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IHRA Summit Pro-Am Series presented by AMSOIL season opener sets record for entries at Immokalee

Sunday, 08 February 2015
Saturday Top Sportsman winner John Taylor Saturday Top Sportsman winner John Taylor

Ralph Hester, operator of the IHRA-sanctioned Immokalee Regional Raceway in southwestern Florida, is pleased with the turnout for last weekend’s Summit Pro-Am Series presented by AMSOIL season opener. The doubleheader weekend meet kicked off both Immokalee’s 2015 season as well as the IHRA Summit Pro-Am Series presented by AMSOIL campaign.

            “Our event’s car count grew from 25-30% over last year,” Hester said. “It’s the biggest race we’ve ever had. We sold 276 tech cards and 269 cars went down the track in the first round. We had approximately 25 drivers that had never raced with us before. We had a wonderful time. It’s our season-opener, our biggest race of the season and something we look forward to every year. We’ve had this race for 12 years now and we’ve always been the first race, being in Florida. It means a lot for us to have that race.

            “On Friday night we had 160 cars in the Test ‘n’ Tune.”

            As a way to thank the racers for their support, Hester and his son Thomas, the track manager, throw a party on Saturday night each year of the event.

            “We started racing on Saturday and at the end of the night we had a racer party. We fed everyone, about 450 people. We had Spanish food, chicken, corn on the cob. We had a big time and we do that every year for them,” Hester explained.

            The Hesters have operated Immokalee since its inception in 1999. Hester’s son, Thomas, is proud of the event, the track and his father.

            “The Pro-Am is not only our best race, it’s also our favorite race,” said Thomas. “No other time of the year am I going to have people from 15 different states and Canada come to Immokalee. We’ve got a drag strip here on the airport and we’ve put our heart and soul into it over the last 14 or 15 years. We call it our little slice of paradise. Every year, the racers tell us the same thing. They wish it was closer so they could race here every weekend. They make the most of it. I had one guy from Ohio spend almost two weeks here.

            “I’m the track manager and my father’s the owner, promoter, cook – he prepares the food on Saturday night for the racers. We don’t go by titles. We just do what needs to be done. I’ve seen him in the concession stand cooking hamburgers. I came down here from Henderson, North Carolina, in 2006 to help with this race so this is my ninth year. He gives me a lot of credit but I only do what I do because of him. He’s given me the knowledge which allows me to succeed at the race track. I’ve never met a racer who knew my dad that had a bad thing to say about him.

            “Our track has been an IHRA facility since it opened. Having 276 cars travel in from all over the country to the furthest point in the United States, it seems, is Immokalee – I think that says a lot.”

            Two complete races were contested and there were no repeat winners in any classes.





Winner: Troy Williams Jr. (Bradenton, Fla.) 7.00 sec./108.67 mph.

Runner-up: Matt Beer (Naples, Fla.) 6.99 sec./113.55 mph.

Winner: Larry Flynn (Lutz, Fla.) 7.025 sec./103.64 mph.

Runner-up: Troy Williams Jr. (Bradenton, Fla.) 7.085 sec./101.86 mph.


Winner: Merrill Schrimscher (Lake Mary, Fla.) 7.165 sec./93.38 mph.

Runner-up: Jeff Adkinson (Damascus, Ga.) (fouled) 6.64 sec./93.42 mph.

Winner: Leonard Mattinsly 6.382 sec./103.95 mph.

Runner-up: Larry Hambey 7.468 sec./81.45 mph.


Winner: John Brannen 5.70 sec./137.45 mph.

Runner-up: John Labbous Jr. (Whitehouse, Tenn.) 5.699 sec./138.72 mph.

Winner: John Labbous Jr. (Whitehouse, Tenn.) 5.697 sec./134.17 mph.

Runner-up: Brandon James (Loxahatchee, Fla.) (fouled) 5.664 sec./135.26 mph.


Winner: John Taylor (Naples, Fla.) 4.99 sec./117.96 mph.

Runner-up: Jim Perry (Niota, Tenn.) 19.56 sec./44.07 mph.

Winner: David O’Bryon (Naples, Fla.) 5.154 sec./130.26 mph.

Runner-up: Bill Powell (Stuart, Fla.) (fouled) 8.060 sec./55.70 mph.


Winner: Steve Furr 6.413 sec./125.10 mph.

Runner-up: Michael Ruff (Orlando, Fla.) 6.397 sec./121.75 mph.

Winner: Wayne Bogle (Cocoa, Fla.) 6.403 sec./123.97 mph.

Runner-up: Todd Thompson (Naples, Fla.) 6.404 sec./121.13 mph.


Winner: Steve Dweck (Hollywood, Fla.) 4.924 sec./131.73 mph.

Runner-up: Gary Marshall (Ft. Myers, Fla.) 4.831 sec./140.41 mph.

Winner: Stanley Albritton Jr. (Bradenton, Fla.) 4.681 sec./141.38 mph.

Runner-up: Keith Russell (Jupiter, Fla.) 4.733 sec./139.93 mph.


Winner: Mike Pearson (Tampa, Fla.)6.322 sec./106.69 mph.

Runner-up: Anthony Bertozzi (Ashland, Va.) 5.690 sec./118.05 mph.

Winner: Mark Nowicki 5.968 sec./106.61 mph.

Runner-up: Jeff Lewis 6.229 sec./107.76 mph.


Winner: William Craft (Melbourne, Fla.) 13.008 sec./47.93 mph.

Runner-up: Troy Carpenter (Melbourne, Fla.) 12.023 sec./54.39 mph.

Winner: Julian Puya (Pompano Beach, Fla.) 11.85 sec./54.43 mph.

Runner-up: Logan Westmoreland (Greenwood, S.C.) (fouled) 11.982 sec./52.13 mph.


Winner: Brooke Debonis (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 9.168 sec./67.61 mph.

Runner-up: Troy Carpenter (Ft. Myers, Fla.) 9.067 sec./67.75 mph.

Winner: Courtney Mee (Naples, Fla.) 8.904 sec./68.10

Runner-up: Michael Carpenter (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 8.8610 sec./72.02 mph.


Winner: Camryn Fredrickson (Palm Harbor, Fla.) 8.577 sec./66.03 mph.

Runner-up: Gage Burch (Palmetto, Fla.) (fouled) 8.242 sec./64.75 mph.

Winner: Samantha Hollingsworth (Greenwood, S.C.) 7.934 sec./80.70 mph.

Runner-up: Camryn Fredrickson (Palm Harbor, Fla.) 8.298 sec./75.03 mph.


Next event: IHRA Summit Pro Am Series, March 27-29 at Pine Valley Raceway, Lufkin, Texas. Two complete events will be contested. For more information on Pine Valley Raceway, please visit: www.pinevalleyraceway.com.

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2015