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Pinks All Out 3/8/08


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Pinks All Out @ San Antonio Raceway, 3/7-8/2008

By J M Hallas

 

Marion, Tx., (March 8th, 2008)

Day two of the Pinks All Out show on the San Antonio Raceway 1/4 mile began with film crews busily finishing completion of set up, and Pink All Out cast members, Rich Christensen, Nate Pritchett, et. al., examining the track and greeting some of the 400 plus drivers and teams in the staging lanes. Fans packed in early and filled the place to capacity as an estimated 22,000 people crowded into the grandstands, and three deep along the fence, nearly the entire quarter-mile.

 

Christensen, the Pinks starting line guru, grabbed the best seat in the house outside the track wall, just past the starting line to watch time trial runs. During the drivers meeting, Christensen prompted the drivers to go, 'all out.' During first round time trials, several break downs and a couple, fortunately, minor incidents showed that they were listening.

 

During first round time trials, Christensen personally watches nearly every pass from his ringside seat showing his approval for every good run. It's as toss up as to which is more entertaining, watching him react to runs or the runs themselves.

 

In second round time trials, Christensen himself manned the starting line for his famous "arm drop" start. This would give the selected sixteen drivers a chance to get used to not running off a pro tree starting line. During his arm drop starts, Christensen looks for feedback from the crowd on jump starts, as well as keeping the drivers pumped up.

 

From Zero to Hero

After the final sixteen were announced, Dumas, Texas' Clay Cunningham was left on the outside looking in. But fate can be not only a cruel thing, but a positive one at times as well. Qualifier, David Burley was unable to answer the call for the final sixteen, so Cunningham was chosen as first alternate and placed in the field.

 

Cunningham methodically worked his way to the finals were he went head to head, best two out of three with Steven Vontur, a hometown boy from seven miles away. Final round, Best two out of three runs. As the finals unfolded, Cunningham would again have fate intervene.

 

On the first pass, Vontur was clearly able to best Cunningham, who was slower off the line. Cunningham then evened the score with a win n the second pass. All tied now at one race apiece, the two squared off for one last 'all out' pass down the track. If there wasn't enough drama to begin with, Cunningham rolled into the beams first and was staged before Vontur entered. During Vontur's staging, the lights flickered on Cunningham's side, tripping the automatic red light in his lane, despite the fact he race hadn't officially been run.

 

As both cars were sent off by Christensen, Cunningham had the early advantage. As their rear bumpers vanished into the darkness it was not clear from the top end who had actually won. Going by the electronic scoring system, it was still uncertain because of the light issue. Both drivers were asked if they knew who had won. Cunningham stated confidently that he was sure he had won. Vontur told official that he was too busy fighting the car for control. Pinks All Out offered to let both revue the taped footage, but Vontur conceded defeat, when he learned of the results from the electronic scoring.

 

"This is what it's all about," stated Cunningham as he waved the $10,000 in cold hard cash. "This is so awesome. Even after I lost the first race, I was still confident that I could win. Once I won the second it pumped up my confidence even more. I was sure I was going to win after that."

 

As the 16 drivers were led out to the starting line, Christensen gave all of them a speech to get them all pumped up, stressing the 'all out' style of racing that has made the show so popular. It appeared more like a high school sports coach getting his team fired up before the big game

 

Round 1 action;

Adam Schneider, 1984 Ford Mustang defeated Allen Jacobs, 1978 Chevy Malibu

 

Steven R. Vontur, 1967 Chevy Nova SS defeated Jimmy Farmer, 1966 Chevy Nova SS

 

Bruce Lunday, 1970 Chevy Camaro defeated Jason Smith, 1971 Chevy Vega

 

Danny York Jr., 1985 Chevy S-10 defeated Jerry Salas, 1968 Chevy Camaro SS

 

Clay Cunningham, 1969 Camaro defeated Ray Brown, 1955 Chevy Wagon

 

Donee Johnson, 1968 Chevy Camaro defeated Michael Andrews, 1998 Ford Mustang

 

Homer Ybarra, 1974 Datsun 260Z defeated Darryl Wiley, 1965 Chevy Chevelle

 

Richard Delancey Jr., 1967 Chevy Camaro defeated Joe Walker, 1969 Chevy Camaro

 

In the first race Clay Cunningham went up against Richard Delaney Jr. Both drivers bet $1,000 on the race. Cunningham won in his 1969 Chevy Camaro and advanced to the next round with $2,000 in his pocket. Delaney was forced to take his 1967 Chevy Camaro to the pits.

 

In the second race, Bruce Lunday in a 1970 Chevy Camaro faced Adam Schneider in a 1984 Ford Mustang. Lunday and Schneider placed a $500 bet before racing down the track and Lunday came away with the win. He advances to the next round with $1,500. Schneider went to the pits with $500 in his pocket.

 

In the third race, Homer Ybarra, driving a Datsun 260Z battled Donee Johnson in a 1968 Camaro. Both drivers placed a $1,000 bet on the race and Ybarra nosed Johnson at line by .02 seconds. He advances to the next round with $2,000 to spend.

 

In the fourth race, San Antonio's Danny York Jr., driving a 1985 Chevy S-10 truck faced Steven Vontur Jr. in a 1967 Chevy Nova SS. They each bet $1,000 on the race and Vontur took the victory and advances to the next round with $2,000.

 

Round 2 results

Clay Cunningham, 1969 Camaro defeated Richard Delancey Jr., 1967 Chevy Camaro

 

Bruce Lunday, 1970 Chevy Camaro defeated Adam Schneider, 1984 Ford Mustang

 

Homer Ybarra, 1974 Datsun 260Z defeated Donee Johnson, 1968 Chevy Camaro

 

Steven R. Vontur, 1967 Chevy Nova SS defeated Danny York Jr., 1985 Chevy S-10

 

This round opened with Clay Cunningham in a 1969 Chevy Camaro facing Homer Ybarra in a Datsun 260Z. Both drivers placed a $2,000 bet, the biggest bet in PINKS All Out competition for this round. When the drivers crossed the finish line, Cunningham was ahead by .0198 seconds over Ybarra. Cunningham advances to the final round with $4,000.

 

In the second race, Steven Vontur in a 1967 Chevy Nova SS faced Bruce Lunday in 1970 Chevy Camaro. Both drivers placed a $500 bet, but disaster struck for Lunday on the starting line when Lunday's rear end blew up as he launched off the line. Vontur advances to the final round with $2,500.

 

Round 3 results

Clay Cunningham, 1969 Camaro defeated Homer Ybarra, 1974 Datsun 260Z

 

Steven R. Vontur, 1967 Chevy Nova SS defeated Bruce Lunday, 1970 Chevy Camaro

 

 

 

 

San Antonio Raceway owners, Todd and Judy Zampese upped the ante, so to speak, by putting up a $500 bonus for anyone setting low ET in time trials. RGV Racing fuels, Basin Truck Repair, HB Turbo and Cherry Bomb Performance Exhaust Systems stepped up adding additional $500 each, with $100 from BJ Construction and Goliad Gypsy Club. The low ET pass was held by Jeff Benham from Conroe who took his '74 Vega down the track at 8.30 seconds, who got the initial $500. After the others chipped in, it turned into a four-car shootout, winner take all for the remaining $2100.

 

Then Never Lift Chassis came along to throw $500 into the pot for the Wheelstand competition along with Z-Bar Transport and All Tech Inspection anteing up some cash. Sam Mora's '68 Camaro took home all the money with his wheelie of about 400'

 

The four fastest elapsed times were set by Ben Massey, Jeff Cameron, Tom Eckols and Benham, who stayed quickest all day. Round 1 pitted Massey's '81 Camaro against Eckols, '90 Trans Am. Eckols 8.38 @ 160.14 easily beat Massey's 8.72 @ 159.18. Cameron then put his '48 Austin A-40 Coupe up against Benham's '74 Vega. Benham's 8.36 @ 162.00 sent Cameron's 8.81 @ 151.45 back to the trailer.

 

For a $2100 pool you have to be sharp and up on your game. Benham was and left Eckols sitting at the starting with a huge hole shot. Benham ran another 8.36 @ 162.37, while Eckols finally tripped the lights with an 8.42 @ 159.81, to take home all the cash.

 

Through my contact with the Pinks All Out Media Director, David Harris I got the privilege to sit in on the "war room" meeting to determine the sixteen finalists. It came down to a group of two distinctively different classes. One in the 9.90's and the second in the 11.60's. After long deliberation, the 9.90 class was chosen and narrowed down to a 24-car group. From the group, through consistently close together runs, they pared the group to the lucky final sixteen competitors battling for the big $10,000 to win prize.

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Below is a link to my story on MYSA.com. The story will also appear in the sports section of Sunday's Express-News.

 

Cinderella driver wins PINKS All Out drag race at San Antonio Raceway

 

I also wrote six entries on my motorsports blog about the race.

 

The show will air in July. Look for J.M. Hallas to appear in the show too. He spent most of the night on the starting line, so he definitely should appear on camera at some point.

 

Mike Haag

Express-News

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Don't know if I should call him Rebel Christensen or Rebel Pritchett-lol :D .Read on several boards where around 32,000 spectator tickets were sold.All I know it was standing room only.All kidding aside,nice having you around this weekend Rebel.Thanks for your help when it was needed.I know you're never afraid to jump in with a helping hand.Thanks to you and Mike Haag for the write ups.By the way,when Hollywood starts calling you in July Reb,I'll be your agent.

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Tommy you know I always have blast out there with you, Josh and Jeff. Todd and Judy treat me like a king too. The whole weekend was too cool, and I'm never afraid to chip in and get my hands a little dirty.

 

Mike, glad we could help each other out with the stories....we had it covered from every angle that's for sure,

 

Mikey, if you can't pick me out of a crowd by now......... :lol::huh:;)

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how did dinsmoore do??????

RUN A 10.20 THEY PICKED 10 TO 9.98 I BELIEVE WE SWITCH OFF THE ALKY LAST MINUTE OR I BELIEVE CAR MIGHT HAVE BEEN RIGHT ON AND IT WAS A SMALL BLOCK NO NOS I WISH WE WOULD HAVE SPENT MORE TIME WITH THE CAR B4 GOING TO THE SHOW BUT WHAT A SHOW SEE YA ALL BACK IN DIRT R US ;)

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Puzzled?

How does Pinks pick the field? There was just several close races out of the 16 cars selected. When a car that had gone no faster than a 10.40 over the weekend is paired to a car that ran in the 9.80 over the same time runs it makes a person wonder how is a considered a heads up race? A tenth of a second reduction in e/t should give the faster car over 4 car lengths at the finish line then imagine what 6 tenths looks like? Car # 161 ran a 9.76 but was not selected and car # 104 ran several times in the 10.02 and a 10.04 e/t and again was not in the field of the 16 cars. He was at least much closer to the field they selected. When people spend three days and hundreds of dollars to participate in an event it would be nice to at least have a consistent and close field. Any one got any answers? Sure made the Andrews Mustang look pretty sick to be paired with a car that is seven tenths faster especially in a heads up race.

Edited by thomasghamilton
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Thomas, from what I watched in the "war room" it was as close and consistant as they could possibly choose. As I mentioned there were about 20 cars in between 9.90 and 9.95. You'll have to admit that leave time played a big part in who won each heads up race. I was on the line right by Tommy watching, and some guys were simply snoozing or weren't ready for the arm drop starts. That's where a lot of the difference came in at the finish line. Actually I think there three races that the win margin was one or two hundredths. That's pretty darn close if you ask me!!! JMO

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I saw that to tom, andrews was in the black mustang(95 or so) and he got picked. but was never even close to the 10.20 range and still got picked. he was a sitting duck with the guys running 9.90. how do you explain something like that. i was by the finish line and some of the first pair were not even a match. the final 8 is where the racing got intense. but good job to the san antonio raceway crew for working hard the three days and keeping everthing in top notch shape.

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Greg.....they took 9.90-9.95......had about 20-22 in that range that they narrowed down to the sixteenby looking at times for both runs(consistancy).

Update,

 

I had a long phone call with Andrews today . He was also very suprised he was picked to race the 9.90 to 9.95 cars. On his first pass saturday he ran a 10.50 and his second pass they dont get et slips. Also he has raced the same car several times the past couple of weeks and has never been faster than a 10.30. He told me that today. One can only wonder why he was picked? He for sure did not understand why he was picked?

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