Goodguys CPP AutoCross Series Recap From The 12th FiTech Spring Nationals presented by Grundy Insurance

With one race already in the books, the Goodguys CPP AutoCross Series came to Scottsdale for the second event on the 2022 schedule and kept the hammer down all weekend through the G-Comp by Speedway Motors Spring Shootout’s. Plenty of familiar names were among the field of racers including former AutoCrosser of the Year, Robby Unser, in the Team Speedway ’67 Camaro – a car we have not seen on the Goodguys AutoCross track in a couple seasons.

In total 11 drivers were racing in the Speedtech Performance PRO-X class in Scottsdale hoping to secure a spot in the 4-car shootout. It was longtime AutoCrosser Wes Drelleshak who claimed the PRO-X class and shootout wins racing the Sheely ’65 Ford Shelby GT replica to victory. Drelleshak won the class and qualified first in the shootout with a 37.106 followed by Robby Unser with a 37.329, Casey Cronin at 37.609, and Kyle Hanson at 38.452. Drelleshak defeated Hanson in the opening round to meet Unser in the final round who raced past Cronin in round one. Unser had the quicker time between the two in the first round, but Drelleshak stepped up with a 37.145 to defeat Unser’s slowing 37.611.

Wes’s teammate, Eric Sheely, pulled double wins in the Summit Racing PRO class in his bright yellow ’72 Corvette. Only three PRO cars were entered in Scottsdale giving Sheely a bye in the first round of the shootout and leaving Michael Hitt and Andrew Helpingstine to duke it out in round one for a final round matchup with Sheely. Hitt would be the driver to advance but was no competition for Sheely who put more than 3-seconds on him to claim the PRO class shootout victory with a 37.072 to Hitt’s 40.599.

Competition stacked up in the Forgeline Street Machine class with 21 drivers entered. All weekend Ken Yeo and Bill Graves Sr. had a close battle of mid-’60s Corvettes, with Yeo earning both class and shootout wins. The four drivers to make the shootout were Yeo, Graves, Roger Burman, and Tim Molzen. Yeo beat Molzen in the opening round and Graves got past Burman. In the final round of the shootout Yeo’s 37.335 was no match for Street Machine front runner Graves’ 37.648.

Don Yarbrough brought his well-weathered ’55 Chevy pickup from Colorado to claim double-up class and shootout wins in the LMC Truck Class which saw six racers in Scottsdale. Yarbrough beat Johnathan Weisman in the first round of the shootout to meet up with Amanda Hitt in the final round who beat the higher-qualified Keenan Smith with a 41.815 to a 42.605. Hitt stayed in the 41-second zone, but Yarbrough found a 39-second timeslip carding a 39.972 to claim the shootout win.

Michael Jakubowski won the FiTech Challenger class in his ’84 Trans Am having the quickest time of the seven competitors at 42.306 seconds topping Derek Baker’s ’69 GTO at 43.469 and Randy Potter’s ’74 Triumph Stag at 46.602 to list the top three finishers.

The new Gearstar Sports Car class was won by Mark Golovin in his ’88 Pontiac Firebird with a fast time of 38.840, but second-place class finisher Bob Gawlik was able to pull out the victory in the Sports Car shootout in his ’91 Corvette beating Golovin in the final round with a 40.215 when Golovin did not finish his run. The new Sports Car class gained some steam in Scottsdale with five post-1988 vehicles showing up to hit the AutoCross track. Joining Golovin and Gawlik in the shootout were Marshall Machado’s ’96 Corvette and Adam Watkins’ ’92 Corvette.

Finishing out the weekend was another electric victory in the Tremec All American Sunday class when Bruce Hanson raced to double-up wins in his 2021 Tesla with lightening quick times. 32 late model rides were vying for the Sunday 8-car shootout including familiar names that raced in other classes earlier in the weekend such as Marshall Machado, Mark Golovin, Wes Drelleshak, and Eric Sheely. They were joined in the 8-car shootout with eventual double-up winner Hanson, Benjamin Zukawski, Bill Shumate, and Ryan White. The number one and two shootout qualifiers worked their way to the final round – Hanson defeating Machado and Zukowski with 37.811 and 38.540 times and Drelleshak beating Shumate and Sheely with 37.759 and 37.536 times. It looked like Drelleshak had the All American shootout in the bag based off first and second round times, but Hanson ripped off a 36.114 (the fastest time of all cars all weekend!) in the final round while Drelleshak also improved but not enough to win with a 37.259.

Photo Extra!

Photos by Terry Lysak & Todd Ryden

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A lifelong car kid, Steven grew up around drag strips – his name may sound familiar because his grandfather is Bob Bunker, a Pro Mod pioneer who piloted the “Folsom Flash” ’55 Chevy from the ’70s through the ’90s. Steven’s father, Bob Bunker Jr., heads up Bunker Motorsports and is a regular in the West Coast racing scene, building chassis and race cars for more than 30 years. With genetics like that, it’s no wonder Steven has a passion for both cars and motorsports. In addition to helping his father and honing his fabrication skills at Bunker Motorsports, Steven began shooting photos at the drag strip and capturing the action with his Canon camera. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When he's is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime out on the water fishing, building his 1962 Chevy Nova, or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.