By Jim McCombe

Vallejo’s Ryan Aranda, a 26-year-old member of the US Army, was on a emotional mission at Infineon Raceway on Wednesday, Oct. 12, during the STP Wednesday Night Drags. 

Aranda attended the event in memory of his good friend and fellow racer Darrell “Bud” Conner, who passed away in August from cancer at just 26 years of age.  Competing in the Gear Jammers class in his 2004 Mazda RX8, Aranda actually brought Conner along for the ride, with his ashes in a container on the passenger seat.  It was Conner’s long-time dream to race in Sonoma, and Aranda was determined to make the night a winning one as a final farewell to his friend.

Despite solid competition from 46 cars in the class, Aranda raced his way to the final round, where he faced San Jose’s Steve Jaslovsky (2006 Mustang).  Aranda got the head start and took the win with a 16.316 ET on his 16.30 dial in to Jaslovsky's 12.743 on a 12.51.  For Aranda and Conner, it was mission accomplished.

Other winners included Doug Love (Motorcycle), Christopher Martin (Comp Rod), Barbara Devaney (Sport Street), Dwayne Opperman (Street) and Ryan Hurley (High School). 

Just five races remain on the STP Wednesday Night Drags 2011 calendar with the next event on Oct. 19. All will be carried live on www.1320go.com.  For additional information, visit www.infineonraceway.com or call 1-800-870-RACE

Below are the final round pairings and results, including semi finalists:

Gear Jammers 
Winner: Ryan Aranda (Vallejo) 04 Mazda RX8 .126 RT 16.316 (16.30) 84.93 mph
Runner-up: Steve Jaslovsky (San Jose) 06 Mustang .043 RT 12.743 (12.51) 110.05
Semi Finals: Craig Love (Santa Rosa) 93 Mustang

Motorcycle 
Winner: Doug Love (Novato) 01 Triumph .047 RT 13.189 (13.12) 95.92
Runner-up: Richie Love (San Rafael) 90 Harley .142 RT 13.159 (13,15) 98.02
Semi Finals: Jim Stratford (Napa) 11 Suzuki

Comp Rod 
Winner: Christopher Martin (Brentwood) 07 Corvette .034 RT 10.567 (10.53) 128.32
Runner-up: Mitch Gately (Petaluma) 64 Nova .033 RT 10.992 break out (11.00) 121.54
Semi Finals: Willie Woo (Moraga) 84 Corvette

Sport Street 
Winner: Barbara Devaney (San Francisco)  Car Info N/A .004 RT 16.215 (16.14) 84.53
Runner-up: Christian Hess (San Leandro) 93 Honda .064 RT 16.114 (16.09) 83.76
Semi Finals: Walt Leonard (Santa Rosa) 03 Nissan 350Z; Doug McCay (Rodeo) 11 Ford F 150 Truck

Street 
Winner: Dwayne Opperman (Napa) 67 Camaro .067 RT 11.982 (12.00) 108.85
Runner-up: Jorge Valencia (Santa Rosa) 09 Chevy  foul -.042 RT 16.652 (16.68) 81.68
Semi Finals: Fred Scheuing (Sonoma) 55 Chevy

High School 
Winner: Brian Hurley (Sonoma) 57 Mustang .049 RT 20.465 (20.25) 64.48
Runner-up: Michaela Rossi (Napa) 00 Mercedes
Semi Finals: Mike Norrbom (Sonoma) 79 Camaro