Crafty No Box Bonanza win!

Jim Stephens takes a first splash in the Winner's Circle!

NORWALK, Ohio – Some of the Jim Stephens splashes in the Winner's Circle!craftiest gas mashers around collected win tickets like postage stamps as they turned pages to the end of the 16th Annual No Box Bonanza on Friday, June 21, 2013 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

When Jim Stephens, Plymouth, Ohio pastes his elapsed time slips in an album, he'll include Winner's Circle photos, including an icy water splash with his first No Box Bonanza Championship.

Some memorable moments include a final round against A.J. Buchanan, Vickery, Ohio, who crafts win lights out of almost impossible situations on the track.

But on Friday in No Box, A.J. Buchanan set his silver 1987 Chevy S-10 pickup on the stripe with a zero, and still lost!

Jim Stephens owned the tree, launching his snazzy red 1978 Malibu with a 0.008-second reaction time, compared with A.J. Buchanan's 0.042 seconds.

Vic's crew.One round earlier, Jim Stephens assembled a package that by 0.002 seconds stamped out the efforts of crafty racer Vic Ellinger, Cleveland, in a 1980 Bestone Volvo, winner of the 2012 Saturday No Box Bonanza.

The round before that, Vic Ellinger launched in 0.008 seconds then painted the finish line on his dial with a zero on a solo pass!

We could go on. The quarter mile may be short, but the No Box Bonanza requires an artistry of effort.

“I haven't won a No Box before,” Jim Stephens said. “Been close, but never got it done.”

Jim Stephens, 34, a supervisor at a tubing factory in Shelby, Ohio, races regularly in the Mr. Gasket Pro class of the Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series at Summit Motorsports Park.

His dad, Dave Stephens, started the hobby now shared with Jim's brothers: Paul Stephens, Shelby, in a 1968 Camaro; and Brian Stephens, Mansfield, Ohio in a 1979 Malibu.

From a 1980 Joe Soucek Jr., down to fives.Firebird, his first race car about 10 years ago, Jim Stephens bought the 1978 Malibu three years ago.”

“We just put a motor and a tranny in it, and went racing,” Jim Stephens said. “It's Wes Buckley's old car. It's accustomed to the Winner's Circle.

“And A.J. beat me in the last points race, first round,” Jim Stephens said. “Pay backs.”

In the history of the No Box Bonanza, nobody won all three nights. Will Jim Stephens tool his pretty little Malibu to a triple treat weekend?

In the staging lanes, Jeff Spring, Newark, Ohio parked his 1970 Dodge Dart and witnessed the track action with his sons, Dylan, 11, a Junior Dragster driver, and Devin, 5.

The Spring boys watch from the staging lanes.“This is my seventh or eighth year of No Box,” said Jeff Spring, an 18-year veteran of wrenching and gas mashing. “I was coming when it was a single day on a Saturday. I've never won it. The best I've done is down to eight cars.”

The No Box Bonanza continues Saturday and Sunday. For event information, click on: Crafty splash!

Matt Ball makes the fives.

Nine left.

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