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.

Three Days Of PRP!

Pittsburgh Raceway Park for me is one of those tracks that I really enjoy going to when I get the chance. It’s a nice facility, nice people, and mostly I’ve always had good luck there! This past weekend was no exception. I was really looking forward to a full three days of racing there. I started the racing weekend off on Thursday night by going up and making a couple test passes to try to figure out why my car has been giving me fits the past few months. I made a few passes with dismal results and packed it in for the night.

Friday after work I hightailed it to PRP which is about thirty minutes up the road from my work. I had just left all my stuff up there the night before so I didn’t have to run all over after work to get it. Once a month on Fridays PRP does a cool race format called “Night at the races” that consists of two separate paying classes one being 9.99ET and quicker and the other 10.00ET and slower. It puts a new twist on just a regular gamblers race. All said and done I ended up losing at four cars in the semifinals. I put down a decent run of .014 on the tree and over my dial by .012 but was just ousted by my opponents .022 light dead on his dial with a 1 to lose the race by .003

Day two brought on a few more little changes to the car whatever I did the night before helped a good amount but it still was off just a touch but I proceeded on with the day. I goofed it up first round by going .002 red but luckily enough for me they have buybacks at PRP so just another $20 and you’re back in the game. After that little first round blunder I was able to make things happen and later that night we got the pull the ole Spirit in the winner circle to finish the night off with some pictures! It’s always great to win but still kind of stings losing first round and not being able to accumulate points for the rest of the race day, Being that I can only make a number of the races I have my work cut out for myself to try to make their bracket finals team.IMG956829

Sunday wasn’t so lucky for me, I made two time trails and the car actually repeated for once….until first round when it threw me a curve ball and slowed up .04 but luckily I was able to make it through with the win. Second round was not so lucky frustrated with the car slowing up I decided to dial up more to make sure I could cover my dial in. Bad idea my opponent knew exactly what my plan was and out drove me and made it backfire in my face shipping me .022 and the finish line to break me out by .014. But lady luck was on my side for the day because shortly after that it rained out for the day so I didn’t drop and spots in the points.

I’ve got a couple more things I changed this week on the car to try to help with the consistency of it and will probably take it back to PRP tonight for a couple test runs and head to SMP on Saturday for a point’s race which has been almost a month since there last.

3 of the Stevand Racing vehicles will be out @ SMP to try & get their hands in the cookie jar Saturday night. The end of Summer will be here before you know it so come out & enjoy a night @ the races & cheer us on!



WFC Recap

Let me start back a week ago from my July 4th weekend outing, Last we had talked I was planning a trip to TRP for their independence eve race followed by PRP on Saturday for a points race and finishing up the weekend at Dragway 42 for a SSS points race. I didn’t make hard plans to go to Thompson solely based on the poor weather forecast but as Wednesday approached it looked as if we would get a chance to get the race in. So for the second time in a month I found myself headed north to TRP tagging along with Bubba Black who is currently a top of their point’s standings. We got there in just enough time to miss the first scheduled time trail of the day, but did manage to get one in before eliminations started for the day. As the day progressed I found that the ol spirit seemed like she was back in her repetitive ways only having moved .005 in ET to the 1000′ mark all day long. But unfortunately our day was ended short at 12 cars when the rains came in and put a wash to the rest of the day’s events. So they ended up splitting up the purse with the remaining entrants and we were on our way after a fireworks display to celebrate the 4th.

The day after took us to PRP for the fourth (my second) SSS points race of the season. I was able to carry on momentum from Wednesday although the spirit was less helpfull as it was on Wednesday as it was moving around in ET a decent amount and it turned into a dial and drive kind of day for me. My luck would come to an end at five cars when I missed my dial big time and couldn’t cover and resulted in a loss. Upon arriving home at midnight I made the decision to pull the intake off that night and try to figure out what was going on (a few indicators had been pointing in that general direction) I swear to Amanda that it would only take an hour to do and that was surely on the short side of time estimates because at almost 3AM we finally got home and went to bed. Sunday morning we wake up ready to hit the road back to Ohio to hit up Dragway 42 for their points race. I told Amanda to go ahead and hit the road so she could get a head start and get the concord out to the track to get a couple Time Trials in and I would finish putting water in and hit the road…. Wrong! Somehow in the installation process I tore part of the intake gasket away and caused it to leak water externally out of the motor when it built pressure. You know what that means, tear it apart and start over! With the WFC being a week away and not having another set of intake gaskets I loaded up the Spirit and headed for Summit Racing Equipment bought a couple sets of gaskets and headed to Lodi were Steve was awaiting and we tore into it again. Finding a couple other issues I had over looked the night before and attempting to fix those along the way. But it looks like a new intake will be in my future plans for this motor. Even though I missed a race it was more important at the time to finish things up for our trip to Bristol for the following week.

 Fast forward a week and we are in sunny/super-hot Bristol Tennessee! Our Thursday night gamblers entries didn’t go as planned despite me being .000 on the tree I couldn’t make it happen at the other end driving behind like a dummy .014 for the first round loss, Steve came up with about the same result going .011 red in the first round. Day two was no better for me after going 0-3 for the day I was ready to call it quits on the day and let Randy Biddle Jr buy back in my other entry he had a little success with it but only carried it a round or two. Steve did well on Friday making it to fourth round but losing a close race with an awesome nova wheelie wagon!

Saturdays 10k race was looking all too familiar like Fridays to me but I eventually broke through and made it with a round win! ha-ha yeah I had a little relief when that happened but sometimes you have those weekends. Reality set in for me rather quick not making it past 3rd round once again. Steve made it to about the same point as the night before losing fourth round again but to his defense his opponent was .000 on the tree and .001 away from having a perfect run and there is about nothing you can do with that.

 Sunday was our final day to make progress and that exactly what we didn’t have happen. Steve went out early in the first round and I somehow managed to carry both entries to the third round but missed my drop in one entry breaking out by .003 more than my opponent and then followed that up by going .008 red in my second entry. So like that our weekend was over. I did manage to win a free entry to this year’s Fall Footbrake Frenzy held at Piedmont Dragway in North Carolina witch is an awesome prize to win and will come in handy this November. Even though we didn’t have as much success on the track as years past at the WFC it was still a great time with family and friends and two of the best promoters in the racing business, Steve Stites and Jared Pennington and we can’t thank you enough for all the hard work that you guys do!

 This weekend will be three days of racing at PRP for me a Friday gamblers race along with Saturday and Sunday point’s races!

Short Work Week!

Short work weeks means early race weekends! Before I get into whats going on this week i’ll give a quick recap of what went down last weekend. One of the main issues from the past week was dodging rain drops, Somehow we did but only after getting poured on for about an hour as soon as we pulled in the gates at SMP. Its safe to say that if we were at any other track in the area it would a been a sure cancellation for the day, But in true SMP fashion they stuck it out for us and got things back in shape in no time. My day ended way earlier then I would of liked going out in the first round of eliminations, I put up a pretty good fight at it but my .018 on the tree and taking .005 at the finish line was no match for Jim Stephens (Last Fridays No Box Bonanza winner) almost perfect run of .002 on the tree and running under his dial in by .001. Amanda made it through her first round of eliminations but went out in round two on another double break out loss. Our great white hope once again for the night was Steve, He marched the ole gremlin all the way to the final round but came up just a touch short and walked away with runner up honors for the night.

This weekend (weather pending as always it seems lately) I will be headed to Thompson Raceway Park for the second time this year for their Independence Eve Explosion race on Wednesday July third. Following up by Pittsburgh Raceway Park on Saturday for one of the Summit Super Series points races. I believe Steve is going to take the weekend off due to the National Event being held at SMP so he can take the opportunity to do a little maintenance on the gremlin before we head south for the World Footbrake Challenge.

Stay tuned for what we hope is more good results!

No Box Weekend Recap

All in all…Not a bad weekend. With an almost perfect weekend forecast with some of the hottest days we’ve had this summer how could we of not been excited for the weekend? The no box race at SMP allows you to double enter but only if you have a secondary car to compete in, so I was able to pick up a second ride from Randy Biddle Jr as he was off to race at Indy for the weekend and wasn’t going to use his recent purchased 79 Malibu. Fridays action started early in the am and they hustled through cars rather well, So well that Steve almost didn’t get to the track in time to get any time trials as he was in Pittsburgh for work that morning. To our advantage the rest of us got three for the day which was beneficial to me to get the hang of the Malibu that I hadnt sat in until that morning, but after making one adjustment after the first time run we were ready to rock with it. Steve was the first to fall in the secound round of eliminations and I followed in the Malibu in round three by going .005 red to the always tough Nick Hastings. Amanda was on a tear of her own throwing down solid run after run in the Concord but eventually ran short in the fourth round with her opponent being .006 and in two hundreds to her .013 and under two hundreds break out loss. Unfortinitally I continued the round by round count out by giving up the finish line by .005 in the fifth round to end our Friday night.

Saturday brought on a new day and a busy day it was. Same routine for the time trials, two and go. We ran through those quick and where on our way to eliminations. Amanda’s luck was a little shorter this night by losing the second round of eliminations as well did Steve, I on the other hand was creating a good cardio workout for myself, Taking both cars deep into eliminations I found myself getting back from one and going right back up with the other car and as the night progressed and with fewer cars left i had to rely on the help of Amanda, Bubba, and Mitchell to get one car in the lanes while i got the other one up with enough distance between the two to get back for the other one. It sounds really confusing to read, That’s only because it was confusing to do also! But I ended up losing both entries in the fifth round yet again going .01 red in the Malibu and losing to eventual winner Will Steckly in my car witch I had nothing for his .005 in .01 pass! Congratulations to Will on his second 5k No Box Bonanza win.

Sunday is the last day to make something happen. Amanda had another tough day going red in the first round buying back and hitting the tree with a solid .015 light and bailing early on the run due to having her opponent covered but the ol concord decided it was on a record run pass, despite her efforts to slow it down still ended up breaking out and losing in what if probably the most frustrating ways to lose a race like that. Much like Saturday I found myself in a good rhythm and making laps in both cars, up until round three. For the third time of the weekend I get paired up with Nick Hastings, I’m in the Malibu again this time and crack off a .003 light and not far behind is Nick with a .009 we both run it out to the other end pretty much sure off what each other are going to do, We both drop pretty hard at the other end but no win light on my side. The Mali slowed up a little that pass and I would of been set up better to run it out but that’s the part of the game that you don’t know until you get the ticket! Almost same story in my car my opponent and I are identical on the tree with .023 lights but i missed my mark on the dial in my car for like the twentieth time of the weekend and lose to his dead on run. Steve on the other hand is our great white hope of Sunday marching through the rounds making it down to the round of 16 cars out of a field of 250+. Steve was also getting in some foot brake practice before our much anticipated trip to the WFC in July. Steve car slowed up a considerable amount at the round of 16 causing him to lose the race so it may be time to take a quick peek over the Gremlin and make sure everything checks out ok.

Its not looking like a good weekend weather wise as of now but if things do turn around it will be Norwalk Saturday for a points race and Dragway 42 to follow on Sunday.

No Box Weekend Ahead

Last weeks trip to Thompson Raceway Park fell short of a win but I was able to come out of it with some valuable foot brake information and saw a slight improvement on the adjustments that I made during the week. I fell short in the third round of competition to Ray Babb who had me from the start with a near prefect .001 light to my .021 light and the rest from there was history. Ray and I had the pleasure of running each other two years ago in the final round at Pittsburgh for the Div 3 team finals were I was lucky enough to come out as the winner in what was another close race. So I wasn’t all worked up about losing to him in the third round, I went over after our race chatted it up a little and wished him luck for the rest of the night. He ended up staying alive until the finals were he fell short to the nights winner Dave Mann.

This weekend brings us to an awesome three day race that Summit Motorsports Park hosts for us no box/bottom bulb racers, The No Box Bonanza is a shot a two thousand, five thousand, and five thousand for the low entry of just one hundred dollars! At this particular race you are allowed to double enter only if you have a second vehicle to compete with, So I was able to hunt up a second ride for the weekend in an effort to double my chances on the prize money. So hopefully we can manage to bring home a little money on this three day race weekend!

This Upcoming Weekend

We are rapidly approaching the weekend and that brings the question of were to go racing Saturday? With SMP having an all ford meet on Saturday and Pittsburgh Raceway Park having just a test and tune on Saturday I decided to broaden my resume of tracks visited and add Thompson Raceway Park to that ever growing list. With good Friend Bubba Black racing there points series up there we haven’t been able to hang out at the track much this year so I figured it would be a good chance to have some fun racing at a new facility as well as catch up on things with him. It looks as if all the bad weather will pass through the area by the end of the week and we will have a good weekend ahead of us. Lets hope for good results!

While your still reading i’ll give a little mini recap of what went down last weekend. With my little brother graduating from high school and having to miss a points race at SMP I decided it would be a good idea to bring the car back home the weekend prior and catch up on some maintenance as well as take the car out for PRP’s Thursday night test and tune/gamblers race to get some foot brake racing in and blow off the cobwebs before the much anticipated WFC VII in July. As luck would have it weather moved it on Thursday and put an end to that plan. So on Saturday I went to the graduation party for a couple hours did my brotherly duties and hightailed it for PRP in hopes of getting there before they started first round. With luck I made it there to even get a time trail before the action started. On the ride there I debated weather or not I should invest the money and sign up for there points program (If your keeping track that would be three points series at three different track in two different states) The only reason to even consider this was that Dragway 42 changed to Division 5 this year and that would allow me to qualify at a Division 3 track as well for the Team Finals race at the end of the year. After looking over all three track schedules and keeping SMP and D42 as a priority I could still make eight races at PRP, So I went ahead and signed up. Cutting to the chase I ended up doing pretty good for the night making it down to about 10 cars and losing to eventual runner up for the night. So far the gamble has paid off so lets see if i can keep it rolling.

On that note lets weather the storms for the end of the week and kick off the weekend hopefully with a win at TRP on saturday. Stay tuned to find out and if you happen to be in the Thompson, Ohio area stop on in Saturday.

A Great Memorial Weekend

This was our first extended weekend for the year and it turned out to be a great one. Amanda and I set our sights on Columbus Ohio for the 12th annual Great Amc Day on Friday morning put on by none other then Mike Luke. This is kind of a special race for us “AMC” guys it gives us a little outlet to all share what we have in out little AMC world its always a good time and this year was no exception. Amanda and I both ended up getting beat first round of the main race, her opponent was 005 with a difference of 006 in their break outs and the guy that i ran was 008 on the tree and had me covered on both ends of the track. Luckily enough for us they had a second chance race that i was lucky enough to win over good friend Dan Henderson in his AMX. On the way home from Columbus we made a spur of the moment decision to stop in at Dragway 42 for there first of three days of racing. As luck would have it for the second time in one day I found my way to the winner circle. The only down side to winning is along the way i had to race Amanda at 6 cars because of the way the buy run fell. But we avoided eachother as long as we could and there is only so much you can do at that point.

Saturday we were at SMP for the fourth points race of the year. Things kept on rolling from the night before we all kept good stride throughout the night. In the end the three of us all fell a little short of our overall goals. I was the first to go out in the fourth round down to 15 cars by tripping the red light by just .002, Amanda was the next one to fall making it all the way to five cars in the sportsman class witch is no joke at SMP. She ended up missing her mark on the starting line but would of had a tough round as it was seeing that her opponent was .001 on the tree! Steve was the last one to go out losing in the semi finals in what was a real close race. If i recall correctly it was Steve’s 024 light to a 017 light and both going dead on their dials! In the end we all had a good outing for the day.

I  tried to end out my weekend on monday at a little track called Magnolia Dragway witch is just past Canton Ohio, But as luck would have it as soon as I pulled my car out of the trailer for the day it decided to rain. They waited it out the best they could giving it about an hour or so to let up but it was showing no signs and they called it for the day.

You cant complain about the weekend that we just had and it makes it even more exciting to go back for next weeks action. This upcoming weekend we are back to our normal grind with a points race at SMP on Saturday as well as one at Dragway 42 on Sunday, Lets hope we pick up were we left off and we can put another car in the winner circle this weekend!

The Two Week Update

Better late then never some say! Being only a week behind this time of year is not bad at all for us. Lets jump back a week to the start of the season at Summit Motorsports Park, The first outing for us in the 2013 season.

Things overall went really smooth usually after working all winter long on my car it seems like there are always a few loose strings. Luckily enough that wasn’t the case this year and it was pick up right were I had left off. Saturday night @ Summit Motorsports Park I ended up making it down to 15 cars losing 4th round at 2:30am Sunday morning!IMG_4260

Amanda did rather well for the first time out in something that she has never ran before. She wound up losing in the second round to a well seasoned racer who has a quarter mile long list of accomplishments of his own. The Concord has fully exceeded all expectations I had for it. It has turned into a nice, low 13 second, fully functional street car, that we can drive back and forth to the local tracks to minimize the expense of having two tow vehicles and trailers.

Steve ended up losing in the second round of competition to end our first outing at Summit Motorsports Park for the year.

Week two and we are back at it just like that. Saturday was the second points race of the year at SMP. As for me & Steve we don’t have much to talk about. Unfortunately we both red lighted our chances away first round for a very short night. On the other hand Amanda was going off in the sportsman class.

After making her two time trail passes we opted to make a not so conventional change to her system. She decided she wanted to “Deep Stage” first round in an effort to pick up her slower (but consistent) reaction times. So deep staging is a process of staging deeper to move yourself closer to the starting line to help pick up your reaction time with a slower reacting vehicle. She handled it really well and the change showed greatly in her reaction times for the rest of the night before she lost to yet another veteran racer. It what was an awesome race. She was .008 to his .019 on the tree and the margin of victory was .0002 not in her favor. All things considered not a bad outing for the Concord.

IMG_4252Sunday we are at Dragway 42 for out first points race of the year. Its Amanda and myself flying solo for the day as Steve opts to stay back and not go out for the day.

We get there in enough time to make one time trial each. We both make decent runs and are ready to go at it. Amanda lucks out and get pulled for the first round bye and gets the luck of making a single run for the first round win. She ended her day a little short by turning on the red light in the second round. I somehow managed my way through the majority of the field before I fell short in the semi finals when I miss chose a dial in and was pretty much just along for the ride at that point. But still a healthy start for the year there.

The first two weeks out had some ups and downs but overall we are happy with how everything has worked with all the cars and we just have to focus on blowing off the winter cob webs. This weekend brings us back to SMP for the third points race of the year and Sunday off for mothers day. Steve has the weekend off for some R&R in Hawaii. There may just be a weekend update from Hilo Dragway????

We Are Back At It, Just Like That !!!

Well here we are before you know it closing the off season, and rapidly approaching the 2013 race season. You may not have heard much from us in the off season but it certainly wasn’t because we had nothing to talk about. Its more so the opposite. We have been busier then ever upgrading and adding to our fleet of vehicles. I can tell you that with being less then a month away we still have our work cut out for us to get everything done in time.

I quick recap of the past few months included me finishing up my concord for my girlfriend Amanda to race this upcoming year. I’ve had my 1981 AMC Concord since high school and used to drive it daily for a year or so. So one day I decided to tear it all apart and make another “race Concordcar” out of it.  I always had drive ability in mind for it that way I could hop in and drive back and forth to the track. Fast forward some five years later and its finally done! The process was always upgrade parts on my spirit and use the old ones for the Concord so after a few years of savin parts and money I was finally able to pull it off (with a lot of resources from friends and family as always) So the focus of the Concord this year will be to have Amanda race it when she can and just have fun with it all together!

With the concord finally being done around early February I turned my attention to my Spirit. Every winter I say I am going to be done early and ready to go race down south at some of the early races…that never happens. After having some bearing trouble the year before I told myself I wanted to take the motor out just to give everything the once over. So i got the motor out and over to Hanshues garage in Medina to have a look. With much relief everything looked a lot better then the year prior. Being that the motor was already out and half apart we made the choice to go ahead and install new bearings while we were already inside of it. Everything went back together rather easily and I was able to drop it in the car a week ago. At this point I am just finishing up bolting things together on my car and should be ready to hit Pittsburgh Raceway Park next weekend in all hopes of taking my Spirit and Concord out to get a few passes on both of them to make sure everything is in good working order. Nothing major has changed on the Spirit so my hopes are just to make a pass or two with it and make sure its as good as when it went away at the end of the season, The Concord however is new from front to back so I would like to be able to make a few passes on it just to assure everything is working properly as well. You never know what is likely to happen with a fresh build and always hope that it works flawlessly.

Just like that we are getting back in the swing of things Now only if the weather would work with us we can really start to enjoy our time out at the track! Make sure to stop back in to see how everything works out.

The Final Voyage

Well just like that, another racing season has gone by in a flash! My last trip for the year would take me the whole way down to Jacksonville, North Carolina for the Fall Footbrake Frenzy hosted by Anthony Walton and Michael Beard.

We started the trip off on Wednesday with a full day of driving ahead of us, On the way down we broke up the trip by stopping in Asheboro, NC to spend Thanksgiving day with my Grandparents, It is always a good time down there with them. We had a rather quick and easy trip down with no problems for ourselves at all and made record time, only having one delay. We stopped @ a rest area for a quick pit stop & wound up helping out a guy and his wife at a rest area who ran out of gas and had a couple of miles to go until the next gas station. I told him I only have one little container in the trailer and I wasn’t sure how much was in there. So we walked back to take a look and I only had about half a gallon in the container. So there I was trying to siphon the gas out of the four wheeler and generator to try to give this guy. Needless to say he was very appreciative with whatever he could get I helped him fill up and off he was. Luckily for him the next filling station was only about five miles down the road and I beeped and waved as we drove by.

Friday got us up and out early to make the three hour trek across North Carolina to the coast and try our shot at five grand. On day one the car worked rather well but I on the other had was a little off key. I ended up  losing my first entry in second round and my other entry in third round.  Not the best way to start off the weekend but at that point what can you do!

Day two brought on two races in one day, The first of them being for a shot at twenty thousand dollars. I got my act together a little better on day two but still fell way short of my goals. I lost both entries third round with my first one I was .005 red and dead on with a 1 and in my second entry I missed the tree pretty good with a .045 light and running dead on with a zero, Once again losing the round of the money.

Later that night after they finish up with the twenty grand race there is another five grander scheduled. Its about dusk now and temperatures are dropping pretty rapidly but we continue on. Once again I carry both entries to the third round and fall again ( Talk about frustrations) The first one I make a mistake and get behind .009 at the finish line after having my opponent covered on the tree. With my second entry I make it out to about the 330 ft mark and my car starts moving all over the track and I have to roll out of the gas giving my opponent the easy win with the track temperatures with what they were a lot of people had trouble getting down and that resulted in a six car split and everyone went on happy and safe, And on that note my season was over.

It was not the best trip South I’ve ever made but still had a blast hanging out with friends and meeting new people and sometimes that’s worth it in the end. Id like to take a second just to thank everyone for the support this year on and off the track and everyone who has followed us on here for the past racing season. It’s been fun telling about how good or bad we have done as well as some of the funny stories along the way and that is why we do what we do. I hope you all have enjoyed and hopefully we can come back at you in 2013 bigger and even better! Stay tuned throughout the winter to follow progress of our upgrades.