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

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   MIR e-News Headline

Smith and Thomas Cash In for $5K at the
Snap-On Racing Superchargers Showdown


September 26, 2013


Press Release courtesy of:  Robbie Parlett

This past weekend, the Speed Unlimited ET Series racers returned to the mile for the final time of the season. The Superchargers Showdown featured 30+ Pro Mods, along with the Wild Bunch II, a couple of Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars, and a couple of Jet Cars, but for Top ET bracket racers, it also featured two $5,000 to win races. The weather Friday was near perfection, but Saturday’s forecast was less than ideal, so the decision was made early Saturday that any racing not finished Saturday would be completed Sunday. The completion of Saturday’s race was important to the Speed Unlimited racers in all classes. Saturday’s race was the last chance for all racers to qualify for The Dash, MIR’s 4 –race playoff system to crown a season champ. In Top and Mod, the 1/8th mile regular season points series wrapped up a couple weeks ago at the Autofab Raider Series, but the miles series in Top and Mod were still open for racers to break into the all important top 10. And for Motorcycle and Junior racers, they also were battling for a top 10 position to qualify for The Dash.


Before all the points battles would shake out, Top ET racers had shot at $5,000 on Friday night. Heading into 6th round, only 5 racers remained. The drivers were set on kill on the tree, as the worst light of the two pairs was .004. First up, Steve Morgret of Hagerstown, was sole doorcar remaining. He faced up with David Sutton out of West River, MD. Sutton had a great .004 light but found himself .003 behind Morgret’s .001. At the stripe, Morgret ran an 8.569 on his 8.59 dial to put together a stout .010 package to take out the dragster and secure his spot in the semifinals. Then the second matchup paired off two of the hottest racers around. Dale Smith and Marshall Grooms have both been on tear in the second half of the season. Both racers have won big money races and have been making consistent deep runs in the last few weeks. The long time racing veterans have been proving regularly recently, that they still have the goods to win. And their quarterfinal matchup proved that perfectly. Both racers left the line with identical, nearly perfect, .001 lights, and at the stripe, Dale Smith picked up the win by just .004, running 7.480 on his 7.47 dial, while Marshall clocked a 7.784 on his 7.77 dial. Jason Kirby soled his way to semifinals with the bye. Dale was pulled for the bye in the semifinals, pairing Kirby and Morgret. Neither driver was stellar on the starting line, with Morgret getting the jump with a .049 to Kirby’s .064. At the stripe, both racers ran two over their dial, with Morgret taking the stripe due to the startling line advantage, and sending him to the final to pair up with Dale Smith. In the final, Morgret found the tree a little better in his Camaro, posting a .018 light, but Dale Smith was a little better with a .010 light. At the stripe, Dale took just .002, running a dead-on 7.480 on his 7.48 dial, posting a .010 package, picking up the $5,000 payday. Dale recently won Day 2 of the $10K/$2K Poker Bash back in August and a Hi-Roller race that same weekend. Dale has certainly been on a roll and his reaction times could have something to do with it. On Friday night, with the exception of a .016 in first round re-entry, the .010 in the finals equaled Dale’s worst light of the night. Posting 7 lights at .010 or better is pretty tough to beat, and for Dale Smith it paid off with a $5,000 win.


Racing got started early Saturday morning, with racers getting two time runs before the pro show started. For Top ET, there was another $5K on the line, and the rest of the ET racers would be competing for their regular Speed Unlimited ET Series purses. As expected the racing was halted early due to the rain, with Juniors having made it through a few rounds, and Mod and Motorcycle only completing first round. Top had completed first round and re-entry. Racers returned Sunday to much nicer weather, and all were granted another time run before picking up the race. Junior Dragster were first to finish. In the quarterfinals, Sam Hamilton took on Hunter Groat. Hunter missed the tree and gave Sam plenty of room to pick up the win, running an 8.598 on an 8.54 dial. Next up, Logan Hubbell picked up an easy win when Trey Linassi turned it -.020 red. The last semifinalist was Patrick Estevez Jr., who took down points leader TJ Estevez, after TJ turned it -.010 red. Logan was drawn for the bye in, pairing Estevez and Hamilton. Estevez picked up his second automatic win in a row when Sam turned it -.018 red. Hubbell made a nice lap in his bye run, posting a .009 light. In the final, Patrick, who had cut a perfect .000 light in round 3, cut the light just ever too tight, turning it -.002 red and handing Logan the automatic win, his second ET Series win of the season. For Logan, he is getting hot at the right time, and the race win puts him in prime position heading into The Dash. Logan took over the points lead from TJ Estevez who had the lead nearly the entire season. TJ’s younger brother, Robert, sits third with defending champ, Christopher Mattera in 4th. Ray Snoots, Hunter Levin, Willy Hess Jr., Louie Estevez, Michael Hankinson, and Adrianna Estevez round out the top 10 and are the Junior Dragster qualifiers for The Dash.


In Motorcycle, Anthony Proctor could have been labeled the survivor of the race, rather than the winner. Proctor survived a tough race in the quarters with Troy Hausmann. Hausmann had the advantage on the tree with a .023 light to a .052, but Hausmann took too much stripe and broke out, handing the win to Anthony Proctor. The other two quarterfinal matchups were decided on redlights. Mike Schulz picked up the automatic win after Darrell Mahoney turned it -.027. Former track champ, Chris Clontz picked up his win over Jeff Sweeny who was -.042 red. From there the race took an odd turn. Only Anthony was able to make the call for the remainder of the race. With both Schulz and Clontz unable to make the call, Proctor soled his was to an easy victory, just motoring down the track on his ’06 Kawasaki. Jeff Sweeny enters The Dash with the points lead. Troy Hausmann and defending champ, Jimmie Miller sit second and third. Kenny Colbert, Donald Hanshaw, Mike Schulz, Darrell Mahoney, Michael Herman Jr. and multiple time track champ, Shayne Proctor also made The Dash. Gary Clontz round out the top 10, jumping into the final spot of The Dash on the final day, by less than one round over Robbie Hunnicutt.


In Mod ET, 8 cars remained in the quarterfinals. First up, Jake Milstead was .004 on the tree and combined with his .011 over his dial, put together a stout .015 package to take down Jay Demarr. Next up, Francis Reynolds was trying to keep his chances alive of making The Dash in the mile series. Francis had already secured his spot in The Dash with a top 10 finish in the 1/8 mile series. Qualifying in both series just makes The Dash field that much smaller, increasing each qualifier’s chances of winning the championship. Francis had the better light over Bryson Kleeman with a .023 to Kleeman’s .066, but at the finish line, Francis took too much stripe and broke out, handing Kleeman the automatic win, and ending Reynolds’ chances at double qualifying for The Dash. Phillip Buckler took down defending Mod ET champ, Frank Thompson Jr. on the strength of a .029 light. Brian McLaughlin then took down Tony Mattera in a tough double breakout race. Both were good on the tree, with Brian having the slight advantage, and at the stripe Tony got there first but broke out more to make up the starting line disadvantage. In the semifinals, Kleeman and Buckler faced off. Both had identical .081’s on the tree, but at the stripe Buckler killed just a little too much and gave the stripe up by .006, sending Kleeman to the finals. In the other semifinal, Jake Milstead got the advantage on the tree with a .015 to McLaughlin’s .036. At the stripe, Milstead dropped pretty hard, feeding McLaughlin the stripe by .006, a risky move, but one that worked out in his favor this time, as McLaughlin broke out .004, as Jake ran two over. Milstead had been knocking the tree down throughout the race. His worst light of the race was a .020, which is pretty impressive off the foot. In the final, Jake knocked the tree over once again, this time posting a .005 to Kleeman’s .056. At the finish line, Kleeman tried desperately to get back in back in front but couldn’t pull it off, as Jake took the stripe, running two over his 10.40 dial. The win moved Jake in to second place in the points behind Bobby Mattera, who will take the lead into The Dash. George Windsor and Jason Kirby sit tied for third, with Brian McLaughlin, Frank Thompson, John Mattera, Tony Mattera, Stephen Cross Sr. and Tony Anthony rounding out the Mod ET mile qualifiers for The Dash.


As for the Saturday/Sunday race in Top ET, 8 cars made the call heading into the quarterfinals. First up, Jim Heaps faced off with Rodney Ward Jr. Ward was one of two door cars remaining, but his day was ending earlier than he hoped when Heaps strapped a .017 package on him, leaving Rodney with no room after having a .028 light. Next up, Billy Thomas faced off with Brent Martin. Brent, a qualifier for The Dash in both series had been struggling of late in his Racetech dragster. After battling gremlins for a few weeks, Brent and his dad Marty switched dragsters heading into round 1. For Brent the switch was working out, as he was once again making a deep run into a big money race. His run ended against Thomas however, as Thomas put together a near perfect run, with a .000, 8.071 on his 8.07 dial to end Brent’s day. Tommy Lago and Bobby Spence were up next. Bobby was already securely in The Dash, but Tommy needed this round win to break into the top 10. Bobby made a pretty nice lap, .013 on the tree, taking .014 at the stripe, but fell victim to the dreaded double breakout, as Lago took the win, breaking out .001 less than Spence. For Lago, that round win jumped him into 10th in the mile points series, just one point ahead of Jake Milstead. The final pair matched up Tom Dauber against Delaware’s Bill Groton. Groton turned it -.008 handing the free win to Dauber who ran it out, putting a 7.689 up on his 7.75 dial. In the semifinals, Thomas faced off with Tommy Lago. Lago missed the tree, with a .031, giving Thomas enough room to pick up the win. Thomas was .017 on the tree and took just .009 to move on to the final. The other pair was settled on the starting line as well. Tom Dauber was .021 to Jim Heaps’ .045 and that was all the room the veteran Dauber needed to pick up the win and move on to the final. For Dauber, it was just his second trip to MIR this year, and his first trip resulted in a $10,000 win at the $10K/$2K Poker Bash. Dauber was looking to make it, two for two in big money weekends at MIR. But Billy Thomas had other plans. Thomas got the small holeshot with a .014 to Dauber’s .018. That small advantage turned out to be the difference maker in this race, as both drivers ran .014 over their dial, with Thomas taking the stripe by just .004 and taking home the $5,000 payday. As for The Dash, Brent and Marty’s switch up paid dividends, as Brent’s quarterfinal showing put him on top of the points standings heading into The Dash. And to really make the day even more successful for the Martin’s, Marty was able to sort of the bugs on Brent’s dragster and drove it to the Gamblers race win over Frank Thompson Jr. As for the rest of the Dash qualifiers in Top, Will Kivett and Jason Kirby sit tied for 2nd, with Willy Hess Sr., Charlie Yingling, Brian McLaughlin and Bobby Spence all tied for 4th. Michael Cockrell, Dale Smith and Tommy Lago round out the mile qualifiers for The Dash.

The big money racing keeps coming at MIR this weekend, when the Autofab Raider ET Series rolls back into Budds Creek for the final time this year. It will be a busy weekend, with Raider points battles being settled, and The Dash kicking off. With the trend of big car counts at the Raider, there will be a lot of points up for grabs. Then, the following weekend, Team MIR heads to North Carolina to defend their team championship at IHRA Bracket Finals. The Speed Unlimited ET Series will wrap up October 26 and 27 at the ET Series Finale, where MIR Track Champs will be crowned.





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