Someone did a good job on ordering up the weather for June 16th’s Super Saturday race at Atco Raceway, it could be described with no other word besides… perfect!! One drawback to the perfect weather was the sun beating down relentlessly on the track, as there were barely any clouds in the sky. We saw some high track temps which made it tricky for teams during the second round of qualifying. Rumor has it (and we have to stress the rumor part, did we mention this is only a rumor?) that qualifying for Radial and Outlaw classes may be pushed back later in the day at the next race, similar to what we see at Super Saturday’s counterpart down at Cecil County Dragway.
June 16th,2012, Atco Super Saturday Photo Galleries. Scroll to the end for qualifying and run sheets.
This event’s Outlaw 10.5 class was sponsored by Precision Powdercoating, which is headed up by Steve Gorman also of Precision Transmissions in Pennsauken, NJ. Gorman’s sweet red Skinny Kid Mustang has been on fire lately, he earned the #5 qualifying spot with a 4.481@184mph pass. Gorman has been steadily improving this season with some assistance from Jamie Miller, tuning the J&E Powered powerplant and sporting a Pro Torque converter that many a turbo team have been having success with. Many of Gorman’s friends, family, and work buddies were on hand to enjoy the festivities from the comfort of the Atco VIP suite, which is always available to the event title sponsors. TJ Kasper was back at the track, after scraping the wall at Cecil during last month’s finals, to take the #4 qualifying spot with a 4.424 @ 181mph pass. The #3 qualifier has been in our news a lot lately, you would have noticed his stunning Blue with white stripes ’69 Camaro going higher up on the qualifying ladder and further during eliminations as the race season goes on. That driver would be Lou Sciortino, who’s Musi powered, nitrous-fed ride made a 4.415 pass to earn him a solid #3 qualifying spot. Sciortino has been putting in a lot of wrench and track time, and the work is paying off. In the number two spot was the second half of the Gil Christy Motorsports team, Tom Kasper, with a 4.407 @ 185mph, wheels up qualifying pass. The Kasper & Christy team were hard at work all week on TJ’s car, and were happy to have both cars in the top half of the field. Taking the number one spot for the day was Larry Wood, who came off the trailer and blazed down the track with a 4.256 @ 189mph pass on the first qualifier, setting the bar high early on.
With an 11 car field, the decision was made to go all-run. Starting out eliminations was Mo Hall and our sponsor, Steve Gorman. Mo was deadly on the tree as usual, had the jump on Gorman and never looked back, running a 4.441 to Gorman’s 4.492. Gorman would unfortunately be joining his buddies in the tower for the rest of the day as an onlooker. Second pair was Billy Mitchell vs. Lou Sciortino, two of the hardest working Outlaw 10.5 teams out there. Billy has a great partner and crew chief in his wife Wendy, who pieced this car together on their own and came out to run a 4.397 to take the win against Lou Sciortino, who was off the pace a little bit with a 4.506. Mitchell’s wheels were in the air for this past and we knew we would see some improvement on this new combination, as not much power was in the car. Brad Harris faced Frank Soldridge in his Outlaw Radial car, both having some trouble but Harris would take the win wiht a 4.679@165mph pass. TJ Kasper faced John Fisher’s ’69 Camaro and made it look easy, Kasper a little later on the tree than usual but his 4.391@183 would hold up to Fisher’s 4.540. Charlie Dolbin, winner from last month’s race, faced Tom Kasper. Tommy went .005 red trying to get the jump on Dolbin, Dolbin sported a round best .028 reaction time and 4.388@176mph run to take the win. Larry Wood’s #1 qualifier spot earned him a competition bye in the first round, which he ran the round’s fastest and quickest shot, a 4.328 @ 188.07mph.
The second round of Outlaw 10.5 began with a Fulton powered, Nitrous fed matchup between Mo Hall and Charlie Dolbin. This one was all Mo, a .016 reaction time and a little trouble down the track, but not as much as Dolbin. Mo’s 4.83 at a measly 120mph took the win. Larry Wood probably didn’t touch much in the car between rounds as far as tuneups go, and ran a 4.343 @ 187mph to take the win over Brad Harris’ Mustang, who went 4.745. TJ Kasper put the power in, and would be the first to run quicker than Larry Wood for the day, with a 4.342 pass to take the win over Billy Mitchell’s Vette. Mitchell went a personal best 4.381, which is impressive considering the amount of runs on the car and the conservative tuneup that was in the car. Both Billy and wife Wendy were all smiles on the day, looking forward to the next race to really put the screws to it.
The semi-finals began with the matchup that everyone was waiting to see, the two quickest cars of the day squaring off against each other – TJ Kasper and Larry Wood. Wood began to get squirrely and had to get out of it, TJ Kasper tore down the track for a race quickest 4.274 pass to earn a spot in the finals. Mo Hall made it to the line to take the tree on a bye, and earn his spot to the finals. Mo and crew chief Steve Berger were working their tails off between rounds on the transmission in Mo’s car.
The fans are always excited to see a Turbo versus Nitrous match-up in the finals, and today were not let down. (Let’s face it, we get excited too, that means we have parity in the class and the rulemakers are doing an awesome job!) TJ Kasper lined up against Mo Hall. Mo absolutely killed the tree with a .012 light in the right lane, until he got into some nasty tire shake about 80 feet out and ended up finishing the race in the left lane behind TJ. TJ ran the race fastest pass, a 4.375 at a blistering 190mph, to take home the win for the day, the trophy, and the big $5,000 check. The Christy & Kasper racing team were elated to be back in the winner’s circle after a not-so-happy ending at Cecil County just a few weeks ago. K&K Advanced Door Car Technologies and the Kasper family rushed their tails off on the car to get it back to the track ASAP, we’d say they did a damn good job!
Outlaw 8.5 is an exciting new class, making its first appearance at the Super Saturday series. Like the other heads up classes, this is yet another class where tire is the limiting factor, in this case, all cars are appearing on an 8.5 inch wide slick and running 1/8th mile. Want to see just how small these tires are? Click here to be taken to a picture courtesy of Atco Raceway, comparing tire sizes. Being our first time covering this class, we had no basis of what to expect as far as elapsed times go. After one round of qualifying, we were hooked! Wayne Welsh had the most interesting appearing ride of the day, an ’85 Ranger, he brought up the rear of the pack with a 6.495. Angelo Valla was pulling double duty between 8.50 Index and Outlaw 8.5, he had some trouble in qualifying with the little tires and came in the 5th spot with a 6.171. Sal Arena ran #4 with a 6.007 @ 122mph. Bringing up the top half of the field in the #3 spot was Anthony Gentiluomo in the Mouth Racing camp with a 5.973@126mph. #2 beloned to Eric Luckenbauer, running a 5.713 @ 121mph. Blowing the doors off the competition in qualifying was Petey Smallblock in the .net Boyz camp, who ran a 5.271 @ 142mph in his beautiful Camaro. Wait a second.. Petey ran with the scoreboards turned on?? That’s a first for us!
The story of the day goes to Petey Smallblock, all around. Petey made quick work of Wayne Welsh in the first round, going 5.206 @ 142mph, earning a bye in the semi finals. He didn’t merely break the beams though, he put the power to it and ran the class fastest and quickest pass of the day at 5.186 @ 142.51. In the finals, it was a classic matchup that you would find on a Grudge racing night, the .net Boyz versus the Mouth Racing camp. Petey took on the #3 qualifier Anthony Gentiluomo. Gentiluomo had a .034 advantage on Petey at the tree, but Petey was able to drive around and take home the win for the day with a 5.499 @ 137mph run. Congratulations to Petey Smallblock and team, with another hard earned trip to the Winner’s Circle.
X275 Drag Radial
With the loyal following that X275 has developed across the country, this explosive class has the leaders of the pack right in our own back yard! Rich Bruder and family, along with the tuning prowess of Mustang Mike Modeste, were once again at the top of the qualifying field in their Procharged Mustang, with a 4.699 at a staggering 159.59mph. At the time, this pass set both ends of the X275 track record at Atco. Right behind team Bruder was Ron Rhodes, another usual face at the top of the qualifying ladder and the last winner at Atco, with a 4.901 @ 144mph pass. Smiling ear to ear after earning the #3 qualifying spot was Brendan Mills, who made a sub-5 second pass for the first time in his racing career, a 4.959 @ 147mph. Brendan’s has really stepped up his game, making vast improvement since being completely overhauled from being a regular in the 10.0 Index class. Brendan has been getting some valuable assistance from John Balinsky at OAB Racing, who keeps making the headlines with his tuning abilities on just about any combination. Crazy Bob Clayton rounded out the top half of the field, also in the 4’s, with a 4.981 @ 142.61mph. Taking the #5 through #8 spots, in order were Dave Valora, Dave Acker, Marcus Thompson, and Vince Palazzolo.
Vince Palazzolo faced Rich Bruder in the first round, and did all he could to get the jump on Bruder. Unfortunately for Vince, that meant going .001 red and fouling out, giving Bruder the win. Bruder ran a 4.847 @ 158mph. Crazy Bob Clayton made quick work of Dave Valora at the tree, with a .041 advantage, and never looked back, his 5.013 pass taking him to the semi-finals to meet Bruder. Ron Rhodes was a bit late on the tree against Marcus Thompson, but made up ground and ran a 4.894 pass, only a few hundreths behind Bruder’s pass of that round. Finishing up the round was Dave Acker and Brendan Mills, Mills went .002 red, but still was high on life for hitting the 4 second range in X275.
Semi final action lined up Rich Bruder versus Crazy Bob Clayton. Clayton went .002 red against Bruder, who had Clayton covered with a 4.739 @ 158mph pass. Ron Rhodes ran a 4.915 @ 143mph after Dave Acker went big time red, -.064.
Final round action brought our #1 and #2 qualifiers to face each other, giving the fans a good show for their money. Ron Rhodes put all the power he could in the car but it was too much, he got back in the gas but unfortunately Rich Bruder was long gone by then, resetting the track record on his pass in the finals with a 4.686 @ 159mph pass. Team Bruder was once again in the Winner’s circle, notching a win for the boosted this month at Atco in X275.
Fonse Performance and Dependable Landscaping once again brought us 8.50 Index action on Super Saturday, the sponsors for the entire season, putting up a hefty purse for the 24 8.50 Index racers on the property to try and win. Al Fonse had his wheels hanging high all day, and earned the #6 qualifier spot with a 8.531 in his Silver Camaro. Right behind him was Paul Cottone, a familiar face from 10.0 Index, figuring out a new combination in the 8.50 Index class. We’ll have to say that he definitely has it figured out, also running a smooth 8.531 pass for the #7 spot. Rob Poochigian, getting more consistent every outing, pulled in the #8 spot with a 8.547. Alan Davidowski, a reigning champion in 8.50 Index, took the #5 spot with an 8.529. Harry Gerb in the shiney H&J Motorsports Firebird, was right where he usually is in the top of the field, this time a #4 qualifying spot with a 8.528. Marty Brown Jr, aka Lil Man, did a fantastic job behind the wheel and made a near perfect 8.508 pass to take the #3 qualifier spot. Dan Purdy, sat at the top of the list with an 8.507 pass until Mike Romeo came around in the second round of qualifying and put up a perfect 8.500 pass to take the #1 qualifier spot. Romeo, a seasoned veteran and multi-time champion of the 10.0 Index class, has dabbled in 8.50 Index in past races but is here to stay, we’re glad to see him turn up the heat on the class!
There were many passes to note in the first round of eliminations, starting with Marty Brown. Lil Man nailed the tree with an .013 light to take a first round win. Paul Cottone was left behind at the tree but able to drive around Brian Ferrari and upset the seasoned veteran, Cottone’s 8.520 pass was dead on the money to Ferrari’s 8.614. Bill Verzilli with the help of his hard working son and our friend Sue watching from above, took a solid round win with an 8.646 pass and .021 reaction time. Angelo Valla, pulling double duty today, squeaked out a very close win against Zach Obert. Obrt went 8.546 with a .021 reaction time, Valla just got by with an 8.536 and .029 reaction time. Al Fonse made quick work of the tree with an .017 light then lifted as his competition was too far behind, avoiding the breakout. Mark Bowen also doing the same, a .035 light but getting out of it early. Mike Romeo moved on to the next round as his competitor broke at the line.
Romeo was back in action in the second round, taking on the dangerous Craig Buscio. Romeo nailed the tree with a .038 and won with a 8.522 to Buscio’s breakout 8.483. Al Fonse was perfect on the tree with a .000 against Paul Cottone, but Cottone drove around and won in a double breakout situation. Bill Verzilli took out the #2 qualifier Dan Purdy in another double breakout situation, Verzilli 8.479 to Purdy 8.471. Harry Gerb made a single, running it out the back door for an 8.472 to see where he was. Al Davidowski and Mark Bowen were in another double breakout situation, Al had Mark at the tree with a small advantage, and Bowen went too fast trying to catch him. Marty Brown finsihed off the round with a single.
Mike Romeo lined up against Paul Cottone to begin the third round of eliminations, both racers making it through some tough competition to that point. Romeo left with a .016 advantage over Cottone and Paul was not able to get around him, Mike took the win with an 8.570 pass. Lil Man lined up against Harry Gerb from the H&J camp, left on Harry, and took the stripe, winning with an excellent 8.510 run to Harry’s 8.520. Al Davidowski and Bill Verzilli left at near identical times, but Verzilli broke out and Davidowski moved on to the semi-finals to face Marty Brown. Brown was dead late against Davidowski and broke out trying to catch him, Davidowski’s solid 8.510 run with an .017 reaction time earned him a spot to the finals.
As Mike Romeo and Al Davidowski pulled to the beams in the finals, it was anyone’s race, as both racers were seasoned veterans in quite a few classes of racing. The tree dropped, and Al Davidowski left with a mere .001 advantage over Romeo. Romeo caught up, we saw some fender to fender racing, and the win light came on in Romeo’s lane. Romeo ran an 8.509 pass with .015 reaction, to Al Davidowski’s 8.159 with .014 reaction. A fantastic showing in 8.50 Index for both teams, and a well deserved win for the Romeo family.
Ungaro Brothers racing were on hand to sweeten up the purse in 10.0 Index at Super Saturday, of which 23 cars showed up to try and take home the cash. Mark Plucinski and team were at the top as usual, fresh off some recent wins and taking the #7 qualifying spot with a 10.051. In fact, the top 13 cars in the field were all in the 10.0x range, quite impressive! Billy Gibbs took the #6 spot with the assistance of Bill Dutka, running a 10.046. Doug Frisch was back on the 1320 in his show-ready Nova, taking the #5 spot with a 10.044. Craig Curtis earned #4 with a 10.031, while Harry Lutz went 10.030 for the #2 spot. Bill Gorafsky made the long ride to the track and earned a solid #2 qualifier spot with a 10.027. Carey Cable, no stranger to success in 10.0 Index, was right at the top of the field in the #1 spot with a 10.019 pass.
Impressive passes in the first round of eliminations started out with Steve Verhille, who went 10.013 in the win against Neil Danks. Billy Gibbs was on his game with a 10.094 pass and .026 reaction time. Mo Balduc surprisingly lost with a 10.029 pass, he was dead late against Carl Ungaro who went a 10.075 with a .004 reaction time. Brian Grinnell, driving his father Lee’s wagon, made it out of the first round with a 10.058 pass.
#1 qualifier Carey Cable unfortunately did not make it past round 2, where he was dead late against Brian Grinnell. Brian has been on fire in the wheelstanding Wagon, running 10.058 and 10.074 passes during eliminations, getting past some extremely difficult racers, and making it all the way to the final round to line up against Steve Verhille. Grinnell literally has only 30 something passes ever under his belt, and to go that far in such a difficult class says worlds about the talent he has as a racer. We look forward to covering his entire racing career for the next few decades! Brian currently works at S&W Race Cars and you’ll see his wagon featured in their newsletter!
Steve Verhille definitely had the best looking ride in 10.0 Index, and something we don’t see often, a ’40 Chevy. Steve Verhille made it through Neil Danks, #2 Qualifier Bill Gorafsky, and #5 qualifier Doug Frisch in his path to the final round against Brian Grinnell. Grinnell killed Verhille on the tree with a .001 reaction time to Verhille’s .066. Verhille did his best to catch him, but gave the stripe to Grinnell and Grinnell broke out, a 9.964 pass to Verhille’s near perfect 9.997 pass, to give Verhille the win for the day.
We find it hard to write about the Index racers, since between the three index classes, there is not one slouch in the field. The top 12 out of 20 racers were all in the 11.5x range and ready to rock come eliminations time. Rounding out the top 8 was Steve Gurnick with an 11.574, Wayne Roatche in the #7 spot with an 11.565. James Moshier went #6 with a 11.558, Dave Harvey Jr #5 with an 11.534, Jim Schmidt #4 with an 11.522. Peter Huff’s Corvette took the #3 spot for the day, with an 11.521 pass. Out of the Riordan Racing camp, Shawn Riordan ran an amazing 11.504 pass for the #2 spot, only to be ousted by Eugene Lynn Townes, running a perfect 11.500.
Townes would make it all the way to the semi-finals, taking out Ronald Arplajian and Bob Sanders along the way, only to fall to Robert Perrottet. Perrottet, a seasoned racer, sat quietly at the bottom of the field in the #18 qualifier spot, but showing his skill as he made it through Peter Huff, Steve Gurnick, Jim Schmidt, and Eugene Towns, to make it to the final round of 11.50 Index to face Keith Huffman. Huffman, a regular face late in the 11.50 Index rounds, is always on his game and tough to beat. Huffman went .026 to Perrottet’s .042 reaction, and took the stripe to break out with an 11.484 pass. Perrottet was on the brakes at the line to avoid breaking out, and he did just that, winning on the day with an 11.560.