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Maryland Int'l Raceway  •  27861 Budds Creek Road  •  Mechanicsville, MD  20659

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   MIR e-News Headline

Big Points Shuffle After First of Three Races in The Dash Speed Unlimited Championship Playoffs


October 10, 2012


Press Release courtesy of:  Robbie Parlett


The 2012 edition of The Dash got started this past Saturday at Maryland Int’l Raceway. The playoff system, which is in its third year for the Speed Unlimited ET Series at MIR, is once again living up to its billing as being a more exciting way to finish a points season. With the season long points standings being reset, bunching the top points earners more closely together, provided ample opportunity for racers down in the standing to make moves towards the lead in just one race. In fact, only one points leader entering The Dash left day one with their points lead still intact. Top ET racer and defending points champion Robert Jones, started Saturday in a 3 way tie for the points lead with Jaycee Largent and Willy Hess Sr. None of the three won first round, and only Jones was able to make it out of first round re-entry, winning a tough double breakout race over fellow Dash contender, Jake Milstead. Jones lost second round by just .005 to Gordon Herman, leaving the door open for racers to gain on the points leader. In round 5, Bert Lewis and Candi Derry, who were moving up the points list, faced off. Lewis got the easy win when Candi had a malfunction and left before the third amber bulb. With the round win, Bert jumped over Candi on the points list into 5th place. Jeff Groat then faced off with Donna Nelson. Neither of these two qualified for the Dash this season. Groat got a relatively easy win after Donna missed the tree terribly. In the final pair, Dale Smith, the 2010 Dash points champ, faced off with Marc Williams. Both racers have been hot as of late, with Williams winning a $5K race at the Superchargers Showdown and Smith winning the gamblers race at the IHRA Team Bracket Finals a week ago. Smith, who started the day tied for 6th in points, had made a big jump, moving into a tie for 2nd. Smith was perfect on the tree, but killed too much at the stripe, giving the finish line back to Williams by .010 after killing over 10mph. In the semi’s, Bert Lewis was the last Dash contender standing. He faced off with Jeff Groat. Groat, who arrived at the track while first round of Top ET was running and therefore had no time runs, moved to the final when Lewis turned it -.002 red. That was Groat’s lucky run of the night as he was .077 on the tree. In the finals, he would face off with Marc Williams, who had the semifinal bye run. Groat found the tree again in the final, posting a perfect .000 light to Williams’ .012. Groat did a good job at the stripe taking .013, but both drivers were breaking out, and to take .013, Groat broke out .001 more than Williams handing Marc his second win in a month. Heading into the final two races this weekend, Robert Jones stands alone atop the points standings. Willy Hess Sr., Dale Smith, and Jaycee Largent all sit tied for 2nd, two rounds back. Bert Lewis jumped from 13th to 5th in points on the strength of his semifinal run.

In Mod ET, it was even a little more shuffled at the end of the night. Brian McLaughlin and Ed Talbert entered the weekend tied for the points lead. Brian had a rough night, turning it red first round, then having Dash contender Bart Spicer post a .002 light in first round re-entry ending McLaughlin’s night early. Ed Talbert didn’t fare much better going out in second round to Janet Baden who was not driving her regular ’70 Nova, but rather a late model Cadillac CTS. Baden had the better light and was able to hold on for the win. With both points leaders out early, the door was again opened for some points shuffling. In the quarterfinals, Dash contenders Frank Thompson Jr. and Joe Goldey faced off, a rematch of first round where Thompson went red. This was a very tight race, with Thompson getting the advantage with a .004 light to Goldey’s .020. Thompson was able to squeeze the stripe up very nicely, taking just .002 to take down the defending points champ’s dead-on run. Fellow Dash contender Steve Cross Sr. then took down Jeffrey Gardiner with a holeshot win. Then, Dash contenders Jason Kirby and Bradley Tippett faced off. Kirby got the narrowest of holeshots with his .040 to Tippett’s .041. At the stripe Kirby ran dead-on with a 1 to take down Tippett, who entered the event tied for second in points with Goldey. Dash contender Nicole Talbert moved to the semifinals with the bye leaving only Dash racers remaining. In the semi’s, Cross and Thompson faced off. Thompson got the advantage on the tree, .019 to a .025, but was unable to run the number handing Cross the relatively easy win. Nicole then strapped a .015 package on Jason Kirby to move to the final, and into a tie for the points lead. In the final, Cross got a little anxious at the starting line and turned it red, handing Nicole the automatic race win and the points lead all alone. The bonus point for winning the race puts her two rounds in front her father, Ed Talbert, as well as Joe Goldey and Bradley Tippett, who all sit tied for second. Steve Cross Sr. jumped to 5th in points followed by Brian McLaughlin in 6th. Jason Kirby and Frank Thompson Jr. jumped from the rear of the pack to 7th and 8th respectively with their semifinal appearances.

In Juniors, Robert Estevez entered the Dash with the points lead, but with a second round loss to fellow Dash contender Maria Estevez ended his day early, nearly guaranteeing a mad scramble in Junior Dragster points as well. Brad Keyton, who won the IHRA Bracket Finals event a week ago, entered the day, second in points, and was able to close the gap ever so slightly with a 3rd round loss. TJ Estevez, who entered the Dash in 3rd, had his day ended in first round re-entry by Maria Estevez as well. This gave 4th place runner, Christopher Mattera a wide open door to move up to the points lead; and he took full advantage. In the semifinals, only Dash contenders remained. Blair Buckler faced off with Cory Maloney. Blair got the jump on the tree with a .018 to Cory’s .050, and was able pick up the round win in the double breakout race. Christopher Mattera moved into a tie for the points lead with Robert Estevez with his semifinal bye run. In the finals, both drivers were on the tree. Mattera got the jump with his .009 light, but Blair was right there with his second .018 in a row. Unfortunately, Blair’s car had a big stumble just off the line, slowing him way down, and giving Mattera all the room he needed at the stripe to pick up the easy win, and points lead. As was the case with Nicole Talbert in Mod, the bonus point put Christopher Mattera essentially two rounds in front of Robert Estevez in second. Brad Keyton sits third with Cory Maloney and Blair Buckler jumping over TJ Estevez into 4th and 5th respectively.

As was the case with Mod and Juniors, the Motorcycle racer who entered with the points lead, did not leave with the points lead. Jimmie Miller entered the Dash with a two round lead over Jeff Sweeney and a 3 round lead over Devin McLain. Miller lost first round when he had troubles down track and slowed, and then found one of the toughest opponents in re-entry when he faced off with Shayne Proctor. Miller turned it red, and so as it was in every class, the points lead was up for grabs early. In the semi’s, Devin McLain moved on to the finals with an easy win over the red-lighting Jermaine Proctor. In the other semifinal matchup, the 2009 and defending 2011 points champs Shayne Proctor faced off with Kenny Colbert. Colbert stepped up his game on the line, posting a perfect .000 light, but was unable to run the number, allowing Shayne to overcome his starting line disadvantage and move on to the finals. McLain had moved into a tie for the points lead with his semifinal win, and was looking to take sole command with a race win. In the final, McLain got the jump with his .026 light to Shayne’s .056. McLain then drove around Proctor in the lights lifting and killing plenty to make sure he didn’t break out, picking up the race win and extending his points lead to just over 1 round. Jimmie Miller didn’t fall too far, as he still sits second, with a three way tie behind him for third. Jeff Sweeney, Kenny Colbert and Shayne Proctor all sit tied for 3rd, 31 points back.

The final weekend of bracket racing comes this weekend, October 13-14, with the completion of the Speed Unlimited ET Series, the Dash, and the Autofab Raider ET Series, at the final Raider event of the year. With the potential for very high car counts, there may be a couple of 7,8, or even 9 round races available for racers to make big gains (or losses) in the points in both the Dash and Raider points. The weekend will be action packed with bracket racers from all over the region not only trying to win points championships, but a couple of big money bracket races as well. Congratulations to all the winners from round one of the Dash.



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