In what could be described as a horrific turn of events on Sunday afternoon in Topeka, Steve Jackson was able to yet again climb the mountain and claim victory.
There are few times in racing that you sit back and ask yourself “What the hell just happened?” but for those of this side of things, that is exactly what happened Sunday, during Pro Mod eliminations at Heartland Park in Topeka, KS. By the end of the day there were four, yes four pro mods that had significant damage to them, and this was the start of a three race stretch for them.
By all accounts, if you know Stevie, then you know that this was going to be a tough week. His crew chef and friend Billy Stocklin, unexpected lost his father last week, so emotions were going to be high. Take into consideration that Stevie had a terrible pass in Q1, took out a block in Q2, so things weren’t exactly looking up for the team. Fear not though, the team of Stevie, Billy, Jack, Robbie, Robert, and everyone had a plan. Q3 was the teams time to shine, and that is exactly what they did. The lights dropped and Stevie cracked off a time good enough to put him #1 in qualifying. It is a good thing too, since Q4 wasn’t impressive either.
We have seen this from Stevie before though. Take the US Nationals last year, where he got into the show on the last qualifier and ran the board. Right behind Stevie was the nitrous entry of Chad Green, who is showing people that his Musi powered Camaro can certainly compete in the summer with the blowers and turbos. It was going to be a damn tough field to navigate through.
In E1 Stevie had to maintain nerves of steel though, as he was going to face the Proline turbo combo in Michael Biehle’s Mustang. Their match-up wasn’t the big story of E1 though. The story there was the multiple accidents that occurred during the round. A match-up between Gainesville winner Todd Tutterow and Steven Whiteley ended terribly when Todd got squirrely on the top end and slapped into the side of Steven’s Camaro. There was also a huge crash, that could have been a lot worse, when the Carolina Kingpin Jeremy Ray, went shooting across track and narrowly missed Erica Enders car before taking an explosive hit into the way. Lastly was Alex Laughlin, who also got outta shape and slapped the side of his car into the wall.
Once E1 was done, all the dust and debris cleared, it was back to laying the smack down. Stevie had to face off against 2X NHRA World Champion Erica Enders in E2 though. Erica has proven that her car will absolutely freight train the top end, and she certainly knows how to cut a tree. It was Stevie with the lumberjack tree, and able to hold off Erica’s 260 mph pass for the victory. Next up was another turbo car, and it was the winner of the Virginia race, Sidnei Frigo, and yet again Stevie was killer on the tree with an .021 light and a 5.74 pass to Sidnei’s 5.78 pass. This meant that the points leader was going to another final.
On the other side of the ladder it was the “Turbo Pig” Clint Satterfield, and the Bacon Sandwich Man Bob Gardner that had lady luck on their side. In E1 Clint faced off against Khalid AlBalooshi. Seems there were conflicting stories about what happened, but Khalid bypassed scales after the pass and Clint was reinstated for round two. In E2, Clint was set to take on Todd Tutterow, but due to the accident in E1, Todd wasn’t able to make the call, which left Clint a clean bye into the semi-finals. In the semis he was taking on last years World Champion Mike Janis, but Mike rolled the beams and handed the victory to Clint. This meant that Clint was going to face off against Stevie Fast.
The finals pitted two teams that you couldn’t and wouldn’t want to root against. Both amazing people, and their crews are amazing. Clint was going to have to muster a hell of a run if he was going to take the win. Stevie left first by a country mile with an .030 light to Clint’s .090 light. Clint kept him honest though, and ran a clean 5.93 at 251 in the losing effort. Stevie laid down a 5.74 at 251 to take the win and another wally. In his very emotional top-end interview, he dedicated this win to Billy .
Stevie leaves Topeka in the rear view mirror and heads off to Bristol, where he carries close to a 100 point lead over Todd Tutterow in the points. While I am sure you are all scratching your heads and wondering if Todd will be able to cut that points lead back down since he wrecked, I can assure you that Todd is not going to just let Stevie continue to accumulate points on him. In fact, our sources have stated that Todd, Alex, and Steven all have plans to compete in Bristol this weekend. There is no rest for Stevie, Todd, or anyone else in Pro Mod at this point in the season. They have Bristol and then Norwalk before a well deserved break until the US Nationals on Labor Day Weekend. Look for Stevie to try and do everything he can to make sure that he stays as far out in front as possible by the end of this three race stretch.