SoCal Super Street series wins to Sapone and Ventura: Ryan Houmard wins series championship; Ventura takes annual Shootout at Bakersfield.
Press Release written by Bob Johnson
Photos provided by the Southern California Super Street Association
Bakersfield, CA- John Sapone and Greg Ventura won the final events of the 2023 Southern California Super Street Association championship series at Famoso Dragstrip. Ventura was a double winner over the weekend, winning the Sunday finale and the annual Mechanix Wear Shootout. The Houmard family has been a fixture in SoCal Super Street racing for several years with Ryan Houmard winning the Able Wire EDM-sponsored ‘23 series championship with his ’64 Nova. Ryan joins brother DJ, who won the 2015 title and dad Kevin, winner of the 2019 & 2022 Super Street titles, as Houmard Family champions.
Saturday’s race was sponsored by Able Wire EDM and RPM Racing. Jimmy Galante went into eliminations as the number one qualifier as his RaceTrans-sponsored ’67 Nova posted a 10.902 for the Mechanix Wear top spot. Jody George was next at 10.903 and Kevin & Ryan Houmard rounded out the top four, both with 10.905-time slips.
Sapone was the number nine qualifier in the 20-car field, and he drove his ’64 El Camino to the final round with round wins over Jeff Jones, Ryan Houmard, and Craig Whelen before getting a bye into the final. On the opposite side of the ladder, Jimmy Galante posted round wins over Victor Blehm, Melvin LeForbes, he had a bye in the quarterfinals and defeated Kenny Snow in the semifinals. The final was decided by a double-breakout and .051 better light by Sapone, as his El Camino recorded a .013 light and took the win 10.889, 123.98 to a losing 10.882, 144.35 for Galante’s Nova.
The sixth and final race of the season was sponsored by RPM Racing and Able Wire EDM. Twenty-one cars entered the show with Dave Akard earning the Mechanix Wear number one qualifier award, driving his ’65 Chevelle to a perfect 10.900 qualifying time. PJ Giacalone was second with a 10.906 and Dale Toros was .007 off the index with his ’72 240 Z.
Greg Ventura and Dennis Paz—both NHRA divisional Super Street series champions, Ventura in 2016 and Paz in 2002—went to the finals of the event. Paz got to the final with round wins over Craig Whelen, Jody George, and Danny Valdez before getting a bye into the final. Ventura’s path to the final included wins over Paul Giacalone, a bye in round two, he used a .004 light to beat Mark Simonian in the quarters and stopped reigning champ Kevin Houmard in the semifinals, 10.918 to a 10.916. Paz had a brilliant .001 reaction time in the final, but let Ventura around him for a 10.906, 141.56 (.026 r.t.) to Dennis’ losing 10.938.
Ventura’s day began with a win in the annual Mechanix Wear Shootout, pairing the top eight qualifiers during the season for a shot at the prestigious win. Greg drove his Nova to a final round 10.907, 133.59 (.020 r.t.) to 2021/2022 Super Street champion Kenny Snow’s second best of 10.904, 136.81 (.031 r.t.). Snow qualified 8th for the shootout and defeated Kevin Houmard in round one and beat PJ Giacalone in the semi. Ventura, the 6th qualifier for the event beat John Sapone in round one and defeated Jody George in the semifinal.
The final points standings for the series championship has Ryan Houmard with the series title at 3555 points, followed by Kevin Houmard at 3155, Greg Ventura with 3149, Jimmy Galante fourth at 2663, and Dennis Blehm fifth with 2650 points. The top ten also included John Sapone, PJ Giacalone, Jim Gobble, Mel LeForbes, and Craig Whelen.
Sponsors for the 2023 Southern California Super Street Assoc., include: Able Wire EDM, RPM Racing, Crew Chief Pro Software, On the Stop Workshop, High Roller Tiki Lounge, Auto Meter, K & N Filters, Lucas Oil, PMR, Sanders Automotive, Mechanix Wear, Pizazz Racing, RaceTrans.com, Smith Motorsports, and Brandt Racing.
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