The Tate Branch/Southwest Superchargers held their second race of 2015 June 6 @ El Paso Motorplex, El Paso, Texas. Thirteen supercharged competitors made the trip for this special quarter mile event.
Qualifying started after the sun had gone behind the gathering clouds for the day, allowing cooler temps and better density altitudes. Buck Woolen and #1 Son Buck Woolen Jr started the program off by making side by side burn-outs. Buck Jr's r.e.d. made a 8.1358/163.22 to Dad's 8.1421/165.99. Next up was Gary Hill vs. Andy Mears. Mears ran a sub-index 7.5425/181.82 to Gary's 7.7274/173.21. Ricky Esparza's f.e.d. made a pass against track owner Lyle Byrum's funny car. Ricky's 7.7676/172.88 was just a touch slower than Lyle's 7.6866/175.85. Rookie Christian Leffew came out to make his first pass with the SWSC vs. club chief Don David. Christian's tuner missed the fuel curve and only went 8.3228/134.69 to Don's near-perfect 7.6038/168.92 (7.60 index)! 2014 SWSC points champ Joe Navar pulled out to run Ray Stringer's funny. Joe made a nice 7.7606/171.10 to Ray's troubled 11.16/74. The final pair of Q-1 was Keith Mauldin and Jacob Penner. Penner slid his way to a 7.8305/176.26 to Keith's sweet 7.6639/171.56. Rickey Weeaks Ford-powered altered had troubles in an earlier test pass and retired for the day.
Q-2 got going with Buck vs. Buck Jr. again. This time Buck went consistent, an 8.1266/167.10 as Buck Jr slowed 8.5630/147. Lyle Byrum's funny car made a great 7.6581/175 vs. Ricky Esparza'a slippery 10.09/75. Don David went solo (no time) when Christian Leffew's dragster came up lame when fired. Andy Mears startled on a 7.6151/180.36 against Joe Navar's under-index and ignored 7.4856/177.65. Ray Stringer's ignition problems continued, 8.4746/155 vs. Gary Hill's pass where no time was recorded. Keith Mauldin rolled the lights against Jacob Penner's officially ignored 7.4116/181.52.
So the SWSC Official Race Ladder looked like this: #1 Don David (.0038 off index!) would meet #8 Jacob Penner (.2305 off). #2 Andy Mears (.0151) would race #7 Ricky Esparza (.1676). #3 Lyle Byrum (.0581) would go after #6 Joe Navar (.1606). And #4 Keith Mauldin (.0639) would see #5 Gary Hill (.1274). #9 Buck Woolen (.5266), #10 Buck Woolen Jr (.5358), #11 Christian Leffew (.7228), and #12 Ray Stringer (.8746) would be the alternates for this event.
Round #1 Eliminations for the Southwest Superchargers began with #4 Keith Mauldin and #5 Gary Hill stoking their beasts for battle. Gary's 525-in Mopar prevailed with a 7.801 over Keith's 7.706. Next through the water box was #1 Don David vs. #8 Jacob Penner. Jacob slowed and could only go 7.9256 to Don's winning 7.701. Third pair was #2 Andy Mears and #7 Ricky Esparza. Andy broke the break-out rule with a 7.5711 and handed the win to Ricky's 7.8716. #3 Lyle fired to run #6 Joe Navar. Joe is the reigning SWSC points champ, Lyle the former points champ from 2013-2014. Now check out these times, the closest race in SWSC history, more than notable, positively historic. 7.5855 to 7.5856! Just One/Ten thousandth of a second different in elapsed time! BUT...double break-out, and Lyle's funny car jerked the frontrunners out of the lights at the hit for a red-light start. Joe Navar advanced after the drama. WOW, I love this group.
Rd #2 Elims cranked up as #1 Don David prepared to race #5 Gary Hill Don went red by .0003 and ran a sub 7.59 to Gary's winning 7.67 to go to the final. #6 Joe Navar met #7 Ricky Esparza in the other half of the semi-final round. Ricky's red light and 7.87 pass advanced Joe to the money round. I don't have a time for Joe in that round.
The SWSC final round came down to #5 Gary Hill, r.e.d. Truth Or Consequences, NM vs. Joe Navar, Dell City, Tx, also a back motored entry. In the other closest pass of the night, Joe lost by less than .010, his 7.63 behind Gary's 7.62. Joe also initiated the pass with a foul start (.3998 red), negating any further effort down track. Gary Hill the Winner for the SWSC June event!
Winner Gary Hill from T or C NM.
Runner Up Joe Navar.
Our Bonus Programs were awarded:
TR Chassis/ Esparza Race Cars Progressive Qualifier #7 Ricky Esparza
Good Vibrations Quick Light Award Don David (.413)
Gary Hill #1 Qualifier Bonus Don David
SWSC Best Pass to Index Gary Hill (7.62)
ATI Jet Quick Qualifier Don David
Mears Mazda Winner Bonus Gary Hill
Mears Mazda Runner-Up Bonus Joe Navar
Our Thanks to the Tate Branch Family of Dealerships and track owner Lyle Byrum for making it possible to have a quarter mile event for the fans and racers. Keep our sponsors in mind, they support drag racing!
We next travel to Pueblo, Colo. July 11, another 1/4 mile track. C'mon, we'll see you at the races!