Racers came together May 22-23, 2021 for a Mid Atlantic .90 Series race in honor and memory of racer, Dave Stine.
MOHNTON, PA- Dave Stine grew up in a hot-rodding family. His father, John, and mother Joyce were both car people who enjoyed their hot rods, passing on that love to their offspring. Dave and his brother Dean both raced motorcycles for a while before Dave became infatuated with four wheels, finally ending up with a dragster to run in NHRA’s Super Comp class.
In the meantime, growing up with sort of the same foundation, Kara Stricker began with Jr. Dragsters, working with her father Jeff & Mother Kim, who were noted racers themselves. Finally, Kara found herself behind the wheel of a Top Dragster and a separate Super Comp car, earning several Wally’s along the way including a divisional championship.
As often happens, both Dave and Kara met at the racetrack and a budding romance ensued with a small family marriage in 2017. On January 31st of this year, the two were enjoying a somewhat relaxing four-wheeler ride when the unimaginable happened, an accident which claimed Dave’s life but left Kara unharmed.
They say time heals the wounds of those we lost and with a private family ceremony the racing core wanted to give a proper goodbye to Dave in the only way we knew possible, by throwing a giant party with a race mixed in. Only, a few weeks after Dave’s passing his Father-in-Law Jeff had the idea to throw together the largest paying Super Comp Race on the East Coast with a guaranteed $10,000 to win to be held on the first race of the Mid Atlantic .90 Series May 22-23.
With perfect weather for all three days the event was a huge hit, a test & tune on Friday Morning kicked it off for racers to get their first taste of the Maple Grove Raceway surface with Saturday being the race for the big money. In turn, over 233 cars came to play in 5 classes on Saturday with the highlight being 84 cars shooting for the $10,000 payday in Super Comp that was sponsored by VP Race Fuels.
The other .90 classes did not disappoint with over 50 cars each for a chance to win a guaranteed $5,000 thanks to sponsors like W&T Pipeline Consultants, AA Auto Salvage and P&L Garage.
Race #1 Results
As eliminations got underway the racers were throwing down some tight packages shooting for the big payday. As the rounds dwindled down it was a sea of NHRA World Champs, Divisional Champs, and Top 10 finishers in D1 when the smoke had cleared. With finals being set in Super Gas & Street the final pair of 9.90 cars saw a scary incident when Nick Daniels lost control of his Corvette Roadster and hit the wall and on his roof. Nick escaped injury but, the downtime for the cleanup would force the event to carry over into Race # 2 on Sunday.
On Sunday morning the finals would resume right out of the box with Super Comp finishing up their semi-finals. Out first was Tom Stalba and Jason Kenny with both drivers being identical .026 on the tree with Stalba taking the double breakout win 8.889 to 8.881 setting up a final round matchup with Davy Markle who was playing double duty as he was in the final round of Super Street.
With 10K on the line, Stalba got the slight advantage on the tree (.020 to .021) and paced it all the way down for an 8.910 to 8.923 victory and a 10k victory. Stalba then stopped the car at the end of the track and did a polish victory lap in honor of one of his best friends Dave Stine in an emotional winner circle celebration that was for the ages.
The other two .90 classes along with Top Dragster and Sportsman were also decided on Sunday Morning as Markle turned around and took down 5x MASSA Champ Keith Mayers when Mayers broke out with a 10.898. Markle would take home the Wayne’s Auto Body MVP award for his performance throughout the weekend.
In Super Gas, Paul Laino laid down a .004 thousandths package in the finals to make Jason Kenny mathematically ineligible and take home his first MASGA victory with his 73 Mustang.
Top Challenge Race #1 Results
In Race #1 of the Top Challenge series presented by Competitive Suspension, Dave and Brandon Miller made it a 1-2 punch with a double up in Top Sportsman and Dragster.
Dave Miller drove his 2000 S-10 truck to victory over Mike Newman’s 2013 S-10 in a battle of the pick-ups.
In Top Dragster, Brandon Miller took his brand-new dragster to victory when Mark Kelley turned on the red-light in the finals.
Race #2 Results
With Saturday in the books, the attention was turned to Race # 2 of the weekend and a normal Mid Atlantic .90 event. After a record car count on Saturday, Sunday was no slouch with 179 cars entering day # 2.
In Super Gas, the ageless wonder and 7x MASGA Champ Iggie Boicesco led off in style with yet another victory to add to his mantle back home in Warminster, Pa. In the finals, Boicesco took down Ron Ross who was appearing in his 2nd ever final in Super Gas with the series. At the flash, both cars were pretty much even with Boicesco taking a .007 to .010 advantage over Ross and parlaying that into a 9.945 to 9.964 victory.
In Super Street, Chris DePasquale took the Split Decision Vega Wagon to victory when first time finalist in the series Tommy Muller lit the red bulb in his 1957 Chevy by -.008. The kicker was when Muller drove it out to a 10.905 that would have been a tough to beat as DePasquale legged it out to a 10.880.
The Super Comp final was also decided on the red-light as Rhode Island’s Don Milson went -.003 red to hand the win to Narvon, PA Lee Ream who picked up where he left off at when he claimed the victory at the August 2020 event also held at Maple Grove.
Top Challenge Race #2 Results
The Top Challenge also completed its Race # 2 of the season with Jeff Taylor and Ron Anders picking up the wins.
Taylor who lives primary in Arizona but, keeps his race equipment in PA took the victory over Saturday’s finalist Mike Newman who had to settle for runner-up yet again. In a close final, Taylor got the jump (.017 to .025) and took the victory by 6 thousandths of a second. As if Saturday’s victory by Stalba was not enough, this was the first win for Taylor and his dad John since losing their mom / Wife Linda during the off season.
In Top Dragster, Anders took home his first ever victory when Val DiGenova lit the red bulb in the finals handing the win to the Maryland resident. Anders still hit the tree with a .013 light and lifted early to a 7.673 on the 7.620 dial when he saw the red-light by Val.
In closing, Keith would like to thank Jeff, Kara & Kim Stricker for hosting the event along with Dave’s family & friends who helped do the BBQ and celebration of life along with all the sponsors who came on board to help with the payouts and special awards. Plans are already in the works for the 2022 event so keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement soon!
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