The 1/8th mile Speed Unlimited ET Series got off to a very quick start with a triple header for Top ET and a double header in Mod. It was two “regular” points races for Mod ET racers, but for Top ET racers, there was some serious money on the line, with three $5,000 to win races in 2 days. With a good weather forecast, racers came from all over the east coast to try to pick up a piece of the huge cash prize up for grabs. More than 150 Top ET racers jammed the staging lanes over the course of the weekend. The schedule for the weekend was to run and complete the majority of Race 1 for Top ET, then start running the entire Speed Unlimited ET Series in the afternoon on Saturday. Then on Sunday, it was one time run and right into first round for all classes. With the big car count and a couple of lengthy clean ups, the schedule slid slightly on Saturday, but all racing was completed before the lights were turned out for the night.
SATURDAY TOP ET RACE 1 WINNER
As for Race 1 of Top ET, there were 8 cars remaining heading into round 6. First up, Jake Milstead faced off with Jeff Brady. Milstead had just taken down Jerry Brewer with a .010 package the round before and was once again on the tree with a .008 light. That was enough to hold off Brady who couldn’t quite run his 4.90 dial. Next, Michael Shoop found himself behind on the tree with a .032 light to Jeff Buckner’s .020. But at the stripe, Shoop ran dead on with a 5 to get there just .003 in front of Buckner’s Ford Probe. Next, Rick Harbaugh ran into a buzz saw when his respectable .015 light put him out of contention against Will Kivett’s .013 package. The final matchup put mulligan winner David Cox up against Nate Brunson. Brunson had the starting line advantage with his .023 light, but ripped it just one time too many at the stripe, giving the stripe back .001 to Cox, sending David to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Milstead paired up with Cox. Milstead got a sizeable advantage on the tree with a .026 to Cox’s .052 and was able to hold on at the stripe to move on to the final. In the other semifinal matchup, Will Kivett lined up against Shoop. This time, Kivett found himself on the receiving end of a buzz saw run, as his .017 light left him with no chance against Shoop’s .014 package For Shoop and Milstead this would be the second time they met up in a $5K final at MIR. A couple years ago they ran for the money, with Milstead picking up the win. This time around, the story remained the same. Shoop got the slight advantage on the tree with a .016 light to Milstead’s .020, but Shoop couldn’t run the number and Milstead ran a dead-on 5.011 on his 5.01 dial picking up the win, and the $5,000 payday that comes with it. With Race 1 in the books, Top ET racers had no time to rest, as Race 2 was just around the corner.
SATURDAY TOP ET RACE 2 WINNER
Top ET competitors were given one time run between races, and then they went right into first round of Race 2. For Milstead there would be no repeat of his Race 1 performance, as he ran into a tough .011 package in round one, and couldn’t make it past Jack Trussell in re-entry. In terms of the new 1/8th mile points series, that opened it up for a lot of racers to make a move towards the top of the points list. In 6th round, there were just 6 cars remaining. Steve Ryan, the lone door car remaining in competition won a very tight race against Tommy Norton. Norton had just a .002 advantage on the tree, but Ryan was able to run .006 closer to his dial, putting him .004 in front at the stripe, sending Steve Ryan to the semifinals. Then Kenton Fulk and Marc Williams faced off in what had to be one of the toughest races of the day. Williams was good on the tree with a .010 light but had no shot at picking up the win. Fulk was .006 on the tree and ran dead on 1 for a tough to beat .007 package. Williams was dead on 1 as well, and his .011 package that would get the job done almost every run down the track, wasn’t enough this time, leaving him .004 behind at the stripe. Jerry Brewer was making another deep run in eliminations. After a round 5 exit in Race 1, he found himself lined up against Candi Derry in 6th round of Race 2. Brewer got the jump with a .011 light to Derry’s .016. At the stripe, Derry got there first by just .007, but broke out .001 ending her day and sending Brewer on to the semifinals. Brewer was pulled for the bye pairing Ryan and Fulk. Fulk, who had been “double oh” on the tree every round since round 4, was once again on top of the tree, posting a perfect .000 light. Ryan was a little tardy with a .025 light, but at the stripe, Ryan came out on top. Ryan was able to run a dead on 6.477, and Fulk couldn’t run it by .033 putting him behind by just .001. Ryan was making a nice run of it considering he only made it to the track in time for the one time run between races and he was the only door car to make it out of round 4. But in the final, Steve Ryan’s good run came to an end. The race was over as soon as it started as Ryan turned it -.002 red handing the win and $5,000 to Jerry Brewer in his new 2013 Undercover dragster. With the win and deep run in Race 1, the Lumberton, NC native Brewer, found himself in the points lead at the end of the night.
SATURDAY MODIFIED ET WINNER
In Mod ET it was a family affair in the final on Saturday. In 5th round, Bobby Mattera faced off with Jason Stern. Both drivers were good on the tree with Bobby getting the slightest holeshot with his .012 to Stern’s .013. At the stripe, Stern tightened it up really well, taking just .003, but broke out more than Bobby in the always tough double breakout race. Next up, Johnny Mattera faced off with Joe Goldey. Goldey got the jump at the line with a .034 to Johnny’s .062, but took too much stripe breaking out .002 and sending Johnny to semifinals. Peter Kivett got the quarterfinal bye run. In the semifinal, ¼ mile points leader, Bobby Mattera was drawn for the bye guaranteeing him a spot in the final. His brother Johnny faced off with Peter Kivett. Again, Johnny found himself behind at the tree with a .024 light to Kivett’s near perfect .001, but once again, Johnny got the break he needed at the stripe his opponent broke out taking too much stripe, handing Johnny the automatic win and sending him to final to face his brother. Johnny, who earlier in the day won a runoff from last week’s race against Francis Reynolds, was looking to pick up his second win of the day. But his brother had something to say about that. Bobby got the jump with a .057 light to Johnny’s .077 and this time, Johnny’s luck at the finish line ran out, as Bobby ran 1 over his 5.73 dial to pick up the win, and jump to an early points lead in the 1/8th mile points series.