Bill Smith, the irascible driver of the "worlds fastest 55 Chevy Bel Air" (more accurately a winged super late model stock car) took the measure of all comers at the V8 StockCar Road Racing Series HESS RACING PRODUCTS points races April 25 & 26 at Roebling Road Raceway. The series was running with the Buccaneer Region SCCA at their Jim Stark Memorial Races. The combination of Smith, crew chief extraordinaire Andrew Blaske and an 800 horsepower V8 GT1 rocket proved to be deadly to the competition.
During Saturday qualifying, Smith put his ride on the pole despite the treacherous track conditions encountered when a Camaro lost an engine in spectacular fashion, oiling down much of the circuit. In somewhat of a surprise, V8 GT2 fast guy Bob Mayer took the outside in his ex World Challenge Corvette. 2008 series champ Dave Machavern layed down a couple of easy laps then came down pit road to let traffic clear a bit, only to find the session black flagged. The easy laps relegated him to third overall on the grid. Saturday afternoon at the checker, Smith made it into turn one first, followed by Machavern, who simply outpowered Mayer's much less powerful V8 GT2 entry. Smith and Machavern ran nose to tail for a number of laps before encountering a gaggle of backmarkers, resulting in a several second lead for Smith as he scooted through the slower cars cleanly, with Machavern getting chopped off and hung up a bit. Machavern made a game effort to close the gap but ran out of time, finishing less than a second back at the checker.
Back behind the front running duo, there was great racing through out the group in the four classes. Lee Arnold charged from his back of the pack starting spot, to third overall and first in V8 SPO ahead of Paul Breehne in the DANISA ENTERPRISES Ford Fusion and Tad Segars in his HY POXY Monte Carlo. In the V8 GTA class there was great nose to tail racing between Tony Amico (CADDY'S ON THE BEACH Monte Carlo), Tom Graham in the FINANCIAL FEEDOM Ford Taurus and Kentuckian Randy Walker. Walker led early but an axle failure sidelined his Monte Carlo and Amico led Graham to the checker. Florida racer Bill Minnear took third in the AIRCADIA Monte Carlo.
In the new V8 GT2 class for ex World Challenge GT type cars and the like, Duluth, Georgia's Bob Mayer, piloting his ex Scotty B White Corvette was flying, He layed down a 1:13 and change qualifying lap, a standard that may stand a while and then ran third overall in the race until a failure of a brake caliper bracket slowed him a bit. Mayer was still quick enough to take the class win over Ed Lewis in his beautiful black Z06 Corvette and newcomer Tres Childs in his C6 Vette.
Looking to avenge his Saturday loss, Dave Machavern wanted to get the pole in a bad way for the Sunday race. Machavern did just that, laying down a 1:10 and change lap in his HERITAGE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Corvette that Smith was not able to match, as he was suffering some braking issues. At the green for Sunday's race Machavern held off Smith's charge and led into one and stayed there until lap three when Smtih closed to his bumper coming out of turn nine onto the front straight then powering by. Machavern hung close for a couple of laps before Smith once again used lapped traffic to effectively open a gap on the Corvette. Ray Webb made a nice charge through the field after a lackluster qualifying effort to come home third in V8 GT1 in his KENCO SIGNS Olds Cutlass. In V8 GT2, Mayer was again unstoppable and easily led Lewis and Childs to the checker and Arnold and Amico repeated in V8 SPO and V8 GTA respectively.
Next up for the group is storied Virginia International Raceway on May 9th & 10th. The historic track just outside Danville is a favorite of the V8 Racers.
The V8 Series thanks the Buccaneer Region SCCA and its' workers for hosting another great event and looks forward to racing with them again at the SIC in October.
As always the Series thanks its' marketing partners:
SCCA, Buccaner Region, Mo's Gold, Hoosier, Goodyear, RaceCar Engineering, FiveStar, Howe, DRP, RacingJunk.com, Racing Limo's, Roehrig-Enders Suspension, GrassRoots Motorsports Magazine, Dash Racewear, and Hess Racing Products