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October 2008

October 12th, 2008

Event 2 of 4 for the 2008 Fall Series

by Dave Lahey

Pin Ball Anyone?



How do they do it, month after month; coming up with these fantastic courses?! We really have to be thankful that so much is made from the space available on what is a relatively small lot. This time, it was Elliot Speidell designing what he called "Pin Ball," which was yet another fun fantastic course to run. Although there were a lot of "pins" (cones) walloped, and lots of course workers got their exercise today, it was fun for all and all for fun! Oh, and the weather? It was downright perfect! Yeah, just a little chill in the morning, and sweatshirts were a fairly common bit of attire, but as the sun got higher in the sky, it got to just about the perfect temperature for being outdoors, even out on the asphalt. Smiles and grins were dominant!

So, pull up to the Start line and look left, because that's where you were headed. A short blast to a right turn and up the middle of the course, a series of offsets, and then swing right into a wallom of offsets. Yeah, there were a lot of cones there, but really only the one critical apex cone took all the heat and subsequent walloping. Around to the right again and up the middle section one more time, then left into a 5 cone slalom to the finish. THOSE cones took a beating as people were trying to squeeze that last tenth of a second and get to the lights as soon as possible! The finish display was right there, and the announcer, so you pretty much knew what you had just done. Some were happy at that point, and some were ... not.

For instance, Deb Eymann is just so fun to watch at the finish. She is either laughing her butt off or throwing her arms in the air and exclaiming, "YES!" Thanks for the entertainment, Deb, and others as well! Good stuff.

Two of our three National Champions for 2008 were in attendance, with plenty of people chomping at the bit for Top Time or Top PAX on the day. As the run groups progressed, so did the Fast Time, and in the end, it was Fred Zust in the XP FrankenLotus taking BOTH FTD and PAX and sending the others packing. Fast Fred's smokin' 33.204 put the hurt on the others' dreams, but Dangerous Dan Hawrilkiw was also in the 33 second range. With a 34.595, Jay Balducci took third overall, with Steve Eymann fourth at 34.757, Don Sattler at 35.221, and Elliot Speidell running a 35.538. All these first 6 were from the Sportsman class ranks. CSP Open winner Steve Ashcraft was next at 35.561, followed by Diane Deanovic at 35.565, Dave Young at 35.716, and rounding out the top ten, Frank Miller in the Rocket Red EVO with a 35.847. Mindi Cross gets special mention with the only other sub-36 second run of 35.890. That's three of the National Champion cars in the top eleven, and two of them twice!

Looking at the Overall PAX results, Fred does the double dip and takes the 1000 points. Jay Balducci is next, with a 989, showing you how dominant Fred was this day. There are usually a few 990 scores, but not in THIS pinball game. It isn't often at all that the top 5 places have such a spread in points! Next was Elliot Speidell with a 978, Steve Eymann close behind at 977, Dan Hawrylkiw at 974, then Don Sattler with a 971, followed by Ben Clement with 963, Steve Ashcraft with 962, tied with Brady Dohrmann, and Britt Dollmeyer in the S2000 this month, at 959.

Kim Kemper is daring any of the Sportsman or ST class SS cars to come and play in the Open class, although his very quick 37.283 may just be the thing that is keeping them out!? C Stock Open is up and running with 5 competitors, and Matt "Mister '99 Sport" Soeffner showing the way at 27.234. Co-driver for this season is Kevin "Mister STS2" Venisnik, who was just 2 tenths behind, getting the feel for R tires and getting closer! Next was Jeff Hancock, making his return to the ashpalt with a respectable 37.747. Larry Burrow made his best run with a passenger and edged Brad Owen, making his return to his '99 Sport from a couple of other co-drives the last 2 years.

Sean Morrill makes a triumphant debut in ES Open with a smackdown of 2 seconds in "The Katmobile" over head-shaking Sean Powers and the only non-Sean in the class, Joe Sandoval. Sean has run in the Sportsman class for many years, but may have just decided he would like something for the mantle? Evan Brom is looking for competition in FS Open, but drove his '02 Camaro to a 39.336. Likewise, Mike Rogers drove his Acura RSX in HS, looking for competitors. Alan Wagstaff suffered a flat battery, but managed to get in one fast run and take BM Open. Clifton Ragland drove his Rising Sun Datsun Z to the EM win.

As a few of the usual CSP Open suspects took to the Sportsman class to get a later run group, three remained to duke it out in Open. Steve "Last Run" Ashcraft pulled out the top spot with a 35.561 with co-driver Dave Lahey coning away 2 quicker runs and having to stand on ... something slower. Having hit an early cone, Lahey was able to do a full-out bonzai run on his third, and had it going well through his fourth run, only to clip the middle slalom cone near the finish to throw away the honor. The resounding expletive heard round the finish area is not fit for printing, but rhymes with "Snit!" You get the idea. Derrick Disharoom is lamenting, wishing he had some big fat Hoosiers too. but still ran a fast time on the "skinny" Kumhos.

Dave Young is doing his "We call him the Stig" imitation again, and won the SM class, but Frank Miller in the Red Rockin' EVO was darn close with a 35.847 almost at the 35.716 Stig pace. Tim Bergstrom was next at 36.777 and Frank Adams in his older M3 was fourth. Victor Malchesky challenges any SM2 legal car to come play in this Open class. He was happily bouncing his way around in the CRS with a 36.955.

Manfred "I got new tires, I got new tires!" Reysser put those new Dunlops to good use today, taking STS over Clinton Campbell in his Mini "Justacooper." Though close, Manfred's 38.849 was quicker than "Justa" with a 38.961. Third was Chris Largent in his '97 Impreza at 40.092 seconds. Oh, but look! Kelly Banks was VERY close in his '08 Lancer at 40.145! Josh Johnston was 5th in his '95 Nissan 240X. Jeff Isreal made the trek up from Tucson, and took the STX win in his '04 Golf over Sergio Perez, Mark Osier and Ryan Bernholtz. Jeff was heard to say, "I think I should come up here more often!" Not only reflecting on the win, but enjoying the course and weather! Dave Branson ditched the Sportsman class and ran STS2 Open, and Frank Miller took STU in his '06 GTO.

Dawn Maxwell decided the A run group was too early for the surface to be prime, so signed up in PAX Ladies and put the hurt on with a 36.009 run. Dawn's 950 score put her ahead of Teresa Clement in the family EVO, followed by Diane Deanovic, Smilin' Deb Eymann and Kat Morrill. Mitzi Burrow, fresh from a Saturday at the Evolution Driving School in Tucson (held this weekend) is probably still digesting all that fine information!

22 cars took a run at Fast Fred in the Sportsman class today. The top 6 were, as mentioned above, the fastest 6 cars and drivers. Wait, you don't want to scroll up? Okay, it was Fast Fred followed by Smilin' Jay, then three-wheelin' Elliot (pictured), Eymann, Hawrylkiw, and Sattler. Next was Ben Clement in the '05 EVO, followed by Brady Dohrmann in an Integra Type R, and Britt Dollmeyer in his S2000. Mindi Cross drove the Peter's National Championship CSP MX-5 (whew, that's a mouthful of alphabet soup!) to the 10th spot.

George Sklyarevsky had this to say about his drive today: "My times sucked, even though I am at the top of ST1 (haven't been under 900 points in like a year). I guess there is a reason why they say that after Evo school you get worse before you get better. Yeah, George, that is what Mitzi was saying too! Nevertheless, George took the ST1 win with a 38.460 and 887 PAX. Greg Rubenstein was REALLY close at a 39.640 and Geren Smith with a 39.060 getting used to the Boxster S. Close behind Geren was Jon Roesch in his Cayman S at 39.125, with Mike Mah giving his best in the '06 Elise.

Clint Child decided that enough is enough and put the smack-talkers to rest in Chad Mizners' Civic Si. His 38.928 won the ST2 class over Chad Mizner in an '03 Si, Jim Rohn in the Albers' BMW, Jeff Williams in Chad's car, and Klayton Albers slotting in behind. In the ST Ladies class, Glenda Meyers was smooth and quick in the '07 V6 Mustang, and faster that Suzanne Lipke in her Cooper S.

As for the Novices, David Manley jumped to the top of NV1 in his '05 STi followed by Robby Adelfson in a Mazda 3, Jeff Abrams in an Rx8, and Brian Dudo in an '03 Protege. Yes, the Arizona Mazda Club was out in full force, though the Subaru was one better on today's course. In NV2, Chris Steel took the win over Anthony Smith in his Scion tC, followed by Clayton Saffell in an '07 MX-5 PRHT (more alphabet soup!), and Patrick Maas in an '06 Sonata. Shawn Warner dug out his '71 Fiat 124 and thrashed his best, though a coolant leak ended his day a bit early. In NV3, Richard Damp drove his '96 328Is to the win over Travis Berry in an Sti. Travis has been away for a while, but was close on Richard's bumper with an 895 just short of the winning 902. Next best was Wade Orsini in a 240SX, followed by Adam Vega and Scott Matthews. Niki Voyatzis took the NV Ladies class in her usual happy smiling way. Oh, and her 2003 Mazda Miata.

Notably missing in the action today was our Director, Kevin Gleaton, who is taking time off to deal with a health issue. We missed you Kevin, and know you will be back soon! Our thoughts and prayers are with you...

Thanks to Rob Rockefeller for the photos featured this month. More can be found at the Arizona Autocross website. NOTE: These are not photos from today's event, as our usual battery of photographers were not in attendance.

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