Seipel holds off competition for sixth victory by ProQuest


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									                            SUPER GAS — 10th annual 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           “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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