San Antonio opens season

San Antonio raceway kicked off its 2016 season with ‘Back to the Track’ weekend of racing. After undergoing some track repair the previous weekend, the track was ready for business with an open test-n-tune on Friday night, Feb. 19. Saturday featured a triple-header of sorts with a non-points Summit Super Series bracket race during the day, followed by another test-n-tune session in the evening along with family night.

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During a break in rounds, Nancy Matter’s Guardian for Heroes Top Alcohol Funny Car made a test hit. Unfortunately for her, either the parachutes failed or the throttle got hung, sending her long at the top end into the hay bales. The car had some body damage, but Ms. Matter was alright.

Saturday morning kicked off the events with a Summit Super Series non-points bracket race for Electronics (Box), Foot brake (No-box), Jr. Dragster and a trophy Street Car class.

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Brett Zampese

With no points on the line yet this season, Brett Zampese (San Antonio) and Chris Keylich (San Antonio) opted to split the 1-2 purse in the Electronics final. In the semifinals B Zampese, in his dragster, got by Leroy O’Bryant’s Chevy Monza with Zampese nailing his dial in (4.874 on a 4.87 dial). Chris Keylich in his Keylich Electric Dragster had a bye run in the semi’s.

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Chris Keylich

In earlier rounds, Zampese took out Greg Meuth, Candace Ritter, T. Leason and M. Rodriguez, plus a round 5 bye. Keylich knocked out Peeps Pennington, Todd Robinson, David Johns, J. Garza and Tony Farmer.

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San Antonio’s David Bixler made his buy-back pay off, scoring the win in the Foot Brake (No-box) finals over Bryan Day. Bixler, in his Chevy-powered ’49 Ford Coupe, cut a .004 light on Day and that was pretty much all she wrote for Day in his ’86 Chevy S-10 pickup. Bixler (6.84) 6.8602 at 95.66 defeated Bryan Day (6.92) 6.9456 at 87.51

After losing in round 1 to R. Dunsirn, D. Bixler rebounded to beat, T. Barber, Sherman Davis Jr., B. Spain and Rhett Floyd. Day trailered Sherman Davis Jr., B. Waite, J. Bixler, H. Aguilera and Motorcycle Mike.

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Emily Ball

Losing to Caden Meuth in round 1 on eliminations didn’t deter Emily Ball (San Antonio) from grabbing the first victory of the year. After a timing snafu, the finals had to be run twice against Gianna Carrola. Ball, in her 2012 Greg Hubbell Chassis, got out on Carrola by .058 and needed every tenth to hold off Carrola in his All In Designs, Half Scale Chassis, at the stripe. Ball (7.92) 7.9808/79.42 mph defeated Carrola (7.97) 7.9924/81.89.

Ball won the rematch with Meuth in round 2 and had a round 3 bye. Carrola bested Kathrine Keylich and her cousin, Matthew Keylich, on his way to the finals.

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The Street Car finals was supposed to be a revisit of the old children’s story, ‘The Tortoise and the Hare.’ Caitlin Mitchan, on her Suzuki GSXR 1000, would give up nearly four and half seconds to Rhett Floyd in his 2008 GMC Sierra, on the line. Floyd tried to cut a light, but gave the race away going red, and leaving Mitchan the win while she waited on her light. Mitchan (6.12) 6.2904 at 120.68 defeated Floyd (10.49) 10.5586 at 68.68 (-.0158 red).
(J.M. Hallas photos)