Summit Racing Equipment Racing Series ET Finals
Pacific Division – Division 7
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
September 28 – October 1, 2023
This years NHRA Summit ET Pacific Division finals were held again at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 28th to October 1st, 2023. Hot temperatures in the 90’s greeted the racers on Thursday’s Test ‘N Tune and Gambler races. It did cool off considerably later in the weekend.
The only thing hotter was Michael O’Neil who has won 9 of his last 12 races this year! He is the 2023 NHRA Summit ET “Summit Showdown” champion and will represent D7 later this month at the Nationals in Las Vegas with the other 6 divisional champions plus a wildcard.
Thursday, September 28th was the testing session in the morning with the Gambler’s race to start later in the afternoon and finishing on Friday. We had 2 passes in testing before the Gambler’s race. We had 34 bikes and one sled enter the Gambler’s race.
In the semifinals on Friday, Tom Patterson, Tucson, AZ on his Kawasaki drag bike defeated the snowmobile of Craig Jensen, Plain City, UT by a breakout by Jensen. Patterson had a .020 light vs .073 to Jensen and ran a firstname.lastname@example.org on his 9.01 dial to Jensen’s email@example.com on 9.12.
In the other pair, Everett Everhart, Citrus Heights, CA defeated Clayton Howey, Hanford, CA with a nice .004 light vs. an .049. Everhart ran firstname.lastname@example.org on the 9.32 dial in time to Howey’s email@example.com on the 8.66 in the double breakout race.
In the Gambler final, Tom Patterson took the win after a close reaction time advantage (.054 vs .056) over Everett Everhart when Everhart couldn’t run his number. Patterson ran firstname.lastname@example.org on his 9.02 dial to Everhart’s email@example.com on his 9.24.
Race of Champions
Later the “Race of Champions” was run. This year only the track champion (or alternate) from each track in the Pacific Division would race each other. The final was between Tucson’s Marle Patterson and Famoso’s Clayton Howey.
It was a quick decision when Howey redlighted by -.009. Of course with a redlight he ran dead on his number of firstname.lastname@example.org. Marle ran it out at a email@example.com on the 9.45 dial. So it was a great day for the Patterson family with Dad winning the Gambler and Daughter winning the Race of Champions!
Run for the Money
Run for the Money is where you give your $20 entry fee in the lanes during the second time trial and dial in a number. The closest 16 race later in an 1/8th mile shootout.
In the first round of Run for the Money is was:
- Ben Pangan, Jr., Crestline, CA over Rick Newport, Bluffdale, UT
- Cathy Silva, Escondido, CA over Donald Palmer, Fallon, NV
- Paul Silvas, Bakersfield, CA over Justin Woolison, Tucson, AZ
- Gary Oaks, Las Vegas, NV over Ed Bradell, Rio Linda, CA
- Don Nielsen, West Jordan, UT over Mark Avila, Fresno, CA
- Larry Mota, Orem, UT over Brian Howey, Lemoore, CA
- Andrew Manning, La Cresenta, CA over Justin Vincent, West Jordan, UT
- Eric Jaquith, Queen Creek, AZ over Dan Schneider, Erie, CO
Second Round – Run for the Money
- Don Nielsen defeated Ben Pangan, Jr.
- Paul Silvas defeated Andrew Manning
- Eric Jaquith defeated Cathy Silva
- Gary Oaks defeated Larry Mota
Semi-Finals – Run for the Money
Gary Oaks beat Don Nielsen when Nielsen had a problem at the start and had a .730 reaction time. He ran dead on his number with a firstname.lastname@example.org. Oaks ran a email@example.com on the 5.91 dial.
Paul Silvas beat Eric Jaquith when Jaquith redlighted by -.013. Silvas ran it out to a firstname.lastname@example.org on the 5.83 dial. Jaquith ran a email@example.com on his 6.10 dial. In a sad note, this would be Eric’s last run of the weekend as he injured his shoulder in the pits in a pit bike crash. Get well soon Eric!
Final- Run for the Money
In the final, Paul Silvas took his first ever win in Las Vegas on his Suzuki when he beat Gary Oaks Kawasaki KZ. Silvas had a good advantage at the start (.033 vs .072) and ran a firstname.lastname@example.org on a 5.69 dial to Oaks email@example.com on the 5.91.
The team race on Saturday was for a “Wally” along with gaining points for each track. We were missing a few bikes this year and with a couple that had to drop out by Saturday we had 42 bikes/sleds.
- David Phillips, North Las Vegas, NV over Terry Turner, Bakersfield, CA
- Clayton Howey, Hanford, CA over Kirk Walton, Salt Lake City, UT
- Paul Silvas, Bakersfield, CA over Lonnie Woodruff, Pahrump, NV
- Mark Avila, Fresno, CA over Craig Jensen, Plain City, UT
- Matt Fredericks, Tooele, UT over Noah Penright, Rialto, CA
- Steve Harrison, Lehi, UT over Mark McMahan, #762M
- Don Nielsen, West Jordan, UT over Daevon Morris, Anaheim, CA
- Justin Woolison, Tucson, AZ over Tracy Giles, Sandy, UT
- Larry Mota, Orem, UT over Joe Silva, Escondido, CA
- Cathy Silva, Escondido, CA over Kahea Woods, North Las Vegas, NV
- Ed Bradell, Rio Linda, CA over John Coburn, Mesa, AZ
- Matt Bluett, Chandler, AZ over Manuel Santos, Redding, CA
- Andrew Manning, La Cresenta, CA over Rick Newport, Bluffdale, UT
- La Verk Harper, Fontana, CA over Donald Palmer, Fallon, NV
- Patty Bluett, Chandler, AZ over Aundrea Wilcox, Temecula, CA
- Everett Everhart, Citrus Heights, CA over Brian Howey, Lemoore, CA
- Justin Vincent, West Jordan, UT over Dan Schneider, Erie, CO
- Michael O’Neil, Sacramento, CA over Jonny Stringer, Torrance, CA
- Tom Patterson, Tucson, AZ over Steve Puleo, Fallbrook, CA
There was a first round buyback for those that lost. 21 racers bought back so 11 won to advance to the second round.
- David Phillips over Cathy Silva
- Matt Fredericks over John Coburn
- Matt Bluett over Justin Vincent
- Clayton Howey over Craig Jensen
- Tracy Giles over Brian Howey
- Lonnie Woodruff over Paul Silvas
- Rick Newport over Mark Avila
- Larry Mota over Manuel Santos
- Gary Oaks over Michael O’Neil
- Ed Bradell over Ken Giles
- Don Nielsen over Daevon Morris
- Justin Woolison over La Verk Harper
- Donald Palmer over Ben Pangan Jr.
- Andrew Manning over Patty Bluett
- Jonny Stringer over Everett Everhart
- Tom Patterson over Steve Harrison
- Clayton Howey had the bye run and went first
- Marle Patterson defeated Daevon Morris
- Larry Mota defeated Matt Bluett
- Justin Woolison defeated David Phillips
- Matt Fredericks defeated Tom Patterson
- Lonnie Woodruff defeated Jonny Stringer
- Tracy Giles defeated Clayton Howey
- Andrew Manning defeated Don Nielsen
- Donald Palmer defeated Gary Oaks
- Rick Newport defeated Ed Bradell
Larry Mota had the reaction time advantage over Justin Woolison (.031 to .066) and ran a firstname.lastname@example.org on the 9.17 to beat Woolison’s email@example.com on his 8.90 dial.
Matt Fredericks overcame a bad light (.188 to a .044) against Donald Palmer to run dead on is number (9.17) firstname.lastname@example.org to Palmers email@example.com on his 9.70 dial in time.
Andrew Manning matched Fredericks’ run with a dead on time of firstname.lastname@example.org on the 8.87. He needed it against Tracy Giles who had a nice .005 reaction time to .065 to Manning. Giles couldn’t run his number at email@example.com on a 8.55 dial.
Team Las Vegas teammates ran in the last pair with Rick Newport getting the advantage at the start (.028 to .057) against Lonnie Woodruff. Newport ran a firstname.lastname@example.org on the 8.28 dial to Woodruff’s email@example.com on the 9.16 dial.
In the first pair of the semifinals, Andrew Manning redlighted by -.008 to give the win to Larry Mota. As per usual when you redlight you have a great run, Manning went dead on with a zero on his 8.85 dial at 156.92mph. Mota ran it out to a firstname.lastname@example.org on a 9.17.
In another Team LVMS matchup, Rick Newport took the win over Matt Fredericks in a great race. Both ran dead on with an eight. But Newport had the .02 reaction time advantage, .032 to a .052. Newport’s run was a email@example.com to Fredericks’ firstname.lastname@example.org.
The matchup in the final was going to have a big influence on the totals for the team championship race. Both racers were in the Summit Showdown for Sunday since Mota was already in for this season performance and Newport would be in by virtue of being in this final.
Mota on his ’15 Kawasaki ZX-14R got the advantage on the reaction times with a .050 to Newport’s .094 on his Suzuki GSXR-1000 turbo dragbike. Mota ran a email@example.com to Newport at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As mentioned earlier, the winner of Sunday’s “Summit Showdown” would be the Pacific Division 7 representative in the Summit ET National finals. Thirty-two bikes were entered. The top 5 point earners from each track plus those who attended 100% of their local tracks Summit ET series.
- Aundrea Wilcox over Noah Penright
- Steve Puleo over La Verk Harper
- Joe Silva over Ed Bradell
- Cathy Silva over Manuel Santos
- Michael O’Neil over John Coburn
- Justin Woolison over Patty Bluett
- Marle Woolison over Matt Bluett
- Clayton Howey over Matt Fredericks
- Andrew Manning over Kahea Woods
- Larry Mota over Terry Turner
- Mark Avila over Rick Newport
- David Phillips over Brian Howey
- Daevon Morris over Ben Pangan, Jr.
- Tom Patterson over Dan Schneider
- Donald Palmer over Paul Silvas
- Everett Everhart over Gary Oaks
- Mark Avila defeated Justin Woolison
- Clayton Howey defeated Marle Patterson
- Larry Mota defeated Cathy Silva
- Joe Silva defeated Everett Everhart
- Donald Palmer defeated Aundrea Wilcox
- Andrew Manning defeated Daevon Morris
- Tom Patterson defeated Steve Puleo
- Michael O’Neil defeated David Phillips
Mark Avila had a worse light than Joe Silva (.159 vs. .076) but ran a email@example.com on a 8.90 dial to Silva’s firstname.lastname@example.org on the 10.14.
Clayton Howey had a great .002 reaction to Donald Palmer’s .151 to cruise to a email@example.com on his 8.52 dial in time. Palmer ran a firstname.lastname@example.org on his 9.65 dial.
Michael O’Neil used his .008 reaction time to beat Larry Mota. Mota had a .070 reaction and ran a email@example.com on a 9.16 dial. O’Neil ran a firstname.lastname@example.org on a 8.78.
Andrew Manning had a .109 reaction time vs. Tom Patterson’s .010 but still won after Patterson had troubles and slowed on the run. Manning ran email@example.com (8.79) to Patterson with a firstname.lastname@example.org. (8.96)
In the first pair, it was nearly dead even at the start with Clayton Howey with the slight advantage over Michael O’Neil with a .022 vs. a .023. O’Neil dialed a 8.79 and ran a email@example.com to beat Howey’s firstname.lastname@example.org on his 8.51 dial.
In the second pair, Andrew Manning had a perfect light (.000) to Mark Avila’s .038 to make it to the final. Manning ran a email@example.com on his 8.80 dial-in time. Avila ran firstname.lastname@example.org on his 8.90 dial.
This final would send a first time winner to the Summit ET national finals later at the Las Vegas national event.
Michael O’Neil got the reaction time advantage on his ’00 Hayabusa drag bike with a .032 to Andrew Manning’s .094 on his ’99 Hayabusa. O’Neil ran a email@example.com on the 8.79 to win against Manning’s dead-on run with a zero, firstname.lastname@example.org.
O’Neil wanted to thank some people and sponsors.
“I haven’t posted anything yet because it didn’t really hit me until today. After 20 years of trying, I finally did it, 2023 Division 7 Champion.
To go even one round at Finals is an accomplishment, but to go a bunch of rounds, against extremely talented and accomplished riders, is nothing short of a miracle. I’m seriously humbled and in outright disbelief.
Now, I get to go back to Vegas, and from what I hear get the VIP treatment at the NHRA Nationals and race against the other 6 division champions for a shot at the #1 spot in the nation. I hope I can do us, Division 7, proud.
Thank you so much to all my friends, and family (too many to list) who supported and believed in me, texted me (over 100 messages from friends, family, and fellow racers and division champions I have respected and admired for years) posted to my page (Don Caesar post was hilarious) and gave me props. Thanks to Edward Bradell and Family, and Everett Everhart and Stephen Everhart for helping me out since I’m solo.
Thanks to Dan Martin for holding down the starting line in my absence, and thanks to my day job and SRP for letting me chase my dreams.
I give serious props and respect to my final-round opponent, Andrew Manning. This young man has more talent than I’ve seen from anyone his age. Sir, you are going places.
Off all the years to get this done, I’m glad I could do it this year and represent Sacramento Raceway. [Editor note: Sacramento is closing this year.]
Thanks to Squeeze Burger, Fields Performance, APE, Good Times Motorsports, Harris Gases, Antigravity Batteries, CycleGear, Hollister Collision Center, Annette Bauer Creative, Cole Dow, and Jose Race Chassis (for making me such a smooth chassis).
I’m sorry if I left anyone out. Thanks to all my fellow riders at Sac and surrounding tracks that have given me the will and skill to accomplish this.”
Special thanks go out the Jeff Foster and the crew at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was a tough weekend for them and the NHRA crew. Thanks to D7 director Matt De Young and his crew as well. Bob Johnson Photography for all the pictures that will be available for sale later on his website. https://bobjohnson.zenfolio.com/f247846788
Thanks to all the racers and crews for making this a fun race and also especially for helping out the other racers in need.
Good luck to Michael O’Neil in the Summit Racing ET national championship at the NHRA Nevada Nationals.
– Kirk Walton
NHRA #7151 ETM