Tribute to Tommy 'Dr Hook' Freeman & Summit Super Series @ Little River Dragway
Chaz Landers street class winner
J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Holland, TX.,(July 26, 2014) The historic Little River Dragway celebrated the life of long time central racer/official, Tommy 'Dr. Hook' Freeman. Freeman, a track prep guru, also held the title of official starter for the 1/8 mile drag strip, east of Temple. While calling many tracks home, Little River was the latest of his tracks, which included San Antonio Raceway, Desert Thunder Raceway and many other tracks raced on by the IHRA and XDRL sanctioning bodies.
Not originally destined for a life or career in motorsports, Freeman was highly competitive in stick and ball sports winning accolades for baseball and football while at Copperas Cove High School. So good, in fact, that he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals, played major level softball and competed in longest drive contests.
He was not only respected in the drag racing community, but the circle track family as well. Starting off in the Quarter Midget ranks where he set up Freeman Motorsports, he then ran Super Stocks at Longhorn Speedway, All-Star Race Trucks and the Texas Dwarf Car Association, where he raced with his son Josh.
From there he took on a new challenge, drag racing, as a track official working the starting line at San Antonio Raceway and learning, then mastering, the art of track preparation from Russell Prater and 'Big' Jim Weinert. In 2009 he started Tommy 'Dr. Hook' Freeman Pro Drag Racing Track Service.
Freeman moved west, to Midland, in 2010 working as track manager for Jimmy Farmer at Desert Thunder Raceway where the track received the IHRA Division 7 Track of the Year award.
In 2012 he began plying his trade at Little River Dragway, as well as working with the XDRL Series as head of track prep. 2013 saw Little River Dragway pick up the IHRA award for Division 4 Track of the Year.
He will long be remembered to many, including myself, as taking his job on the starting line seriously no matter who the driver was, being a mentor to the Jr. Dragster kids and always having a story to tell.
As a fitting tribute, LRD racer Michelle Kato gave Tommy one final pass down the 1/8 mile releasing some of his ashes on the top end from her parachute.
RIP Dr. Hook.
Also scheduled for the day was a round of Summit Super Series Bracket Racing action with the Electronics(Box), Foot Brake(No-box), Jr. Dragster and Street classes.
The Electronics(Box) finals pitted Gary Faulkner, who came into the night second in track points, against Wade Snoddy. Faulkner, in his 66 Chevy Nova, gave away the win at the hit of the throttle going .0009 red(9/10,000th). Snoddy, in his Fast Orange II, S-10 Pickup would have been tough to beat as he nailed his number on the top end.
Wade Snoddy(6.48), 6.482 @ 103.73 defeats Gary Faulkner(6.21), 6.251 @ 104.24
Electronics(Box) Quick 8
It was the Keylich brothers scheduled to run for the Electronics(Box) Quick 8 finals in a pair of Keylich Electric, Keylich Motorsports, Dragsters. Not running for track points, both opted to split the money and points and fore-go the run, saving on equipment.
Todd Zampese made the trip up from San Antonio pay off as he took home the money in the Foot Brake(No-box) finals over Warren Wright. Zampese, in the San Antonio Raceway Dragster, was deadly on his dial in throughout the night with consistent 5.50's including in the quarterfinals against sentimental favorite Josh Freeman. Zampese got 2/100th over Wright's Wind Star, Sunoco, Camaro on the tree, then ran a near perfect number for the win.
Todd Zampese(5.50), 5.5001 @ 124.10 defeats Warren Wright(6.50), 6.516 @ 103.78
Foot Brake(No-box) Quick 8
In the Little River Dragway points chase, Jacen Jenke and David Pedigo came into action tied for second so it was fitting that they'd square off in the Foot Brake(No-box) Quick 8 finals. Pedigo got a hundredth on launch, but Jenke was better on his number as the two ran door to door through the top end. Jenke took the strip by only about .0065, if my math works out right.
Jacen Jenke(6.75), 6.761 @ 98.99 defeats David Pedigo(6.71), 6.737 @ 98.92
Track points leader, Michael Turman jr. was paired off with Hannah Shortridge in the Jr. Dragster finals. Shortridge went .007 red giving the victory to Turman in the NAPA, Ashford Homes, Jr. Dragster, who would has possibly broken out on the big end.
Michael Turman(8.01), 7.997 @ 80.59 defeats Hannah Shortridge(8.44), 8.531 @ 73.88
The Street finals saw the two points leader going head to head for the win. Both went red on the start with Rick Westmoreland, in his San Saba Printing, Rositas, Roadster the first to turn the light on giving the win to Chaz Landers on his Motorcycle, who would extents his points lead. In earlier eliminations another one of bikers, whose name wasn't released, took a tumble after dumping his bike going through the lights at 100mph or so. It was reported that other than some hand injuries, he was alright, but transported to a local hospital for precautionary measures.
Chaz Landers(5.96), 6.075 @ 113.32 defeats Rick Westmoreland(8.74), 8.763 @ 77.47