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SERRA™ Race #11, Abbeville, SC


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 05:38 AM

SERRA had one of its best days of racing ever at Don Berni's 'Slots of Fun' in Abbeville, SC, on Saturday, February 21.

This event saw the first appearance of our new Stock Car class, with eleven great-looking cars. With that number, we decided to run a single eleven-man round robin race (rather than two races of five and six racers) but to also qualify just for the purpose of added interest.

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Retro Stock Car Qualifying

1) Joe McIntosh, 4.7748 secs
2) Ralph Thorne, 4.7811
3) Nick Deangelis, 4.8914
4) James Merriman, 4.9040
5) Dan Parker, 5.1040
6) Tommy Flythe, 5.2514
7) Raymond Gonzalez, 5.3044
8) Richard Sylvester, 5.3113
9) Greg Wells, 5.4383
10) Barry Janzen, 5.5196
11) Jim Beasley, 6.0219

We were thinking going in that the first Stock Car race might be a real crash-fest, but that's not what occurred. Yeah, there were a few big hits and a couple of damaged cars but most of the cars ran very well, with better handling than most were expecting.

Another surprise was that no one blew a motor during the Stock Car class, even though a number of the cars weighed in well over the minimum. We had some cars topping 150 grams, with most over 130 grams. (We did have a few motors blow during Can-Am but AFAIK all were motors with several races on them.)

Joe McIntosh won Concours - Best Appearing with another one of his fabulous paint jobs, but contact with an errant car ripped off the front two inches of the body early in the race. Fortunately, the damage didn't upset the handling as much as it should have, allowing him to soldier on to take fourth. Sure looked funny going around the track though...

Greg Wells borrowed one of the five (!) new Stock Cars Tommy constructed for the new class and did a very dumb thing: he finished ahead of the team owner, which is never a good idea.

All in all, SERRA's first Stock Car race was a big hit. Tommy Flythe liked 'em so much he suggested we dump F1 and race Stock Car every month! Eleven entries for our first-ever Stock Car race was a fine turn-out and now that everyone has seen that they're not the evil-handling demons some had thought, we're certain to see more activity in this class the next time it's raced.

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L to R, Joe "Jobiwan" McIntosh, Ralph Thorne, Nick Deangelis, James Merriman, Dan Parker, Tommy Flythe, Raymond "Speedy" Gonzalez, and Richard Sylvester.

Retro Stock Car - Main

1) Ralph Thorne - 364 laps, best lap of 4.891 secs in orange
2) Nick Deangelis - 357, 4.883 in red
3) James Merriman - 355. 4.937 in red
4) Joe McIntosh - 343, 4.879 in green
5) Greg Wells - 315, 5.219 in red
6) Tommy Flythe - 315, 5.160 in blue
7) Dan Parker - 313, 5.168 in red
8) Raymond Gonzalez - 307, 5.050 in black
9) Barry Janzen - 304, 5.332 in blue
10) Richard Sylvester - 294, 5.108 in blue
11) Jim Beasley - 285, 5.219 in black

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L to R, James Merriman, Ralph Thorne, Nick Deangelis. Note the lack of gray hair in this picture... sigh.

By racer vote, the Retro Stock Car concours winners were:

Best Appearing - Joe McIntosh, and Most Realistic - Raymond 'Speedy' Gonzalez. Note that the entire front end of Joe's car has gone missing. (Joe closed his eyes for both my shots; you can see him wide-awake further down the page.)

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Before we started Can-Am our lunch break was catered by Don's lovely spouse, Karen Berni, who cooked up a couple of pots of yummy homemade ham vegetable soup and cornbread. (And a big thanks to Don Weaver's better half Brenda, who again sent a big plate of her delicious sausage pinwheels for breakfast.)

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SERRA's own "Tech Nazi" Jay Guard with his 10x magnifying glasses looks to reject another one...

Can-Am class enjoyed eighteen entries, with a bunch of new faces: Barry Janzen from Cleveland, TN (who also entered Stock Car); Johnny and Trey Hyatt from Greenville, SC; Lamar McClellan from Fortson, GA; Howard Whitworth of Raleigh, NC; and Richie Austin from Carthage, NC.

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After the racers voted on concours, qualifying was held and here are the results:

Retro Can-Am Qualifying

1) Jay Guard - 4.1885 secs
2) Richie Austin - 4.2642
3) Richard Sylvester - 4.2715
4) Ralph Thorne - 4.2741
5) Raymond Gonzalez - 4.2835
6) James Merriman - 4.3312
7) Gary Shephard - 4.3458
8) Lamar McClellan - 4.3524
9) Nick Deangelis - 4.3915
10) Tommy Flythe - 4.3934
11) Joe McIntosh - 4.4563
12) Dan Parker - 4.4623
13) Johnny Hyatt - 4.4964
14) Don Weaver - 4.5037
15) Jim Beasley - 4.5504
16) Howard Whitworth - 4.6270
17) Barry Janzen - 4.8680
18) Trey Hyatt - 4.9182

Using SERRA's new-for-'09 move-up format for Can-Am, the top two qualifiers, Guard and Austin, received byes into the Feature and the remaining qualifiers were alternately seeded into two Semis, with the top three finishers from each Semi transferring into the Feature.

The B-Semi ran first and here are the results:

Retro Can-Am - B-Semi

1) James Merriman - 398 laps, best lap of 4.391 in green
2) Ralph Thorne - 394, 4.071 in black
3) Tommy Flythe - 391, 4.500 in green
4) Don Weaver - 367, 4.550 in orange
5) Dan Parker - 365, 4.669 in white
6) Trey Hyatt - 349, 4.887 in yellow
7) Howard Whitworth - 312, 4.558 in orange
8) Lamar McClellan - 254, 4.449 in yellow

So Merriman, Thorne, and Flythe moved up.

Retro Can-Am - A-Semi

1) Richard Sylvester - 394 laps, best time of 4.449 in orange
2) Raymond Gonzalez - 387, 4.437 in orange
3) Joe McIntosh - 383, 4.282 in green
4) Gary Shephard - 378, 4.438 in red
5) Barry Janzen - 327, 4.782 in yellow
6) Jim Beasley - 284, 4.610 in yellow
7) Nick Deangelis - 250, 4.399 in green
8) Johnny Hyatt - 75, 4.508 in blue

Sylvester, Gonzalez, and McIntosh transferred to the Feature.

The Retro Can-Am feature at this event was simply one of the best races SERRA has ever seen. There were long "green flag" stretches, often 20-25 laps in length, where no one deslotted. The competition was fierce, with new racer Richie Austin pushing Jay Guard hard for the win.

Retro Can-Am - Feature

1) Jay Guard - 416 laps, best lap of 4.282 in red
2) Richie Austin - 412, 4.281 in orange
3) Joe McIntosh - 398, 4.336 in orange
4) Richard Sylvester - 397, 4.500 in orange
5) Ralph Thorne - 397, 4.499 in yellow
6) Tommy Flythe - 392, 4.445 in orange
7) Raymond Gonzalez - 388, 4.500 in blue
8) James Merriman - 279, 4.391 in white

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L to R, Richie Austin, Jay Guard, and Joe McIntosh.

By racer vote, the Retro Can-Am concours winners were:

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Most Realistic - Richard Sylvester and Best Appearing - James Merriman.

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Jay and I appreciate all the support the racers are giving the SERRA series and we continue to look for ways to make for better racing and more fun.

The next SERRA race is #12 and will be held at Raceworld Speedway in LaGrange, GA, on Saturday, March 21.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap





#2 slotcarone

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 09:00 AM

:D Looks like you guys had a blast!!! Great turn-out, too!!! For even more fun try the stockers on an oval track!!!

Mike Katz

Scratchbuilts forever!!


#3 Nick D

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 11:29 AM

I had an absolute ball.

Big thanks to Don Weaver for providing me with a Stock Car for the race, which was very well built and setup. All I had to do was show up and drive it, that's my kind of participation. I took the car around for about 20-30 laps and put it in tech, to bring it in second in the race. That's pretty hard to beat.

I also had a great time in the Can-Am race until my tired motor died on me and started smoking like a freight train. I love the close competition and the great people.

As I have said about every SERRA race I have participated in, Greg and Jay did an excellent job of making for a great program.
Great to meet you guys that I hadn't, and it's always great to see you guys I haven't seen in a while. I look forward to the next time SERRA comes to town.

I wish my grass was emo so it would cut itself
Nick Deangelis


#4 Richie

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 07:22 PM

It was great finally meeting you as well, Nick!

Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.

- Richie Austin


#5 Pablo

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:33 PM

Congrats to Jay and Ralph.

Looks like Tommy gave you a great car, cheater. :)

Paul Wolcott


#6 Cheater

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 08:22 AM

Pablo,

Tommy always lends me a great car, but since I finished less than a lap ahead of him in Stock Car, he may not be so willing to loan me cars in the future! LOL!!!

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#7 Ralph Thorne

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:46 AM

Thank you, Pablo. I always enjoy going to Slots of Fun Raceway and seeing Don and the gang. I know it's been said before, but he does a lot of cool stuff to buy!

#8 Don Weaver

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:21 PM

... I know it's been said before, but he does a lot of cool stuff to buy!

And he thanks you from the bottom of his heart. :laugh2:

Don Weaver

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#9 'Slots of Fun'

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:41 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Ralph.

Good luck to you on your line of RTR slot car products. The RTR lightweight lead wires are selling fast. Those new lane cards of yours are awesome.

V/R,

Don Berni


#10 'Slots of Fun'

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 06:17 PM

Since all of my time during the races is now taken up by Race Director duties, I don't have the opportunity to take many action shots. Here are some I did find a milli-second or two to take.

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Here's Jack and Diane, two American kids in the heartland! Actually, Jack and Diane come to 'SOF' regularly from Aiken, SC. They came just to watch the SERRA racers in action. Great people!

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4-1/2" Stock Car Concours judging in progress.

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Ditto.

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David Liebenthal of Proformance Racing passing on some of his many years of experience to first-time SERRA racer Richie Austin.

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Jay Guard going over some recent rules changes with the racers.

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Ditto.

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Richard Sylvester's wondering where everybody went. Maybe he had a liitle too much of Karen's delicious bean soup!

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When David sticks his head out of his hole does that mean two more weeks of cold weather or an early spring? I can never remember that rule of thumb!

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Racers lining up for a Greg Wells photo shoot.

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'S.O.F.'s Track Braid Engineer Skinny McKinney at work.

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Dan Parker and Jay Guard trying to convince Jim Beasley there's nothing wrong with his car!

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Richard Sylvester chatting with Barry Janzen.

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Here's Jack again... and always laughing!

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Joe McIntosh working on a sucker.

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Seconds before race time.

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And yes, this is a picture of a jacket. It is a size large NordicTrack jacket someone left at the track. Let me know if its yours and I'll bring it to the next race or I can mail it to you.

V/R,

Don Berni


#11 Don Weaver

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 06:24 PM

It is a size large NordicTrack jacket someone left at the track. Let me know if its yours and I'll bring it to the next race or I can mail it to you.

If you have it in a 2XL, I'll take one. :laugh2:

Good pictures and quips, Don.

Don Weaver

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The supply of government exceeds demand.
L.H. Lapham
 
If the brain-eating amoeba invades Washington
it will starve to death...


#12 Richie

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 10:38 PM

Sorry! That would be mine! LOL, I'll call you later this week when you're at the track to arrange shipping. I may have you fill a box up with some parts as well ;) Thanks, and great photos!!!

Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.

- Richie Austin






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