Sports

Racing fuels his need for speed

"Anyone who tells Port Orchard's Don Sefton hot rodding isn't a sport is in for an argument.I beg to differ, Sefton said. I'd like to see them get in a race car and try and do better. I played football and wrestled (in high school), and there are nights I come home after racing where I'm more tired than when I came home from football practice.Sefton has been a hard act to follow on the track since his first race at the Bremerton Raceway five years ago.While many drivers race for years before winning a race or enjoying any consistency, Sefton enjoyed success instantly.In 1996 the 27-year-old entered his first race and won it driving his 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, which he spent two years tearing apart and updating.It was after that race Sefton knew he was meant to push the pedal to the metal.After that (win), I was hooked, Sefton said. That was a thrill.It hasn't stopped at one win for Sefton, who competes in the Super Pro division - a division for cars that reach the finish line between 7.5 and 11.99 seconds.Since that fateful summer day in 1996, Sefton has won more races than he can count.He has more than a half dozen trophies, but on his mantle stands the symbol of his biggest accomplishment - The Wally.In 1998 and 1999 Sefton finished third in points at Bremerton Raceway, but was eligible to compete in the National Hot Rod Association Division VI Bracket Finals in Medford, Ore., because he finished in the top four.Division VI encompasses the top racers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia.With the help of sponsor Dave Barcelon Truck Tow, friends Jim Bruns, Dave McClain, and Ray Danielson, Sefton won the Race of Champions and was crowned the Division VI king and awarded the Wally.The Wally is a divisional trophy named after Wally Parks, retired president of the NHRA.A national competition was not held last year, but Sefton said winning the division is the highest honor before moving up to Top Comp, which requires anywhere from $20,000 to $150,000 to expect to compete well.That's a goal Sefton has set for himself by the time he reaches 30 years of age.For now, Sefton continues to race in his Camaro, though he admits it is time to sell it and buy something faster.Speed is the desire for Sefton.That explains why he lusts for Top Comp.After starting out on motorcycles, he gradually progressed on the speed dial.He owned a 1978 Nova as a 14-year-old, but was limited to fixing it up before getting his license two years later.Wanting more speed, he bought his 1967 Nova.Speed is a rush, Sefton said. I am always racing for more adrenaline.The two-year window of upgrading he spent on his car clearly paid off in the win column, but the process of putting the car together was just as gratifying, Sefton said.This season hasn't run as smooth for Sefton.Currently seventh in points, Sefton was looking to move up in the standings two weeks ago but suffered $1,500 worth of damage and couldn't continue.That's where support from family and friends come in.Dave Barcelon not only sponsors Sefton but is a dear friend as well.He's a really good friend and contributed so much, Sefton said. If I need anything he's there.Then there's the support from his wife Brandi and three step-children.They're very much into it, Sefton said. They really have a good time and (the kids) are looking forward to junior dragsters (when they are older).This season may not be as successful as years past, but at a youthful 27 Sefton said there will never be disappointment since it's the need for speed that will keep Sefton coming back. "

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