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Ferrelgas Bracket Series Race 5/7/2011 Recap

The second race of the season in the Ferrelgas Bracket Series at Heartland Park Topeka was greeted by beautiful weather Saturday morning. In conjunction with the bracket race, The Heartland Park Super Series introduced the Auto Body Unlimited Super Gas category for its first of 4 races this season.


The Elk Creek Engraving and Awards junior dragsters got the party started and provided some great racing action. In the C group semifinal, Ashley Winkler of Ottawa dispatched Adam Shinski of Olathe as made a very good pass with a 13.01 against her 13.00 dial in. Cameron Beasley of Milford, KS defeated Joplin, MO racer Tyler Lloyd with a stellar .018 reaction time to advance to the final round. With Beasley dialed in at 13.25 versus Winkler’s 13.00, Beasley got the green light first. Winkler stepped up, whipped out a .009 reaction time and gained a huge advantage. At the finish line, the win light shone for Winkler 13.03 to 13.23.


The B Group offered up some great racing action as well. The semifinal round found Ashley’s older brother, Matt Winkler facing Andrew Martinez of Topeka. Winkler dialed in at 9.01 and Martinez dialed in at 8.90. As the green lights came on, Martinez absolutely drilled the Christmas tree with a .008 reaction time as Winkler cut a .088 light. At the finish line, it was very close with Winkler just edging out Martinez, 9.07 to 9.05. On the other side of the ladder, Blaine Miller of Eudora found himself pitted against Savana Bennett of Shawnee. Bennett was dialed quicker with an 8.95 to Miller’s 9.52, but Miller pummeled the tree with a .011 light to gain the edge needed to stay in front of Bennett to advance to the final, 9.52 to 8.53. In the final, Miller cut yet another great light and pushed Winkler to break out, 9.52 (9.50 dial) to 9.03 (9.04 dial).


The elder statesmen of the junior ranks, the A group, boasted twelve seasoned competitors. After 3 rounds of tight racing, only 3 competitors remained. Shaley Epperson of Silver Lake faced 4-time HPT champ, Austin McClure of Topeka. Epperson uncorked a fantastic .013 reaction time and ran 8.11 on her 8.08 dial. McClure, trying to make up lost ground, hammered the gas pedal all the way through the finish line and ran a too quick 7.87 against his 7.90 dial, resulting in a win light for Epperson. Shaley’s sister, Shelbie, advanced to the final on a bye run with a 9.00 on her 8.98 dial. In the final, the siblings lined up against each other with their proud parents grinning ear to ear. When the green light flashed, Shelbie was the quickest to react and held on to that advantage the entire race. She snatched the win from her older sister, 9.06 (9.00 dial) to 8.17 (8.09 dial.) What a great way for their mom, Denise, to enjoy a happy Mother’s Day!


The Kansas National Guard Pro Bike category pitted Paul Mustain against Shawn Ray in the final. Mustain ran 11.77 to defeat ray’s 16.33.


The semifinal of the Labor Pros Street category found Martin Ranker in his 1965 Mustang racing Dave Wilson of Overland Park in his 2000 Camaro. Ranker took the win as Wilson foul started. Larry Zieber of Wamego lined his black 1988 Mustang up against Dave’s wife, Tiffany Walters-Wilson on the other side of the ladder. As the green lights flashed, Zieber cut a great .043 light to Wilson’s .117 reaction time and was able to cross the finish line first, 14.05 to 15.67. In the final, Ranker posted a stout .031 light and forced Zieber to break out trying to catch him by .005 second!


The Sportsman category, sponsored by Commercial Fleet Repair, boasted 22 competitors in round number one. With three drivers in the semifinals, Mickey Lockhart of Topeka was fortunate to have the bye run into the final. Mickey, who earlier had captured the Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers Bounty by defeating his mom, Gail Spencer (there’s a great way to tell Mom you love her on Mother’s Day weekend) in round two, ran 12.39 on his 12.00 dial. Korbynn Stallbaumer, driving her blue S-10 pickup, narrowly defeated Nick Siebert at the wheel of his 1972 Nova in a double breakout race, 12.186 (12.19 dial) to 13.497 (13.51 dial). In the final round, Lockhart jumped off the line first with a solid .044 light. Both drivers stood on the loud pedals all the way through the quarter mile, resulting in another double breakout, this time with Lockhart taking the victory, 12.393 (12.40 dial) to 12.120 (12.19 dial).


After his victory, Lockhart announced he would donate all of his winnings to the Steve Day Fund to help Steve during his recovery from burns and skin grafts. Eric and Jeff Faulkner of Faulkner Brothers Painting matched the money donated by Lockhart to the fund with their own contribution.


The Super 8 at Forbes Landing Pro ET category started out with 29 racers and wound down to the semifinal round where John Trimble of Wichita faced JR Lobner. Trimble, of Wichita was at the wheel of his Silver 1972 Dodge Dart and Lobner, of Gardner, drove his black suede, big block powered Chevy S-10 pickup. Trimble dialed 11.09 and Lobner 10.42. The Mopar left the line first with a .010 reaction time versus the truck’s .132 light. Lobner hammered the gas to catch up, but broke out in the process, advancing Trimble to the final round. In the other semifinal matchup, Jason Wettstein of Garnett piloted his red Nova past Olathe’s Wild Willie Burnett driving his blue 78 Malibu with a 9.97 to 10.67. With Wettstein and Trimble in the final, Trimble left the line first. Wettstein’s Chevy was up to the task and he pushed Trimble out the back door for the win, 9.95 (9.93 dial) to 11.10 (11.11 dial). On their way to victory, the Wettstein family also made a generous donation to the Steve Day Fund which Long Lighting and Fixtures along with Davin Electric were kind enough to match with a donation as well.


Also fielding 29 entries, ABK Insurance Super Pro uncorked some fantastic racing action during the second race of the season. After four rounds of eliminations, JR Lobner, at the wheel of his Mullis Dragster faced Larry Piper in his Wamego-based wheelstanding Racecraft dragster. Lobner and Piper left the line with nearly identical reaction times, but Lobner ran closer to his dial to take the win. Bill Chinn, Jr. faced Piper’s son, Todd in the other semifinal matchup and watched the kid slap a .006 to .044 holeshot on him for Piper to advance to the final. With Piper and Lobner at the line, Piper dialed in with a 7.58 and Lobner a 7.46. Piper left the line first with a .010 light and Lobner was right there with him with a .013 reaction time. This was going to be a nail biter! Neither driver lifted, and both ran under their dials. Piper, running closer to his dial-in gathered up the victory with a 7.564 ET.


In the Auto Body Unlimited  Super Gas category, Brian Janosek of Topeka pushed his 2004, big block Chevy-powered Ford Mustang past Tim “The Stump Jumper” Nicholson’s 1967 Camaro for the victory, 9.961 to a breakout 9.888.


Mark your calendar for the next Ferrellgas Bracket Series race, Saturday, May 28th!!!