Thursday, February 2, 2012
The year 2011 was one of firsts for the Dalrymple family of Sunnyside.
John Dalrymple won his first regional title on the NHRA racing circuit and son Joshua ended his first year of NHRA racing.
The elder Dalrymple has been competing in National Hot Rod Association competitions for 11 years and has had several near misses in winning the Pacific Northwest Division, known as Division 6.
Last year he finally reached the top spot, claiming the NHRA Division 6 Super Gas championship with 281 points. One of his sons, Michael, was third with 248 points.
While Michael has claimed Pacific Northwest honors in the past, this was John's first time to win it all.
He says the key to taking the overall title in Super Gas competition came down to making fewer mistakes.
"Things can go wrong with any car," John says. "But this (last) year everything went right."
The elder Dalyrmple has finished in the top 10 all but three years he has been competing in the NHRA.
Winning it all in Super Gas in 2011 meant that Dalrymple was honored last month during a special NHRA awards event in Seattle. There he received a trophy, champion's jacket and a $2,000 prize.
Looking ahead to racing this year, Dalyrmple also received a gold card that allows him to enter NHRA races for free.
His racing rig will also bear Division 6's number one designation at the events he enters.
Dalrymple says the number one designation on his rig will also make him a target.
"It makes the people against you better because they know you're the #1 guy," he smiled. "Some guys have said being #1 usually ends up biting them and they don't finish in the top 10."
Dalrymple's hoping to break that jinx in 2012.
But he's not the only one in the family that was honored during the NHRA awards event in Seattle last month, as Joshua Dalrymple, a senior at Sunnyside High School, received Rookie of the Year honors at the age of 17.
The award was well deserved as in his very first year the younger Dalrymple finished second in the Division 6, Super Street competition last season. He finished just one point out of first place.
His proud dad says Joshua has the make-up to be a strong racer, following in the footsteps of his father and older brother Michael.
"There's something about him at the starting line," John Dalyrmple said. "He doesn't show too much emotion, doesn't get too nervous."
Joshua attributes his success to learning from his dad and brother Michael.
He says he's also learned a thing or two from his first year as he gears up for the 2012 season.
"I learned how to judge how far away the other cars are when I get down to the end," Joshua says. "I'll know a lot more about what I'm doing this year."
Chances are the Dalrymple three will know plenty about what they're doing on the NHRA track in 2012.
It's also likely competitors will know right where to find them...at the head of the pack.