Top Five Season Review – Napa Quick 32 Sportsman Series

1) Wilson & Gray – Champion

The Top Sportsman team of Wilson & Gray had a great season in Quick 32 Sportsman Series competition for 2013, winning its first championship in the popular drag racing series.

 Our season went great, said Bill Wilson, who is teamed with Rob Gray as co-owners, drivers, and crew chiefs. Everything went better than expected.
This season was the fifth for the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, which is presented by NAPA Auto Parts and competes at tracks in Ontario and Michigan.
The Ingersoll, Ontario-based team, which has been together racing for 22 years, missed the season opener at Martin, Michigan, and although it qualified second with Wilson driving for the second race, the team was eliminated in the semi-final round.
But for the next event, the second of three races on the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park, Gray qualified third and went all the way for the team’s first of three wins, eliminating Tom Orr of Quebec in the Top Sportsman final and then Top Dragster driver Lance Orr, also of Quebec, to capture the event final.
The next event at Cayuga was not as fruitful, as Gray qualified the Cavalier door-car third but was a first-round casualty.
But for the final two races, both held at the Grand Bend Motorplex, the team shone, winning both events. In the first Grand Bend race, with Wilson driving, the team took the Top Sportsman win over Michigan’s Jeff Harrington, and then eliminated the Top Dragster finalist Jim Rubino of New York for the overall victory.
Wilson & Gray repeated their success at the season closer, qualifying second with Gray in the driver’s seat. He went rounds to meet up and beat Darrin Grubb of Pine River, Ontario in the Top Sportsman finals, and then met up with and beat Rubino once again to win their third for the year.
Our goals this year were to qualify higher in the field, which we did, hit 200 mph, which we did, and win some races, which we did, noted Wilson.
The Cavalier is capable of runs down the quarter-mile in the high-six-second range at speeds just over 200 mph.
The Cavalier, a Jerry Bickle Race Cars product, is powered by a 706-cubic inch PAR Engine with Speedtech nitrous assist and Enderle Fuel Injection, and the power goes through a Powerglide transmission. Wilson and Gray both act as crew chiefs on the car when not driving, and Les Bodin, Kurt Wallace, Chris Muttton, Noah Hathaway, Heather Eidbo and Kayrn Benner make up the rest of the team.
The Wilson & Gray Chevy Cavalier was super consistent all season while winning the Napa Q32 points Championship.

The Wilson & Gray Chevy Cavalier was super consistent all season while winning the Napa Q32 points Championship.

 2)  Kevin Wicke – Second Place

Two-time Quick 32 Sportsman Series champion Kevin Wicke came close to winning his third series title, but had to settle for second spot in the Championship Point Award Series in 2013

The series, presented by NAPA Auto Parts, has now completed its fifth year of racing.

Always a strong competitor in the Top Sportsman ranks with K&K Racing / CVR Dodge Stratus, Wicke started off the season well with a Top Sportsman win in the series opener at Martin Michigan after qualifying number one, but lost the event final to Top Dragster racing Sam Christian of Amherst, New York.

For the next race, at the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park, Wicke qualified number four but was out in the second round. He went to the third round after qualifying second at the next event. He also qualified second at the next race, at Cayuga, and won in Top Sportsman only to lose the event title to Top Dragster racer Melanie Simmons Salemi of Orillia, Ontario.

Wicke, of Stratford, Ontario, qualified third for the next race, at the Grand Bend Motorplex, and went laps until the semi-final. For the final season race, he qualified at the top of the ladder but was out in the second round.

The Stratus is powered by a nitrous-inspired 604-cubic inch engine with B1 Heads in the RJ Race Cars chassis with a Hutch’s Transmission Service Powerglide and an Abruzzi converter. The team recorded a career best in 2013, putting down a 6.723 at 205 mph.

Kevin Zimmer is crew chief for the team, which is also comprised of Dan Culliton, Dennis Culliton, Derek Dotzert, Scott McCann, Kody and Kayden Wicke. Sponsorship is courtesy of CVR Inc., Fraser Asphalt Paving, Perth Auto Dismantlers, Skully Bros. Metal Fabrication, Bear’s Performance Products, Keystone Light and Ron’s Precision Machine.

3) Spencer Hyde – Third Place

Driving the Hyde Racing Team 1968 Camaro Top Sportsman entry, Stratford, Ontario’s Spencer Hyde took third place in this year’s Quick 32 Sportsman Series point award championship.

Hyde started his season well with a runner-up finish in the Top Sportsman ranks to former champion Kevin Wicke, also of Stratford, during the opening round at Martin, Michigan.

And for the second event, held at the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park, Hyde qualified fifth and took his Camaro to the winner’s circle, winning the Top Sportsman side of the race over Steve Corriveau of Fonthill, Ontario. Then he was matched up to Top Dragster driver Bill White of Gadshill, Ontario, but lost to White in the event final which pits the Top Sportsman eliminator against the Top Dragster eliminator for the event title.

For the next two races, held at Cayuga, Hyde qualified fifth and seventh respectively, and was out in the first round in the first and then the second round of the second race. He qualified third for the next event, held at the Grand Bend Motorplex, but was eliminated in the first round of action. For the final race, also at Grand Bend, Hyde qualified seventh and ran some laps until eliminated in the third round of Top Sportsman.

Powered by a large 762-cubic inch ERD engine, the Jerry Bickle Race Cars product features an Abruzzi Racing transmission with an ERD (Engine Research & Development) fuel system.

Driving for the family team, owned by Peter and Lisa Hyde, Spencer has raced in the Quick 32 Sportsman series since its beginnings, and the former Junior Dragster driver started the series with a dragster before switching over to the Camaro.

His teammates include crew chief Ron Hyde, with Jack Hyde, Murray Hyde, Peter Hyde, and Bob Sackrider. The team also enjoys the involvement of Carl Spiering.

Sponsorship for the team is provided by NAPA Auto Parts, Ideal Supply, Hyde Construction, Hyde Electric, Dordan Mechanical, Raedon Excavating, Ronnoco Sales, NA Engineering Associates, Wilhelm Concrete, Steve Smith Construction, Sutton Group (Paul Graham) and Orr Insurance, Coors Light (Jeff Carr), Ramseyer Earthworks, Schultz Plumbing, Remex Trucking, iLOOKABOUT, the Tim Horton’s at Ontario and Erie in Stratford and Mathieson and Associates.

4th) Melanie Simmons Salemi – Fourth Place

A strong competitor with her Top Dragster entry, Melanie Simmons Salemi enjoyed a good 2013 season in the Quick 32 Sportsman Series.

Driving her Toyrific Racing Team Mike Bos dragster, Simmons Salemi qualified for all six events this year in the fifth year of the series, presented once again by NAPA Auto Parts.

Qualifying fourth for the season opener in Martin, Michigan, Simmons Salemi was eliminated in the first round, and after qualifying eighth for the next race, on the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park, she made it to the semi-final.

For the next race, also at Cayuga, she qualified sixth but was out in the first round. But in the fourth race, after qualifying fourth, Simmons Salemi went all the way in the event, winning the Top Dragster eliminations as well as taking the event title over Top Sportsman winner Kevin Wicke of Stratford, Ontario.

For the final two events, held at the Grand Bend Motorplex, she qualified sixth and fifth respectively, and was eliminated in the second round in both events

The dragster is powered by an ERD built 509-cubic inch big-block Chevy engine, supercharged, and with a Resolution Racing Services fuel system. An Abruzzi two-speed Powerglide sits behind the powerplant.

The car is capable of mid six-second runs at about 205 mph at the hands of Simmons Salemi, whose hometown is Orillia, Ontario.

Crew chief for the team is her father Roger Simmons, while husband Jon Salemi looks after the tuning for the team. The crew consists of Colin Steels, Mike Scott, Tanner Simmons, Suzanne Simmons, Evan Salemi and Akyra Salemi.

Sponsorship comes from Jackson Transportation Systems, Delta Faucet Canada, Brampton Pallet Inc., ERD (Engine Research & Development), Auto Sense Auto Parts, Auto Logic Service Expert, Castrol, Extreme Collision Centre, NGK Spark Plugs, Resolution Racing Services, G-Force Race Cars Inc. and RS Performance Auto Service.

5th) Jeff Moser – Fifth Place

Driving the MoBoyz Racing Top Dragster entry, Jeff Moser finished fifth this year in the Quick 32 Sportsman Series.

This popular drag racing series, presented by NAPA Auto Parts, has completed its fifth season of operation, and is comprised of Top Dragster and Top Sportsman cars using a Sportsman (full tree) timing system.

Moser, from Waterloo, Ontario, started racing in 1996, joined the Quick 32 Sportsman Series in 2011 and has finished in the top five every year since then with his Top Dragster. Moser pilots a 2011 Phantom Race Cars product with a 632-cubic inch Scott Shafiroff Racing Engines as power, hooked to a Hutch’s Transmission Service Powerglide transmission. The car’s fuel system is Holley, and the nitrous system is a Speedtech Fogger unit. The car’s performance throughout the season would be in the mid-six second range at speeds of just over 200 mph.

Moser’s qualifying passes were very consistent throughout the season, usually in the middle of the 16-car field. For the opening round at Martin, Michigan the team qualified seventh and made rounds until getting knocked out in the semi-final.

The team fared better for the first event on the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park, qualifying ninth and making laps through the field, only to lose to Top Dragster race winner Bill White of Gadshill, Ontario in the final round.

For the next two events at Cayuga, Moser qualified ninth, and both times was eliminated in the second round. For the Stratford Spectacular Weekend at the Grand Bend Motorplex, he qualified 11th and also was eliminated in the second round, while in the season finale at Grand Bend he qualified ninth and was eliminated in the third round.

Wayne and Dianne Moser are owners of the team, and the crew chief is Wayne (Jake) Moore. The team also includes Melanie Moser, Amy Moore, Jackson Moser, Hunter Moser, and James and Renee Detzler

The team receives sponsorship from Bast Auto and Tire Center’s, 570 News All News Radio, Elmira Auto Supplies Ltd., Stemmler Meats & Cheese, Hutton’s Professional Detailing Products and CA Krueger.

The Annual Night of Champions Championship Point Award Series Banquet for the Pro Modified Racing Association (PMRA), the Quick 32 Sportsman Series and the Pro Bike & Sled Series (PBSS) will be held at the Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre in Burlington, Ontario on Saturday, November 16, 2013

Posted by:  Tim Miller

Photo by:  Bruce Biegler