G. Hill Wins SWSC Season Opener
The Southwest Superchargers 2014 season opener was held April 26 @ Caprock Motorplex, Odessa, TX. Thirteen eager blown racers filled the field to try and take home the purse and bragging rights.
Before getting started we had unfinished business from last year. Bobby Brown was presented his "Crew Chief of The Year" award for the 2013 season. Bobby is the crew chief on Lyle Byrum's beautiful cars...and they are the returning SWSC Champs!
Time trials started promptly @ 12:00 Noon. Greg Powell fired first to lead qualifying, and Eddie “Munster” Tidwell moved up to complete the pair. Tidwell moved early, no time, and Greg made a decent 4.845/141.51 pass. SWSC chief Don David and Ricky Esparza comprised the next pair. David had a minor red light start but posted a nice 4.788/144.23 to Esparza's 4.853/145.16. The dragsters of Sue Stringer and Andy Mears advanced through the water to the line. Sues soft 5.041/138.46 ran well behind Mears’ 4.840/145.16. Brittny Blakely met SWSC 2013 Points Champ Lyle Byrum in the next pair. Brittny struggled with her new Oldsmobile-style combo, 5.349/130.06 to Lyles 4.738/145.63 funny car pass. 2013 Rookie-of-the-Year Joe Navar met SWSC newcomer (Welcome!) Brian Beasley. In his first hard pass in a blower car, Beasley squirted out a great 4.711/147.54 (4.70 index!) to Navar's sub-index 4.687/147.54. Ray Stringer came out against Gary Hill in the next pair. Ray only managed a soft 7.067/74 (timing) to Hills 4.774/147.54. On a solo pass, Jason Wise (in Mike Aton's r.e.d.) went a 4.840/145.63 to close out the round.
Rd 2 Qualifying started with Ricky Esparza and Joe Navar pairing up. Ricky slowed slightly from Q-1, 5.013/146.10 to Joe’s faster 4.672/146.58. Sue Stringer met Andy Mears in Pair 2. Sue failed to make the field with her soft 5.103/134.33 as Andy went 4.780/146.10. Brian Beasley made a superior ladder-topping 4.708/146.58 against Don David's no-time pass (LB3A). Brittny Blakely ran Ray Stringer but neither made the field as Brittny made a 5.278/134.33 to Rays 4.924/139.75. Gary Hill went 4.600/150.50 to Greg Powell's 4.804/142.41. Eddie Tidwell and Lyle Byrum ran 4.635/147.54 and 4.753/145.63 respectively. And Jason Wise again rounded out qualifying with a 4.976/143.31.
The old reliable SWSC laptop refused to cooperate by providing us with our ladder, and we were reduced to working with pencil and paper (!). But the results were the same. #1 Qualifier Brian Beasley (.008 off index) would meet #8 Qualifier Greg Powell (.104) in the first round of eliminations. #2 Joe Navar (.013 under) would run #7 Don David (.088). #3 Lyle Byrum (.038) got #6 Andy Mears (.080). And #4 Eddie Tidwell (.065) would run #5 Gary Hill (.074). Missing the first race of 2014 were #9 Jason Wise (.149), #10 Ricky Esparza (.153), #11 Ray Stringer (.224), #12 Sue Stringer (.341), and #13 Brittny Blakely (.578 off).
The weather was good for drag racing and the track was ready as the first SWSC racers approached the starting line for the beginning of eliminations. #4 Eddie Tidwell met #5 Gary Hill in the first pair and Hill took the win light when Tidwell anticipated the tree drawing the dreaded red eye (-039) negating his sweet 4.717/139.32 to Hills winning sub-index pass of 4.643/147.06. #1 Brian Beasley ran #8 Greg Powell in the next stanza. Brian gave up a near-perfect 4.710/146.58 to another red-light-initiated pass, handing the win to Greg for his 4.848/141.96. Next #2 Joe Navar met #7 Don David and Don triumphed with his 4.800/143.77 getting the win over Joes foul-started 4.689/146.10. The final pair in the round was #3 Lyle Byrum vs. #6 Andy Mears. In a double breakout decision, Mears got the win light when Lyle ran 4.668/142.86 (.034 r.t.), to Andy's less illegal 4.687/149.50 (.008 r.t.)! WOW! What a pass!
The semi-final round of SWSC elims began as #5 Gary Hill met #8 Greg Powell in the Caprock bleach box. By .050 seconds, Gary Hill took the stripe when Greg went 4.898/134.33 to Gary's better 4.858/137.61. (And their r.t.’s were .040 and .050). Next #6 Andy Mears ran #7 Don David. Mears advanced when Don wheelied out of the lights for a red light start and a better-but-losing 4.715/145.16 to Andy's triumphant 4.771/148.51.
OK, so there we were watching the final round in SWSC. It was #6 Andy Mears vs. #5 Gary Hill. It was over as it started ‘cause Andy red-lighted by a miniscule .010 seconds, as Gary Hill makes his best pass of the night, 4.712/148.51 to Andy's quicker but sub index 4.666/149.50. Congratulation to Gary Hill and the team from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico on their first “JERRY”. And to Andy Mears as our first Runner-Up of 2014.
Gary and Barb Hill and Glenn from T or C NM. Winner in the season opener.
Runner up Andy and Jan Mears in Odessa.
The Good Vibrations “Quick Light” award for best r.t. of eliminations went to Andy Mears for his .008 r.t. in Rd 1.
The ATI Jet Fastest Qualifier Bonus was Eddie Tidwell (4.635)
The SWSC Best Pass to Index went to Brian Beasley for his 4.710 e.t. in Rd 1.
The Mears Mazda Winner Bonus was Gary Hill
The Mears Mazda Runner-Up Bonus was won by Andy Mears
Here are a few more stats:
145+ mph 22!
Long Distance Award: Brian Beasley Belen, NM 465 mi!
Stay tuned, Race Fans! We are off to El Paso Motorplex for Race #2 of the 2014 SWSC season June 7. Watch for us, we’ll see you at the races!
SWSC Pre race meeting.
"Rookie" Brian Beasley was our #1 qualifier. Great to have you and your team join the SWSC
Brian. Watch out for these guys, they are going to be tough!
My new car finally showing promise. Thanks to everyone who came over and
checked on us and offered help. Very much appreciated!
1st rnd Don David and Joe Navar.
1st rnd Andy Mears and Lyle Byrum.