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The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Victory! Chevrolet Vega Takes a Close Win Home from Oregon

Quinn Cunningham
The team’s 1973 big block Chevy Vega on the drag strip.

Professional Drag Racing takes some of the most skilled, crazy, mechanically-minded individuals on earth. For Santa Rosa Senior Quinn Cunningham, it’s a common pastime. He and his stepdad’s recent victory in Oregon marked one of the most impressive feats of their 1973 Chevrolet Vega’s career.

2021’s local racing season was exceptionally slow for Cunningham and his stepdad. With no races nearby for the next three months, the team decided to make the long trip North to Oregon to race in a new division. Complete strangers to the area, Cunningham raced fast, unfamiliar opponents.

“…we were put up against a lot of strong competitors,” said Cunningham. “Despite all of this we went through our qualification round and got #1.”

After a modest 13-hour trip, Cunningham raced his way through the state’s bracket, claiming one suspenseful victory after the other. The team eventually won their way to the top of the board, but not before a few close mechanical calls.

“Then [there were] two more consecutive rounds, one of those being against their division points leader and last year’s champion, and we still managed to take him out,” Cunningham described. “So we ended up winning the whole race that day. Then the next day was the last race, and it was hectic. We qualified #1 again, but during this qualifier our radiator broke and was spewing water. So we bought a new one and threw it in, and went on to win all of the rounds that day.

The team had sped through a string of victories in only a matter of days. Along with a newfound sense of pride in their big block Chevy Vega, Cunningham took away the trophy to become the division champion.

“With how badly we beat everyone and won both races, we took the lead in their division. [We] took their Wally home, which is the best and biggest trophy you can win in drag racing.

The “Wally” trophy Cunningham and his stepdad took home is an homage to the late Wally Parks, founder of the National Hot Rod Association. It’s one of the highest achievements for any drag racer.

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About the Contributor
Ben McCauley
Ben McCauley, Managing Editor
Ben is a senior at Santa Rosa Academy, born in Hampton, Virginia in 2006. He is ambitious, kind, loyal, and honestly an amazing person who has many talents and skills. His hard work shows everywhere he goes. In school he earned his academics as he is efficient and knows how to get things done. Outside of education, Ben is a genius at making music, playing guitar, piano, art, and linguistics; all of which he has worked for with vigor to become amazing at. His favorite things are Mythbusters and Fun-dip. 
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