BYRUM BEATS UP ON SWSC
The Southwest Superchargers held one of their heads-up blowers-only shows July 20 @ El Paso Dragway, and the largest field of the season showed to participate.
After a nice West Texas afternoon shower and a couple hours drying effort, time trials/qualifying efforts commenced around 9:00 p.m.. Twelve cars began the round on the best traction we’ve seen this calendar year. Sue Stringer’s bbc made a soft 5.7400/132 after stumbling badly at the launch. Track owner Lyle Byrum went 4.7939/144 in his f/c against Ray Stringer in his funny, who went 7.6320/70 on his maiden pass. Joe Navar’s family operated machine made a nice 4.7635/144 vs. Clay Cunningham's r.e.d., 4.9337/143. Next Jason Wise drove Mike Aton's rail to a 4.9779/134 against Jacob Penner's 4.6954/150 (!). In Gary Hills first run of 2013, his Mopar Wedge went 4.7766/143. Brittny Blakely had electrical gremlins left over from the night before and could only produce a 6.1002/79, unusual for that team. Their competitor, Don David "wow'ed" the crowd with a spectacular 2-foot wheelie, which he carried WAY out past the tree, and still displayed a 4.8111/142. Spectacular! Local ‘23t driver Al Seelig brought his altered out to play, and arguably made one of the best passes ever in this short wheelbase ride, 4.9702/138. He just happened to drift over the center line, clobber a couple blocks, destroy his nosepiece, and retire for the day. Sorry to see that! Also in attendance was Ricky Esparza, who had bugs in the motor all day, no times. And Buck Woolen Jr, who donated several internal aluminum parts to the Aluminum Gods, by way of a seriously broken bbc.
So, as Q-2 began, we were already down to 9 cars still running. Lyle Byrum climbed the SWSC ladder with his sweet 4.7251/147. Don David’s next wheelie wasn’t as pretty as the first, a crossed up 5.7618/104 after lifting early. Clay Cunningham became the poster boy for consistency, repeating with a 4.9075/143 (4.933 1st rd). Joe Navar was even closer to his Rd 1 performance, 4.7593/144 (4.7635 Rd1). Jacob Penner slowed slightly but held onto the top position on the SWSC ladder, 4.7230/149 vs. Jason Wise’s improving 4.8599/145. Finally, Sue Stringer improved with a 5.2361/136 against Gary Hill’s 4.7739/144. Brittny Blakely started a burnout but had serious ignition coil issues.
The SWSC trained laptop yielded the ladder after a minimum flogging. #1 Qualifier Jacob Penner (.0046 off index of 4.70) would meet #8 Sue Stringer (.5631 off). #2 Lyle Byrum (.0251) would get #7 Clay Cunningham (.2075). #3 Joe Navar (.0593) would run #6 Jason Wise (.1599). And in the middle of the field would be #4 Gary Hill (.0739) and #5 Don David (.1111). Missing was #9 Blakely, #10 Ray Stringer, and #11 Al Seelig.
Now bear with me as I’m doing this Round 1 Eliminations from memory (and a couple quick phone calls to refresh). #1 Qualifier Jacob Penner came up against #8 Sue Stringer. Sue hesitated and Jacob was gone, a winning 4.717 to Sues red light start. Next up was #4 Gary Hill vs. #5 Don David. Don’s wheelie required an early course correction and pedal job, giving the auto win to Gary, 4.715! Then #2 Lyle Byrum started his burnout ritual to face #7 Clay Cunningham. Lyle’s funny car got the win over Clay’s r.e.d. #3 Joe Navar lost early (LB3A) as Jason Wise went to the finish line with a paltry 6-second e.t. ( The electronic clocks display that acronym, “left before third amber”).
Rd 2 Elims first pair was going to be a close one, at least on paper. If you noticed, Penner and Hill both went 4.71 in Rd 1. And in Rd 2 they had to run each other. Well, Gary Hill had the better e.t. (4.72/146) but LOST to #1 Penner, who went 4.7632/147 for the win. Can you say “HOLESHOT”? The other half of the semi-final round of eliminations was #2 Lyle Byrum vs. #6 Jason Wise. Wise’s ride slowed slightly, just enough to watch Lyle take the win with a great 4.7189/147.
The Final Southwest Supercharger pass of the weekend came to #2 Lyle Byrum (funny car) against #1 Jacob Penner (r.e.d.). Lyle had been more consistent all night, but obviously Penner had qualified better. On that final pass, Jacob’s dragster slowed slightly (4.84 if memory serves) and Lyle’s car displayed the win light, another nice 4.72. Nice work. Always super to see #1 & #2 in the final.
Thanks to the management and staff of El Paso Dragway for a SUPER biting track! Excellent!
Lyle Byrum and team getting the win and the "Jerry"
Runner up Jacob Penner and his team. Nice job guys!
Let’s give away some Bonus money:
Mears Mazda Winner Bonus Lyle Byrum
Mears Mazda R/U Bonus Jacob Penner
SWSC Closest Pass To Index Gary Hill (4.715)
ATI-Jet Fastest Qualifier Jacob Penner (4.6954)
Good Vibrations Quick Light Don David (.407 Rd 1)
OK, SWSC race fans, we’re off to Caprock Motorplex August 10th for the Jerry Norman Memorial Race! We sure hope everyone can attend....