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Odds on Thornton at Vegas

Photos by Tim Marshall and Paul Schmitz/
Reflections Of Motorsports Photography

Perennial favorite Ed Thornton of Chino Hills, CA, claimed yet another Pacific Street Car Association (PSCA) Pro Street final-round victory at The Strip at Las Vegas Speedway on Sept. 5, 2005. Thornton's black 1957 Chevrolet outran John Scialpi of West Covina, CA, to claim top honors in the PSCA Product Engineering Las Vegas Nationals.

Thornton defeated Scialpi when Scialpi's blown entry lost traction early in the run, posting a 6.81/206 to 7.10/207 win.

"That was an awesome run," Thornton said. "Our luck has definitely changed for the better after struggling in qualifying.' Thornton added, "Like they say, it's better to be lucky than good on race day."

Thornton, clutch specialist Doug Stewart, and engine tuner Shane Tecklenburg had arrived at the track a day before the race to test the car. With a new engine combination in the car, they made a seemingly effortless 6.74/211 test run. What the team didn't realize until the call for qualifying was that a pocket in the casting of the head had allowed water to leak into the combustion chamber. The head had to be replaced before they could run and they just squeaked into the second qualifying session because of a delay on the racetrack. Although they made the field in the No. 4 slot, a small fire erupted under the hood in the shut-down area, adding to the drama.

"Apparently the silicone we used on the manifold end seals just had not cured by the time we went to run," explained Stewart. "It could only hold the pressure a little while before it blew oil mist out and the wind pushed it onto the headers."

Before the final round match up, Scialpi's car was unable to fire, but Thornton team members assisted in getting it started.

Thornton increased his points lead over second place Clint Hairston. Hairston qualified No. 1 at Las Vegas, but was taken out by Thornton 6.65/219 to 6.81/209.

Other winners were: Roger Lorton (Paxton Index); Jack Gottfried (Open Comp); Anthony Landolfi (Borla Trophy); and Jim Naffziger (Bracket 1).

The Las Vegas F-Body Association was also in attendance with George Mattie's 1974 Camaro Z-28 getting the win over Larry Devereau's '73 model.


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