Sunday, July 28, 2013

Atlanta Dragway - Summit ET Series event


(Commerce, GA – July 27)  Midway through the racing season, Doug Richardson and Travis Bryant enjoyed their first 2013 Summit ET Series win after winning their respective classes.  Jimmy Heisler, Mel Abney and Jay Rhyne enjoyed their second win.  For what seems the first time in months, weather was not a factor in today's event.

            Super Pro winner Doug Richardson from Ballground, GA enjoyed his first 2013 win after defeating Wayne Brooks' Between, GA based Race Tech dragster in final round action.  Richardson left first, and maintained the lead for the entire course, crossing the win stripe in his '02 Miller dragster ahead of Brooks with a 5.11 second pass at 127.16mph (5.08 dial).  Brooks' car spun the tires down track and he then chose to slow to a 4.90 at 112.08mph (4.60 dial).  Retired fireman Joe Rampley returned to action today in his '85 Olds Calais, and made it all the way to the semi-final round before bowing out of action.  "Thank the good Lord first.  Then, thanks to my wife and family.  I couldn't, wouldn't do it without them.  It's been a good day," added Richardson.

            Pro winner Travis Bryant of Bowman, GA met Eric Smith from Baldwin, GA in the final round.  Bryant was "on" with a steller 0.019 second reaction time, and although he broke out by a narrow margin with a 6.333 second at 109.14mph on a 6.34 dial-in time, victory was already his the moment Smith left the starting line in his '71 Nova.  Smith reacted too quickly, resulting in illuminating the dreaded cherry colored foul bulb.  He chose to run his car on out, and posted a 6.68 at 102.79mph (6.74 dial).  Team Ford Thunder racer Al Baker('70 Maverick – Marietta, GA) was the lone semi-finalist.  Bryant was in a little bit of trouble a few weeks ago with his eight year old daughter Abby, as he was going to race his '68 Camaro on her birthday.  However, he consoled her by telling her she would get whatever he won that night.  He did win $35, but she dismissed that one by saying, "That's not enough.  I want a bigger one."  Bryant now gets to share his winner's check with Abby.  He then thanked his dad Wade, who built a new engine for him after his old one let go, and mentioned it allowed his car to run within 0.006 seconds of the old combination.

            Sportsman winner Mel Abney out of Cumming, GA was struggling in the early rounds with his '67 Camaro.  However, an encouraging phone call from good friend and competitor J.D. "Doc" Burford helped him get past that, and both Abney and his car settled in for the rest of the event.  He met another long time racer, Russell Haskins ('13 Mustang – Marietta, GA) for the final round.  Because both racers had nearly identical reaction times, they ran through the finish line wide open, looking back later to see who got the win light.  Abney's winning time was a breakout 12.03 at 110.94mph (12.06 target) and Haskins broke out even more with a 12.87 at 107.93mph (12.93 target).  Wilson Gang racer Marshall York ('72 Nova – Tallapoosa, GA) ended his day in the semi-final round action.  "It feels good to win the hard one," added Abney, referring to his tight final round victory against Haskins.

            Perennial winner and champion Jay Rhyne met best friend and competitor Tim Sutton in the Super Pro Bike final.  Sutton's Clermont, GA based '89 Suzuki left the starting line well, but a custom countershaft sprocket on Sutton's machine chose that moment to break.  That made Sutton a spectator watching Rhyne's Athens, GA based '81 Suzuki take the finish line with a 9.45 at 131.57mph (9.40 dial).  Billy Orsino ('06 Kawasaki – Winder, GA) and Howard Bowman ('02 Harley – Homer, GA) earned the semi-finalist portion of the purse.

            Woodstock, GA raer Jimmy "Cha Cha" Heisler enjoyed his second Street ET Bike win of the 2013 season, this time against Adam Edwards out of Winder, GA.  Edwards actually had a 0.04 second reaction time advantage (.051 to .091), but his Suzuki chose that time to run quicker than his target time of 9.80 seconds, posting a breakout 9.72 second time at 139.20mph.  Heisler's '00 Kawasaki also broke out, but by a lesser margin, 10.75 at 122.37mph (10.78 dial).  Angie Young (Kawasaki – Anderson, SC) was thrilled with her semi-final finish, along with Michael Tlapa ('01 Hayabusa – Loganville, GA).  "Today was a good day.  The bike did good, running dead-on two times.  We were just doing our thing," Heisler commented.  The Heisler's then thanked Motul Oil, Vanson Leathers, Broward Motorsports, Mattei Cycle and Traxxion Dynamics for their help.