For at least the last decade, there’s a summer celebration of speed and camaraderie that takes place once a year at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Jennings, Okla. NASA Texas hosts the event, which always attracts drivers from other regions. This year’s Hallett event brought in drivers from the Utah, Rocky Mountain, MidAmerica and Gulf South regions.
“Yeah, it’s one of those events where, it’s the dead heat of summer in Texas, so it’s hard to get everybody to want to come out and drive in that,” said NASA Texas Regional Director Marie Adams. “So we do everything we can to make a fun event that’s worth your while to be out in the 90-plus-degree heat.”
There is racing, yes, but the festivities after the track is cold are what garner the most attention and make the Hallett event what it is. Of course, there’s the Saturday night social, but they also have paddock crawl, the annual “Slip and Flip,” a relay race in which competitors slide down a hillside on a water-soaked plastic slide, take a few gulps of beer then flip the Solo cup from upright to upside down. Once the cup lands correctly, the next team member slides down and takes his or her turn. NASA Texas set up full brackets for around 15 named teams that entered.
“One of our racers noticed that a dance studio next to his home was closing down and they had a bunch of those giant trophies out in the parking lot. They were going to throw them in the trash,” Adams said. “So they repurposed one of the trophies for this slip and flip. We also did some big, 3 x 5 flags that had the Slip-and-Flip logo we have for this thing now. It’s the sixth annual, so it’s got a full-blown logo and we made big flags for the winners.”
The last festivity on Saturday night is called midnight ribs, which lets hungry racers enjoy some ribs that have been cooking at low temperatures all day and all night long.
“It’s exactly what it sounds like. You’ve got to stay up till midnight to have them,” Adams said. “There’s a lot of cool little things like that that make it a unique event, even though it’s not our largest event. For the people that do attend, it really is a fun time.”
They even have champagne for the winners at Hallett.
Adams was quick to point out that Hallett Motor Racing Circuit management Jennifer and Scott Stevens love the event, and have worked with NASA Texas on all the fun activities, including installing a special water nozzle for the Slip-and-Flip event.
“Yeah, it’s funny, I tend to focus on the nontrack-related stuff at this event just because it’s so unique in that aspect, but really it’s an incredible track,” Adams said. “We do a fun thing on Sunday where the last session of the day in TT and HPDE, we actually run it clockwise and that’s also fun for setting track records and just gets people to stick around until the end of the weekend to do that clockwise session. So that’s another kind of fun piece that we throw in.”
In addition to all the Hallett hijinks, they did manage to get in a full weekend of racing. Because NASA Texas ran so many races at Hallett, we’re going to focus on Sunday’s competition.
In the AMCM class, Al Fernandez took first place with a time of 1:22.621 in his Chevrolet Camaro, with a 0.386 second difference to second-place driver Daniel Records in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo, who had a best time of 1:23.395. Rusty Reed came in third with a time difference of 39.696 seconds in his Ford Mustang, with a best lap of 1:25.251. Lap times of the entire field of five cars were separated by less than 2 seconds.
In the American Iron class, Charlie Bosselman ran unopposed and took first place with a time of 1:25.277 in his Ford Mustang sponsored by Boss Truck Shops.
In the American Iron Xtreme class, Daniel Manis took first place with a time of 1:23.458 in his Ford Mustang sponsored by Automotion.
In Camaro-Mustang Challenge, the largest field in the Thunder group, Steven Gernon took first place with a fast lap of 1:28.260 in his Chevy Camaro sponsored by HD Motorsports. Sam Crumpacker came in second with a time difference of 2.023 seconds in his Ford Mustang sponsored by Scoots, despite a quicker fast lap than Gernon at 1:27.213. Team Jordan took third place, 11.997 seconds behind Crumpacker, with a best time of 1:29.153.
In Thunder Roadster GTR, Todd Larson took first place with a time of 1:24.165 in his Thunder Roadster sponsored by Orbits. He ran unopposed at Hallett.
In race four in the Thunder group, Al Fernandez took first place again in AMCM with a time of 1:22.311 in his Chevrolet Camaro, followed by Jean-Paul Buisine in second place with a time of 1:22.857 in his Howe Camaro, and Daniel Records in third place with a time of 1:22.684 in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Fernandez had a lead of 0.441 seconds over Buisine, while Records trailed by 11.878 seconds. Fernandez also had the fastest lap time of the race at 1:22.311.
In American Iron, Charlie Bosselman took first place with a time of 1:25.166 in his Ford Mustang. In American Iron Xtreme, Daniel Manis took first place with a time of 1:23.406 in his Ford Mustang.
In CMC race four, Crumpacker took the win with a fast lap of 1:27.421 in his Ford Mustang. 2021 CMC National Champion Joshua Sooknanan took second place even though his fast lap in his Ford Mustang was quicker than Crumpacker’s at 1:27.204. Gernon finished third in his HD Motorsports-sponsored Camaro.
Race four in the Thunder group included Super Unlimited class. TJ Kroehle took first place in his Radical SR-10, followed by John Ulmer in second place with a time of 1:16.196 in his Radical SR3, and Gabriel Albani in third place with a time of 1:16.900 in his Radical SR3. Ulmer finish 6.422 seconds behind Kroehle, and Albani trailed by 16.854 seconds. Kroehle also had the fastest lap time of the race at 1:15.877.
In the ThunderRoadster GTR class, Todd Larson ran unopposed and took first place with a time of 1:23.691 in his Thunder Roadster.
Spec Miata was particularly action-packed, highlighting the prowess of some talented drivers on the challenging 1.8-mile course.
On Sunday, Logan Stretch, driving the No. 98 Mazda Miata, sponsored by Wheels America Racing, Pleasant Ridge Internal Medicine, and G-Loc Brakes, claimed victory in Spec Miata. He clocked his best time of 1:30.386 on his seventh lap.
In a close second, just 0.466 seconds back, was Matthew Stretch, sporting the same sponsors as Logan – Wheels America and Pleasant Ridge Internal Medicine. Matthew showcased his skills with an impressive fastest lap time of 1:30.314, faster than Logan Stretch.
Claiming the third spot was Mark Curlee, driving the No. 163 blue Mazda Miata. Curlee finished 1.103 seconds behind Logan, with his best lap time an admirable 1:30.286.
Lap times of the entire 12-car field of five cars were separated by less than 2 seconds.
In Super Touring 6, Team Garcia Racing ran unopposed to take the win on Sunday, with their Mazda Miata logging a best lap time of 1:31.169.
In Spec E30, Clay Pearce was the standout, speeding his red BMW 325is to victory with a best lap time of 1:31.210. Hot on his heels was Cliff Pearce, whose black BMW 325is clocked in 51.418 seconds behind Clay, with a best lap time of 1:32.327.
Over in Spec E46, Jason Rikke took the top spot, piloting his BMW 330 to a fastest lap time of 1:28.005. Audrey Wiseman followed in her 330ci, posting a fastest lap of 1:31.373. Team Record Racing, sponsored by Classic BMW, also ended one lap back, but posted a best lap time of 1:30.974.
Race four’s Super Touring classes saw some heated competition. In Super Touring 1, Colin Cohen’s Maserati GTO MC Trofeo, sponsored by Norwood Auto Italia, clinched the win with a best lap time of 1:20.783. Blair Hosie in his Rush SR, sponsored by Rush Auto Works, achieved a remarkable fastest lap of 1:19.535.
In Super Touring 2, Chris Coffey set the bar high in his Maserati MCGT4, recording a best lap time of 1:18.608. John Long was a lap down in his white Rush SR, yet delivered a solid performance with a best lap time of 1:23.254. OGIO/Corby Concepts-sponsored Craig Andrews followed suit, with a fastest lap of 1:23.352.
Rob Williams, backed by SurfVistas.com/Costa Rica, stormed to victory in Super Touring 3 with a fastest lap of 1:20.549 in his BMW M3. He was followed by Robert Weston, driving a Chevrolet Spec Corvette sponsored by Peak Electric. Brian Beckett finished third, also in a BMW M3.
Super Touring 4 saw Daniel Byrd take the win in his black and blue BMW 325is, notching a best lap time of 1:23.501. Following him, one lap behind, were Team Road Motorsports and Harper Chaffee, with best lap times of 1:24.628 and 1:26.024, respectively.
Rounding out the weekend, an unopposed Ross Carmichael won Super Touring 5 with his blue BMW 325i, recording a best lap time of 1:26.030.