EVENT: Rockfalls Raceway Sport Compact Day Presented by KaTeng and Drive Cartel
For everyone here who has ever been into drag racing here in Minnesota, the name Rockfalls brings with it both fond memories and infamy. Being the closest 1/4 mile drag strip to the Twin Cities, for years, many of us have our first memories of taking our cars out to the strip here. The street racers from St. Paul would make the trek out to prove credence to their claims of how fast they were, often ending in heartbreaking time slips. Taking a car to a race track has always had a magical effect of turning a "12 second" street car into a 14 second car.
Unfortunately, over time the popularity began to fall off during, and after, the recession. Add to that a poor track surface that was only marginally better than a city street and, after a while, the number of track worthy street cars willing to make the 90 minute trek into Wisconsin began to shrink precipitously. Even with the new management and improved track surface, the attendance numbers took a while to come back and threats to discontinue hosting Sport Compact Day at the track were made.
All of that is in the past however and it is all thanks to grassroots car enthusiasts. The local Minnesota car clubs, Kateng and Drive Cartel, teamed together to make this the biggest Sport Compact Day in recent memory, and they may have even cemented the Sport Compact races to continue into next year. It was almost like the track was back in its heyday in 2006. A set of cash prizes were offered by Kateng for racing and a car show was judged by Drive Cartel. All of this gave people incentive for more than just bragging rights.
Night before the race day was atrocious, it was cold, windy and rainy. Not to be dismayed by track conditions, the car show was at least unaffected by the rain and carried on until the track could dry off. As for the show cars, they were specticles in of themselves and were of no lesser quality than anything you'd find at Wek'fest or SpoCom.
Tydus Lee had a whole set of cars he was able to shoot waiting for the track to dry off.
As the day progressed there were fears that the track might not have even dried out by the end of the day. It took hours for the track to dry off but, after a while, the left lane was suitable for use. While it's not prime, one lane is certainly better than no lane after all.
The massive numbers of racers in attendance took their turns blazing down the 1320 setting no shortage personal best times. Overall people were happy to just get their cars out on the track, regardless of if they were going for fastest time of the day or just shooting to win their bracket.
While the event as a whole was a throwback to the glory days of Rockfalls, the biggest improvement of all were the cars. I remember back in the day there would be a single AWD car just barely cracking the 10s while the runner up struggling to hit 12.9. Now FWD, AWD and even NA all had the fastest cars of their respective classes under 11 seconds. I guess a decade makes a difference.
The Rockfalls Sport Compact Day shows just how important involvement is for our community. A year ago, Rockfalls was questioning even keeping the track days going and I think, after a showing this great, we don't have to worry about that at all. I'll leave you with this picture of the Under 1979 cc Class runner up Will Happle in his Wagovan and I absolutely can not wait until next year for the first Sport Compact Day of the year.
Here is a list of the fastest times by class:
Fastest FWD: Kou Lee EG Civic 9.635 @ 151 MPH
Fastest NA: Phoui Buarapha EG Civic 10.058 @ 135 MPH
Fastest AWD/RWD: Philip Book 1G DSM 10.492 @ 140 MPH
Fastest Female Owned and Driven: Klarissa Saiki EK Civic 13.691 @ 118 MPH
Fastest King of the Street (street tires): Tong Yang STI 11.666 @ 131
Fastest Under 1979 cc: Nyas Vang EG Civic 12.973 @ 106 MPH