- Published on Sunday, 28 April 2013 15:16
Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series Championship war is on!
NORWALK, Ohio – One sentence launched a Mallory Super Pro war on Saturday, April 27, 2013 in the Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
As Barney Barnhart, Wadsworth, Ohio, piloted the B'laster dragster through the rounds and bagged the 3:30 a.m. victory at the Funny Car Fox Hunt, he fueled his ride to the top with a burning desire.
“I’ve been blessed,” Barney Barnhart said. “I’ve had five track championships. And before I retire I want to make it six.
“I know when Kirby (McLennan) won last year, he tied me with five," Barney Barnhart said. "And that gave me the drive to try to get one more.”
Just in case Barney Barnhart forgot, Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park, and Queen of Diamonds Jet Dragster driver Jill Canuso honored Kirby McLennan and the other 2012 Mr. Gasket $50,000 Super Series champions in an on-track ring ceremony in the Fan Fest at the Funny Car Fox Hunt.
In the final round Barney Barnhart met A.J. Buchanan, Vickery, Ohio, who raced a first Mallory Super Pro event in a new-to-him silver 1987 Chevy S10 pickup with a 355 small block Chevy engine, a cooperative venture with Bruce Beard, Fremont, Ohio.
Barney Barnhart needed to mash metal and feel the splash at the end. So he launched off the tree with a 0.005-second reaction time and crossed the finish line on his 7.63-second dial in with a 0.004 cushion. Buchanan broke out by 0.008 seconds.
“It was good to be out. It was a long winter,” Barney Barnhart said. “I had a lot of family issues over the winter with health. It was good to be out and have a clear mind. It was a good time.
“We’re grateful for all of the people who have stood behind us, especially the last couple years when things weren’t going well,” Barney Barnhart said. “We hope to turn this around, make them proud they did.”
For 22 years in his position as maintenance manager at Remmington Products, which manufactures footwear, Barney Barnhart has used the B'laster products he represents at the track.
“I’ve been using B’laster my whole life,” Barney Barnhart said. “I remember my dad using it when I was young.
“I most definitely want to thank them,” Barney Barnhart said. “This is starting our sixth year. For a sponsorship to last that long is truly incredible. We wouldn’t have a lot of the good things we have if it wasn’t for them.”
Other than that desire to leave a lasting mark on motorsports, not much changed. During the quiet months, the dragster motor received refreshening as usual, Barney Barnhart said.
“Abruzzi Transmissions rebuilt and refreshed my transmission, rebuilt my converter, and made sure it was in good shape,” Barney Barnhart said. “He always does excellent work for us.
“I thank all of the people who help us,” Barney Barnhart said. “American Race Cars for building me a great car; Moser Engineering for building good rear end parts; and Summit Racing Equipment for being right down the street and giving us everything we need; R&R Auto Body for the paint job.
“And of course, my wife, Penny.”
Even Barney Barnhart’s little dog, Lucky Lucy, joined the fun.
“Lucy got her first winner’s circle picture last night,” Barney Barnhart said. “I’m blessed for all I have, and the people I have around me.
“The hardest thing about the weekend was Harlow Tire not being there,” Barney Barnhart said. “Harlow Tire has been there almost as long as I can remember. It’s hard to realize they’re not there any more.”
In Accel Sportsman delivered on time by TFC Transportation, Kevin Lampshire, Cleveland, reaped the rewards of winter projects with a kickoff event win driving his 1985 “No Regrets” Mercury Grand Marquis.
Kevin Lampshire won it at the tree, with a 0.030-second reaction time compared with James Ring, Sandusky, Ohio at 0.080 seconds.
“It was fantastic,” Kevin Lampshire said. “We had a lot of family there: Gene, his son and all of his kids were there. It was great. We had a nice time all day long, and it finished up well. It was perfect.”
Kevin Lampshire runs a 351 motor with a C-4 transmission with a 430 rear gear.
“Mark Frazier also races at Summit,” Kevin Lampshire said. “We talked last year and he rebuilt my transmission. It worked the best it’s ever been.
“Last year I won Sportsman on Father’s Day,” Kevin Lampshire said. “We finished fourth in points and we had gone to Indy for the first time with the bracket team. It’s been a good year.
“I appreciate the support from my wife, Debbie, and my brothers Gene and George, and the Island Gang of seven racers. We all get together on race day.
“It really makes everything special,” Kevin Lampshire said. “And the phone calls from everybody today (Sunday) really makes it nice.”
“It was a fun night,” Debbie Lampshire said.
In Hays Pro, the win light flashed to Rick Baehr, Wellington, Ohio when John Bailey, Wellington, Ohio broke out by 0.01 seconds.
One of two 2012 champions to reach the final round, Rick Poole, Akron, Ohio fell to Kevin Adams, Brunswick, Ohio in Wiseco/Cycle Tech Super Bike by a combined margin of 0.001 seconds.
Then in Lakewood Stock, David Davis, Columbus, Ohio accepted a red light gift from Doug Richards, Lorain, Ohio.
An all-lady sweep spiced competition in Bear Motorsports Junior Dragsters presented by Wiseco.
While Jaeden Durst, Fostoria, Ohio lined up as the second 2012 champion to reach the finals, the win light flashed to Nina Jacob, Sterling Heights, Mich., when Jaeden broke out by 0.006 seconds in Bear Motorsports Advanced Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco.
Courtney Grisez, Vermilion, Ohio won the battle by .014 seconds over Stephen Crowell, LaGrange, Ohio in Bear Motorsports Intermediate Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco.
Finally, in Bear Motorsports Novice Junior Dragster presented by Wiseco, Alexa Hurst followed her family’s smokey burnout trails by hauling home her first win in a double breakout decision over Simone Walker, Fostoria, Ohio.
For race results from the Funny Car Fox Hunt click here.
This week, the Mickey Thompson $7 Fun Night launches on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. The cost is $7 to race or watch. Gates open at 5 p.m.; time trials, 5:30 p.m.; race, 8:30 p.m. For information click on: I want to try drag racing!
On Friday, May 3, 2013, the VP Racing Fuels Test N' Tune opens the doors wide to all kinds of vehicles. The cost is $12. Gates open at 5 p.m.; time trials 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. For information click on: Get your E.T. slip for proof.
The next battle lines drawn for the Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series lines them up on Saturday, May 4, 2013. The Funny Car Fox Hunt mixed in extra fun, but this week we return to our regular schedule. For information click on: Bravehearts, enlist in the Finish Line Club.
Talk about talk. On Sunday, May 5, 2013 the High School Nationals rolls back the intent of the event so that everyone races a street legal vehicle. Get your bragging rights here! For more information click on: I've got what it takes to win this thing!