Shaking off the mechanical demon-type jinx that has haunted him during his last three visits to Lancaster Raceway Park, Tom Glick finally enjoyed good fortune there by winning the Bars Leaks Super Charged Thunder drag racing eliminations Friday night.
The Super Charged Thunder traveling series, which features car body styles 1957 and older, was a perfect fit to the nostalgic theme weekend that began Friday at Lancaster and ended with Sunday's highly successful Anderson Equipment Sunday Niagara Nostalgia Drags.
Glick, of Lima, Ohio, beat Canadian Doug Cadman in the Super Charged Thunder finals Friday. The race was over right at the start when Cadman left the starting line too soon and turned on the red light on the starting tree, earning an automatic loss.
Glick ran 4.761 seconds at 140.17 mph in the final for good measure. Finally, after three failed attempts for victory in the series annual stop at Lancaster, Glick emerged victorious.
"I've come here the last three seasons and for some reason this track has been a jinx," Glick said. "I broke a transmission here three years ago, broke a crankshaft two years ago and completely exploded a motor on the first burnout when we came out here last year."
The Super Charged Thunder runs a unique style of drag racing eliminations. Ten cars were in competition at Lancaster Friday. Each ran down the track against another opponent in the first round.
The series runs on a 4.80-second index, which means that each car must try to run the one-eighth mile strip at Lancaster and complete a run as close to 4.80 seconds as possible without going faster.
After the first round is completed, regardless of how each driver did against their opponent, only the two drivers completing their run closest to the time of 4.80 without going faster make the final.
Glick was the best in the first round turning in a 4.809 run while Cadman was next best at 4.876. This sent both to the final round.
"I had a real lazy tune-up in it on the qualifying run so it wasn't really qualified well for the show at all," said Glick, who drives the Helter Skelter 1932 Bantam Roadster. "So I leaned the fuel system down and that picked me up a little bit and we went dead on the 4.80 for first round eliminations and that's what got us in the final. Then I ended the Lancaster jinx."
The Super Charged Thunder traveling series has proven popular with drag racing fans that like to see the high horse-powered alcohol-burning engines of today strapped into cars that have to sport the older body styles of yesteryear. Engine sizes range between 382-526 cubic inches. This class therefore nicely bridges drag racing's past and present.
"We're going to a lot of different tracks all over the U.S., and having a lot of fun," said Cadman, who pilots a 1955 Ford Thunderbird. "Everybody seems to like older cars and it doesn't matter where you go -- they like to see nostalgia-type cars."
"What this series has is ten professionally built cars here tonight," explained series spokesman Rich Nietupski. "We don't race for a living. We race approximately 12 shows a year. They had us here this weekend because of the nostalgia theme."
The Super Charged Thunder cars are a hit with fans because they are very fast and loud, and the drivers are good at performing long, tire-smoking burnouts. While several hundred nostalgia type racecars of many different classes were on hand for Sunday's event at Lancaster, the Super Charged Thunder cars could not be there as they left Lancaster after Friday's event to race in Grand Bend, Ont. on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Little Valley Speedway ran a Thursday night special this past week with Todd Andrews winning the Regional Racing Series (RRS) Super Late Model 30-lapper over Ron Davies and defending Little Valley champion David Scott.
During the first Super Late Model heat, a violent collision took place that saw two drivers rushed to area hospitals. Rod Maloy was involved in a frontstretch spin that saw his machine come to rest under the starter's stand.
The yellow flag was immediately waved and each car slowed down in plenty of time except for George LaBarbara, who plowed into Maloy at full speed. Maloy was taken to the Erie County Medical Center where he is out of intensive care and recovering. LaBarbara was treated and released from another local hospital.
Other Little Valley winners were Todd Hansen, Super Stocks; Ryan Learn, Street Stocks; and Ron Foster, School Buses.
Hansen also won Friday at Freedom Raceway. Other Freedom winners were: Rich Michael Jr., Modifieds; Darren Morgan, Street Stocks; Jason Hull, Mini Stocks; Paul Davies, Pure Stocks.
At McKean County Raceway Saturday, Hansen was disqualified from a win in the BRP Can-Am Super Stock Series Brock Young Memorial for a short wheelbase, handing the victory to Jeremy Wonderling. Learn and Randy Hall each won double Street Stock and Sportsman features respectively. Bert Cleer and Craig Bedell were best in Mini Stocks. Ron Davies won the Late Models.