Locals shine at Chevy Wars event at MDIR
MDIR hosts Chevy Wars, other races
The Eagles sang about life in the fast lane but Maryland International Raceway and TEN: The Enthusiast Network recreated it with the return of the Super Chevy Show on Saturday at Budds Creek.
The all-General Motors show featured two ET sportsman bracket races, a prestigious car show, swap meet, vendor area and Jet Wars.
But it was the locals who took center stage at the quarter-mile drag strip to battle it out for the coveted Super Chevy Show title.
Because of weather issues forecasted for Sunday, the event was condensed into Saturday, which resulted in two brackets for each event.
The Mattera family became a familiar fixture in the Maryland International Raceway winner’s circle as Waldorf brothers Bobby and John Mattera took home three trophies.
Racing a 1970 Opal, Bobby won Bracket 1 (Top ET) with a reaction time of .001 and a 5.783 (on a 5.78 dial) to defeat Robbie Parlett of Lusby. Bobby Mattera also won the MOD ET second bracket over his brother John thanks to a .020 reaction time and time of 5.794 ET in the final.
John completed the family’s hat trick when he found himself in the winner’s circle of the Mod ET first race. Racing a 1969 Nova he acquired in 1989, Mattera used a .048 reaction time and 6.376 ET to defeat Chris Saulnier of Colonial Beach, Va.
“It’s awesome except I didn’t beat my brother in the last final,” said John, 50, a truck driver for Safeway, of the second bracket final. “You want to see him do good, but you’d rather beat him like everybody else.”
In the Bracket 1 final, Colonial Beach, Va.’s Doug Minter and his 1967 Nova defeated Leonardtown drag racer Marc Williams.
In the Street ET first race, Hollywood’s Hunter Levin found himself in the winner’s circle with his 1986 S-10 pickup after a win over Lee Parks of Cockeysville, who was driving a 1968 Chevelle. Levin had a .020 reaction time and 11.338 ET.
Levin picked up a second win when he won Street ET over Wally Tuck of Richmond, Va., who red-lighted in the final round.
“It started out a little hot and the truck wasn’t acting real right but we got it fixed and all night it’s worked real well,” said Levin, a mechanic at Lexington Park Ford. “[Racing] is just something I’ve always done; it’s a life passion.”
In the first junior dragsters, another family drama played out when White Plains brothers Patrick Estevez Jr. topped brother Louie to win the first bracket. Patrick ran a 7.90 ET on a 7.905 dial-in his 2010 Ken Keir Jr. Dragster to claim the win.
In the second final, Zach Parlett of Charlotte Hall used a .016 reaction time and 1.012 ET to defeat Ashley Pumphrey of Waldorf.
“It’s sort of nerve-wracking,” said Parlett, a third-grader who drives a 2004 Halfscale dragster. “It’s sort of like ‘Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh.’ It’s nerve-wracking going down the track. When I won it was just like, ‘Yay.’”
It was the second straight win for Parlett after claiming a points race victory the previous weekend, also at MDIR. The 8-year-old is now tied for third in the point standings among more than 70 drivers. The current No. 1 and 2 drivers — Jacob Mattera and Louie Estevez — are rising high school seniors.
“I’m happy with what I did in the final. There’s really nothing I could have done,” said Pumphrey, a rising freshman at Thomas Stone High School who drove a 2006 Ken Keir dragster. “Drag racing means a lot to me. It’s too much to explain, but to be out there and not a lot of kids can do that so for me to do that is amazing.”
Parlett’s cousin, Jillian Parlett, made it to the second round of junior dragsters.
“It’s actually very fun, but it’s also sometimes really hard,” said the 9-yearold who lives in Mechanicsville and attends White Marsh Elementary School, “because it’s so hot, especially having all the equipment on, so when you get out of the car at the end [of your run] it feels like someone dumped a bottle of water on your face. But that’s the only thing bad about it. [Getting a good reaction time] is kind of hard because it goes so fast and I’m trying to hit a good lay, I’m trying to cut it, and every time I’m going down the track I’m trying to win.”
Because she stands only 4-foott-2, Parlett’s father, Matt, had to extend the brake pedal on her 2015 Halfscale by a full two inches just so she could use the brake.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking at times because kids don’t always have the best focus so you’re hoping when they’re in the car they’re actually paying attention to what they’re supposed to be doing, which is hard because when they’re out of the car they’re bouncing from one thing to another,” said Parlett’s father, Matt, whose company Computech sponsors several cars and is a track sponsor. “You don’t think they’d be able to apply that focus when necessary, but they can and they do it extremely well.”
Scott Chalk of Pasadena, who owns a red 1959 Chevy Impala convertible, was one of several Editor’s Choice car show winners.
“Oh yeah, I’m very proud of it,” Chalk said of the car, which was owned by his late father, Bill, and has been in the family for more than 40 years. Chalk also won Big Car stock and a best in class award. “It has a lot of sentimental value.”
Ashley Pumphrey of Waldorf waits for the Christmas tree to signify the start of a junior dragster race. The rising freshman at Thomas Stone High School, reached the final.
White Plains’ Patrick Estevez Jr., top, edged out brother Louie to win the junior dragster final.