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2005 Oktober'FAST' notes


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2005 Oktober'FAST' Notes:

 

Was good to see the SAS grandstands nearly full. All that advertising seems to have paid off.

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“Drifter” Aaron Losey told me that they go through as many as 6 sets of rear tires for any given drifting competition. That’s a pretty hefty tire bill! The right side of Losey’s 2005 Nissan 350Z has numerous paint scrapes from "hitting pylons at 80 miles an hour." Losey almost had an unwanted date with his car insurance man when he just barely missed the turn two wall during his drifting practice session on Thursday.

 

"The problem with drifting on a speedway is that the track goes from being very sticky where the groove is to being very slick where the groove isn’t. And we’re used to running on big open parking lots, so those steel walls give us a bit of a thrill," Losey explained.

 

Losey is a real estate appraiser in the San Antonio area when not driving sideways.

 

I was pretty impressed with the V-8 drift car (was that an El Camino?) until the tranny went south over in turn two.

 

And I have to admit that Terry Dickerson didn’t do half bad running the SAS Dodge Pace Truck. For a while there I thought he was going to plow into the front straight wall, but once he figured out how to get the push out he did pretty well.

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Keith Garrett won the last three Sportsman main events at SAS. Not a bad streak, I’d say.

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Was fun talking to Trey Ware. He really got that SAS Experience truck up to speed in a hurry. Trey clicked off a very respectable 21.82-second lap on Thursday. JC Umscheid hopped in and really didn’t do a whole lot better – a 21.79-second lap. And JC is one of the best around. I wonder if Trey just got bit by the racing bug once again.

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Bruce Mabrito caught up with me in the pits after the Saturday show. He was impressed with the touring series’ car counts as well as the crowd on hand. Bruce and I go way back to the mid 1970’s. Bruce drove the Holt/Ivy/Mabrito Vega at Pan American Speedway to several very impressive wins at the oft-mourned quarter-mile.

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Allison Legacy driver Trey Mitchell, 15, was seen checking out the TAMS modifieds pretty closely on Saturday. Said he would like to move up if everything works out in the sponsorship department. Trey has been impressive in the Legacy, often finishing second to the amazing Kyle Sirizzotti, 14, who has already notched a few races in his Late Model.

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Talked with I-37 Speedway Promoter Joe Horne for quite a while on Thursday as we waited in his pickup for the pit gate to open during practice. Joe, who did such a great job as the SAS Owner/Promoter a decade or two ago, said he was having trouble renewing the lease at I-37 Speedway. Joe and his track manager, Frank Torres, really turned the I-37 dirt track around in just two short seasons.

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I bet we have four new race fans as a result of the KTSA Radio give-away that Trey Ware promoted on his morning show the week before Oktober’FAST.’ He was giving away rides in the new SAS Driving Experience NASCAR Craftsman truck and four of the six winners had enough courage to show up on Thursday for their Trey Ware chauffeured rides. Trey didn’t hold back either. We were getting tire temps in the 200-degree range and lap times in the high 21’s.

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Two or three Sportsman/Super Street/Street Stock team members came up to apologize for being so negative about the Oktober’FAST’ rules for their class. Had it not been for a 10-pound weight infraction and a mechanical failure or two, the results would have reflected a pretty even balance once you factor in the “home track advantage.” I believe both CCMS and THR will be running those same rules for their big end of season events.

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The Steve Osborne story is amazing. And heart breaking. And inspiring. And truly amazing. Did I say amazing yet? I’m writing an article about it that should inspire newspapers around Texas to do a feature on the amazing young man. My feeble attempt to capture the moment is so far short that I’m embarrassed to even show it to anyone, but I will. Maybe a decent writer will pick up the story and do it justice.

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Ann Norris is the name of the 71 year-young good sport who took Terry up on his dare to get in the truck with Trey. After her ride she was all smiles and could hardly contain her excitement. She sided up to me and told me that she wanted to drive but Trey wouldn’t let her. I just hope I have that much spunk when I turn 71 in 32 years.

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Was good to catch up with Steve Gehrlein of Cambridge Automotive who is sponsoring a car or two these days. Steve owned a few SAS racecars back in the 1990s and seems to be getting more involved after sitting out for a few years.

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James Cole doesn’t run too many TAMS races, but he’s on a pretty impressive win streak at SAS. James has won the last three TAMS Oktober’FAST’ events at the SAS half-mile.

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Too bad about the weather for the Friday portion of Oktober’FAST.’ It rained off and on for most of the afternoon which played havoc with the schedule and then turned unseasonably cold in the evening to keep racecar fans away in droves. But the weather was much better for the Saturday show although those of us who spent the day “officiating” out in the sun came home with some pretty impressive sunburns.

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TXSZ’s Jason looked a bit damp after getting doused with water as part of his birthday celebration in the SAS infield after the races on Saturday. Happy Birthday Jason!

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Robert Barker looked pretty comfortable in his first USRA Super Late Model ride. He ran in the lead for quite a while but slowly dropped back as the left rear tire slowly deflated. “I can’t thank the Premier Mineral team enough for giving me the chance to drive the number 8 car. The biggest difference is in the power. That SLM really jerks your head back.”

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USRA SLM driver Greg Davidson had trouble from the minute he rolled off the trailer on Thursday. Greg usually is at the top of the time charts, but not this time. It’s a rare race where Greg hasn’t got his car dialed in to perfection.

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Bubba Naumann shared that he is putting together a TAMS modified to replace the one that HE Naumann totaled at THR earlier this season. “It will be super fast,” Bubba predicted.

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