When Western Colorado Dragway hosted the 2013 state championships recently, Jeri Arbaney, of Austin, was one of the drivers vying for top honors in the Sportsman Class. In years past, the state championships have been held at other locations in Colorado.
Along with the Sportsman Class, competitors were racing for titles in other classes including Super Pro, Pro, and Young Guns.
Competitions were held on a Friday and Saturday at Western Colorado Dragway with winners selected by who went the most rounds with top finishes on both days.
The first day pitted racers against each other in random draws. If you lost a race, there was a chance for another race with a "buy back."
Arbaney began her racing career in 2000 with a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger featuring a 340cc engine and a four-speed transmission. Times for the quarter mile were in the 14s Arbaney remembers.
As Arbaney began in street machines, she wanted to go faster and eventually made it to the Pro Class where she had finishes in the top 10 and occasionally the top five.
After four years of racing with the '70 Dart Swinger, Arbaney began running a 1973 Plymouth Duster with a 451cc engine that produced 552-plus horsepower with an automatic transmission. Her times for the recent competition in Grand Junction ranged from 11 to 11.11 seconds. Early in the season Arbaney remembers a 10.88 on a run. Her top speed was 123 mph.
The car's name has some history behind it. Arbaney named her car, U.C. Mor-Hiney. It seems an aunt and uncle, Jacquelin and Frank Butts, of Kerrville, Texas, contributed $500 dollars to Arbaney to get started on fixing her car in the early days. The last name helped Arbaney come up with the moniker and was a way to honor the pair for their help in getting started.
Arbaney also has a sticker on the back-bumper reading, "Don't Be Left Behind."
The state title came as a surprise to Arbaney. "It was an honor and a surprise I had won. I didn't know until they announced it." She had made it to the semi-finals on Friday and was in the finals on Saturday where she placed second. With the number of rounds won, and high placings, she had enough points to claim the win.
Competition for Arbaney came from both male and female drivers (there were maybe two women drivers, noted Arbaney).
Knowing Arbaney's racing history began in 2000, a question of age popped up. "There were questions of my age on entry forms. I just told them I was old enough and left it at that." A little later in the interview, Arbaney had another statement to tell just how she really felt. "I'm too young to be this old."
Arbaney's excitement for racing will most likely keep her among the top competitors in the years to come.
There were several sponsors who needed to be recognized. The list includes Hellman Motor Company, Kwiki Tire Service, Carquest (Delta), Grand Junction Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Clifton Lube (now Jiffy Lube), Ridge Reamer Machine Shop (Arvada) and J-Mar-Products, Home of the Cabinet Lady.blog comments powered by Disqus