Texas driver confident going into first drag meet for year
RIDGE Sutton hails from Texas and will start his second season of drag racing in the D.A.S Contracting Sutton Family Bracket Series, which starts with round one on Saturday.
He drives a Ford XD and has a best pass of 8.01 seconds on the one-eighth mile (200m) strip at Warwick Dragway.
The Ford he races was once raced at Willowbank and has been owned by the Sutton family for the past 15years.
"The whole family is interested in drag racing but I am now the driver,” he said.
Ridge is aiming for a pass under eight seconds in the knowledge that his father, Mike Sutton, did a best pass of 7.4 seconds at Warwick Dragway three years ago in the same car.
"I wanted to be a drag racing driver since before I went to school,” he said.
"It gives me an adrenalin rush.”
Warwick Dragway is the closest drag strip to his home at Texas so he will be keen to practice early on the day of each of the bracket meetings.
"My family has previously sponsored drag racing and we wanted to get back into it, I am hoping to win the series in my class, fast street,” Ridge said.
"There will be at least five members of our family as pit crew for each of the rounds of the bracket series. My dad, brother Lauchlan and cousin Cody Sutton will be my main pit crew.”
A new bike class will be contested for the first time this weekend.
The class is designed for dirt bikes, scooters and mopeds and the winner will be determined by the rider closest to dial in time so the slowest rider in the field has a chance to win the class.
Some of the earliest nominations are in the new bike class, which will become a permanent part of bracket meetings programs if well supported.
Classes to be contested this Saturday are quick ET, fast street, street, drag bike, young guns and bike.
There are 60 nominations so far for the weekend from as far as Port Macquarie, Tamworth, the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Dalby, Woodburn and Texas.
Nominations can be made by following the links on the Dragway website or on the day.
Gates will open at 11am Saturday, scrutineering at noon and qualifying from 2.30pm.
Racing from 7-9pm or later. Spectator seating will be under the shade cloth in the stand on the western side of the drag racing strip and in the shaded area or open grandstands on the eastern side.
Admission to Saturday's bracket meeting is $10 for spectators, children under 13 arefree.
After this weekend, the Warwick District Drag Racing Association will start planning for round one of the JP Racing Dragfest on March 10-11.
Then the focus will be thefirst Street Machine Drag Challenge in Queensland.
The challenge is held annually over a week in Victoria and the inaugural Queensland event in April will start with three days of action.
The drivers will start at Willowbank on April 13, drive to Warwick for racing the next day and then return for Sunday action at Willowbank.