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Wed, 05 Jun 2013, 11:20 AM

Sam LoVetro Jr Takes Early Points Lead after Dominating 35 Car Field in TNT Super Series
Courtesy of Lewis Robinson
Photo credit: Ron Rigby

LEICESTER, N.Y. -- Season Opener

LoVetro Jr and crew
The Joe's Transmission TNT Super Series finally got the 2013 season started at Empire Dragway this past Saturday May 25th and did it in a huge way. After two rained out attempts to start the season, a record thirty-five cars qualified for the Steve's Electric event.

The Memorial Day weekend was supposed to see two TNTSS events however Mother Nature scrapped Friday night's race in Lancaster, NY leaving just Saturday at Empire.

When qualifying was complete, rookie contender Ryan Boniferro from Niagara Falls, Ontario sat atop the field with a near perfect 7.004.

After six rounds of eliminations, it was Webster, New York's Sam LoVetro Jr coming from the eleventh qualifying spot to take the $1000 event win and solidify his position in the Dilts Piston Hydraulics Race Of Champions coming up in August. At the same time, Sam ran seven rounds in Super Pro and got a runner-up finish there.

Sam LoVetro Jr
In TNTSS round one, Sam faced off against Chuck Nagy who gave it away by going red. Then in round two, it was TNTSS newcomer Greg Kerl cutting a .514 light to a .510, with Sam taking the round in a double breakout. Harry Phelps was next to go down in round three when Sam laid down a .526 / 7.006 package.

A bye run took Sam to the semi-finals against Jeff Sobczynski. Another double breakout with Sam having the starting line advantage and running 6.997 moved him into the final.

On the other side of the ladder it was Canadian Kevin Orr marching through names like Jerry Stoutenberg, Gary Stowell, Harris Phelps and Ryan Boniferro on his way to the final round.

When the .500 pro tree came to life, Sam had his work cut out for him cutting a .520 light to Kevin's ..505. But Kevin took too much stripe and broke out with a 6.983 to Sam's near perfect 7.006, giving Sam his third victory in TNTSS competition.

"This was the best performance of my life," said Sam. "I haven't had a better weekend at the races, ever." "Going in to the Hot Rod final, I had just run the semi's in Super Pro and had no time to fuel or charge the car. Luckily it was a cold night so cooling wasn't an issue."

"I want to thank everyone involved in the TNT Super Series including Ted Barnes for organizing this deal, series title sponsor Joe's Transmission and Steve's Electric for sponsoring tonight," he added. Sam also thanked all of the racers and sponsors who make the TNT Super Series possible.

Sam was quick to mention special thanks to Art Jones and Al Bueg for helping him with crew duties while he raced in both classes. "Those two guys were invaluable!"

The 1966 Nova has a 434 small block Chevrolet for power. "I also have to mention the work Mike Mastin Race Engines out of Livonia, NY does for me. The engine performed flawlessly through thirteen rounds of competition," added Sam. With two TNTSS events now cancelled due to weather, stay tuned to for information on potential re-scheduled dates, along with all the latest information on the most watched sportsman series in the country.

Specialty Awards
• Hoosier Tire Canada $100 certificate - Number One Qualifier 
• Ryan Boniferro (Niagara Falls, Ontario) with a 7.004

• J&S Collision $50 - Closest to the Index (1st Round Loser) 
• Larry Pulver  (Palmyra, NY) with a 7.008

• Dunn Tire Raceway Park FREE PASS - Best Reaction Time (1st Round Loser) 
• George Mayer (Niagara Falls, Ontario) with a .503

2013 Joe's Transmission TNTSS Points Standings (TOP 10) - After 1 of 13
1  Sam LoVetro Jr      121
2  Kevin Orr           105
3  Ryan Boniferro       86
4t Jeff Sobczynski      80
4t Marc Vezina          805 
Mark Glomb           77
6  David Surmatchewski  72
7  Greg Kerl            64
8  Tom Coonly           63
9  Harry Phelps         62
10 Roy Brockway         61

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