IHRA San Antonio Nationals, presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports @ San Antonio Raceway, 3/28-29/
Nitro Harley winner Randall Andras with focus on burnout
J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Marion, TX.,(March, 29th, 2014) After a successful qualifying night, the San Antonio Nationals moved into eliminations for the professionals classes(Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car, Nitro Altereds, Nitro Harley Davidson and Jet Dragsters. The one exception was Mike Halstead's trip into the sand box and catch fence in the Candies & Hughes Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car.
ProStocks, who hadn't run in San Antonio in six years, still had one final round of qualifying to finish setting the field before eliminations.
Top qualifiers from Friday night were Jason Rupert (Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car), Jim Maroney (Nitro Altereds), Mike Scott (Nitro Harley) and Elaine Larsen (Jet Dragsters). Cary Goforth led the way from Pro Stock to Saturday's final qualifying session. and was able to hold the top qualifying spot through round 3.
The local sportsman racers had their chance to perform in front of a huge, national event crowd with two bracket races for the ET Box(Electronics), ET No-box(Foot brake) and Jr. Dragster classes.
Rupert Repeats in Funny Car
Jason Rupert(Yorba Linda, Calif.) picked up his second Ironman in two tries scoring the victory over John Smith in the Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car finals. Both left with nearly identical lights only giving Smith a hundredth on the tree. Rupert, in the Bays & Rupert, Lucas Oil, Madden, GRP, B&J Transmissions, Grant Downing Parallax Chassis, Black Plague, Camaro went by Smith and was first to the line with a 5.810 @ 244.96 to Smith's 5.883 @ 242.98.
Rupert got by Ronnie Young in round 1, then bested Greg Jacobsmeyer, who only made the call after a delay for track clean up. Smith had wins over Tim Boychuck and Mark Sanders on his way to the finals.
"It was pretty awesome," replied Rupert. "When you look at all the cars here, they're all real competitive. We were lucky to have had good help and a little bit of luck. We had a little oil leak coming out on one tire and didn't do as good. That was our lucky run. In the finals we knew we were up against a Paul Smith tuned car and knew we better not be bashful. It was a great weekend. We're real excited about this whole program."
"I try not to think about any of the added pressure going up there. I was more concerned with watching the air(density) and the percentage of nitro-methane to mix. I found something before the finals and knew we could run a good number. I knew they could run good too and we had to be on our game."
"Being two for two this year is really a lot of hard work. The car has been running really well and my crew and I burn the midnight oil preparing if we have to. It's mainly just my crew and hard work paying off."
"When I haven't been to a track before the first thing I'll look at is the shut down area. The track was really well prepared. Then it's just a matter of watching the track and the air, the car takes care of the rest if I make the right decisions."
Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car final eliminations
Jason Rupert, 5.746 @ 252.38
John Smith, 5.883 @ 242.98
Hope Hauls to Nitro Altered Honors
Franklin, Tennessee's Ron Hope piloted his Original Rat Trap to the Nitro Altered win over Mike Hilsabeck. Hope left Hilsabeck sitting at the light and put his Don Green powered, Dennis Watson Chassis down the track with a 8.008 @ 161.12, clicking it off early.
Hope got by fast qualifier, Ron Maroney in the first round, while Hilsabeck had a competition bye over Jim Maroney, who had problems on the burnout coupled with a small fire on the front of the engine.
Nitro Altered final eliminations
Ron Hope, 8.008 @ 161.12
Mike Hilsabeck, 10.742 @ 81.26
Andras Aces Nitro Harley Finals
Two Turner Racing team mates squared off in the Nitro Harley finals with Randall Andras going against Jay Turner. Andras(Amelia, La.) on the K&K Marine, AB Steel, RBT Fabricators, Piedmont Dragway, Harley Davidson got the jump on Turner at the start and held the lead throughout in a close race as Andras' 6.468 edged Turner's 6.499.
Andras got early round wins over Ron Gledhill and Steve Dorn, while Turner took out Mike Scott(red) and Mike Pelrine.
Nitro Harley final eliminations
Randall Andras, 6.468 @ 217.92
Jay Turner, 6.499 @ 209.40
DeFlorian Sets New Speed Record in Pro Stocks
John DeFlorian(Arnold, Mo.) not only took out the top qualifier, and previous race event winner, Cary Goforth, but set a new IHRA speed record in the process. In round 1, against his car owner, Kevin Bealke, Deflorian went 224.44 on 6.291 run, but needed a back up pass. Deflorian got his back up number putting up a 6.250 @ 223.21 over Scott Hintz in round two. In the finals, Deforian then proceeded to lay down a 226.70 which was becked up by the previous 224.44.
The final saw Deflorian up against one the fastest cars early this season in Goforth, who was working on an open-ended ET world record, needing back up. Deflorian in the Kevin & Karen Bealke owned, Black Diamond Motorsports, Sonny Leonard powered, Jerry Haas Race Cars, gave up a 100th to Goforth, then motored on past to snag the victory and set the new record.
"To get our first IHRA win here is dynamite," said DeFlorian. "This is our first trip ever to this track and when we rolled in we thought this track would be a lot of fun. To get the race win was awesome. We ran against the best team out here. The battle between Cary(Goforth) and I goes back years. We were not only able to beat them, but set the record too. Getting the win and the record is really special."
"That car has three wins in a row for Cary going back to last year and the first round that he's lost since then To beat them you have to really put your best foot forward and have your game on. We had all our bases covered today and never expected it to run a 226."
"When The car left(in the finals) it made a little move to the left. I was worried about that because you can't afford any room for error with them(in the other lane). Fortunately we got right back in the groove and marched on down the track."
"The first thing I do when we get to a track I haven't raced at is get in the golf cart and go down the track. We look at the track surface and the shut down area and return road. You have to be prepared. We haven't raced the full quarter mile in years now and you're moving going through there. You really want to know you're going to have a good shut down area."
Pro Stock final eliminations
John DeFlorian, 6.224 @ 226.70 *IHRA Speed World Record
Cary Goforth, 6.299 @ 224.22
Larsen Launches Jet Dragster to win
Larsen Motorsports matriarch, Elaine Larsen took the Jet Dragster weekend sweep securing the final round win over Dawn Perdue after qualifying in the number one spot. Larsen, in the Millers Welding, General Electric J-85, Worthy Chassis, Jet Dragster got a big jump on Perdue then ran a 5.707 @ 271.58 bettering Perdue's, 5.774 @ 256.59.
Larsen used a win in round 1 over Kat Moller to make the finals against Perdue who got the victory after Marisha Falk left before the third amber.
Jet Dragster finals
Elaine Larsen, 5.707 @ 271.58
Dawn Perdue, 5.774 @ 256.70
Jet Dragster Semi-finals
Kat Moller, 7.103 @ 158.34
Marisha Falk, 5.998 @ 266.59(red)
Had it not been for the local sheriffs department, the Sportsman may still be racing. The high volume of cars, several delays for oil downs, clean ups and general track prep, saw the Sportsman races lasting well into the night, er, morning. The sheriff's department showed up after complaints about noise and imposed a 3:00AM curfew for the night.
Officials and racers did their best to complete as much of the program as possible along with pushing the deadline given. The Jr. Dragsters were able to complete both of their races within the limits, while the Box and No-box classes snuck enough racing in to get to their finals. Several different split options were offered to try to be as fair as possible.
In all, nearly 150 Sportsman cars in the three classes made runs throughout the weekend. Add them all up, plus buy backs, and it makes for, well, a lot of laps down the eighth mile course over the course of the event.
Rabedeau and Flores Split Race 1
Canyon Lake's Jeff Rabedeau and Willie Flores(San Angelo) were the co-winners in the first of two ET Box(Electronics). Rabedeau, who has been on a bit of a hot streak lately following some time away from the track, was awarded the track points with the money split between Flores and him.
Rabedeau's Dragster got past Chris Gulitti, D. DeBerry, P. Maduri, Paul Schneider, and took a bye in round five. Flores, in his Camaro trailered Paul Schneider, David Cain, David Bills, Kevin Picha and N. Hernandez.
Fields, Turner Divide Race 2
Two area drivers made their way to the finals in the second race with the IHRA Ironman trophy also up for grabs. Russell Field(New Braunfels) and Bryon Turner(San Marcos) opted to split the prize money and points with Fields awarded the trophy after he won the coin toss in the officials tower.
Fields, in his Chevy II got wins over M. Collier, C. Peterson, Rick Schafer, Brian Miller, Aaron Cole and Brett Zampese in the semi's. Turner's Dragster scored victories over Mike Murillo, M. Blair, David Cain, Kevin Picha, M. Collier and got the bye in his semi finals.
ET No-box(Foot brake)
Herbold and Gallegos Split race 1
Gene Herbold(Seguin) and Ruben Gallegos(Schertz) were slated in for the first of the two ET No-box finals. They opted for a money split with a race later this season to decide the points.
Gallegos on his Hayabusa Motorcycle got round wins over Walter Dyrenfurth, R. Powers, D. Tschoepe, Nelson Friedeck, Sylvia Zemgals with a bye in round 4. Herbold in his Dragster bought back after a round 1 loss to Wendell Dockery, then was the victor over Krystal Sullivan, Art Morales, D. Bradford, Ryan McDonnell with a round 5 bye.
Mitchan/Gallegos Split Race 2
In what has been a common site at San Antonio Raceway lately, Brandon Mitchan(SAR No-box track champ) and Ruben Gallegos(SAR Motorcycle track champ) made their way to the finals in ET No-box race two. The two Hayabusa Motorcycle rivals split the money and will race this coming week for the Ironman trophy and points. Both joked in post race that they would race back to San Antonio to decide it all.
Gallegos, who had a chance for double wins taken away by the curfew, posted wins over W. Keller, R. Powers, J. Tally and Art Morales. Mitchan(San Antonio) won over Sherman Davis(twice), Bob Grudle, Anthony Montoya and Josh Gaspard.
Hubbell Hustles to Jr. Dragster Race 1 Win
Former track champ, Ashley Hubbell(San Antonio) in her Aramendia Plumbing, Screen Pro Graphics, Bexar Waste, Express Lube, VP Racing Fuels, Greg Hubbell Chassis, got the victory over Codi Bettis(DeLeon) in his Royal Purple, Nic Woods Racing, Jr. Dragster. The two had nearly identical reaction times down to the thousandth with Hubbell running a 9.046 on a 9.04 dial index. Bettis ran under his index, breaking out on the top end.
Ashley Hubbell, 9.046 @ 70.07 defeats Codi Bettis, 7.934 @ 82.34(break out)
Hubbell got past Haily Ball, Trace Casey, Kenneth Hillin and had a bye in semi finals. Bettis scored round wins over Trace Casey, Caden Meuth, Haily Ball and Carli Jo, with a round 4 bye.
Joy for Jo in Jr. Dragster Race 2
After a semi finals loss in race one, Carli Jo rebounded in race two to get the victory over Caden Meuth(Boerne). Jo got the gift win early after Meuth in his Quality Auto Care Jr. Dragster went red. Jo went on to run a 7.918 on a 7.90 index.
Carli Jo, 7.918 @ 83.43 defeats Caden Mueth, 9.027 @ 72.50(red)
Jo defeated B. Bettis, Kathrine Keylich, C. Gulitti, Matthew Keylich and got a bye in the semi's. Meuth, after a round 1 loss and buy back took out Regan Jordan, Trace Casey, and had a round 4 bye on his way to the finals.