By John Bombatch
XENIA — The 2016 drag racing season got under way with cool breezes and bright sunshine, Saturday, at Kil-Kare Dragway, located at 1166 Dayton-Xenia Rd.
The National Hot Rod Association-sanctioned Summit E.T. Series kicked off its season with a full day of racing in seven categories.
Dayton’s Roger Taylor won the Super Pro division final over Fairborn’s Ben Browder with a time of 4.8377 seconds and 140.356 mph over the 1/8-mile distance.
Defending Pro division season champion Doug Caplinger, of Xenia, got his season started on a good note. Caplinger was just .0053 of a second off his 6.77 dial-in number for a 99.49 mph run over an eighth of a mile. He defeated 2015 series runner-up Caleb Ellison of Beavercreek in the final.
In Pro Motorcycle, Enon’s Steve Withem turned a 10.1987-second pass at 125.35 mph to claim the final over Bob Nugent of Trotwood.
Xenia’s Bob Toft, the 2015 Sportsman runner-up, won the Sportsman finale when Zanesville’s Jason Newell jumped the gun and red-lighted at the start. Toft cruised across the finish line with a 15.8384, 52.22 mph pass to seal the win.
There were three age categories of Junior Dragster competitors who also competed on Saturday.
New Carlisle driver Aaron Shaner won the age 13-17 category with a 7.89-second, 81.61 mph pass over Jamestown’s Kay Crum; Beavercreek’s Vinnie Furry (8.92 seconds, 73.76 mph) edged Fairborn’s Audrey Dalton in the 10-12 age division final; and Morrow’s Benjamin Matthews made a 12.09-second, 52.71 mph pass to edge Enon’s Piper Filson in the 8-9 age group final.
As long as the weather is conducive to drag racing, Kil-Kare has a Test & Tune session scheduled for 5-9 p.m. Thursday. Gates open at 5 p.m.
While Saturday’s event was the opener for the NHRA Summit E.T. Racing Series, the series’ first of 13 scheduled points events is scheduled for Saturday, May 30. Gates will open at 9 a.m.
For both dates, spectator admission is $5 per person; carloads $10. Kids ages 15 and under get in free with a paid adult.