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DRAG RACING : Father Must Look Up to Son in Final Results

Weekend Digest was compiled by Steve Elling

Even though it was only his second career victory--certainly a cause for celebration--it must have seemed anticlimactic. A second-round victory made Scott Hooper’s overall win feel second-rate.

Hooper, 17, of Woodland Hills, defeated Bill Ogle in the finals to win his second Top Gas West Drag Racing Assn. event last month at the Famosa Drag Strip in Bakersfield.

Perhaps even more gratifying to Hooper, however, was a second-round win over his father, Howard, 46. It was the first time the two had met in competition.

“I was probably more nervous then than I was going into the final,” said Scott, who will be a senior at Taft High.

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Scott fought off the anxiety and jumped off to a fast start, driving his “Class Disruption” dragster to victory.

“It was tough because I knew his car was running a little faster,” said his father, who works as a stockbroker. “I didn’t want him to beat me. But he jumped right out of the hole.

“I just got off to a slow start and he didn’t.”

It was the second victory of the year for Hooper, 17, who became the youngest winner in TGW history March 22 at Inyokern Raceway.

The win moved Hooper to within three points of Ogle, the TGW defending champion and current standings leader.

Brake down: It all started innocently enough for Jim Robinson of North Hollywood, Bob Kennedy of Thousand Oaks and Roman Calczynski of Sepulveda. Each had secured a respectable starting position in the NASCAR Budweiser 300 Spokane Grand Prix on Sunday and seemed likely to contend for a decent finish, or even a victory.

But the three Valley entrants spent much of the day watching the fireworks of others.

After starting in the No. 7 position, Robinson, a former winner of the event, went out on lap 64 with transmission problems.

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After starting No. 8, Calczynski was history on lap 44 with valve trouble. Kennedy, who started 16th, didn’t fare much better, suffering clutch failure on lap 23.

Robinson is currently eighth in the Winston West standings with 109 points.


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