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IHRA Summit Super Series continues at SA Raceway

IHRA Summit Super Series continues at SA Raceway
David Johns of Floresville lines up against Cassie Pennington in the Electronics finals. Johns went on for the win.

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June 13, 2012
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MARION -- San Antonio Raceway action continued after the big Memorial Day weekend IHRA Sportsman Spectacular. This past Saturday brought another round of the IHRA Summit Super Series battles on the quarter-mile drag strip just east of San Antonio. Drivers competed in the Electronics, Foot Brake, Index, Quick 16, and Jr. Dragster classes.

As evening time trials began, track temperatures hovered around 125 as the Jr. Dragsters hit the track for their first practice runs. By race time, conditions had improved, with the track cooling to 97 as first round eliminations began.

In the “Dialing for Dollars” contest, drivers anted up with the object running closest to their dial number in a one-round, winner-take-all showdown. The final car to attempt a pass was Brett Zampese, who dialed in at a 7.80. Zampese tripped the beams at 7.803 to pick up the cash bonus, coming within .003 of a second to his number.

In Electronics, the finals saw David Johns square off against Cassie Pennington for top honors. Johns cut a .012 light, then ran a near-perfect 7.304 at 178.36 mph on a 7.30 dial in to outrun Pennington. Pennington was better on the dial in (by .001), going 7.453 on a 7.45, but gave away a mere .05 on the light (.017). Johns used consistent number as he worked his way through the bracket. Johns took out B. Miller on a round-1 hole shot, then Zampese and David Bills before getting a win over Chris Keylich who broke out. Johns got the bye before making the finals.

Pennington got break after break on her way to the finals matchup. In round 1 against Leroy O’Bryant, O’Bryant broke out. Pennington had a bye run before a win over Mike Lopez, who left before third amber (LB3A). Pennington then got red light wins over Zampese and Bills (LB3A).

The Electronics and Quick 16 divisions were run together making it possible to lose in one group, but still be alive in the other. A bit confusing, but it keeps guys from having to run back-to-back eliminations.

Johns was almost a double winner for the night, but lost to former track manager Todd Zampese in the Quick 16 final round. Reaction times were almost dead even, but Zampese turned a 7.776 on a 7.77 dial to beat Johns to the line who gave up a tenth on his dial in.

Allen Wilkins caught the break of the night against Albert Lee Jr. in the Foot Brake finals. Wilkins’ Camaro sputtered off the line and continued to miss while Lee, who gave up a second to Wilkins on the tree, left too soon giving the win to Wilkins at about 60 foot.

After losing on a red break out in round one, Wilkins utilized the buy back and got wins in rounds two and three over M. Levrie and Silvia Zemgals, who both went red. Wilkins took an easy bye win in round four, and then beat Ryan McDonnell to get to the finals.

Lee faced off with Dave Patton in both rounds one and two getting the win on a Patton red, then beating him after Patton fell asleep at the light. Lee then got by points leader Josh Gaspard, who went red in round three, defending champ Cole Herbold, and A. Tschoepe on a hole shot.

The Jr. Dragster final round pitted Dylan Wells with Kristen Velasquez in a close race. Both chose a 7.90 dial in, with Wells getting a .02 advantage as the light went green. Velasquez tried to drive around Wells, but only picked a tenth at the top end.

Wells, who had to buy back after a round-one red light, got a break in round two with a double red light win over R. Garceau. Running track champ Ashley Hubbell broke out in round three, and Cody Garceau gave Wells another gift in round four when he went red.

Velasquez was also a buy back victim after going too quick in round one. Round two saw her get a hole shot win over Kenneth Hillin to advance to round three, where she got the win after Juan Valdez broke out. Velasquez then outran Matthew Villareal in round four to make it to the finals.

Walter Dyrenfurth was the only car entered in the 11-second index class, getting a bye run for the trophy. Good thing for Dyrenfurth that it was a single, as he broke out at the big end.

The 10-second index final saw Alvin Baldwin in his Chevy Nova paired with the Corvette of Dave Patton. Baldwin got a .004 edge on the light then added to his lead as the duo tripped the traps with Baldwin ahead. Points leader Jason Lejeski went red by .0002 of a second in round one against Baldwin. Lejeski bought back, then proceeded to leave too soon, again, against Patton in round two.

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