Friday, August 17, 2012
Melanie Simmons Wins Her First Quick 32 Sportsman Series Drag Race Event
by Bruce F. Mehlenbacher
GRAND BEND, Ontario -- There was good cause for celebration in the Toyrific Racing team camp as driver Melanie Simmons drove her Top Dragster to victory during the Stratford Spectacular Hot August Nationals presented by Ideal Supply & NAPA Auto Parts at the Grand Bend Motorplex in the latest round of the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts.
It took a long time but we did it, said Simmons after her win, her first in Quick 32 Sportsman Series competition. Everything went perfectly.
Driving the Delta Faucet Canada-sponsored Mike Bos dragster powered by a big-block supercharged Chevrolet engine, Simmons, of Orillia, Ontario, qualified ninth in the 16-car Top Dragster field with a 6.708, 200.66 posting. She eliminated number one qualifier James Litchy of Linwood, Ontario in the first round, took out Brody VanDerGeld of Cambridge, Ontario in the second round, and beat Sam Christian of Kenmore, New York in the semi-final to meet up with Jim Rubino of Buffalo, New York for the final.
Rubino eliminated Michael Kalin of Niagara Falls, New York, Sydnie Hyde of Stratford, Ontario, and Scott Wildgust of Wartburg, Ontario to meet up with Simmons in the Top Dragster final.
Rubino, who qualified 16th, couldn?t muster enough from his Chevy-powered Top Dragster, running a 6.96 at 94.88 to Simmons? 6.69, 168.69.
Simmons then met Top Sportsman finalist Dan Flanigan of Buffalo, New York in his 2002 Firebird for the event title, and easily beat Flanigan with a 6.68, 178.28 run over Flanigan?s 7.14, 129.70.
The Quick 32 Sportsman Series is comprised of 16-car Top Dragster and 16-car Top Sportsman fields. A finalist on each side is determined through eliminations, and the finalist of each races against each other to decide the event champion.
Simmons was quick to thank her father, team crew chief Roger Simmons, and the rest of her crew, which includes Jon Salemi, Colin Steels, Mike Scott, Dave Gregg Tanner Simmons and Suzanne Simmons.
This was a whole team effort, she said. And I have to thank them all, along with all my sponsors who helped me get here.
This win has been a great confidence booster, she continued. Everything was perfect with the car. We put everything aside and went rounds.
Simmons also said her win has been dedicated to Jackie Mehlenbacher (Team JAXS), the daughter of Quick 32 Sportsman Series Director of Operations Bruce Mehlenbacher.
This win is dedicated to Jackie, she said. She has given me a push and the desire to fight harder.
Toyrific Racing would like to thank their supporters Delta Faucet Canada, Jackson Transportation Services, The Eaton Corporation, Aeroquip Performance, ERD, Castrol, NGK Spark Plugs, G-Force Race Cars Inc., Resolution Racing Services, Barrie Harley Davidson, Auto Logic Service Expert, Brampton Pallet Inc., J&M Recycling Inc., Auto Sense Auto Parts, Extreme Collision Centre and
RS Performance Auto Service.
Presently leading the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts Championship Point Award Series Standings is Top Sportsman driver Dan Aitken Jr of Belle River, Ontario with 1005 points. Second is the Orangeville, Ontario Top Dragster team of Katie Ward and Michael Hinbest with 994 points, followed by Top Sportsman driver Kevin Wicke of Stratford, Ontario with 960 points.
Fourth is Top Sportsman driver Spencer Hyde, also from Stratford, with 954 points, and fifth is Simmons with 947 points.
The Quick 32 Sportsman Series, www.Quick32.ca will race six times in 2012. The series also competes with its two companion series, the Pro Modified Racing Association, www.PMRA.ca and the Pro Bike & Sled Series, www.PBSS.ca offering a solid and full package of drag racing action.
Racing in all three series resumes at the Grand Bend Motorplex in Grand Bend, Ontario August 31 to September 2 at the Thunder by the Beach Weekend.
For information contact the Grand Bend Motorplex, call (519) 238-7223, visit www.grandbendmotorplex.com