All posts by Matt Obertanec

Matt Obertanec started with Stevand Racing in 2006, starting off strong by winning Rookie of the Year at Dragway 42. His achievements include winning the 2010 Piedmont (NC) Foot Brake National Championship and the 2011 IHRA Division III Modified ET World Championship in Pittsburgh, PA. Matt drives a 1980 AMC Spirit.

Bitter Sweet Ending

The always bittersweet last race of the year feeling has finally sunk in, Over Thanksgiving weekend Amanda and I traveled back down to North Carolina this time to Julian, NC home of Piedmont Dragway. I’ve had a little success at Piedmont winning there back in 2010 but haven’t been able to make it back since. I was looking forward to heading back but not looking forward to the cold temperatures they had been predicting for the whole weekend though. The original format for the race was 5K, 20K, and another 5K on Friday Saturday and Sunday, Due to the irregular weather for the time of year there we did not get a chance to get the whole race finished so midway through second round of eliminations we had to call it quits on the night. That left promoters Michael and Anthony with the huge task of figuring out how to make the majority happy, That resulted in them making the great call of holding of the finish of Fridays race until Sunday and taking Sundays original 5K and putting it on top of Saturdays 20K to make it an awesome 25K payday on Saturday, I managed to make it through a few rounds with each of my entries but fell short of the big payday losing with one entry third round and the other entry in the fourth round. What is great about these races is sometimes even when you lose if you manage to do it good enough you can still earn prizes; I was able to collect an awesome two hundred and fifty dollar prize from Mickey Thompson tires for best losing package of that round!

With Saturday officially in the books I had one shot left at it and that was Fridays finish up race on Sunday. My car had been awesome like it has been for the whole second half of the season so that was a huge stress lifted and I was hitting the tree rather well all weekend so I was feeling pretty good. I lost one of my entries in the third round of eliminations but was able to take my second entry all the way down to the last 5 cars where I turned on the always frustrating .001 red light. Not exactly the way I wanted it to end but I will take it regardless we all had a great time and made it home safe and can now start preparation for the upcoming season. Thank you goes out to Michael and Anthony for hosting a great event as well as the whole track staff for doing their all to try to get the races in and keeping our safety in check as well.

In closing I’d like to take a quick minute to reflect on this past season which we couldn’t be more grateful for, this has probably been one of the best years Steve and I have had since we have been racing together as a team, Not only on track success but as far as being able to travel around more than we ever have and get to see new places and people and always making it back home with little to no troubles. In addition I would like to Thank Morethanafan.net for helping us get this whole deal started and giving us an outlet to shine a little light on sportsman bracket racing, Garry Fleenor who build the transmission in my car that has worked flawlessly for the last two seasons, As well as the great people at Wiseco/K1, Vic Ellinger gave us a huge opportunity to get active in making a great durable Piston/Rod combination that has also been in our cars for the past two season and also have worked flawlessly

Thanks again everyone and we look forward to the “bigger and better” for the year to come!

Classic Recap

As they say better late than never! We are a little slow with this update but we have been busier than ever at S&R. In the last writings I had just come off an awesome 5k victory at PRP’s Halloween Race. That very next Sunday brought us to SMP for the start of the weeklong event known as the Halloween Classic. I was able to keep on keeping on finding myself in my third final in as many weeks picking up the win in the massive 9 round no box class to kick off our week at the classic. It wasn’t without tribulations though as Steve’s car broke an input shaft in the transmission in the first round of eliminations so between rounds for us we pulled the transmission out at the track fixed it and put it back in before the night was over so everything would be ready to go for Wednesday. Our Wednesday gamblers race was cut short due to frigid temperatures that caused them to split the money up luckily Steve and I still had our entries in and got a little cut of the pie. Thursday was supposed to be an off day for us but the trusty ol concord finally gave us issues for the year as the Trans broke on the starting line for Amanda and I had to pull it out and swap it over for one we had at the garage. Friday Steve and I each had an entry in the Super High Rollers gamblers race and carried our moment deep. I eventually lost at 8 cars to the winner and always tough Ricky Baehr and Steve took runner up honors and Ricky decided to beat up on the both of us! Sunday’s main even didn’t go well for us as we lost all our entries by the third round of eliminations.

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Last week brought on an event for me that I was super anxious about going to. It was kind of late call to go but Bubba Black and I talked about heading down to Fayetteville North Carolina for the second annual American Door Slammers Nationals presented by Anthony Walton and Michael Beard. Bubba and I made arraignments to just double enter his truck split driving down and make it a quick cheap weekend and hopefully find our way out on top. A little out of my realm as it was an all delay box door car race and I had never even drove bubbas sweet s10 before that day. But we made it work to our best not setting the world on fire in the 20k but came back with vengeance in the 5k race both being double entered down to 12 cars were I lost my entry but bubba followed through grabbing the win and the 5k big check for the night! Awesome job to him and big thanks for letting me beat up on his truck a little for the weekend.

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Our next and last event for the year will be back down to Piedmont North Carolina for the Fall Footbrake Frenzy were we hoping to continue this awesome momentum!

Bringing Home The Bacon!

The great news keeps on rolling here at S&R, The weekend plans got moved around mid-week but it all worked out in the end, Originally Steve and myself planned on attending PRP’s Halloween race but due to a schedule change he was unable to make it down. So I still decided to go to PRP for what was an almost perfect weekend for racing, The original race schedule was Friday night $1200 to win plus a 64 all run shootout that I was entered in and then Saturday having first round of the 5k race and finishing it up on Sunday. Due to weather on Friday we didn’t get a chance to race anything and the schedule changed to running the whole 5k race on sat and doing Friday’s race on Sunday.

Seeing how it is towards the end of the year I figured I would double my odds up and buy two entries in the no box class and see if we could make something happen. Luckily for me that’s exactly what happened. It’s a good thing I did buy two entries because my bonehead side came out third round of my second entry when I gave back the finish line by about .5 of a second…yeah .5! We race to the 1000’ not the 1/8 mile for this race! But after laughing the loss of for a good while I managed to put the StevAnd Racing ride back in the winner circle for the second week in a row and this time for a 5K victory! Also a big congratulation goes out to our good friend Bubba Black for picking up the win on Sunday in no box for $1200 from Fridays make up race!

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Steve decided to stay local and hit up Dragway 42 for what could possibly be one of the last races there, 42’s management announced last week that the track is up for sale and would not be opening again next year under its current management after a long 24 years of service. Steve went a few round each day but bigger news was that thanks to the help of Keith and Amy  we got the blue javelin back out at the track and working better than ever. Thanks for all their help!

This weekend is the start of the marathon race known as the Halloween Classic at SMP essentially a week long race (and party) Starting on Sunday with the warm up race and a week filled full of different gamblers races and finishing off next Sunday with the main even. Hopefully we can rack up a few more win lights this week, Stay tuned for some updates through the week!

The Last Day

Well this past weekend concluded our yearly point’s race at SMP, Going into the weekend Steve, Amanda, and myself had a lot to both lose and gain. Steve was in contention for the number one spot still at that point and put forth a great effort to get it done but ended up in a four way tie for essentially fourth place but after all the tie breakers landed in seventh place, Amanda did good the week before but still found herself on the outside of the top 16 by just two rounds. Unfortunately she missed the tree first round and got beat ending her chances to qualify for the end of the year run offs. Overall she did great for the year for being her first year in a car and racing at one of the toughest tracks in the area. I had nothing to lose but everything to gain going into the last race I was four rounds out of the top 16. I entered the day with extreme confidence and took everything one round at a time and slowly marched my way through the always tough SMP field of cars and came out with a win in pro on the last point’s race of the year! Not only did I manage to qualify for the top 16 run off at the Halloween classic but I also placed myself in tenth position and will collect a little bit of money at the end of the year banquet! A win in pro at SMP is something that has eluded me for a long time now and to do it on the last race and qualify for the run off as well and finishing in the top ten is a huge bonus to me!  We look forward to carrying this moment into the money season when all the big money races start to hit! Stay tuned and hopefully we can collect on a couple more big wins before the season is over!

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Our Bracket Finals Weekend

Last week entailed new adventures for half of StevAnd Racing, Amanda and I headed up to US131 in Martin Michigan for the Division 5 IHRA bracket Finals. This was both our first times to Martin as well as it being Amanda’s first bracket finals as a participant. The action started on Friday with a gambler race we showed up in time to get our two time runs and go at it. Amanda didn’t fare so well losing first round buying back and breaking out by just 001 to lose the buyback round, but that’s what the gamblers races are for to get yourself a custom to a new environment. I managed to go pretty deep into eliminations losing at seven cars when I missed the tree with a 047 light dropping to dead on 6 but was nothing for Brian fleenors 016 and dead on 1 run, I did manage to bring in a little bit of money for the night to help offset the start of the trip. Day two and the final day there was the main event race Modified was the first class out and as luck would have it I was in the burnout box when one of the cars in front of us blew a motor and we had to sit for a little clean up (talk about the worst possible spot and time for that to happen) But I managed my way through for the first round victory. Amanda was up shortly after in the street class and did awesome for her first round grabbing the win on a double break out pass. As the night progressed we both went pretty deep into eliminations with myself making it down to twelve cars but screwed up at the finish line and gave it back by just .001, Amanda did awesome for her first bracket finals appearance making it the whole way to the four car semifinal round but losing to her opponents respectable .006 in .02 run. Overall even though it was a different and shorter race format then we are used to for a bracket finals it was an awesome time and US131 is a very nice facility to hold a race and we can’t wait to make it back for next year!

The other half of S&R found Steve O in Indianapolis Indiana for the Division 3 NHRA bracket finals. The NHRA format is even more different as there is really no extra racing, then run first round of the main event on Saturday which Steve navigated his way through with no problem. After they complete first round they are done until Sunday, Kind of a real let down for people like us who just want to keep on racing but it’s been that way for 100 years and they won’t change now. Come second round Steve didn’t have as much luck hitting the tree with a nice .015 RT was still no match for his opponents .008 and in .01 run.

Just like that we have another weekend in the books, not our best showings but definitely not our worst either. This week weather pending will take us to SMP for the second to last point’s race and possibly a Sunday off for some rest and relaxation!

Strong Mid-Season

We here at StevAnd Racing have been grateful enough to enjoy a very successful mid-season and look forward to hanging on to that momentum throughout the rest of the season.  Here is a little recap of what took place last weekend.

We didn’t start our weekends out all that great but we made up for it in the end. On Saturday Amanda and I were at PRP and Steve went out to Dragway 42 for their big money weekend. PRP was knocked down to an eight mile race for the day due to a bad accident that took out a section of guard rail past the finish line and was unsafe to race on the full length. I figured I might as well enter both Top and Mod like I have been doing in the past few weeks. I didn’t make it very far in either class, second round of top I was .008 red and under my dial by .0001 and in the third round of mod I was red again by .004. Amanda was out the same round as me missing the tree a little and staying in front of her opponent just enough to break out. Steve had about the same luck as the both of us at Dragway42 giving the stripe back in the third round.

Sunday was a different story! Amanda and I made our way out to Dragway 42 for Sundays two thousand to win No Box and Footbrake combo race. I ended up entering both footbrake and no box while Steve and Amanda both ran it the footbrake side of things. Amanda ended up going out in round two and I lost my footbrake entry in the third round of eliminations going .006 red and dead on 1 against the always tough Nick Hastings. Before we knew it there was two cars left in each class and Steve and I both having a spot in the finals of each class! I was the first out and had the starting line advantage but ran up short on the other end of the track to good friend and always tough Ricky Baehr. Steve had his hands full on the footbrake side but came out victorious against Nick Hastings. That placed Ricky and Steve in the combo final of the day where Steve ended up going .005 red. But it was still a great showing by both S&R cars!

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This weekend is a point’s race at SMP and out last point’s race of the year at D42! Wish us continued luck!

The Two Week Recap

The last two weeks have been fun filled action at none other than Pittsburgh Raceway Park, Last week they had their “Night of Fire” race. Somewhat similar to tracks in the surrounding areas around this time of year they will all put on a little show to get people at the track to enjoy the show as well as open people eyes to what bracket racing is. Steve made the trip down because of the extra money that was being put up for the event. Figuring it was going to be a long day again we both decided to enter modified and top class and try to double up our chances at some money. Good theory and we are glad that we did, we both went out early in modified but managed to tough it out in the top class until 4:30 Sunday morning when the rains came in and called it a race. I was the last pair to go down as we were on the starting line just getting ready to go down and they shut us off due to rain. Steve had already made it through the round and would of both been down to seven cars had I won that round. So they split up the money for the round and we got a little pocket money for the day, Amanda was still in the street class as well down to ten cars and got a few dollars of her own to help offset her trip. Also a big thank you goes out to Colleen Baehr for letting Amanda use her truck and Keith Meador for letting us borrow his trailer to get the concord down to PA so Amanda could tear it up at PRP these past few weeks.

This past weekend it was back at it at PRP for two days of racing but just Amanda and I for the weekend, Amanda was running the street class and I was running both mod and top again. Amanda fell short in the second round of street in what was a fairly good race and we have made good stride on the concords tune up getting it to be a little more consistent which is a huge plus. I was rolling pretty well in both classes but screwed it up third round of the top class having the starting line advantage but giving up the finish line by .007. Luckily I still had my entry in modified and capitalized on the night taking it the whole way to the final round for another win!

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Sunday was not great for either of us, Amanda was out again in the second round and I wasn’t much farther behind losing in the third round to my opponents .003 and dead on with a 5 run. Just like that our weekend was over once again, but all in all it was a success.

 This coming weekend its PRP again on Saturday then heading out to Dragway 42 on Sunday for a two thousand to win bottom bulb race. Hopefully we can keep the streak alive!

A Week Long Recovery!

It took almost a week to gain enough energy from last week’s exhausting Night Under Fire at SMP to be able to write this. Whomever dubbed that race as a marathon was no joke. The action started Friday AM when Amanda pulled our rigs into our spots to be ready for the Saturday morning rush. Saturday started our class out first with a time trial run at nine AM (seemingly useless based on the fact that we are not even scheduled to run first round until sometime after midnight but hey what can you do!) So as the day progressed the sea of people kept filing in for the big show. Fast forward a couple hours and by around one AM we are on the track for first round (yes some 16 or so hours later) I manage to make by way by the first round coin flip of a dial in for the win, Steve on the other hand wasn’t as lucky losing in the first round at about two AM. As the night progressed it just was delay after delay sportsman being the last class ran Amanda was finally up for her first round at almost six in the morning on Sunday! She didn’t make it through first round after a long night like that it can be a bit frustrating but life goes on and there is always another weekend of racing. I managed to make it to the fourth round before I fell unusually short of the win light. I posted up a great reaction time of .008 was behind .006 at the finish line and under my dial in by .002. What sounds like a pretty solid run was absolutely no competition again Joe Oswald’s .000 light and dead on his dial with a “0” an absolute perfect run after being up for almost 28 hours! But that’s life in the big city as they say and we move on to next weekend.

This weekend takes us back to PRP for Friday night at the races as well as their night of fire even held on Saturday night which lets hope doesn’t take as long as last weekend’s race! So if you’re in the Pittsburgh area Saturday night stop out to the track for a great show!

Going Strong

After having two successful weekends in a row about mid-week I was itchin to get out and race again. I made plans to go out to Quaker City Friday night for their weekly gamblers race. There was a slight risk of rain so it was a gamble in going out. All the way up until I pulled of the exit on the turnpike it was sunny skies but as soon as I pulled through the toll gate it started to sprinkle I made it another 15 minutes or so to the track and there was nothing so I thought that we are good to go as cars had been running down the track the whole time. I snuck in to get a late time trial pass before eliminations started, I managed to barely slip by first round with a dead on zero run. Our luck would run out for the night as we were in the lanes for second round and the skies open up and poured just enough to cancel the night’s race.

Saturday was another points race at PRP, I need to do a decent amount of work there to qualify for their bracket finals team, Unfortunately that’s exactly what I didn’t do, I was my own demise in the first round of eliminations not trusting in the car enough and drove behind at the finish line .007 for the frustrating loss. Luckily for me there was a plan “B” for the night. The day before I had asked a friend of mine Scotty Campbell if he wanted to run my car in the top class since he has been sidelined up until this point in the year. As you could imagine it took a lot of arm twisting for him to say yes! To say he did well is an understatement he took the trusty ol spirit once again to the winner circle for a runner up finish in the top class with no delay box in a car he hadn’t sat in until that morning! It was a great night full of friends in the winner circle once again with Markie Brewer taking the win over Scotty and Bubba Black tearing up the modified win for the night in his awesome s10.

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After getting home around 2AM Sunday Amanda and I slept for a few hours and headed back west to Dragway 42 for one of their points races. Way under slept it was a long and boring two hours there but I managed to make it to get one time trial and go at it. My day ended early in the third round when I made a driving error at the finish line up take .033 and breaking out by .009. Amanda’s day ended in the same round with the concord by having the wrong spot in line once again when her .004 light being no match to her opponents .002 and both in on their dials at the other end.

This week brings the marathon race at SMP known as the Night Under Fire, which is classified as the largest single day race because it literally takes 24 hours to complete. So if you’re bored at any point on Saturday stop on out to SMP. Following the marathon is Dragway 42 on Sunday.

Two Weeks In a Row!

At the end of my last writings I had said that I was going to go out at do a little testing on Thursday at PRP…I should have stayed home! What is great for race tracks is huge turnouts on test and tune nights. What is bad for someone like me who wants to actually test is, you got it huge turn outs. But it was good for the track to get such a great car count and I did end up getting in three passes for the night and was able to make a little ground on my set up. With getting those three runs in I was able to determine that the car was still a little on the rich side because it was wanting to pick up a little every pass. So after work on Friday I high tailed it to Norwalk Ohio to try to make a couple test passes at SMP which always has the same problem that PRP had the night before, a ton of cars. I ended up getting there around eight pm pulled the car out and took some jet sizes out of the carburetor to lean it up a little and try to eliminate the variance in colder weather. Handy enough for me they were in the middle of cleaning up an oil down so I was able to finish up what I needed and sneak in the lanes. By the end of the night at two AM I had gotten in two passes with great results of the car only moving .005 in the quarter in two runs.

Saturday was exactly what the weather man predicted, Rain and a lot of it. Since it had plans to rain all morning Amanda and I took the chance to run over to Macedonia Ohio to Precision Hotrods and Fabrications annual open house. I help out there on the weekends in the winter so it’s always good to stop in and say HI and see what all new is going on. By about two in the afternoon things where getting a little brighter and they got back on the track to dry it off so we made our journey back to Whew!SMP in just enough time for them to call us to the lanes for our one and only time trial. The night was cut short for us only after one round of racing due to more rain. Steve and I both made it through to collect our one point for the night. Steve’s opponent went red and had a nice and easy first round, I on the other hand barely made it through giving up a decent amount on the starting line my .029 light to his .004. Luckily I had enough room on the other end to work and managed to take .003 for a dead on my dial in with a zero for the win.

Sunday was a race day that I have been looking forward to and I could finally make it. A good friend of mine Nick Karas teamed up with Willow Lake Park to organize a 7.00 eight mile super street shootout race at Magnolia Dragway. Something very out of the norm for me, as we never race on a pro tree format as well as an index style race where you can only dial 7.00. But Always up for a challenge I somehow managed my way through the 32 car 6 round field to pull the trusty ole Spirit back in the winner circle for the second week in a row to collect the one thousand dollar prize money up for grabs! It was an awesome win just based on it was a totally different style of racing packed full of great racers that .90 race all the time. In the midst of all that going on I was still entered in magnolias weekly bracket program putting the spirit up for double duty, I fell just short in the fifth round of competition giving the finish line back by .001. But at the end of the day that didn’t matter I had a blast regardless and I have to say thanks again to the Dragway of Magnolia staff for having an awesome facility and great employees!Mags HR Win

This week I will be back at PRP for one of their points meet and hopefully keep this streak alive, after that Amanda and I will be making our way to Dragway 42 for their Sunday points program that I haven’t been to in a couple months to try to make enough points to make their bracket finals team