All posts by Steve O

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 is a driving force behind Steve drives a 1972 AMC Gremlin.

Winning Without Racing!

It’s kinda like Fishing without Fishing. That’s when you come home with fish & never went fishing. With an all Ford race @ Summit Motorsports Park this past weekend & being way behind on a ton of non race stuff I did some catching up.

RotoTillerI made it to the finish line with the rototiller in my moms garden. The problem with racing & yard work is you race when it’s nice out & stay home when it rains. You do yard work when it’s nice out & you stay inside when it rains. See the problem? So the garden is finally planted, the branches that fell all winter are burned, & Moms place looks pretty good again. In another month or so we will be making Spaghetti Sauce, Zucchini bread, & Pickles. Yummay!! A win in my book…


I did do some race related stuff. One thing a lot of racers neglect is their tow rigs & I’m probably one of the worst! I tow with a 1997 Ford Diesel Dually. I knew it needed some love but out of sight out of mind seems to be a way of life for me lately. You remember what needs done when your towing to the track. First I changed the oil & oil filter. The Ford 7.3 Liter Diesel motor takes 15 quarts of oil & a 20 plus dollar oil filter. I write the date on the oil filter to keep track of when it was last changed. I really only use the truck for towing so once a year oil change isn’t stretching it too far. BUT after further examination it was 2 years since the last change. Yeah I’m pretty bad. I changed the fuel filter which I do change that often as diesel is a pretty dirty fuel.Oil Change

One thing that really needed attention since I bought the truck 5 or 6 years ago is the exhaust system. I took a trip to Summit Racing Sunday morning while it was raining & picked up a sweet new stainless exhaust system. By the time I got back to Moms the rain had stopped so I decided to try my hand @ installing the new system. After about 3 hours some minor scrapes & a ton of rust in my eyes despite safety glasses the job was complete. The truck is happy & should be good to get me down to the World Footbrake Challenge in Bristol Tennessee next month.

Not a win on the track but a great accomplishment off the track. Now to change the oil in the Gremlin before the No Box Nationals @ SMP starts this Friday.






Not Bad, Not Bad…

Like the title says, It wasn’t such a bad week. The goodness started off on Wednesday night @ Summit Motorsports Parks $7 Fun Night. Wednesday nights are the best way to get your feet wet in racing. There are a variety of entry level classes that mostly run for trophies rather than cash purses. That one change keeps the competition @ a fun level. Amanda was able to get off work in time to make it to SMP this past Wednesday & try her hand @ the $7 fun night. A late night for a week night led Amanda to her first final round in the new ride. She took the runner up positions in a tough race against a full out race car. A great night to gain some experience.

Saturday split the team up a little. Matt & Amanda went to the high school graduation party for Matt’s brother in Pennsylvania.Grad Matt took his race car car with him in case there was time to make it to the races @ Pitsburgh Raceway. It turned out there was time to make it there in time to get some racing in. Matt did pretty good, loosing in the 4th round to the eventual event runner up.

I had a long weekend that started off Friday evening with the Relay For Life @ Wooster High School. With my Dad passing away from cancer & myself having a cancerous mole removed this event has become an event I look forward to participating in. The outpouring of support & the lives effected by this terrible disease was amazing. I got very little sleep due to helping my girlfriend out activities which she in charge of for the entire event. It kept the morale up & raised even more money for a great cause. After about a good 3 hours of sleep it was time to help set up for the Relay Car Show. I made my donation & entered the ole Gremlin in the car show. Not being a “Show Car” I entered more for support than the expectation of winning something. Out of dumb luck I wound up winning “Longest Owned”. The funny part is that the prize was a case of Brad Penn Oil donated by none other than Stevand Racing. What are the odds. I couldn’t take my own prize & chose to donate it to a nice gentleman with a beautiful 1968 Oldsmobile 442 convertible. He was pleased with his prize & thankful to Stevand Racing for the donation.Relay

After the car show wrapped up I high tailed it home to take a quick shower then hurried to SMP just missing the first time run. No big deal I would just hit the 2nd one. Of course the day I only get one time run I go to launch the car & it rolls through the starting beam. I try to hurry up & back up but nothing! After trying a few things I decided to just drive it down the track & see what the problem was when I got back to my pit space. I quickly figured out a fuze had blown thanks to my 20 year old wiring. I figured I would try & get back to the lanes quickly to see if they would let me try & make a real pass. Because I had not taken the full tree they had no problem letting me back in. After almost having no time runs & a little excitement I made it down to the round of 14 cars. The lack of sleep had caught up to me & I was pretty late on my reaction time. I finally made it home @ 3am & took all day Sunday to recover.

Matt & Amanda started back to Ohio to run @ Dragway 42′s Sunday Pionts program. Shortly after heading this way, 42 cancelled the days racing due to rain? Weird call seeing as how it only rained breifly. So everyone had a day to rest up for the work week. Overall A pretty good week.

Matt’s car is still in Pittsburgh with no racing @ Norwalk this weekend he will run their Saturday program then come back here for 42 on Sunday. I will take a weekend to do some much needed car maintenance……



Time flies when your having fun!!!

Hi everyone! here is the Bi-Weekly, weekly update. These past few moths have been a bit crazy! When the weather gets warm it’s time to play catch up on all the things you didn’t or couldn’t do all winter. Before you know it it’s June & your asking yourself where did the time go? Well it went somewhere!Time Flies

I can tell you where the last 2 weeks went. Memorial day weekend is usually a fun filled action packed 3 days of racing But it turned out to be a weird one. Saturday was our first race day of the weekend. We all headed to Summit Motorsports Park for the 4th Mr Gasket Super Series points race. It was also when the Super 64 was to be contested. I had qualified for the Super 64 last year & was going to be my last race for a while.

I went into Saturday with a good amount of confidence. After warming the car up & accepting the class call to the lanes I prepped for the first time run of the day. I hit the tree in my normal spot & came up .019 red. Hmmm. I was way red the last points race as well. I didn’t think it would affect me but it obviously did.  SMP had rewired the entire timing system with state of the art fiber optic wiring. The new wiring tightened up the starting line putting me on the evil red side of the reaction time game. Time to make a drastic change. I played with different buttons & figured out if I just shift my finger position on the button & sit on the last bulb it should slow me down plenty. I was .045 on the good side on the last time run before the big race. A .045 would give me a starting point but would not cut it in a run off for such a huge prize @ stake. My competitor was stellar & I took a beating on a double break out finish. He went on to win one of the $20,000 prizes.

After all that excitement we still had a full night of racing ahead of us. 3 Stevand Racing cars @ a chance to nab a nice payday. The rest of the evening was looking pretty good with all of us making it through 1st round, then 2nd round, then third round! Matt was the first one to slip up with a heartbreaking red light to his competitors not so stellar light. Amanda made it down to 5 cars (1/4 finals) before losing on a dead on run. I finally cut a pretty good light & ran dead on my dial only to loose to a better light & a dead on run. :-/ We all did great gaining some valuable points putting us all in the top 16. I was not going to join points this year to dedicate some time to the Hornet but after going that far in eliminations I had to join. Once a racer always a racer I guess?

Sunday was a points day @ Dragway 42. Matt & Amanda had a Memorial day family picnic to attend on Sunday. Family first! I decide to give it a crack & see if I could win a few bucks, get some practice, & hang out with some friends. I was doing pretty good making it down to about 12 cars before a mechanical issue ended my day. We have RPM switches that activate a solenoid that moves the shifter & shifts the car. Well my RPM switch decided it didn’t want to shift anymore. So I had to fix that!

Saturday June 1st we were back to SMP for the 5th points race of the year. Like i said, Time Flies! We reluctantly made the 45 minute trek to Norwalk. Why reluctantly? The weatherman had the day pegged for tons of rain & thunderstorms. Chance of rain 80% through the day.Bad Weather It’s really hard to spend all that money towing all the way up there & turn around when it rains out. But in true SMP fashion we had partly cloudy skies & nice breezes. We made it through time trials & Matt & I made it through the first round of our class but before Amandas’ class was called to the lanes Mother Nature caught up to us. The heavens opened up & dropped the entire ocean on us. Driving rains & standing water was what we had to look forward to on the way home. The good news is they split the purse in our class & we got some money to help cover the fuel cost for the trip.

Matt & Amanda hit Dragway 42 on Sunday. It was kind of a short day for both, losing early in the rounds & headed home for some relaxation before starting the work week.

I will be @ SMP this Saturday & Matts’ brother is graduating from high school in Pennsylvania so Matt & Amanda will be there for that on Saturday. Matt is going to try & sneak out early & hit up Pittsburgh Raceway for their Saturday program. They will be back Dragway 42 on Sunday for their Summit Super Series points race.

Check back & see how the weekend goes!



Hello from Hilo Dragway in beautiful Hawaii…

It just so happened that I just happened to be on the Hilo side of the Big Island Hawaii on a night where Hilo Dragway just happened to be racing. Coincidence? Anyways while everyone back home was @ Summit Motorsports Park,  shivering with 50 degree temps, my girlfriend & I were pulling in the gates of Hilo Dragway. Hilo just happens to be located in one of the raniest places on earth by getting 126.72″ of rain a year. The propper name for the drag strip is Pana‘ewa Drag Strip. the locals like to call it Pana‘ewa rain forest. Not the smartest place in the world to build a dragstrip. BUT!!! we lucked out! It was a beautiful day for racing. 80 degrees & sunny.

We pulled in the gate & were asked if we wanted to race. We would have if we gad more time but only had an hour or so before we had to head North for dinner & a friends house. A rental car is the best race car of all. LOL We opted to just go in take some pictures & talk to the locals. What a night & day difference from home. SMP gets about 500 cars on a Saturday night. This place got 3 cars entered in their points program for the night. There were probably 25 cars there for test & tune & maybe a gamblers race with cash put up by the racers as a purse. The one big problem is that the track is owned by the county parks & is rented out to car clubs for racing. The other bigger problem is there are 2 conflicting car clubs that pull members from one another. If they were combined the car count would be worth noting but the club owners do not see eye to eye.

It doesn’t matter where in the world the race track may be, things are the same all over. Good times spent with family & friends, stories being told, & competition on the track. We met some cool people with some pretty cool rides. Definitely a lasting impression was left.

Hawaii 03 122 Hawaii 03 123 Hawaii 03 118 Hawaii 03 132





Not sure where to start???

Hi everyone! It has been quite some time since I have contributed on here. Why you ask? Well It’s a long story but I’ll shorten it up a little.

I mentioned on here towards the end of last summer I took a now job. That job took a huge commitment of my time. The job was commercial remodeling. A little back round on commercial remodeling. 90% of it is done @ night & all of it is out of town. The job was fun & exciting but the combination of out of town & out of town proved to be too much on me. I took a new job back running residential construction to try & get some normalcy back to life. Not sure if that is possible. LOL

I ended on here last fall with a few projects that I started on. How are they going you ask??? Well no where near as far along as I envisioned . Does any project ever finish on time? I think not. The motor for the Car Craft Magazine build up is currently @ the machine shop. All the parts finally came in & some progress is being made. Slower than expected but moving in the right direction none the less.

The Hornet Stocker project is moving @ a stellar snails pace. I have been attempting to collect parts over the winter but there again a snails pace. I even took long enough for some of the parts I collected to become obsolete. By obsolete I mean NHRA disallowed the parts without notice. Pretty much a bummer. I did get a few things in order & will update the progress in a future blog.  After the shock of Spring wears off I will be back @ it as this car has become a priority!

Hornet front end parts ready for sandblasting then powdercoating!
Hornet front end parts ready for sandblasting


Not a whole bunch has changed here @ Stevand Racing but in a way it has. A freshen up for Matt’s seasoned 360, I unfortunately touched nothing on the old Gremlin, but the exciting news is the addition of the Concord! Not the airplane but a 1981 AMC 4 door Concord. It will be piloted by none other than Matt’s girlfriend Amanda Hoover.

Keep a close eye out here for Weekly updates & interesting stories then a daily eye on our Facebook page for daily updates & some fun photos to break up your week!!



A little look back @ 2012

As we prepare for the 2013 racing season I can’t help but take a look back @ all the fun times we had on our racing adventures. From racing in our back yard to out of state jaunts, they all have a story.

Overall Matt & I had a pretty successful year. No major breakage. Many Many minor pains but I will take those over a motor explosion every time. We walked away with  our heads up high & a car to race next year.

My most memorable race this year had to be the NHRA Bracket finals in Indy. The fellowship @ this race has been awesome the past 2 years. Being a team event comprised of people you raced against all year it is a bit tough @ times to find fellowship. I am not sure what changed but this event has become a favorite. Matt touched base on his “Update of all Updates” Blog on September 9th on my progress @ the Bracket finals. Besides winning a Shootout on Friday & getting down to 8 cars in the main event was only a portion of the fun. The weekend included some creativeness with cap guns, yes the childrens kind, A flat front tire on the race car, A severe shock from the race car coil, & some serious golf cart wheelies. It’s always a success when you get a visit from the law when you have actually not done anything illegal.

That was my favorite weekend. I look forward to more Shenanigans this coming season. How about you?



*Ahem* Can I Have Your Attention Please!


About a year ago we sat down with Josh Flagner of More Than a Fan and discussed to possibility of doing a drag racing related blog as part of the MTAF website. Little did we know how awesome of a relationship this would turn into. The blog has given Stevand Racing an avenue to share our real life track stories and promote our sponsors. With the blog growing way more than we ever expected it has given us the opportunity to step up.

With the Josh’s help, Stevand Racing now has it’s own .com. This doesn’t sound like a lot but it is pretty huge. You can now just type and you’re on our site! Stevand Racing will still be linked to More Than a Fan, so all our followers can fill their plate with their sports needs with just one click.

We will be adding more to the site as time goes on, including complete sponsor pages, Brad Penn oil order page and more product reviews. The overall look of the site will remain the same due to the wide acceptance of the original design. Don’t mess with success! Well, not too much.

Click Here!

If any of our readers has ideas, suggestions or just good, old-fashioned feedback, be sure to let us know! You can email the site at or email Andy, Matt or myself by just putting our first name in front of! Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter @StevandRacing and check out our facebook fan page!

Keep an eye out for some new blogs  as we recover from the holidays and get back at our preparation for the 2013 racing season.



Happy Holidays To All !!!!!

On behalf of the whole Stevand crew I would like to wish a very happy holidays to you & yours.

We are extremely thankful for all the support from our sponsors & the dedicated readers. This Blog has grown in leaps & bounds this year solely based on your readership.

Special thanks to Kruger Photos, Wiseco Piston, & Cometic Gasket but without none of this would be possible.

Be fast & be safe! A new year is just around the corner!


Project Stocker Has Begun!!!

This off season is revving up to be a busy one. Along with Matt finishing up his Concord Project, doing some freshening on his Spirit, & me working on the Car Craft Engine Build we are taking on another huge task of building another car to add to the fleet. We will be pulling our resources together & making a long time dream of mine come true.

The plan is to transform my 1971 AMC Hornet into a competitive NHRA Class legal Stocker. Stock Eliminator is reserved for American Factory-Production & some foreign & domestic sports cars. There are 56 or so individual classes that make up Stock Eliminator. The class is called Stock but is far from it in some ways. There are many rules that regulate this class. Some of the rules mandate stock parts while other rules allow for approved upgraded parts due to lack of availability, reliability, or safety.

The 71 Hornet will be run as kind of a rare AMC model known as a SC 360. This was a limited production car for AMC & only 784 were ever constructed.  The Hornet were starting with is an original 71 but NOT an original SC 360. This part does not matter as long as everything on the car trim wise matches the SC car. If the SC had a certain spoiler my “Clone” would have to have that same spoiler etc… The SC 360 was the only Hornet available with a 360. All others had the 304 V8 or a 6 cylinder. The SC 360 combo allows me to use an engine that has a ton of potential to make horsepower to be competitive in Stock Eliminator.

Every step of this build will be constructed around the rules, special attention paid to weight, & every effort to obtain horsepower out of everything possible. The car is classified by the factor issued by NHRA to the particular combination used. The 71 SC 360 has a factor number of 10.91. The performance factor of 10.91 puts the car in the “F” category. The class designation would be F/SA. The “F” being the individual class, “S” designates Stock Eliminator & “A” designates that I will be using an automatic transmission.  The class ET index for F/SA is 11.85. That means that old Project Hornet needs to run faster than 11.85 to qualify for a race.That is asking a lot for the engine & drive train modifications allowed.

The first step in the process has begun. The Hornet was in a flood before I purchased it so it will need completely disassembled & cleaned. As the car comes apart anything that is not needed by rules will be removed. Things like undercoating & sound deadener add up weight that is not needed. The interior has been removed revealing how clean of a car I really have. Not one rust hole in the over 40 year old gem.

This will be a learning process for us & your more than welcome to learn with us. Keep stopping by to see how the project is going.


The Build Continues…

Due to an extremely demanding work schedule lately my progress has been a little sporadic on the Car Craft engine build lately. With my first real day off in over a month I took advantage of the time & headed to the Hanshue garage to get things in order to drop the engine off to the machine shop.

Wakeman Power will take on the machining responsibilities for this project. They are a highly qualified full service machine shop. They do engines for most of the top performers in our area. Most of the rest of this build will take place @ Wakeman.

Today also consisted of cleaning parts. I really think cleaning parts is the longest single process in rebuilding a Junk Yard Dog. I washed & wire wheeled some of the pulleys & brackets to get them ready for paint to be magazine worthy. I also cleaned the front timing cover & oil pump housing. The modifications to that will be a whole blog in itself with pictures arrows & the whole 9 yards.

This weekend Stevand Racing will head to the International Motorsports Industry Show show in Indianapolis Indiana. The IMIS is a trade show of racing related products & services. This is one of the shows where new products for the up coming year are debut. This is not a public show. It is only open to businesses related to the racing industry. Stevand racing is lucky to be able to attend this event. I believe it gives us a leg up on the competition in that we see these new products sometimes before they hit the market. Another advantage is that we can talk directly to the people who design the products we use & can give feedback to help improve or develop new products. It is an exciting time of year for the whole team.