Sunday, November 08, 2009
Texas Grim Reaper HIts Career Best 3.82, 198
(October 27, 2009) LIBERTY HILL, TX – Steve Wiley is living his dream. The Liberty Hill resident has been competitively drag racing for over 20 years and has now become one of the fastest drivers in his class. He has been competing in the Texas Outlaw Pro-Mod Association (TOPMA) for the past three years. In 2007, his first season as an owner/driver, Steve finished the year 3rd in points and was named “Rookie of the Year”. In 2008, he had a breakout event going to the final round but coming up a bit short against Joshua Hernandez of Conroe in the National Guard sponsored ’57 Chevy at the ADRL Drag Illustrated Dragpalooza IV at Houston Raceway Park.
Steve had his ups and downs during the ’08 season driving his Hemi powered ’68 Camaro. Wiley was confident on making a run for the 2009 TOPMA championship, as well as competing in several ADRL events. After a string of bad luck and having a few major engine mishaps, Steve thought that his racing was over for the year. Luckily for Wiley, one of his fellow TOPMA competitors, Jimmy Hector from Big Spring offered Steve a deal he couldn’t refuse. Hector and Wiley came together to form Hector-Wiley Motorsports in June and since then have made considerable progress.
Hector said, “I’ve been racing a very long time and I figured that it was about time for me to get out of the seat. I wanted to keep on competing and knew that Steve had run into some problems, so we talked about the possibilities of making this deal work. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team and how quickly we have pulled things together. We all take pride in going out and doing the best we can each race. I am really excited for the future of this team and the success we will have.” The two along with their crew chief, Jason Kennemur have the Hector-Wiley entry among the elite in the 1/8 mile drag racing world.
Over the past few weeks the Texas Grim Reaper Team has been going faster and faster, during a test lap prior to a TOPMA race at Dallas Raceway, Wiley piloted the supercharged, AJ 481X powered; 1963 Corvette to a personal best elapsed time of 3.907 seconds at over 195 miles per hour, while the accomplishment was exciting, it was not without severe consequence, as connecting rod failure ruined the night of racing for the team. The team pulled together to repair the damage to the car and to get the engine back in it and ready to go to the ADRL LenMar Motorsports V World Finals in Ennis, Texas.
On Saturday, October 24th during the final qualifying round of the Pro Extreme class, the team believed hey had a tune-up in the car that would get them in the field of 16 for the opening race of the 2010 ADRL season. After more than half of the 49 entries had made their final attempts, the Texas Grim Reaper ran another career best lap of 3.821 seconds at 198.12 miles per hour, putting them at the number 8 spot in the field. The run gave Wiley lane choice in the first elimination round against the 2006 ADRL World Champion Bubba Stanton from Mississippi. Bubba and Steve left the line at virtually the same time, while Wiley had a big advantage at the 60’ mark, Stanton was able to make it to the finish line just ahead of Wiley. Even though the team didn’t make it past the first round, it was definitely an awesome day of racing for the Texas Grim Reaper Team.
“We’re servicing the car and getting it ready for the ProMod Shootout in Kennedale in two weeks. Our team is looking to build upon what we have done so far this year. TOPMA has got to be one of the strongest local racing organizations out there, we have a lot of really fast and consistent cars, it would be a huge accomplishment to win the shootout.” Wiley went on to say, “Look for the Hector-Wiley Motorsports/Texas Grim Reaper Team to be a force to be reckoned with in the 2010 season.”
Photo Courtesy of Roger Richards