Lo­cals shine at Chevy Wars event at MDIR

MDIR hosts Chevy Wars, other races

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

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.

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