Images Courtesy of Chris Kaufman
Chandler, Ariz. – It was a tale of two different racing conditions during Wild Horse Pass Team Summit’s third and fourth ET racing events of 2019. Cloudy and colder than normal temperatures on Saturday and bright sunny skies with near-perfect racing conditions Sunday gave many racers fits trying to adapt to changing atmospheric conditions. In the end, Sun Tan Valley’s Ken Passerby combatted Mother Nature’s curve-ball by taking home the Member Track & Pro ET titles during race 3 and a runner-up finish on race 4 in his potent 1970 Chevrolet Nova.
The two-day bracket racing event kicked off on Saturday, February 9th under cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 50’s. With several local racers competing at the NHRA Winternationals contested in Pomona, Calif., the track expected a reduced car count. On the contrary, the fields were loaded with a similar car count as the first two events of 2019. The weekend also showcased our first Jr. Dragster event of 2019, and a field of six future racers under five years of age who competed in our Big Wheel division.
More than 70 racers competed in the Pro ET division – and at the end of the weekend, Ken Passerby was truly the king of the track. Passerby defeated Joe Cox Jr from Peoria on Saturday to earn his entry to the Member Track Shoot-Out. During Sunday’s race, Passerby was defeated by Seth Polvadore who drove his 1979 Ford Fairmont to a Pro ET race title.
The Super Pro division was just as hotly contested during the two-days of extreme weather differences. Mesa’s Bobby Marcheski followed-up his race 2 Super Pro runner-up with a win on Saturday – defeating Julie Rainwater in the final round, which punched his ticket to the Member Track Shoot-Out. Sunday witnessed Cottonwood’s Mark LaLonde parlayed his number one qualifying effort into a Super Pro victory, defeating Surprise’s John Dexter in the final round.
The Sportsman division was also heavily contested throughout the weekend. On Saturday, Rob Grangrade from Litchfield Park, Ariz. defeated Kayla Terlecki from Queen Creek, giving Grangrade an entry to the Member Track Shoot-Out. Sunday’s race witnessed Jeff Ford from Mesa continue on his winning ways by defeating Mike Williams. For the season, Ford has two race victories and a runner-up.
The final Member Track eligible category is the combined Motorcycle division, matching sportsman tree versus professional tree riders throughout the weekend. On Saturday, Sean Phipps took out Dave Lowe in the final round, while Matt Bluett defeated Mike Layton on Sunday.
The Member Track Shoot-Out is a race of champions where winners of the four primary ET categories on Saturday race for Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park supremacy. The final round was postponed till Sunday morning, due to a cold racing surface late Saturday evening. With the sun shining, race 3 victors Passerby, Marcheski, Grangrade, and Phipps paired up to determine a winner. The first semi-final saw Passerby defeat Phipps, while Marcheski took out Grangrade. In the final, Passerby took a sizable 0.010 to 0.075 reaction time lead and ran an 11.131 on his 11.12 dial-in to push out Marcheski, who broke out by 0.018 seconds.
The event also showcased Jr Street, 13 to 17-year-old Jr Dragsters, and 6 to 12-year-old Jr Dragster racers. Jr Street victors included Ryan Edwards on Saturday, and Rebecca Bopp on Sunday – both of whom defeated Maddie Pollard on both days. Saturday’s 6-12 Jr Dragster race was won by Domonick Scofield who defeated Austin Axtell, while Kalista Axtell took home the 13-17 title by beating Isabella Scofield. On Sunday, Scofield just missed the double-up by falling to Allison Bolle in the 6-12 division, while Chloe Lippen defeated Tyler Sally in the 13-17 age group.
Arguably the most competitive division – The Big Wheel’s – witnessed a back-to-back final round pairing, matching Chandler, Ariz. future racers Charlie Edwards against Nik Clay. At the flash of the green light, the two youngsters furiously peddled their Big Wheel’s to the 60-foot timing block – with Edwards taking home the double-up trophies.
Team Wild Horse’s Victory Griffey will be compiling points for the first four Summit ET series events of 2019. For more information about the Summit ET Racing Series, and Team Wild Horse, please visit Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park website at http://www.racewildhorse.net.