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Revving up for national competition

Adam Robertson
arobertson@lahontanvalleynews.com

With the start of June, Top Gun Drag Strip is preparing for one of their biggest events of the year.

This weekend is the National Hot Rod Association’s West Coast Open. Races will be held Saturday and Sunday, with a day for preparation.

Today the cars are conducting their final inspections, test-drives and tune ups. The main events start tomorrow with gates opening at 7 a.m. for time trials and qualifying runs beginning at 9 a.m. The Nor-Cal Top Dragster and California Independent Funny Car Association’s races will be run at noon, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Eliminations will be held at 2 p.m.

The events will feature racers from across the west. There will be motorcycles, junior dragsters and a variety of other events.

John Stauverman, race operations manager at Top Gun, said junior dragsters are a youth’s series where they drive drag racers specially designed for children. He added the cars go up to 90 MPH and can run the track in 8 seconds. The racers will be between 6 to 17 years old.

On Sunday, the events continue with time trials and qualifiers at 9 a.m. A final round of eliminations will be conducted at 11 a.m.

“It’s going to be an exciting weekend,” Stauverman said. “Lots and lots of racing Saturday and Sunday; come on out, we have drinks and food and lots of fun.”

General spectator admission is $10 per day. Kids, seniors and active military costs $5 per day.

Due to scheduling conflicts, Top Gun does not have any events during next weekend’s Octane Fest — the date was assigned by the NHRA and they could not hold the events on Octane Fest weekend. Instead, the drag strip plans to promote Octane Fest during their events.

“That’s our contribution to Octane Fest this year,” Stauverman said. “We’re actually going to pump them up … We’ve turned it around and we’re going to be the pre-entry to Octane Fest weekend.”

He said they would encourage people to come back for Octane Fest or stay in the area if they are able.

Top Gun will not be completely shut down for Octane Fest though. Stauverman said they will have cars at the car show and burnout contests at Walmart on Saturday.