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Fujishige a dual winner at drag races

MANA — Brandon Fujishige was the big winner with two first place finishes on Saturday. when the Garden Isle Racing Association hosted drag races at Kaua‘i Raceway Park in Mana.

“In the debut of the Grocery Getter, Fujishige wasn’t racing down the store aisles to get groceries, but instead driving his stock Cadillac ATS-V down the quarter-mile against a field of 21 daily-driver 4-door cars,” said Rob Nelson, a GIRA board member.

“Each racer received groceries courtesy of Safeway in Lihu‘e. In the end, it was Fujishige who also picked up a $750 cash award from Napa Auto Parks in addition to the groceries for his first place finish. Fujishige also went on to clean up in the Sport Compact class, earning him the Wally trophy.”

The Wally awards, drag racing’s most prestigious trophy according to Nelson, were handed out by GIRA to the class winners of Saturday’s event in Mana.

“Some winners received the coveted award for the first time while others added another bronze statue to their collection. Junior Dragster Kawaiola Ruiz, at only 9 years old, and one year of racing experience, picked up what he and the family hope will be the first of many drag racing Wally awards,” Nelson said.

“Zailea Lawrence (Top Gun) took the Wally against her grandfather adding to her five won as a Junior Dragster racer; Lacin Montemayor (Pro ET) claimed his first in 15 years of racing. Alma Koetje (Muscle V8) and Fujishige (Sport Compact) each won their third. Adam Beetles (Motorcycle) received his first, and veteran racer Wendall Nonaka (Super Pro) added an eighth to his collection.”

Nelson said besides winning Wallys and groceries, spectators and racers contributed cash and more than 325 pounds of food to Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i in an effort to end hunger on Kaua‘i.

GIRA board president Tony Ricci saw the Grocery Getter race as an opportunity to donate to an organization which does so much for our community and looks forward to making this an annual event.

“With the drag race season coming to an end in November, the weekend will be filled with smokin’ hot races, including Rob Nelson defending his crown in the King of the Track race, as well as the motorcycles competing in the Two-Whjeel Takedown on Nov. 11, and the season finale on Nov. 12,” Nelson said. “GIRA will be supporting Toys for Tots during the November weekend, collecting for our youth on Kaua‘i.”



• Top Gun: Zailea Lawrence, 1968 Chevy Camaro, 9.292 Elapsed Time, 142.15 mph, 9.28 Dial-in; Manny Lawrence, 1957 Ford Thunderbird, 7.832 ET, 174.24 mph, 7.90 Dial-in (red light).

• Pro ET: Lacin Montemayor, 1987 S-10 pickup, 10.115 ET, 126.85 mph, 10.15 Dial-in; Karl Nakamura, 1967 Chevy Nova, 10.33 ET, 129.80 mph, 11.78 Dial-in (red light).

• Muscle V8: Alma Koetje, 1998 Chevy Corvette, 12.296. ET, 112.01 mph, 12.27 Dial-in; Tyler Clark, 2020 Ford Mustang GT, 11.766 ET, 117.36 mph, 11.78 Dial-in (red light).

• Sport Compact: Brandon Fujishige, 2018 Cadillac ATS-V, 12.384 ET, 98.10 mph, 12.26 Dial-in; AJ Basuel, 1997 Honda Civic, 12.584 ET, 105.80 mph, 12.75 Dial-in (Break out).

• Super Pro: Wendall Nonaka, 1927 Roadster, 9.446 ET, 145.54 mph, 9.43 Dial-in; Rob Nelson, 1981 Pontiac Trans Am, 10.470 ET, 133.97 mph, 10.470 Dial-in.

• Street: Jackie Nakamura, 2010 Toyota Corolla, 17.619 ET, 78.66 mph, 17.53 Dial-in; Jase Chikahiro, 2000 Honda Civic, 14.390 ET, 82.01 mph, 8.88 Dial-in (Break out).

• Motorcycle: Adam Beetles, 2009 Kawasaki, 11.567 ET, 118.89 mph, 11.60 Dial-in (Break out); Santo Munoz, 2014 Kawasaki, 8.842 ET, 138.12 mph, 8.88 Dial-in (Break out).

• Junior Dragster: Kawaiola Ruiz, 2000 Jr. Dragster, 12.139 ET, 50.54 mph, 11.97 Dial-in; Ryan Medeiros, 2007 Half-scale Jr. Dragster, 8.911 ET, 74.65 mph, 16.78 Dial-in (Breakout).

• Grocery Getter: Brandon Fujishige, 2018 Cadillac ATS-V, 12.383 ET, 111.02 mph, 12.36 Dial-in; Tyler Clark, 2016 Chevy Silverado, 16.764 ET, 81.32 mph, 16.78 Dial-in (Break out).
Source: The Garden Island

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