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Season-opening Summit Pro-Am Tour at Immokalee Regional Raceway Recap

Monday, 08 February 2016

The IHRA Summit Pro-Am Tour kicked off the 2016 season with a record turnout at the Immokalee Regional Raceway wild card event. Mother Nature looked to be a challenge yet again this year as she forced crews to battle rain but the Immokalee and IHRA crew were able to pull through and get the doubleheader weekend completed.

 Good Vibrations Top Sportsman

Mark Sanders kicked off his 2016 season with a win, taking home the first Good Vibrations Top Sportsman win over 19 other competitors. Sanders, from Harrison, Ohio, was paired against Kenny Anderson in the final round. With .028 light, Sanders made a 4.902 run on his 4.89 at 142.18 mph while Anderson left at .040 and went 5.144 on a 5.13 dial at 138.33 mph. Anderson, from Lake Worth, Florida, had a bye in the semi-finals while Sanders put together a 4.912 on a 4.89 with a .013 reaction against Rick McDonough, from Southwest Ranches, Florida, who went 4.968 on a 4.96 with a .062 reaction.

Mark Claypool, from Harrisville, Pennsylvania, earned the second Good Vibrations Top Sportsman Ironman after he defeated Bill Powell in the final round. Claypool lit the tree at .016 and made a 4.829 run on his 4.81 dial at 144.32 mph. Powell, from Stuart, Florida, finished as runner-up with a .054 reaction and a 4.730 run on a 4.70 at 147.73 mph. Leading up to the finals, Powell bested Sunday’s winner, Mark Sanders, with a 4.703 pass on a 4.69 target after Sanders broke out with a 4.893 on a 4.90. Claypool moved through with a bye.

Good Vibrations Top Dragster

During Good Vibrations Top Dragster competition, Pete Maduri and Troy Williams Jr. paired off in the final. Williams, who had qualified last and worked his way up through eliminations, went red with a -.0003 light. Maduri, who made the trip all the way from San Antonio, Texas, took the win light with a .012 reaction. Bruce Kaul, from Racine, Minnesota, went red in his semi-final match-up against Maduri while Williams advanced through with a bye.

Alan Elliot made the trip down from Dixfield, Maine to take the win in the second day of Good Vibrations Top Dragster competition after a close match-up with James Hinkle. Hinkle, from Danville, Kentucky, had the better pass with a 4.753 on a 4.73 at 143.63 mph but his .020 reaction cost him the win. Elliot left at .010 and went 4.660 on a 4.63 at 145.63 mph for the win. Hinkle moved through with a bye in the semi-finals while Westley Cayea, from Williamson, New York, fell to Elliot with a break out run of 4.459 on a 4.46. Elliot was just .008 off his 4.63 target.

Super Stock

Mark Nowicki, the 2015 Division 2 Super Stock champion, added another Ironman to his growing collection. He defeated John Frech in the first Super Stock final of the weekend. Frech, from Cortland, Ohio, was slower off the line with a .044 reaction to Nowicki’s .017 and finished out with a 6.841 on a 6.81 at 100.18 mph. Nowicki went 5.927 on his 5.91 target at 110.13 mph. In the semi-finals, Nowicki, from Holmes Beach, Florida, moved on after Pat Clifford, from Apopka, Florida, went red with a -.046. Frech advanced with a bye.

Webster, New York driver Steve Comella won Monday’s Super Stock final against Brian Oakes, from Taylorsville, North Carolina. Comella had a .068 reaction while Oakes went red with a .062 light. Wendell Howes, who made the trip down from Rothesay, New Brunswick in Canada, fell to Comella in the semi-finals despite a perfect 6.150 pass. Comella went 5.393 on a 5.39, but it was his .063 reaction that earned him the chance to advance. Howes left at .124 while Oakes had a bye.

Stock Eliminator

Jim Wahl was the big winner in Stock Eliminator competition. He went up against Stephen McGrath in the final, Wahl cut a .063 light while McGrath went red with a -.003 reaction, handing Wahl the win. Wahl, who qualified in the top five, had a bye through the semi-finals. McGrath, from Rochester, New York, paired off against Myron Piatek, from Holly Hill, Florida, and advanced with a .009 reaction a 7.179 run on a 7.17 target. Piatek left at .040 and went 7.156 on a 7.14. Wahl, from Deltona, Florida, had a bye.

Wahl continued his success, sweeping competition and taking home his second Ironman the following day. Wahl defeated Sterling Simmons Jr. with a .038 reaction after Simmons went red, leaving at -.022. During the semi-finals, Jacksonville, Florida driver Richard Mace came up short against Simmons with a 7.390 pass on a 7.37 target with a .132 reaction. Simmons, from Chesterfield, Virginia, made a 6.648 on a 6.61 with a .063 light to advance. Wahl moved on over Mike McMahan with a .009 light and 7.059 on a 7.03 at 94.72 mph. McMahan, from Port Charlotte, Florida, left at .036 and went 7.102 on a 7.09 at 94.12 mph.

Quick Rod

The first Quick Rod Ironman of the season went to John Brannen, from Dunedin, Florida, after he defeated Joe Tankersley in the final round. Tankersley, from Elkton, Tennessee, broke out with a 5.663 pass on the 5.70 index after leaving at .003. Brannen cut a .021 light and made a 5.724 run to earn the win. In the semi-finals, Tankersley had a bye while Brannen advanced with a 5.711 run at 134.77 mph with a .076 reaction over David Schmidt. Schmidt, from Flintstone, Georgia, broke out with a 5.687 run at 143.27 mph with a .013 reaction.

Steve Muller was the Quick Rod champion at the conclusion of the competition. The Pinellas Park, Florida driver was just .004 off the 5.70 index at 131.16 mph with a .012 reaction, defeating Jim Morrison. Morrison, from Merritt Island, Florida, broke out with a 5.689 on a 5.70 at 137.36 mph with a .030 reaction. Muller moved through the semis with a bye while Morrison defeated Tracy Cochran with a .022 light and a 5.739 run. Cochran, from Flintstone, Georgia, left at .090 and made a 5.717 run.

Super Rod

Orlando, Florida driver Michael Ruff picked up the first Super Rod win. Ruff defeated Jerry Heffelfinger with a perfect 6.400 pass at 117.59 mph and a .025 reaction. Heffelfinger, from Wesley Chapel, Florida, broke out with a 6.383 pass on the 6.40 index at 128.46 mph with a .019 reaction. Jim Perry, from Niota, Tennessee, made a 6.440 pass with a .015 reaction in the semis, but fell to Ruff who went 6.404 with a .013 reaction. Heffelfinger advanced with a bye.

The Super Rod final came down to Paul “Racer” Brown and Steven Dimmig, with Brown taking home the win on the final day. Dimmig, from Fort Myers, Florida, was just .005 off the 6.40 index but his .057 reaction wasn’t enough. Brown left at .026 and made 6.419 pass to earn the Ironman. Dimmig had the bye in the semi-finals, while Brown, from Cass City, Michigan, defeated Sunday’s winner, Michael Ruff. Brown had a .011 reaction and made a 6.406 pass at 124.97 mph while Ruff left at .009 and went 6.424 at 119.72 mph.

Hot Rod

The Hot Rod car count reached 61 with Lawrence Hinkle taking home the win on day one. Hinkle, from Mount Vernon, Kentucky, moved his way through the bracket to meet Tim Anderson in the final round. Anderson, from Cape Coral, Florida, came up short with a 7.017 on the 7.00 index at 120.58 mph after leaving at .016. Hinkle cut a .010 light and was nearly dead on with a 7.004 pass at 102.11 mph. John Hudson, from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, broke out with a 6.982 run, advancing Hinkle who made a 7.021 pass. Anderson moved on over Trent Thomas, from Bradenton, Florida, with a 7.026 to Thomas’s 7.011.

Ralph Hester was too quick in the day two Hot Rod final, handing Mike Desio the win. Hester, from Immokalee, cut a quick .007 light, but broke out with a 6.991 on the 7.00 dial at 108.49 mph. Desio, from Seminole, Florida, was almost dead on with a 7.003 pass at 112.64 mph after leaving at .032, rightfully earning the Ironman. Orlando competitor Allan Krenkau went red in the semi-finals with a -.027 against Desio, who left at .047. It was a double breakout between Hester and Sam Pagano, from Palm Harbor, Florida, with Hester advancing on a 6.995 pass and a .009 light. Pagano left at .014 and went 6.978.

Junior Masters

The first Junior Master’s final came down to Lexington, South Carolina competitor Zach Pennington and Palmetto, Florida driver Gage Burch. Pennington took the win with a .019 light and a 7.909 on a 7.90 target at 80.92 mph. Burch finished as runner-up with a .047 reaction and a 7.947 pass on a 7.90 dial at 76.49 mph. Pennington was dead on his 7.90 dial in the semi-finals with a .008 reaction while Camryn Fredrickson, from Palm Harbor, Florida, broke out with an 8.269 on a 8.27 with a .008 light.

On the next day, Camryn Fredrickson rebounded from the semi-final loss during race one and took home the Junior Master Ironman. Fredrickson defeated Brian Philhower with an 8.316 on an 8.27 at 75.95 mph with a .012 reaction. Philhower, from Pompano Beach, Florida, went 7.922 on a 7.90 at 81.82 mph with a .063 reaction. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida driver Bailey Ferraro broke out in the semi-finals with a 7.881 on a 7.91 while Fredrickson was just .008 off his 8.26 dial. Philhower advanced with a bye.

Junior Advanced

Brooke DeBonis earned the first Junior Advanced Ironman over Parrish, Florida driver Ryan Garrett. DeBonis, from Port Saint Lucie, Florida, left the line at .049 and went 8.967 on an 8.91 at 71.92 mph while Garrett left at .171 and broke out with an 8.878 on an 8.90 at 74.43 mph. In the semi-finals, Katherine Craft, from Melbourne, Florida, broke out with an 8.892 run on an 8.90 dial, advancing Garrett who went 9.043 on an 8.90 target. DeBonis moved through with a bye.

DeBonis powered through the competition and picked up her second win of the weekend. She defeated William Craft with a .006 light and a 8.961 on a 8.95 at 71.64 mph. Craft, Melbourne, Florida left at .279 and broke out with a 9.444 on a 9.45 at 69.58 mph. DeBonis again had the bye through the semis while Craft advanced in a double break-out match up with Jimmy Cavanaugh with a .281 reaction and a 9.458 on a 9.48. Cavanaugh, also from Melbourne, went 8.940 on a 9.00 after a .041 reaction.

Junior Beginner

Dylan MacNicol was the third driver to sweep competition. He defeated Kimoni Hamilton during the season opening Junior Beginner final. MacNicol, from North Port, Florida, had Hamilton on the tree with a .069 to Hamilton’s .337. MacNicol crossed the finish at 12.030 on his 11.92 dial at 52.16 mph. Hamilton, from Bradenton, Florida, finished with a 12.033 run on a 11.95 dial at 54.71 mph. Logan Westmoreland, from Greenwood, South Carolina, left before the third activation light in his semi-final matchup against MacNicol while Nathan Lopez, from Wellington, Florida, went red with a -.040 reaction, advancing Hamilton who cut a .381 light.

MacNicol’s second win came after making a 12.052 pass on his 11.93 target at 52.28 mph with a .117 reaction, defeating Alyson Reynolds in the Junior Beginner final. Reynolds, from West Melbourne, Florida, defeated Jude Kersnason in the semi-finals with a 12.099 on an 11.93 at 52.33 mph with a .121 reaction. Kersnason, from Port Charlotte, Florida, left at .075 and went 12.450 on a 11.90 at 49.37 mph. Wellington, Florida competitor Nathan Lopez went red with a -.024 reaction, advancing MacNicol, who left at .134, to the final.

Last modified on Friday, 06 May 2016
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