LANCASTER, N.Y. --
Skies were overcast and rain was a constant threat but that didn't stop thirty-two of the best sportsman racers in the northeast from descending on the 1/8th mile facility for the TNTSS event presented by The Sister Act Band.
Rich, who qualified tenth with a 7.011, faced TNTSS newcomer Gary Carlson in round one. Rich was ..020 better on the tree and took .007 stripe running 7.017 to Gary's 7.030.
In round two, he got the better of Kevin Orr on the tree by a mere .011 and took the round win with a 7.015. Gary Stowell was up next and had Rich on the tree (.513 to .517) but Rich ran a near perfect 7.005 to a 7.017 and took the win by a .008 margin at the stripe.
In the money round, Rich faced TNTSS newcomer Kirk Wilde. Almost even off the line, Rich's .523 gave him a slight lead to Kirk's .533. At the other end, Kirk broke out trying to catch the bright yellow 1972 Maverick and ran too fast 6.988 to Rich's 7.009.
"This is awesome!" said Rich after the final. "This series is terrific! I want to thank my family for being here - my wife Vanessa and my kids, Tyler, Jacob and Emma. Also have to thank my dad (Ron) and my mom (Jane) for their continued support."
His father, Ron Halleen, is celebrating 50 years of local drag racing. "It's an honor to continue the family racing tradition and have dad watching all three of my kids in the junior dragster class," Rich added.
Rich was quick to thank Ken Jozwiak along with Tom and Paul Young for all their help on the car. "Hats off to Ted Barnes and the whole TNT Super Series group. This is a great series. And also to Joe's Transmission for making it all happen."
Sponsors on the Maverick include Halleens Automotive, Rhino Linings of Niagara, Battery Warehouse, JJ Motors and Gray's Furnace. Drag racing since 1995, Rich has been running the Maverick for four years. It's powered by a 514 Ford with a Powerglide and is capable of runs in the 5.90 range in the 1/8th and 9.40's in the 1/4 mile.
As for the second event of the weekend, Saturday morning saw torrential rain and thunderstorms so Empire's race was cancelled and may be re-scheduled. Visit www.tntsuperseries.com for more information.
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