JOE NAVAR CONTINUES HIS WINNING WAYS @ ALBUQUERQUE
2016 Tate Branch Southwest Superchargers Points Champion Joe Navar won the SWSC race April 9 @ Albuquerque Dragway. He took home top honors over a tough 12-car field of well known windmill warriors.
Q-1 started as Andy Mears and Janna Skinner fired to be the first down this well-groomed high-altitude track on the Southeast mesa in Albuquerque. Janna's usually consistent mount grenaded a transmission (slight exaggeration-no mess), 6.3286/74 as Andy displayed a 4.7742/145.73. Nice start on the 4.60 index. Next up was recent R/U Buck Woolen Jr vs. Ricky Esparza in his slingshot. Ricky went a great 4.6916/146.63 to Bucks ladder-topping 4.5977/250! (or so the clocks said). The return of The Quick Thrill Gary Hill and his 525 c.i.d. Mopar Wedge yielded a 4.8452/143.40 to Jacob Penner's 4.9630/113.07. Joe Navar went a too-quick 4.5470/152.44 against Christian Leffew's 4.7972/144.18 in Sue Stringers former TAD car.
Don David displayed a sweet 4.7209/146.68 vs. Lyle Byrum's way-under 4.4437/157.78, officially ignored. And Rickie Weeaks small block Ford-powered '23t made a nice 4.9232/143.08. Best pass ever for Rickie? Nice 'n' straight. Expected participants Buck Woolen Sr. and Paul Roybal didn't make it after all.
Second Round Qualifying began with Ricky Esparza again going 4.6953. Don David left early, no time. Andy Mears made a 4.6820/151.72. Joe Navar went a fantastic 4.6160/144.74. Gary Hill did a 4.7379/145.82. Christian Leffew had a faux pas, 5.7363/88. Rickie Weeaks went 5.1405/117.40, a little crossed up. Lyle Byrum got in the program with his 4.5028/156.52. Jacob Penner made a soft 5.0643/108. Buck Jr. sat this qualifier out, and Janna Skinner couldn't return.
The SWSC Magic Abbacus revealed the 8-car ladder to start with Buck Woolen Jr, who made the closest pass to index in qualifying of just .0023 under, 4.5977. His opponent in Rd 1 was to be #8 Christian Leffew, .197 off. #2 Joe Navar (.016) would get #7 Gary Hill (.137). #3 Andy Mears (.082) would run #6 Don David (.120), again. These two have raced each other more times than John Force and Ron Capps. #4 Ricky Esparza (.091) would meet #5 Lyle Byrum (.097).
Rd 1 Eliminations got under way as #1 Buck Woolen Jr fired his fresh 496 bbc to meet #8 Christian Leffew. Christian chopped the tree DOWN (.004!) but to no avail as Bucks winning 4.7322/143.18 took the win over Christians softer 4.8672/143.04. Next up #3 Andy Mears met #6 Don David. Andy advanced on his 4.7642/146.20 over Dons quicker 4.7137/145.87! Here fearing for my journalistic life I refuse to speculate on the cause. The third pair of the round was #2 Joe Navar vs. #7 Gary Hill. Joes quicker 4.6294/143.49 was too much for The Thrill who ran a 4.6970/146.77. Finally #4 Ricky Esparza ran against #5 Lyle Byrum . Lyle took, the win with a close 4.6101/152.65 to Ricky's razor-thin loss on a 4.6359/148.81. Margin, .0183. You guys are the best.
Rd 2 began as #1 Buck Woolen fired to meet #5 Lyle Byrum. Bucky's trans brake solenoid went South, Red Light. Lyle went on to a 4.5596/151.77. #2 Joe Navar met #3 Andy Mears in the other half of the semi-final round. Joe advanced on the basis of his close 4.6212/144.56 to Andy's 4.7494 (red light start and metal in the oil).
The SWSC Final saw two former SWSC Points Champions go head to head. Joe had the qualifying advantage, but Lyle was running the number. At the hit, Lyle went red by .0002! And Joe rattled the tires so hard the lettering almost slid off the car! Instant win for 2016 SWSC Points Champion Joe Navar and the Family! Both e.t.s were unremarkable and not note worthy, but what a final. Thanks, Guys!
The Tate Branch Dealerships Junior Dragster Bonus Program was in effect at ALB Dragway. Winner of the race was Tomas Martinez. He won on a 7.97 dial. Runner Up for the day was Nikk Jones. Nikk red lighted in the final and ran 9.83. Nikk is the grandson of local Super Pro racer Wendy Reisland and husband Randy. Tate Branch Congratulations to both our Junior Dragster drivers!
Weather was pretty good, considering what we expected (windy but not explosive). Temp was great, ALB Staff performed flawlessly, track condition was excellent! Thanks again, ALB. Also, an Extra SWSC Thanks to Homes By Labatte, Luigi's Stone, Precision Transmissions, B&G Repair of Albuquerque, Nu Signs and Alan and Janna Skinner for their help bringing the Southwest Superchargers back to ALB Dragway. We appreciate it!
OK, Race Fans, next month we return to the City of Aliens, Roswell N.M. Be there May 6th at Alien City Dragway for all the best the SWSC has! See you at the races!
Thanks to all our SWSC Ad Partners and helpers!
OK, SWSC Race fans, it's off to Albuquerque Dragway April 9. From the best elevation on our schedule, to the highest. Time to work on your tune-up! C'mon, we'll have a great time!
The Navar Family. Joe Navar was our winner in Albuquerque. Way to begin the title defense!
Lyle Byrum and his team were the Runner Up in Albuquerque. Thank you for your support guys!!
Mears Mazda Winner Bonus Joe Navar
Mears Mazda Runner-Up Bonus Lyle Byrum
ATI Jet Quick Qualifier Lyle Byrum 4.502
TR Chassis Progressive Qualifier #5 Lyle Byrum
Good Vibrations Quick Light Bonus Christian Leffew (.004)
And our Thanks again this season to Tate Branch Auto Group of Southern New Mexico
Our thanks to all our partners/sponsors! Tate Branch Family of Dealerships, Good Vibrations, ATI Jet, Gary Hill, Gary Smith, TR Chassis, Gary & Mark Jones Racing Engines and Andy Mears from Mears Mazda.