Steve Obertanec has been racing since 1989 and has the championships you’d expect from that kind of experience. His highlights include capping off a championship 1995 season by winning the IHRA Bracket World Finals Midwest Modified ET World Championship and taking home the 2005 Halloween Classic Grand Championship. Steve is a founding member of Stevand Racing and will be contributing to the website.
Car: 1972 AMC Gremlin
What is your favorite movie? Shawshank Redemption, Forest Gump, and Paul
What is your favorite band? Goo Goo Dolls, Foo Fighters, and Collective Soul
What is your favorite book? How to build a power glide (not much of a reader, I tend to stick to instructional reading)
What is your favorite TV show? A veritable cornucopia of different shows that changes with each season
Why did you get into racing? A couple of friends coerced me to go to SMP Wednesday night to a Grudge Race night. My savings account and life as I knew it was over. The comradery and competition was enough to hook me for life.
What is your biggest win? IHRA Bracket Finals 1995. This race stands out for me because it was my first win against the best of the best from the region and not just local racers. Perfect way to end a dream season.
What is your most heartbreaking loss? 2011 NHRA Division 3 Bracket Finals. Lost in the semi-finals with a .015 total error to a .001 total error. My almost perfect package was trumped by .014, which any other day would get you to the finals. It put an end to a weekend where nothing could go wrong
What is your favorite part of being at the track? It all reverts back to why I got into racing in the first place. I have made friends that will last a lifetime, it is a true family atmosphere, and it’s an escape from reality for a day. The competition is a definite addiction where wins and losses are measured in thousandths of a second.
What is your least favorite part of being at the track? Gunning up for a long weekend of fun only to be cut short by a first round loss or bad weather conditions. Although it is an escape from reality, the rest of the world continues while we’re at the track, which has meant missing family events (weddings, vacations, funerals, etc.) that land on a race weekend.
Why run AMC? In 1989 I bought my 1970 Javelin for the sole reason that I had never seen one before. I’ve always been a sort of non-conformist, a trend setter if you will. After purchasing the car I found out how rare of a find it actually was and how few AMCs there were compared to the big three brand names.
Do you have any pre-race superstitions? Every racer goes through different motions that makes the most sense to them. For me it starts with what to wear to the track, which gas station to stop at, and what to eat for the day, all the way up to strapping yourself in, doing a burn out, and finally staging the car. Bracket racing is a game of consistency, the more you get in the habit to do the same thing off track it becomes second nature to do it on track.