It set the stage for a big weekend by Cruz Pedregon of Torrance, Calif., who won the 16-driver two-day DRO Funny Car competition be beating Justice, Ill., native Mike Minick by 0.42 seconds at 5.902. Minick’s car topped out at 240 miles per hour, second fastest for this year’s competition, but lost because Pedregon gunned it out of the gate in less than six-hundreths of a second.

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    The win snapped a six game losing streak for Clinton and a four game winning streak for Quad Cities.

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    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
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