3/27/2007 Gateway-SCSS Street Car Shootout RESULTS!

Bret Kepner

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These results reflect the record holders, qualifiers, and final round contestants at each of the
SX Performance Street Car Shootout Series events held each Tuesday at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Tuesday SCSS Track Records can be set during official qualifying or championship rounds. The
Official Street Car Shootout qualifying period begins at 6:30 PM and concludes at 9:00 PM, (barring unforeseen circumstances). At 9:20 PM, the four quickest qualifiers meet in no-handicap eliminations with the championship final round held at 9:45 PM. Each of the Top 16 qualifiers receives a "Fastest Street Car Qualifier" decal. The SCSS trophies and decals are presented by SX Performance Fuel Systems. Additionally, the two quickest Sport Tuner drivers, (open to all passenger cars except Rear-Wheel-Drive vehicles with engines of six cylinders or more), also meet in a no-handicap championship round for trophies presented by St. Louis Street Racers.com and the two quickest Super Truck drivers, (open to all trucks and utility vehicles), meet in a no-handicap championship round for trophies presented by Gateway Raceway.com. All finalists in all categories also receive free digital images from the event courtesy of Bret Kepner Photos.com and one free entry to a future SCSS event.


GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, MADISON, ILLINOIS

2007 SX PERFORMANCE STREET CAR SHOOTOUT TRACK RECORDS

Class Name Hometown ST Vehicle Engine ET MPH Date
RWD Sam Moore, East Alton, IL 93 Mustang 352 Ford 8.584 9/26/2006
RWD Sam Moore, East Alton, IL 93 Mustang 352 Ford 161.25 7/18/2006

4CYL Jon Huber, St. Louis, MO 79 Mustang 178 Ford 9.714 10/3/2006
4CYL Jon Huber, St. Louis, MO 79 Mustang 178 Ford 143.17 10/3/2006

TRK Sam Moore, East Alton, IL 92 S-10 406 Chevy 9.613 10/17/2006
TRK Steven Gleghorn, Alton, IL 94 S-10 434 Chevy 140.44 9/26/2006

RTY Eric Cheatham, Belleville, IL 93 RX-7 79 Mazda 10.048 9/26/2006
RTY Eric Cheatham, Belleville, IL 93 RX-7 79 Mazda 137.95 9/26/2006

6CYL Rob Nolan, Granite City, IL 87 Regal 231 Buick 11.041 10/11/2005
6CYL Rob Nolan, Granite City, IL 87 Regal 231 Buick 124.56 4/11/2006

FWD Adam Corbitt, St. Charles, MO 85 Golf 122 Volks 11.473 9/5/2006
FWD Adam Corbitt, St. Charles, MO 85 Golf 122 Volks 126.95 5/30/2006

DSL Phillip Blackburn, Springfield, IL 03 2500 HD 403 Chevy 11.835 8/2/2005
DSL Phillip Blackburn, Springfield, IL 03 2500 HD 403 Chevy 114.29 8/2/2005

MARCH 27th, 2007 SX PERFORMANCE STREET CAR SHOOTOUT QUALIFIERS
Pos Name Hometown ST Vehicle Engine ET MPH Date

EVENT 01 03/27/2007

1 Steven Gentry Festus MO 65 Comet 557 Ford 8.811 153.30
2 Tony Buhl Lebanon IL 89 Mustang 306 Ford 9.807 138.46
3 Tony Huff Collinsville IL 69 Nova 540 Chevy 10.035 137.46
4 Joe Williams Maryville IL 72 Nova 454 Chevy 10.722 128.66
5 Raymond Arthur Edwardsville IL 67 Camaro 427 Chevy 10.842 122.61
6 Charles Bewen Wildwood MO 67 Firebird 383 Pont 11.005 128.91
7 Ken Hammelmann Manchester MO 02 Camaro 346 Chevy 11.820 118.14
8 Matt Dycus Edwardsville IL 79 Mustang 347 Ford 11.895 124.19
9 Chris Gosch Bunker Hill IL 07 Mustang 330 Ford 12.083 125.17
10 Jeff Fritz Florissant MO 01 Lightning 330 Ford 12.155 113.88
11 Eric Francosky Wildwood MO 94 RX-7 79 Mazda 12.354 123.77
12 Rusty Schneider Owensville MO 99 Mustang 281 Ford 12.375 112.86
13 James Tower Edwardsville IL 04 Mustang 281 Ford 12.550 115.19
14 Jon Gupton Washington MO 73 Dart 440 Dodge 12.807 108.11
15 Ed Komorek Collinsville IL 07 Mustang 281 Ford 12.823 110.01
16 Mike Bobelak Ballwin MO 96 Golf 171 Volks 12.914 117.73


MARCH 27th, 2007 SX PERFORMANCE STREET CAR SHOOTOUT FINAL ROUND

Pos Name Hometown ST Vehicle R.T. ET MPH

W Tony Buhl, Lebanon, IL 1989 306 Mustang 0.274 9.738 139.17
RU Tony Huff, Collinsville, IL 1968 540 Nova 0.452 10.543 134.44

The more things change, they more things stay the same; Tony Buhl, who earned his first season championship in the SX Performance Street Car Shootout Series in the final event of the 2006 season, kicked off his title defense with a resounding victory over Tony Huff, the man with whom he battled for the series crown last year. Buhl’s win came while racing under a new and more demanding SCSS series format in which the four quickest qualifiers compete in two rounds of eliminations. However, the Lebanon, Illinois, veteran was the most consistent of the top qualifiers en route to his second season-opening win, (his first came at the 2005 SCSS opener), and he has now earned at least one SCSS event title in each of the past three seasons.

Buhl’s Vortech-supercharged ‘89 Mustang ended the 2006 season with a career-best run of 9.94 seconds at 136.55 miles per hour during testing but the offseason provided at least one major surprise for the Buhl’s Automotive team. “Well, for one thing, we found out we have a 306-cubic inch engine!”, laughed Laurence Bass, Buhl’s team member and the 2004 SCSS Season Champ. “we always presumed this engine to be a 331-incher after we built it from a bunch of parts in the shop. When we tore it down for the winter, we made a few calculations and realized it was actually a 306“. Other than a freshened powerplant, the only noticeable change to the maroon Ford was new lettering thanking Tony‘s three children, all of whom pitched in for new tires and safety equipment as a present for Buhl’s fiftieth birthday during the winter break.

The 2007 SCSS season debuted under the warmest conditions in the four-year history of SCSS opening nights. While the temperature only varied seven degrees, (from a high of 77 to a low of 70), the evening included relatively poor atmospheric conditions with the corrected elevation ranging from 1900 feet above sea level to just over 1200 feet during the final rounds. However, a tailwind which occasionally gusted to 15 miles per hour accounted for a surprising number of career-best speeds. The first big number of timed trials came from Charles Bewen’s immaculate ’67 Firebird, (being crewed by four-time SCSS event winner Rod Overfelt), which hit an 11.102 at 123.08 mph in only the ninth pair down the Gateway asphalt. Bewen’s small block-powered Poncho opened the official qualifying period with a nearly identical 11.103/123.14 effort but was quickly overshadowed by the first SCSS pass since 2005 for Festus, Missourian Steven Gentry, whose 557-cubic inch 1965 Mercury Comet was returning to action on D.O.T.-approved rubber. The silver Merc’s first run, however, was a sputtering 10.54 at only 116 mph, far from the car’s best of 9.20/144.

Only three minutes later, Buhl’s Mustang pulled to the line and, with a wheelstanding launch, rocketed to a best-ever 9.807/138.46 blast to secure the low qualifying position. Although the run included a best-yet 6.30/112.91 eighth-mile, the Ford was all over the track in the final four hundred feet. “We’ve got a new anti-sway bar on the car”, said Buhl, “and it’s obviously not quite adjusted right. We’ll have to work on that!”. Buhl’s effort received no serious challenges for the next hour of qualifying despite repeated efforts by seven-time 2006 SCSS winner Tony Huff, whose silver ‘68 Chevy Nova ran into fuel delivery problems and could only manage a best of 10.03/137.46. “We moved up from last year’s 468-inch motor to a 540-inch Chevy this year”, said Huff, “and we switched to a three-speed automatic. We have some carburetor issues right now, though, and that‘s keeping me off the nitrous oxide. I can’t touch that button when it’s poppin’ and bangin’ like this!”.

Gentry returned for a second qualifying shot but his electrical nightmare continued when his behemoth simply stopped running two hundred feet off the starting line. “We’re trying to figure out the new Programmable 7”, noted a crewman, referring to the $1000 MSD Digital 7 Ignition Control, “and it’s not easy. We thought we had a handle on it for that run and then the thing goes and shuts itself off in the middle of the pass!”. Although his earlier 10.54 was holding for third position in the new four-car Shootout format, Gentry opted for one last attempt with three minutes remaining in the official qualifying period. Leaving the line with a brilliant 1.32-second sixty-feet Elapsed Time, the crew and the fans held their collective breath that the silver Comet would make a full pass. Gentry’s perseverance was rewarded with a huge cheer from the crowd when the scoreboards relayed an incredible 8.81 at 153.30 mph to become the second quickest and third fastest racer in SCSS history!

Shortly before the conclusion of qualifying, Buhl appeared trackside to chat with fellow SCSS Ford campaigner Greg “Hook-and-Ladder” Boschert. “I don’t think we’re going to run it”, intimated Buhl. When asked the problem, Buhl replied that oil pressure was down to twenty pounds at the conclusion of the 9.80 effort. Not more than ten minutes later, Buhl sent word to announcer “Radical Rich” Tivitt in the Gateway timing tower complex that he’d changed his mind and would compete in eliminations even with the problem!

The new SCSS format uses an NHRA Sportsman elimination schedule in which the low qualifier races against the third qualifier and the second qualifier squares off with the fourth qualified driver.
That put Gentry against Huff and Buhl against Joe Williams’ bright yellow ‘70 Nova which, after an easy opening pass, had clocked no less than three ten-second efforts with a best of 10.72/128.66. Buhl and Williams rolled into the waterbox first and, as if the oil pressure problem never existed, Buhl launched with a brutal 0.031-second Reaction Time and thundered to yet another career-best of 9.72 at 139.39 mph! Williams, whose 0.075 RT would normally have been enough for a sizeable holeshot, trailed with a consistent 10.78/126.82. In the other half of the semi-finals, Huff’s still-plagued Nova rolled into the beams against Gentry‘s eight-second monster. Huff’s Nova, still a member of the Bill Silva “Silva Bullet” Team, eased through a short burnout and quickly staged but Gentry, possibly unaware of the Chevy’s problems, cautiously staged as if prepared for one of Huff’s standard low nine-second blasts. Incredibly, the Mercury pilot left the line ninety-eight thousandths of a second before the green light illuminated, throwing away all hopes of victory. After an even quicker 1.31-second sixty-feet ET, Gentry shut down in disgust as Huff advanced to the final round with a coughing 10.33/136.93.

“The oil pressure’s down to TEN pounds now”, yelled Buhl to son Robbie as he rolled to a stop in front of the main grandstands to prepare for the final round. Meanwhile, Huff, Silva, and SCSS ET and Speed Record Holder Sam Moore huddled over the engine of the Nova in a frantic attempt to solve the Chevy’s carburetion nightmare. Twenty minutes later, the two began their tire-heating burnouts having decided to ignore all distractions. On the launch, Buhl gained an eighteen hundredths of a second holeshot and, as Huff’s Chevy again began to cough, streaked to a 9.73/139.17 victory over the Nova’s 10.54/134.44.

“Well, the oil pressure’s down to FIVE pounds now!”, laughed Buhl as he celebrated his fifth SCSS event title in the winner’s circle, “but it was worth it to start the season off like this. I really like the new format; there’s a lot more racing now and it’s definitely tougher. The fact that we’re racing for free entry to the next event is nice, too. I don’t really think the engine is hurt…it sure didn’t run like it was hurt…but we’ll have to check it out when we get home just to be sure.” For Huff, it was obvious the winningest SCSS driver would have plenty to do in the next week. “We have a lot more horsepower this year and the fact that it ran 10.03 without nitrous when it still wasn’t right says a lot. The new four-car program is going to be interesting, though. A lot can happen when you’re racing two rounds!”.






NOTES FROM THE SCSS: Plenty of attention was paid to Chris Gosch at the wheel of Bill Stewart’s Bunker Hill, Illinois-based 2007 Shelby Cobra GT500 Mustang. The blue-on-white 450-horsepower beauty, sponsored by Ted’s Motorcycle World in Alton, IL, clocked a best ET of 12.08 but repeatedly hit speeds over 120 mph, including an ungodly best of 125.17 mph!…Ed Komorek’s sleek red 2007 Roush Mustang also qualified for the Super Sixteen field with a best of 12.82/110.01...Another machine posting big speeds was the 347-inch ‘79 Mustang of Matt Dycus which picked up where it left off at the final event of 2006 with an 11.89/124.19 best…Longtime SCSS racer Rusty Schneider’s Owenville, Missouri, ’99 Mustang qualified twelfth with a best of 12.37/112.86 but the 281-inch Ford would’ve been ninth in the field had his first run been made one minute later. Schneider clocked an 11.93 at 116.12 mph on the very last pair of timed trials before qualifying began!…Jon Gupton’s his 440 ’73 Dodge Dart into the show with a 12.80/108.11...The event marked the thirty-fourth time Tony Huff has qualified for the Super Sixteen since he first made the field on April 20th, 2004, in the third SCSS event ever; he‘s the only driver with more than thirty “Fastest Street Car” qualifier decals. Tony Buhl made the show for the twenty-sixth time, as well…Taking the early-season lead for the title “Most Expensive Tuesday Night Vehicle” was Darrel Tooklooze, whose ’98 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG, (powered by a naturally-aspirated 262-cubic inch, 305 hp V8), ran a best of 14.93/95.71--almost exactly the same as the test numbers when the “little Benz” was released. The car retailed for $55,000 back then; no word on the price of the baby carrier which occupied Darrel’s back seat…The quickest six-cylinder machine at the event was Mike Bobelak’s outrageous Front-Wheel-Drive ‘96 VW Golf GTi 2.8L turbocharged entry which ran 12.91 at a ****ping 117.83 but had managed a 12.86 at 118.81 mph during early timed trials. The VW was followed by Zachery Lange’s 2000 Audi S4 which used a twin-turbocharged 177-inch motor and All-Wheel-Drive to run 13.72/100.16.




SX PERFORMANCE STREET CAR SHOOTOUT SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS (as of MARCH 28th, 2007)

Pos Points Name Hometown ST Vehicle Engine

1 (2) Steven Gentry Festus MO 65 Comet 557 Ford
2 (2) Tony Buhl Lebanon IL 89 Mustang 306 Ford
3 (2) Tony Huff Collinsville IL 69 Nova 540 Chevy
4 (2) Joe Williams Maryville IL 72 Nova 454 Chevy
5 (1) Raymond Arthur Edwardsville IL 67 Camaro 427 Chevy
6 (1) Charles Bewen Wildwood MO 67 Firebird 383 Pont
7 (1) Ken Hammelmann Manchester MO 02 Camaro 346 Chevy
8 (1) Matt Dycus Edwardsville IL 79 Mustang 347 Ford
9 (1) Chris Gosch Bunker Hill IL 07 Mustang 330 Ford
10 (1) Jeff Fritz Florissant MO 01 Lightning 330 Ford
11 (1) Eric Francosky Wildwood MO 94 RX-7 79 Mazda
12 (1) Rusty Schneider Owensville MO 99 Mustang 281 Ford
13 (1) James Tower Edwardsville IL 04 Mustang 281 Ford
14 (1) Jon Gupton Washington MO 73 Dart 440 Dodge
15 (1) Ed Komorek Collinsville IL 07 Mustang 281 Ford
16 (1) Mike Bobelak Ballwin MO 96 Golf 171 Volks

NOTE: Points toward the 2007 Street Car Shootout Series Season Championship are awarded on the basis of one (1) point for qualifying in the Super Sixteen field with one (1) bonus point awarded for qualifying in the top four positions.




MARCH 27th, 2007 STLSR.COM SPORT TUNER SHOWDOWN FINAL ROUND

Pos Name Hometown ST Vehicle R.T. ET MPH

W Eric Francosky, Wildwood, MO 1994 79 RX7 0.311 12.440 122.56
RU Mike Bobelak, Ballwin, MO 1996 171 Golf Gti 0.077 13.090 118.74

The black turbocharged Mazda RX7 of Eric Francosky may have only seemed familiar to those fans who’ve followed the SCSS since its inception but the Wildwood, Missouri, ace made a grand return to the track while winning his first trophy in the St. Louis Street Racing.com Sport Tuner Showdown Series. In the first year of SCSS racing, Francosky was one of the original Sport Tuner stars clocking twelve-second runs as early as June of 2004. After a long absence, the black rotary showed with even more horsepower on tap.

Much talk centered around the newest entry in the Polk Audio racing stable, the black ‘96 Volkswagen Golf GTi VR6 of Mike Bobelak. The Ballwin, Missouri, resident stunned the frozen fans at the first O’Reilly Auto Parts Icebreaker testing event on March 17th by running 119 mph speeds…in heavy snow flurries! The 171-cubic inch Front-Wheel-Drive rig once again overpowered the track, however, while clocking 13.09 at an insane 118.80 mph in the second pair of timed trials to become the fastest FWD six-cylinder ever in the STSS program. He returned for two more runs before the official start of the qualifying period to hit a 13.28/118.81 and an improving 12.86 at 118.30. “It just will not hook up in second and third gears”, noted Bobelak after the first few passes, “and it’s all I can do to feather the throttle enough to make it steerable”.

Once qualifying was underway, Francosky took over. His first run of 12.35 at a ****ping 123.77 mph gave notice that the RX7 was more than a contender. Applying more power on his second attempt, a tire-spinning 12.90/11.57 proved that the Wildwood rotary pilot would be forced to leave the line slipping the clutch for more than one hundred feet before finding enough traction to begin a top-end charge. By the end of the qualifying period, Francosky led the field by a sizeable margin. Bobelak’s black VW had clocked an official best of 12.91/117.73 for the second spot, followed by Bill Simpson‘s infamous yellow RWD ‘91 Toyota “Mister Two”, (13.09/108.28), two-time STSS finalist Jon Blaylock’s yellow AWD ‘03 Mitsubishi Evo VIII, (13.23/105.38), the double RX7 effort of the Hansen family, Lee and Tristan, (13.32/111.42 and 13.38/113.10, respectively), and the 2003 SRT4 Dodge Neons of Adam Goldman, (13.44/109.77), and Steve Sweet, (13.57/109.64). A notable effort came from Jeff Smith‘s surprising 110-cubic inch ‘95 Honda Del Sol which clocked a best of 13.68 at an impressive 112.85 mph.

Just after the conclusion of qualifying, Francosky made a late timed trial and, still experiencing traction woes, hit a 13.18/122.74. However, when the Mazda and the Volkswagen pulled to the starting line for the championship round forty minutes later, spectators were fully aware the black Golf could nearly match the RX7 in top-end horsepower and that driving ability, in the form of a deft clutch foot, could be the difference in the outcome. When the Golf jumped to a nearly quarter-second holeshot with a tremendous 0.077 RT, the fans were quickly on their feet. Francosky was alongside the VW at three hundred feet when the two-three shift resulted in a clean gear change even though the shifter knob came off in Francosky‘s hand! Regardless, Eric grabbed the shifter stalk with his fist and banged through the gears to arrive at the stripe ahead of the tire-spinning Golf, 12.44/122.56 to a losing 13.09/118.74. The cheers for the victorious rotary were the loudest for any winner!

“I couldn’t believe it when the knob came off!”, said an excited Francosky during trophy presentations in front of the main grandstands. “I was trying to pay attention to where he was and trying keep ahold of the shifter at the same time”. And where has Francosky been since 2004? “Well, originally I took the engine apart at the end of that first season to start building it up”, recalled the Wildwood college student, “but then I was sitting at a stoplight and was rearended by a woman in a Suburban. The car was just about totaled but I decided to rebuild it. That’s what I’ve been doing all this time. I did it all myself!”.






MARCH 27th, 2007 GATEWAYRACEWAY.COM SUPER TRUCK SHOWDOWN FINAL ROUND

Pos Name Hometown ST Vehicle R.T. ET MPH

W Jeff Fritz, Arnold, MO 2001 330 Lightning 0.549 12.182 114.08
RU Matt Hamilton, St. Louis, MO 2001 330 Lightning 0.149 13.241 104.90

Jeff Fritz won the second GatewayRaceway.com Super Truck Showdown title ever contested back on May 17th, 2005, and his show-quality 2001 Ford Lightning has always been a contender but the three-time STKS finalist had a bit more power to show for the 2007 season-opener. “I’m trying out a small 50 horsepower nitrous system tonight”, said the Arnold, Missouri, racer, “and I’d really like to get in the eleven-second zone with this thing”. The Stiegemeier Engine Air Flow-sponsored pickup eventually led qualifying but, as might be expected, an even bigger story occurred before qualifying ever began.

Hal Marshall, the undisputed king of Tuesday Night with twenty wins and seven runners-up in the thirty-eight Super Truck Showdown events contested, had a rough winter. The Collinsville, Illinois superstar suffered a mild heart attack and, as therapy, spent most of the offseason rebuilding his 383-cubic inch power plant to match the performance of STKS Record Holders Sam Moore and Steven Gleghorn. Marshall’s familiar white ’86 S-10 pulled to the line for a rare timed trial before qualifying and, in one pass, vindicated all his winter work by shattering his own 10.49/128.60 personal bests with a remarkable 10.25 at 132.24 mph! Marshall made his first official qualifying attempt forty minutes after the qualifying period began but, after his trademark mega-burnout, found himself with a fried transmission on the starting line. The damage was substantial enough to entail withdrawal from the event.

Fritz led the field with a best of 12.15/113.88 followed by the similar supercharged 2001 Lightning of St. Louisan Matt Hamilton at 13.02/106.04. In the final round, Fritz’s decided horsepower advantage suffered a serious blow when Hamilton strapped a four-tenths-of-a-second holeshot on the blue-flamed pickup. It took the first four hundred feet of the racetrack before Fritz had a noticeable lead but the “sprayed” blown motor took a 12.18/114.08 to 13.24/104.90 win.

Hamilton was ecstatic and surprised with his runner-up showing, admitting, “I really just came out tonight to work on my reaction times to get ready for the new Supercharged Showdown class on Friday nights (beginning April 6th). My truck’s basically stock so I was pretty happy with the performance, too”. Fritz acknowledged his “late leave” but explained, “I was hoping to win but I really, really wanted to run in the elevens, too. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t redlight”. Fritz also noted that his season may be substantially shortened. “My wife and I are expecting a child in just a few months so that will probably end my season early. I plan to be out as many times as I can until then, though”.





Photos of the March 27th SX Performance Street Car Shootout Series event are now available for viewing at Bret Kepner Photos.com.




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Tony Buhl, Lebanon, IL 1989 306 Mustang

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Tony Huff, Collinsville, IL 1968 540 Nova

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Eric Francosky, Wildwood, MO 1994 79 RX7

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Mike Bobelak, Ballwin, MO 1996 171 Golf GTi

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Jeff Fritz, Arnold, MO 2001 330 Lightning

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Matt Hamilton, St. Louis, MO 2001 330 Lightning
 
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