The final race of the 2016 TOPMA series was held at San Antonio Raceway on October 22nd. A few cars were unable to make the show due to breakage at the last Kennedale race but six hot rods showed up and battled it out on the track. For those following the points chase, all Wiley and the TGR team had to do was show up and they pretty much locked down the championship. After first round of qualifying, an exhibition car oiled down the track from about 200 foot all the way down. It was a very lengthy clean-up but the safety of those competing was the tracks main concern and they did a great job. After two rounds of qualifying, here’s how everything unfolded:
#1 Bob Alexander – 3.958 at 186 mph
#2 Doug Riesterer – 3.977 at 191 mph
#3 Eric Clark – 4.026 at 190 mph
#4 Jay Ligon – 4.102 at 186 mph
#5 Steve Wiley – 4.800 at 103 mph
#6 Chuck Poindexter – 6.544 at 100 mph
Gaylen and I were there supporting the organization and the track but we found an unrepairable crack in the block and was unable to bring the Bounty Hunter. Blocks are not usually sitting on the shelf nor are they cheap enough to just go buy one unexpectedly. First race we’ve missed EVER!!! We are not good spectators. Rant over!
Chuck Poindexter broke down on the way to the track in Temple and could have given up and turned around and went home but finally made it in time for 2nd round qualifying. Way to hang in there Chuck.
Steve Wiley (W) 4.429 at 122 mph (.071 RT)
Doug Riesterer (RU) 5.788 at 97 mph (.047 RT)
Doug shook the tires and aborted the run while Wiley was getting down his lane a little better capturing the win.
Bob Alexander (W) 4.027 at 181 mph (.109 RT)
Chuck Poindexter (RU) 7.367 at 126 mph (.106 RT)
Both cars reacted almost identically but Chuck spun the tires at the hit and all he could do was watch Bob hook and reel in the win.
Jay Ligon (W) 5.311 at 106 mph (.353 RT)
Eric Clark (RU) 4.355 at 129 mph (-.001 RT) Red Light
Eric left a smidge too soon giving the automatic win to Jay.
Jay Ligon (W) 4.099 at 184 mph (.290 RT)
Steve Wiley (RU) 13.031 at 30 mph (.442 RT)
I think Butch and Eric must have run up and told their drivers to “wake-up” and go. Jay was on a nice clean run while Wiley shook and rattled and coasted down.
Bob Alexander (W) No Time (Bye Run)
Bob was only sporting about 6 cylinders when they were calling them for the round so the crew buttoned it up so he could take the tree and go back to the trailer and fix it correctly. Bob didn’t like doing this because we, as a group, are there to put on a show for the fans but sometimes it is necessary. He did not disappoint in the final though.
Bob Alexander (W) 3.997 at 185 mph (.078 RT)
Jay Ligon (RU) 6.028 at 98 mph (.417 RT)
Jay was caught napping again but Bob was ready for the tree and soared down his lane claiming his 4th win of the season.
Congratulations to Bob Alexander and the entire StripTec team for their hard fought victory but it wasn’t quite enough to get around Wiley for the championship, finishing 21 points behind. Congrats also to Jay Ligon for his runner-up finish
A huge “congratulations” to Steve Wiley and the TGR team for their fist TOPMA championship! It was well deserved and premeditated. Over the winter, the team stripped the car down to the bare chassis and re-wired it making certain there would be no gremlins this year. They also came back from a devastating encounter with the wall in San Antonio without missing a beat. I’m sure the candles were burning from both ends that week. That’s what you call perseverance and dedication and the making of a true champion. Welcome to the club TGR.
Bob Alexander fought a good fight but came up just shy of his goal for the year and that was to better his standings from last year and claim his first championship. He will definitely be one to watch next year.
If our car would have been ready, we would have been there trying to protect our #3 spot but it wasn’t in the cards for us this year as Eric Clark and the Clark Brothers team snuck by us and claimed that spot. As you’ve all heard Gaylen say at the banquet, he likes speaking last so we will re-group over the winter and came back next year with a vengeance looking to fight off whomever is in our way. Congratulations to Clark Brothers for their top 3 finish.