By JM Hallas
Marion, TX.,(July 10th, 2021)
After a couple special event weekends it was time for local bracket racers to get back on track with the IHRA Ironman Classic, Summit Super Series, Bracket Race with drivers vying for a coveted “Ironman” trophy in all five classes(Top ET, Modified ET, Sportsman, Motorcycle and JR Dragster.)
Last months rescheduled double points race shook up the standings in four of the five classes. With double points up for grabs again championship battles and leads can come and go quickly.
The Top ET standings saw last race winner and former track champion, Brent Ritter jump to the top, but by only two points ahead of Mike Pearson, with Jamie Longoria jr, defending champ Candace Ritter and Mike Atkinson in the top five.
Corky Weeks, who was runner up last time out, jumped from fourth to the Modified ET points lead ahead of Miguel Montoya, Wendall Dockery and Chris Pearson.
In Sportsman Jackie Hibbard, who used a couple good breaks and also took the victory last race, leaped to the points lead over Ronald Gordner, Harold Shimek, Trenton Johnson and Rhett Floyd.
The Motorcycle class was only one to see the points lead not change with Don Hrometz continuing to hold the point with James Marlett, William Keele, J. Monaco and Randy Monte holding the top five spots.
Ty Janousek easily took over the Jr Dragster points lead with Jordan Suckow not attending and dropping to fourth. Gracie O'Rourke moved to second, Addysan Rogers third and Camron Nelson in fifth.
Despite scattered showers, and at times, torrential down pours in the area at times, over 120 teams signed in to battle it out for the Ironman on the 1/8th mile track just east of San Antonio. Only a brief spit of a shower hit the track with only a ten minute delay.
The competition was tough and close with so many running their numbers, yet still some lost with it all coming down to reaction times. Even those were deadly with all five of the class finals in the .0X0 range, or better.
Gulitti Grabs Gold
The Top ET(Box) finals came down to Bob Gulitti(Tomball) against Jonathon Hernandez(Pleasanton). Now you'd figure running nearly dead on you dial-in, and having an .019 light there'd be a good chance of you winning. This was not the case as Gulitti in his Race WRX, All Star Properties, 94 Chevy S-10 cut a .009 light and then dead on with a 9, for a .018 package to grab the hole shot win over J. Hernandez in the finals.
Bob Gulitti(7.08) 7.089 @ 96.46 defeats Jonathon Hernandez(5.19) 5.193 @ 127.48
Gulitti beat Candace Ritter, Ryan Miller, Arturo Garcia, Brent Ritter and Greg Meuth on his way to the finals. J. Hernandez bested Emily Ball, Vince Hernandez, Todd Zampese, Kendall Little and Caden Meuth.
Zampese Zaps 'Em
The Modified ET(No-Box) final was an interesting combination of a footbrake dragster and a motorcycle. Mike Zampese(Converse) in his Driscoll Race Engines, All American Chassis got 1/100th cut off at the line and ran down the Hayabusa of Michael Turman(Thorndale) who would break out at the stripe.
Mike Zampese(5.45) 5.450 @ 124.90 defeats Michael Turman(6.16) 6.141 @ 114.07(broke out)
M. Zampese trailered Lowell Gerber, Hunter Herbold, Harold Shimek and Chris Onesty with a bye in the semi finals. Turman ousted Gene Horbold, Todd Zampese, Billy Janousek, Vince Hernandez and points leader, Corky Weeks in the semi finals.
Floyd Foils Them in Sportsman Finals
In Sportsman, the finals paired up Rhett Floyd(Boerne) and Allen Freeman(Kyle). Freeman, a covid survivor, took 1/100th on the tree in his 2019 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack over Floyd in his O'Bryant Automotive, 2008 GMC Sierra. Both drivers pushed the finish line and broke out with Floyd being the lesser offender taking home the hardware. Floyd, or “red light Rhett” as I've jokingly named him, will make big move in points as Hibbard, Gordner, Johnson and Shimek all lost in early rounds.
Rhett Floyd(10.32) 10.294 @ 68.42 defeats Allen Freeman(7.85) 7.821 @ 92.61(double break out)
Floyd outran H. Jarvis, John Villaneuva and Brandon Garcia with a round 4 bye. Freeman had a bye in the semi's and bettered Trenton Johnson, J. Nava and B. Garcia.
Hrometz on a Hot Streak
Motorcycle points leader Don Hrometz(Temple) increased his margin over the field going the distance for the win over Vince McCullah. McCullah, on his 2006 Kawasaki ZX14 got almost 2/100th at the start, but both took too much stripe at the finish with Hrometz getting the win on his Suzuki Hayabusa being closest to his dial in.
Don Hrometz(5.83) 5.821 @ 119.78 defeats Vince McCullah(6.12) 6.001 @ 114.74(double break out)
Hrometz took out F. Garcia, William Keele and James Marlett with getting past S. Jones, J. Brock and B. Sanders on their way to the final round match up.
McGary Motors to Money in Jr. Dragster
The #sockposse vs. #barefootposse saga continues with Hunter McGary(Bryan) again making the ACM Jr Dragster finals, this time against Addyson Rogers(Lufkin). Both kids cut .0X0 lights with McGary grabbing a 1/100th. At the big end it was McGary in his Lee & Barrier Builders, Shop Outfitters, Waterboy Racing, Blossom Race Engines, 2009 RPC taking the win by .013(13/1000th), if my math is right, over A. Rogers in her 2021 Halfscale Chassis. With her runner-up finish A. Rogers could move into the ACM Jr Dragster points lead.
Hunter McGary(7.98) 7.999 @ 78.06 defeats Addyson Rogers(8.90) 8.924 @ 72.85
McGary bested Cheyenne Flowers, Dawson Rogers, Camron Nelson and had a round 4 bye. A. Rogers bettered Gracie O' Rourke, Emma Heidkamp, KK DaBoss and Wyatt Baldwin.