Author: Littlefield, Brad
Date published: June 25, 2010
Heading to the JEGS Allstars special event for the second time, Steve Domingues had his sights set on the one major piece of hardware he had yet to earn in his impressive Super Street career. He had won Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events, the 1999 and 2001 Division 5 championships, and a national event (2009 JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals), so an Allstars title was the one prize left on the table.
"I was pretty happy when I saw the win light in the final," said Domingues. "It was like, 'Wow. I'm a JEGS Allstars Super Street champion.' It's always been something I wanted to accomplish. I've won a divisional, a national, and a divisional championship. This was the final thing I had left to do."
Domingues entered the race with a full head of steam. He had scored his national event win toward the end of his 2009 season, and he had opened this year with a victory at the Division 5 event in Great Bend, Kan. After earning the top spot for eliminations with a 10.901, his confidence was high due to having competed in the event before, being on a hot streak, and having a motor that gave him the chance to play catch-up.
"One advantage that I had over the other cars is that I was the fastest guy there," said Domingues. "I got a new motor from Sunset Racecraft. With that new motor in there, I'm so much faster than all these guys that it definitely benefits me to come from behind."
Domingues took on defending champ Ricky Shipp in the first round. Shipp was a hundredth quicker off the line, but Domingues dumped him at the stripe for a double-breakout win. The driver from Derby, Kan., followed with a defeat of Division 2's Joseph Skala in the semifinals. Domingues left first and outran him, 10.91 to 10.93.
"He couldn't run the number and ran it out the door," said Domingues. "I knew when we left that I had him on the Tree, so it became a matter of how much stripe I was going to take with him."
That set up a final between two class veterans, Domingues and Ray Todd from Division 4. Domingues cut his best light of the event, .013, and the race was a nail-biter from beginning to end when the savvy drivers played cat and mouse at the finish-line stripe. The end result was Domingues in another double breakout, 10.89 to 10.88.
"I know Ray Todd really well," said Domingues. "He said it was the way it should have been in the final. It was a tight race. He was a little late on the Tree, but he knows how to race a car. He did a good job down there dumping me hard, and I just happened to do a good-enough job keeping it close."
Domingues' win was exciting for the Division 5 team, which was leading the points at the time and still had four finalists still in the program; unfortunately for the West Central racers, however, they lost to the Division 1 squad by virtue of a tiebreaker.
"We didn't win the team title, but we did make it tight, didn't we?" Domingues said. "I knew we had five guys in the final, and I was the first one out the door. All of us really rallied together and pushed it to try to win this thing. [Division 5 Director] Rob Park told me to go for the throat, and he was encouraging all of us to go out there and win. I was glad when my win light came on that I did my part for the points.
"I really want to say how JEGS and NHRA put on a first-class deal and did everything they could to make it great for the [Lucas Oil] racer. I want to thank Tracy at Pedigo Performance, Tracy at Sunset Racecraft Racing Engines, MPG Heads, Rick Bills Transmission, Carter-Maxwell Goodyear, Shawn Carter, and the Kickin' Chicken family team from California."