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TNT Series finale - Ted Barnes wraps up 2008 winning at Cayuga Dragway!

Points championship decided by the smallest of margins

CAYUGA, ONTARIO (October 23, 2008)  As seventeen of the best sportsman teams rolled into Cayuga Dragway (Toronto Motorsports Park) on Sunday October 19th, it was a perfect day for the final 2008 event in the highly competitive Joe’s Transmission TNT Hot Rod Super Series.  The weather for the event, presented by Bieda’s Powersports, was ideal for drag racing – cool and sunny.  Density altitude was in the low hundreds all day and everyone in the field was making lots of horsepower.  For the second time this season, the Performance Improvements drag racing team – Ted & Bill Barnes of Canfield ON – found themselves in the TNT winner’s circle.  But this day, they had a new partner along – Ted’s son, Jackson.

In contention for the championship, Gary Stowell of Macedon NY did everything right by posting a 7.000 to capture the 16 bonus points for #1 qualifier – the second time this season he’s done that with a perfect 7.000 run.  Not only did Stowell take home the Hoosier Tire Canada $50 certificate but he earned himself a bye in round one.

The drama continued as current points leader Bill Elekes of West Seneca NY was taken out in round one by sixth place contender Wayne Sipos of Binbrook ON.  This opened up the door for a handful of racers to charge for the championship.  Barnes made it through round one, though he got lucky.  His opponent Kevin Orr of Orangeville ON had mechanical trouble and couldn’t run the 7.00 index.  Round two saw Barnes face off against Jamie Stoneman of Cheektowaga NY.  Stoneman is a regular on the TNT tour and is always tough.  Although on this day his .025 light to Barnes’ .008 and almost identical ET’s would see the win light come on in Barnes’ lane.

Third round saw Ted lined up with Paul Young of Alden NY.  With two rounds complete, Young was the points leader and had a decent margin on the field.  If he won the round, Young would clinch the 2008 TNT title.  If he lost, the best he would end up was second.  Young had the advantage off the line (.012 to Barnes’ .022) but the Performance Improvements Datsun 510 ran a dead-on 7.000 @ 102mph eliminating Young who took a bit too much stripe at a 6.992 at 112mph.

In the semi-finals, there were three cars left – Jon Jablonski of West Seneca NY, David Surmatchewski of Oakland ON and Barnes.  These three came into the event within 4 points of each other.  Now, all each of them had to do was win the event and they would become the 2008 TNT Series Champion.  According to the ladder, Barnes had the bye run and aired it out the back door with a 7.011 @ 102mph.  Surmatchewski defeated Jablonski by .019 seconds - setting the stage for the final round.

In the championship round, with all the beans on the line, neither car wanted to stage first.  After a brief “burn down”, both got away clean – Barnes with an .013 light to Surmatchewski’s .030 reaction.  Across the stripe side by side, Barnes ran a 7.028 @ 100.19mph defeating Surmatchewski’s 7.017 @ 100.25mph to take the event win and the 2008 TNT championship by a mere .006 seconds or approximately 10 inches!

“First I have to thank my dad, Bill.  He’s with me at every race - I couldn’t do it without him.  And my wife Cathy & daughter Cassidy for having more patience than anyone I know.  Today is the first time my son Jackson has been at the track for the whole day when we’ve been in competition and to win with him here is just awesome!” said Ted in the Cayuga Dragway winner’s circle.  “I also want to thank Joe Boniferro of Joe’s Transmission for being such a strong supporter of us sportsman racers and Bieda’s Powersports for presenting today’s event!”

“This Performance Improvements Datsun with Scott Conrad horsepower was flawless today.  And these Hoosier tires are incredible!  The 60’ times didn’t move more than a few thousandths all day!” added Ted.  Additional partners on the Barnes team include Top Quality Transmissions of Hamilton, Steel City Spring of Hamilton, F&M Signs of Stoney Creek and Skyway Lawn Equipment of Stoney Creek.  Product support comes from Pennzoil, Crane Cams, Wix Filters and Clevite Engine Parts.

Paul Young did finish second in the 2008 TNT championship with his 1966 Fairlane; Surmatchewski and his 1983 Cutlass took third.  Then Stowell and his 1977 Vega in fourth and Jablonski with his 1991 GMC Jimmy rounded out the top five.

Next up is the TNT Awards Dinner on Saturday November 22nd.  Things will get underway at 7:30pm at Mick & Angelo’s Eatery in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  Wait until you see the prize table!  Email to reserve your seat.


Final 2008 TNT Points Standings – Top 20 of 45 Points Members

              (After 9 of 9 events)

  • Ted Barnes – Canfield ON – 72 Datsun                                471

  • Paul Young – Alden NY – 66 Fairlane                                  460

  • David Surmatchewski – Oakland ON – 83 Cutlass                450

  • Gary Stowell – Macedon NY – 77 Vega                               445

  • JJ Jablonski – West Seneca NY – 91 Jimmy                        434

  • Bill Elekes – West Seneca NY – 75 Monza                          430

  • Wayne Sipos – Binbrook ON – 59 Corvette                          391

  • Jamie Stoneman – Cheektowaga NY – 93 S10                     382

  • Gary Kerl – Williamsville NY – 68 Camaro                           375

  • Joe Passero – Stevensville ON – 67 Camaro                        335

  • Kirk Parry – North Tonawanda NY – 78 Pinto                       266

  • Ross Booker – Hamilton ON – 27 Ford Roadster                  257

  • Sam Lovetro Jr – Webster NY – 66 Nova                              244

  • Stve McCarrick – Phelps NY – 56 Chev                               229

  • Jason Vitez – Elma NY – 08 Stratus                                   225

  • Jeff Sobczynski – Cheektowaga NY – 67 Camaro                188

  • Anthony Platania – Rochester NY – 69 Camaro                   186

  • Fred Gross – Brampton ON – 84 Camaro                            183

  • Gary Saska – Ingersoll ON – 78 Camaro                              182

  • Jim Flanigan – Holland NY – 84 Corvette                              172


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