The exponential growth in the popularity of largedisplacement engines within the Super categories is the direct result of the philosophy that it is easier to win a fixed-index race if you are chasing down an opponent in front of you. Seipel's style of racing contrasts considerably with many of his opponents, who are constantly trying new combinations of transmissions, torque converters, tires, and other components.
SUPER GAS — 10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, April 2-5, Las Vegas Seipel holds off competition for sixth victory by John Jodauga (Right) Ted Seipel, left, won his sixth Super Gas Wally trophy by driving his ’71 Ferrari to a 10.076 to 10.058 T he exponential growth in the popularity of large- displacement engines within the Super categories is the direct result of the philosophy that holeshot victory over Justin Lamb’s ’68 Camaro in the final (above). Seipel, near lane, cut a .003 light on his winning run. it is easier to win a fixed-index race if you are chasing down an opponent in front of you. This has Seipel won with basically the same combination that prompted many racers to combine big engines with earned him his last victory at the 1998 Phoenix national lengthy throttle-stop activation times to place event. The only change Seipel has made to his car in themselves in the role of chaser. recent years was a modification to the rear suspension. One competitor, however, who has been successful “It used to be set up for a short instant center, which without that approach is Ted Seipel, who scored his would make the car prone to wheelstands,” said Seipel. sixth Super Gas victory, at the SummitRacing.com “Now that we fixed that, the car is very consistent off of NHRA Nationals, driving his tried-and-true ’71 the starting line from track to track. That makes it a lot Ferrari Spyder, which is powered by a 406-cid small- easier for us to dial in on the index.” block engine and never went faster than 123.33 mph As for how often he has to look at the car that is during eliminations. “I also race an 11-second car in chasing him, Seipel said, “In the old days, I used to turn Super Pro bracket racing,” said Seipel. “I’ve gotten around right away to see how the other car did on the pretty used to looking over my shoulder. It’s always Tree. Now there are so many different ways that various been my feeling that if you keep your variables to a drivers have their cars set up, it’s harder to judge that. minimum, you can succeed with any style of racing So my current approach is not to look over into the after if you keep at it long enough.” other lane until I’m at the 1,000-foot mark. This allows me to focus on keeping the car in the groove for most of the run, which improves consistency.” Sonoma national event, and Top Comp at the 2006 About the winning car Seipel’s style of racing contrasts considerably with Pacific SPORTSnationals. T ed Seipel began racing his ’71 Ferrari Spyder in many of his opponents, who are constantly trying new 1987. He bought the car partially completed, and it combinations of transmissions, torque converters, tires, Fast facts: Seipel has won four national events in was finished by Harry Hoffman. Seipel first ran the car and other components. “It’s the nature of the drag his ’71 Ferrari Spyder, and his son, Kyle, has won with a big-block engine but switched to a small-block racing mentality,” said Seipel. “Everyone is always three national events with the same car. Seipel has to place more weight over the rear tires. The 406-cid trying to build a better mousetrap. For my operation, I also won two other events, the 1983 Winternationals engine, easily one of the smallest in Super Gas, uses a find it more productive to work on things like and 1984 World Finals, with his ’55 Lotus Elan. GM block, Edelbrock heads and intake manifold, a improving the signal of the carburetor rather than diminutive 800cfm Holley carburetor, Erson camshaft, developing high-rpm horsepower.” Did you know: Seipel worked as a software JE pistons, Manley rods, Scat crankshaft, MSD igni- manager for IBM before retiring in 1989. “It’s hard tion, Milodon oil pan, and Hedman headers. The racing The key race: “They were all tough races because to describe myself as a full-time Sportsman racer, electronics are from Dedenbear, and the drivetrain this was a pretty strong field,” said Seipel. “But in but that’s pretty much what I do now,” said Seipel. consists of a Hughes Performance Powerglide terms of earnings, the biggest race is the semi’s transmission and torque converter, a Ford 9-inch-type because you can come away with a lot more by Quotable: “It would be difficult to estimate how rear end with Mark Williams axles and spool, and reaching the finals. And beating someone of Val much I’ve invested in my car over the years, but I Hoosier tires with Center Line wheels. Seipel thanked Torres’ skills was big, too. He had just cut a perfect can tell you that this is one of the few cars out there the above-mentioned manufacturers as well as .000 light and was just .004-second over the index in that has paid for itself.” — Ted Seipel Sunoco, Red Line Oil, R&R Marketing, Sparco, S&S the previous round.” Automotive, and Santhuff Shock Absorbers. Seipel Best packages: 1. Val Torres (Valinda, Calif.) also thanked his wife, Georgia; son, Kyle; racing The runner-up: This is Justin Lamb’s first .000/10.054 (round five); 2. Justin Lamb friends Larry Scarth and Charlie Allen; and offered runner-up finish in four final-round appearances. (Hendersonville, Nev.) .011/10.053 (round three); special thanks to “my automotive guru, Dan DiVita.” He won Super Stock at the 2007 Jegs NHRA 3. Ted Seipel (San Leandro, Calif.) .006/10.062 Pacific SPORTSnationals, Super Comp at the 2007 (round one). ND 44 ✦ National DRAGSTER Super Gas Qualifying (Top 16 of 42 first-round winners) 1. Andy Boen, Yakima, Wash. (’89 Probe) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.060 (0.010) 2. Ted Seipel, San Leandro, Calif. (’71 Ferrari) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.062 (0.012) 3. Mike Ferderer, Buckley, Wash. (’03 Grand Am). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.062 (0.012) 4. Karen Comstock, Bradbury, Calif. (’57 Bel Air). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.062 (0.012)
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