- Wednesday 01 May, 2013
Teens try the track before High School Nationals on May 5, 2013.
NORWALK, Ohio – Where else but Mickey Thompson $7 Fun Night do mini bikes pop wheelies to the 60-foot mark and hit 71 mph in the quarter mile?
A birthday party with a first race, a daily driver blown GTO, and a Hummer also mixed into the fun on May 1, 2013 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
For racing action in the Mickey Thompson High School class, Sierra Floyd, Wakeman, Ohio drove her 2013 Mustang to the victory, including a final round nod over Anthony Beier, who tripped the red light by 0.003 seconds in a 1997 Camaro.
In the Mickey Thompson Motorcycle class, Eric Foght, Sulphur Springs, Ohio, claimed the win at the tree with a 0.010-second reaction time over Brad Jett, Castalia, Ohio at 0.126 seconds, even though the stat totals are identical for the run.
Brian Claus, Monroeville, Ohio won the final round of the Mickey Thompson Truck and Van class at the tree, too, urging his Ford Lightning off the line about half a second sooner than “Biker Mike,” LaGrange, Ohio, in a 1978 F150.
The Mickey Thompson Stock class final pitted Chevy against Chevy, with Scott Hunter, Wellington, Ohio in a 2009 Cavalier nosing out Preston Smith, Sheffield Lake, Ohio in a 1982 Camaro.
In Mickey Thompson Mod Stock class, Fisher Mushat, Berea, Ohio in a 1969 Capri logged the win over Maggie Halloran, Brunswick, Ohio in a 1978 Cutlass.
A Mickey Thompson Super Stock double-breakout final round lifted Mark Fulk, Ashland, Ohio to a victory over Randy Clingan, Mansfield, Ohio in a 1995 Mustang. Mark Fulk broke out by 0.001 seconds, compared with Randy Clingan’s 0.054 seconds.
For a printable PDF of RACE RESULTS from the May 1, 2013 Mickey Thompson Tires $7 Fun Night, click on: Pavement proof and bragging rights.
For other stories from the Mickey Thompson $7 Fun Night staging lanes:
A blown motor exudes a certain charisma at a dragstrip, from sound to performance.
In the case of Rick Sutter, Tiffin, Ohio and his brazen orange 2005 GTO with a supercharged 403 engine, the performance included smoking tires the length of the dragstrip.
For a daily driver, Rick Sutter’s Pontiac GTO lines up as one sweet ride, orange inside and out.
“I’ve had it six weeks,” Rick Sutter said, adding he wants to see what the 403 can do. “Been waiting for today for six weeks. I’m trying to get traction. It’s got stock tires so it just spins all the way.”
Even with such a generous smokey burnout, Rick Sutter’s E.T. slip showed an elapsed time of 11.91 seconds and 126 mph. He’s not sure about his next track action.
“I don’t race a lot,” Rick Sutter said. “I go a couple times a year. It depends on how fast I can get it to go. Tires will be the first thing that I do.”
When the Thacker family from Tiffin, Ohio threw a birthday party for 16-year-old Trent, about 28 people showed up at the dragstrip to watch Trent’s first race in his birthday present, a 1981 Dodge Mirada.
Three generations – Trent in his Mirada, his dad David Thacker in a Chrysler 300 SRT, and his grandfather Bud Thacker in a black Dodge Dakota RT – tooled the track as the fun of the party, said Trent’s aunt Holly Thacker, who also raced a black Dakota.
On his day of first races, Trent Thacker said he hopes to be a music education college professor when he grows up. His early start includes playing saxophone, drums, bass and bass guitar.
With the 25th Annual High School Nationals four days away, teens honed skills at Mickey Thompson $7 Fun Night.
Desiree Oberg, 16, Sheffield Lake, Ohio, said she’s coming to High School Nationals as she lined up in a 2005 Hummer.
“I raced it here last summer,” Desiree said. “Everyone looks at me weird because I’m so small.”
Rob Robinson, 16, Norwalk, tested his red S10 with an eye for High School Nationals. He even brought Gordon Jeffers, 15, Monroeville, Ohio, along for the quarter-mile spin.
A sophomore at Wellington High School, Xavier Howard staged a maroon “‘Vette Fever” 1984 Corvette with a 350 engine.
“My grandpa owns Sauer Motorsports in Oberlin,” Xavier Howard said.
Other opportunities for teen testing before Sunday arise Friday at VP Racing Fuels Test N’ Tune, and Saturday at Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series.
For the High School Nationals on Sunday, May 5, 2013, we expect quite a few quarter-mile caravans.
What else would you call long lines of vehicles packed with best buddies heading down a dragstrip for win lights, bragging rights, scholarships and a coveted trophy?
Something about a dragstrip forms a connection between dads and sons. Many start early.
Braylon Matthews, 4, hung out near the staging lanes with his dad Brandon Matthews.
While Chris DeLong, Mansfield, Ohio raced a 1995 Honda Civic, Lucas DeLong watched with his mom Krystal Lyons.
“Lucas will be two in five days,” Krystal Lyons said. “We’re going to have a Sponge Bob party.”
Joe Sopher, Findlay, Ohio, savored the present while blasting to the past.
“A guy with a kid strapped in the back seat reminded me of my son and I,” said Joe Sopher. “He would have his helmet on and be in the back seat and we would go racing.”
Joe Sopher worked for 33 years as a maintenance supervisor at the Honeywell Corp.
“I’m retired and still playing,” Joe Sopher said. He kept the 1970 Cougar Eliminator 4-speed car from back in the day.
“It still only has 43,000 miles on it. I don’t drive it much,” Joe Sopher said, adding a beautiful night and a clear schedule opened the way for another father-son time at the track. “It had been a couple years since we had been racing. I’m driving the family car. He’s driving his pickup.”
Matt Sopher, 23, Joe’s son, graduated in 2011 with a degree in High Performance from University of Northwestern Ohio. Incidentally, Matt raced to a fourth place finish at the High School Nationals and earned a $2,500 scholarship to UNOH, which helped tremendously, Joe Sopher said.
Now Matt Sopher twirls wrenches as an auto tech at Gene Stevens Honda.
“He’s one of the top 50 mechanics for Honda in an eight-state area,” Joe Sopher said.
While Joe Sopher staged a 2012 Ford Explorer, Matt lined up in a 2001 Ford Lightning with a supercharger, port polished with a 6-16 pulley and a trailer hitch. Matt Sopher managed 105 mph in the quarter mile.
“I still have my muscle cars,” Joe Sopher said. “But I don’t get them out much any more.”