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    2017 Excell Eastern Nationals

    Posted by Tyler Nelson
    on Friday, October 20, 2017

     Let’s talk about by far the largest grass drag event in New York, the Excell Eastern Nationals. This event has the potential to be as big as Hay Days or Epping. Aaron Excell has worked extremely hard to make the event better and bigger every year. I think with a big sponsor jumping on board this event could be an outdoor Big East Show. The event could become the Hay Days of NY.

    On to the racing! This event has got a great track that some records could and have been broken at. The racers start rolling in on Friday morning from all over. There are racers from Canada and all over the US. The racing starts early Saturday morning with the 120s. Aaron really likes to cater to the future of the sport. After that the big iron comes out with the Outlaws and Lake Racer classes. Then the racing goes right down the line of big power. Saturday was all qualifying for the pro classes. With the very hot temps, times where still down in all classes across the board.

     Saturday night is when all the excitement took place with not one, but two shootouts under the lights. There was the Pro Stock 1000 and the Pro Mod 1000. Both were 100% payback with a $100 entry fee. This has to be one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend. Just seeing these racers go down the amazing looking track. It really does look special under all the bright lights!

    There can not be any slouches in these two classes and don’t get caught sleeping on the light. With the temps cooling off, the times and speeds were getting faster. Both races are luck of the draw on who you will race and the one with the fastest ET from the previous round will get lane choice.

    The races were run great with a round for the Pro Stock 1000 going, followed by a round for the Pro Mod 1000. We did have to wait for the "Golden Child" Roy Oliver to cool down because he was running both classes. When it was all said and done, Michael Bailey and the silver freight train took home the honors in the P/S 1000 and Steve Brown won the Pro Mod 1000 on the Arctic Cat turbo. After the shootouts were completed, it was time to enjoy some live music that was provided.

    Sunday was time for the finals. It started again with the 120s. Those future little racers were kicking a little butt with some pretty quick speeds for little sleds!

    Early Sunday morning, Aaron had said to Steve Brown “I need a record today.“ Brown agree and they decided to go for it after the 120s. Boyd McGarry put a heck of a good tune on the Harpoon Racing Outlaw Arctic Cat and they broke the track record with a 3.666 sec at 143.76 MPH.

    To sum up the event, it was hot as could be! There was action on both the grass drag track and the MRA mud drag track. Both had records set on them over the weekend. There were 410 sled entries and about 5,000 spectators. It was a good weekend for all.

    Some of the results from the racing were: Outlaw, Steve Brown; Pro Mod 1000, Roy Oliver; Heavy Mod 1000, all the way from Michigan on a new build Dan Fisher; Pro Stock 1000, Nick Washburn - also on a new build. To round out some other results, Super Stock 800 was Dylan Roes and Stock 800 was Josh Kyser. All in all, it was a great weekend of racing. Who could ask for any more than that? I really hope that some big sponsors jump on board. Who knows, maybe then the Big Four will plan on making the trip next year. Until then, stay safe in anything you are doing and keep the shiny side up.

    Reporting and photos by
    Jon Johnville
    JJ’s Outlaw Photography

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