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Memorial Weekend Tripleheader at San Antonio Raceway

by Jay Hallas | Posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2016

By JM Hallas

MARION – To celebrate the Memorial Day holiday weekend San Antonio Raceway hosted one of its biggest events of the year. The show included, not one, not two, but three individual races, plus a wheelstanding PT Cruiser doing exhibition runs.

Headlining the event were the Texas Outlaw Pro Modified Association (TOPMA) with some of the most radical combinations of engines, bodies and graphics. Co-starring were the Southwest Superchargers that normally includes everything from Dragsters to Funny Cars.

Not to be overlooked were the local IHRA Summit Super Series bracket racers vying for track points in the Electronics (Box), Foot Brake (No-box) and Jr. Dragsters.

Time trials for the bracket cars began the day under cloudy, humid conditions with track temps around 125. By the time qualifying for the TOPMA and Southwest Superchargers began things had gone to sunny, hot with only a few passing clouds changing the track to over 140.

The TOPMA takes the top eight cars out of qualifying to set its field for eliminations. Doug Reisterer was top qualifier with a run of 3.804 @ 196.59mph. Current points leader Steve Wiley, was looking for another weekend that would put him back in the San Antonio Raceway Winners Circle after taking home 50K during the Bounty Hunter Grudge Nationals in March.

Wiley’s day ended in the first session of qualifying when he either got out of the groove past the top end, or had a chute drag pull him over. Wiley would clip the left lane wall, then crossover and nose into the right lane wall. Fortunately Gaylon Smith was slow to take off in the opposite lane and able to stop short of Wileys beautiful Grim Reaper ’63 Corvette.

Wiley was able to walk away from the crash, but the car was unable to continue. Also in round 1 qualifying Dennis Sugrue had his turbo powered 2004 Camaro catch fire at the end of his run. Sugrue got at it stopped near the turn off and was able to get out uninjured.

Southwest Superchargers, running their points season opener, had a short field trying to make their spots in qualifying, but running on a 4.50 index, going +/- on either side. Those honors went to Joe Navar, who posted a 4.4998 @ 152.75mph with only six cars on hand.

As the finals approached, so did Mother Nature with thunder and lightning in the distance. The Street class and Jr, Dragsters were the only ones to get their finals run. TOPMA, Southwest Superchargers, Electronics and Foot Brake all got through their semifinals, but rain began before they could be run. Each of those classes took the split in money and points.

Hickl and Alexander Tops in TOPMA

EJ Hickl(Sweeney) and Bob Alexander(Weatherford) were the two drivers scheduled to go for the TOPMA Finals before rain interrupted the show. Hickl, in his wild Crime Boss 41 Willys qualified seventh and got by Eric Clarke, who broke on his burnout and Bill Doucet. Alexander, in his Camaro who got in as the number eight qualifier upset Reisterer in round 1, then Gaylen Smith, who went red.

1) Texas Outlaw Pro Modified Association Co-winner Bob Alexander. Photo by JM Hallas

1) Texas Outlaw Pro Modified Association Co-winner Bob Alexander. Photo by JM Hallas

 

TOPMA Co-winner EJ Hickl. Photo by JM Hallas

TOPMA Co-winner EJ Hickl. Photo by JM Hallas

 

Navar and David Split Southwest Superchargers

The Dragsters of Joe Navar (Dell City) and Don David (Cloud Croft, NM.) were sitting in the staging lanes when a light rain started prompting officials to call a halt the remainder of the event. Nevar got by Buck Woolen jr. who went red in the semis and Christian Leffew in round 1. David took out Jacob Penner and Leffew, who came back as fastest loser, in the semifinals.

SwS Co-winner Joe Navar. Photo by JM Hallas

SwS Co-winner Joe Navar. Photo by JM Hallas

 

Southwest Supercharger Co-winner Don David. Photo by JM Hallas

Southwest Supercharger Co-winner Don David. Photo by JM Hallas

 

Electronics (Box)

Anytime one of the Pennington team (Three Rivers) shows up for a race you know they’ll be tough to beat. But when all four cars are there, you odds of winning are even less. After going red in round 1 and rebuying, Peeps Pennington, in the Pennington Brother Racing, Miller Race Car, marched his way through the 40-car field to the semis where he would have paired up with Mike Atkinson (Cibolo), who oddly enough also lost in round 1, breaking out. With neither running for points they split both money and points.

Pennington’s only loss was to Jason Tilton, then a bye before he got past Brett Zampese, former track champ Scott Ball, defending champ Brent Ritter and Kip Scharf, who went .0008 red.(ouch)

Atkinson, in his 1990 Dodge Daytona lost to B. Ritter round and went on to take down Rick Schafer, Phillip Pennington, Cassie Pennington and had a bye in quarter finals

Electronics Co-winner "Peeps" Pennington. Photo by JM Hallas

Electronics Co-winner “Peeps” Pennington. Photo by JM Hallas

 

Electronics (Box) Co-winner Mike Atkinson. Photo by JM Hallas

Electronics (Box) Co-winner Mike Atkinson. Photo by JM Hallas

 

Foot Brake (No-box)

As a former Motorcycle class champion, Ruben Gallegos’ Alamo Hot Rod Parts, 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa is also a tough match up. Gallegos (San Antonio) was on his game and made it through the 40-car field to meet up with Hector Aguilera (Atascosa) in his Rough Cut Hay Farms, 70 Chevy Nova, who was consistent on his number all day.

Gallegos trailered Harold Shimek, Walter Dyrenfurth, Anthony Montoya, and Michael Wayne Turman and had a bye in the semifinals. Aguilera lost in round 1 to Ely Trevino then bought back to get around Michael Turman, Gene Herbold, Mac Garcia, Aaron Tschoepe and Roy Trevino.

Foot Brake (No-box) Co-winner Ruben Gallegos. Photo by JM Hallas

Foot Brake (No-box) Co-winner Ruben Gallegos. Photo by JM Hallas

 

Turman Times Two in Street Sweep

The Street class was guaranteed to send a Turman to the Winners Circle, on an orange Suzuki Hayabusa no less. It was father versus son running for the family honors and bragging rights on nearly identical bikes, with identical dial ins. Michael Wayne Turman treed his dad by over a tenth. Dad tried his best to run him down, but was too fast breaking out by .068.

Michael Wayne Turman (5.84) 5.983 @ 110.89 defeats Michael Turman (5.84) 5.832 @ 120.03(broke out)

M.W. Turman beat Zach Tschoepe and Rhett Floyd twice with a round 4 bye. M. Turman took out B. Spain, Caitin Freddie and Patrick Borroum with a round 1 bye.

Street Winner Michael Wayne Turman. Photo by JM Hallas

Street Winner Michael Wayne Turman. Photo by JM Hallas

 

Jr. Dragsters Money to Meuth

The Jr. Dragster finals pitted two Boerne youngsters, Caden Meuth and Gianni Carrola. The race was over on the starting line when Carrola in his All-In Designs, Half Scale Chassis went .004 red handing the victory Meuth in his Quality Care Automotive 2008 RPC Gunslinger Chassis, who would have broken out more than Carrola.

Caden Meuth (7.95) 7.916 @ 81.58 defeats Gianni Carrola (8.01) 8.003 @ 81.12(red)

Meuth made his way to finals downing Emily Ball, Haily Ball and Chance Turman. Carrola went red in round 1, rebought back in and ousted Kathrine Keylich and Ashley Hubbell.

Junior Dragster Winner Caden Meuth, always gets a fist bump from his dad before a run. Photo by JM Hallas

Junior Dragster Winner Caden Meuth, always gets a fist bump from his dad before a run. Photo by JM Hallas

 

"Nitro" Mike Kunz wheelstanding PT Cruiser. Photo by JM Hallas

“Nitro” Mike Kunz wheelstanding PT Cruiser. Photo by JM Hallas

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