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Donald Long's annual Sweet 16 race is very different from most races we attend. It is a 3 day event, with only 4 total classes (RvW, Pro275, LDR, and X275.) The schedule consists of as many qualifiers as time allows, followed by an intense session of Saturday eliminations.
TeamProLine was in full effect with over 15 cars on the property at South Georgia Motorsports Park! Here are some of the highlights from the historical weekend:
Pharris and Alepa Join Forces with Galot Motorsports and Make History
Daniel Pharris / Galot Motorsports
Long time RvW competitors, Daniel Pharris and Andrew Alepa, made some moves in the off season to take the seat of the Galot Motorsports 69 Camaro that Kevin Rivenbark would normally drive. The team is super excited about 2021 and plans to take the car to Radial and PDRA Pro Boost races all year! Before the event, Pharris, Steve Petty, and the team took the car out testing and ran some of their best numbers they’ve ever run. During qualifying, they were able to reproduce that performance with a 3.498 at 212.73 mph! It stands as the new world record in legal RvW trim and earned the team the coveted title of First to the 3.40s as well as number one qualifier. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Pharris made it all the way to the semifinals where he lost in a very close race with the event winner, Steve Jackson. The newly formed alliance of Pharris, Alepa, and Galot Motorsports is showing tons of promise this year, we look forward to seeing them again!
Markiewicz and Crew Qualify #2 and Run New Personal Best E.T.
The team out of Largo, Florida has been on a roll since their win at the US Street Nationals back in January, and their momentum hasn’t stopped. Their tuner, Josh Ledford, had the ProCharged Camaro making great passes, improving each time they went down the track. During the 5th qualifying session, Markiewicz belted off a 3.529 at 211mph to secure the second qualifying position and a personal best run. Unfortunately he was eliminated by Brad Edwards in the second round of eliminations who went on to the final round. We are seeing great things out of Team Markiewicz!
Team Preston Bring Home Runner-up Trophy and New Personal Bests
Adam Preston / Preston Family
The Preston Brothers, Adam and Isaac, and their father Shawn had a race weekend to remember. Adam drove the twin turbo PLR 481X-powered Camaro to the 13th qualifying spot in Pro 275 with a new personal best 3.84! The team had the right tune-ups for race day. When others had trouble with a track surface, Adam was able to drive the car down the track. On their way to the finals they defeated some of the heavy hitters in the class including Brian Anderson, Eric Dillard, and number one qualifier Shawn Ayers. In the finals they lost to Mo Hall.
This car has been in the Proline family for a long time, it used to belong to Canadian 10.5 racer Steve Lazzaro. We are very happy to see the Preston Family having such success after only a couple of races!
Luis DeLeon and Team Buginga First to the 3.60s and Honoring Blake Copson
Luis DeLeon / Team Buginga
After the tragic loss of beloved racer and friend Blake Copson aka BCOP, Team Buginga asked FuelTech’s own Luis DeLeon to pilot their Pro 275 car and Ken Quartuccio to handle driving duties in their X275 car. The team made a beautiful tribute to Copson and his family, handing out BCOP t-shirts and decals to the other teams, and gathering everyone around for a massive group photo of people paying their respects to a young man that touched so many of our hearts.
DeLeon and Team Buginga led the pack early during qualifying after making a historical pass! The Jamie Miller tuned Mustang ran a 3.686 at 201mph and became the First to the 3.60s in Pro 275! After 8 rounds of qualifying, they eventually found themselves in the number 2 position. DeLeon made it to the quarterfinals but was taken out by Ron Green.
Eric Dillard and Scott Tidwell Run Consistent Low 3.70s
Eric Dillard / Scott Tidwell Racing
Scott Tidwell's ProCharged PLR Hemi-powered Camaro made some really nice passes throughout qualifying. Eric Dillard drove the car to a 3.71 and qualified number 4. During E1, Dillard took out Tommy Youmans and his GTO with a 3.76. A second round loss to Preston ended their weekend a bit shorter than they hoped.
Brian Anderson Dips Further into the 3.70s
Brian Anderson / Showtime Racing
This team out of Kathleen, Georgia has been making big moves in Pro 275. Brian Anderson's twin turbo 481X- powered Mustang was printing timeslips at Sweet 16. He qualified 5th with a 3.76 at 208mph.
When the track got tricky on Saturday, Anderson suffered the same fate as Dillard, beaten by Preston. It's great to see Bryan and his family and crew. We know they will be ready for the next one after a successful outing.
Singletary and team qualified #8 in the Pro 275 field. Their Procharged Camaro ran mid to low 3.80s throughout the event.
Youmans ran a new personal best with a 3.85 at 207 mph in his twin turbo PLR Hemi powered GTO!
Gargus and Tidwell Qualify #2 in Ultra-Competitive LDR Class
Paul Gargus / Scott Tidwell Racing
Coming off of a big win at Lights Out 12, Paul Gargus hoped to continue his winning ways at Sweet 16. He qualified #2 with a 3.938 at a top MPH of 194! Gargus made it to the quarterfinals where the car spun the tires and ended their day. This car is running within .005 of the world record and will be back to compete for the LDR championship this year!
James Lawrence Goes into the 3s with New Engine Combo
Lawrence and his “Pro Line Red’ billet BBC powered Camaro continues to impress us! He finished qualifying in the 3 spot and ran his first 3 second pass with a 3.955 at 181mph.
He made it to the quarterfinals but had problems at the top end. We are excited to see what the combo is capable of, hopefully we'll get to see a lot more of this team out of California!
The LDR team out of Acworth, Georgia has always performed well at Duck X Productions events and Sweet 16 was not different. Harrison qualified #4 with a 3.979 at 191mph. Eliminations proved difficult for this team as well. They suffered a quarterfinals loss to event winner Shane Stack after the car spun at the hit.
Overall, Sweet 16 4.0 was an amazing experience for the racers and the crews. We always enjoy this race because it promises non stop heads-up racing and a chance to hang out with our racing family in a relaxed setting. 2021 has already been an action packed year and it's only April! We can't wait to see what's next for #TeamProLine!