Words/Photos Bob Johnson


Phil Mandella Jr and his G/SA ’69 Chevelle have had a banner year at Auto Club Dragway, as he won his sixth straight SCEDA Stock/Super Stock combo race this year. 

To add to his success at Fontana, the son of chassis pro Phil Mandella (PMR Race Cars), he also won the NHRA Pacific Division National Open and Stock Eliminator at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event.

The first race of the Calvert Racing Suspensions/DNB Engineering-sponsored doubleheader weekend saw Mandella defeat Ross Wilson, Darin Grossi, and Shane Cherry before defeating Doug Gibson’s D/SA Camaro in the final.  On Sunday, he got a round one bye as he was the number one qualifier, and then proceeded to defeat Mike Williams, Gibson, and Tom Ferruggia’s FS/C Camaro in the final round.                                                                    


SCEDA bracket racing saw Kaitlyn Panis go to both Meziere Super Pro finals, losing to Jim Horne of Reno, Nev., in the Saturday final, but getting the trophy in Sunday’s final against Craig Dales.  Pedro Valdez drove his Camaro to victory in Saturday’s Pro final, beating Ken Etter’s ’64 Plymouth, while John DeWald won Pro on Sunday with his ’49 Anglia, with Jeff Jones settling for runner-up honors.  Nicholas Van Horn drove his ’79 Cutlass to a final round win in Sportsman on Saturday, as Amanda Shelden’s ’67 VW lost after getting a 10 second handicap advantage.  Sunday’s Sportsman final saw Bobby Mirizio win for the third time in the last four SCEDA races, beating Brad Bystrom’s ’01 Camaro in the final.


The Saturday Terminator Blocks, Clutches and Accessories Junior Dragster finals included Emily Geers defeating Logan Oliveira in the 6-9-year-old class, Dylan Hegwood beat Garrett Agnew in the 10-12-year-old class, and Chris Klostriech got by Keoki Desa in the 13-17-year-old class.  Sunday’s Junior finals saw Brayden Koop win for the fifth time in the past six SCEDA races, this time stopping Carlie Ball in the final, Garrett Agnew went to his second final of the weekend, beating Dylan Hegwood, and Keoki Desa beat Matt Shelden in the 13-17-year-old class.  Klostriech and Desa also were the winners of special NHRA “Wallys” for winning the King of the Hill race contested each day.