Southwest Formula Mazda Series Blazes at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit
By Sandy Magrath

Rounds 11 & 12 of the Southwest Formula Mazda Series were held at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit on August 28-29 at the COMMA Challenge. Thanks to all of the folks with Hallett for making our visit spectacular! We had 16 participants with 15 of those being Series members.

Compared to the lap times ran at Hallett last year, the SWFM Series drivers “raised the bar” dramatically. Maybe it was David Stover running at his home track that forced everyone to “pick up the pace”. Or it could have been the local youngsters Ricky Woods and Austin Embry who were too young to run the entire SWFM Series this year – but able to run the venues that don’t have age restrictions such as Hallett’s COMMA events. Woods and Embry both challenged the regular Series drivers this weekend and we look forward to seeing what they can do next year when they run the whole Series.

Last year, the best Qualifying lap time was 1:16:414. This year, that time would have had you gridded in 7th place on Saturday and 11th place on Sunday. Last year the best Race lap was 1:15:83. This year it was 14.65.

On Saturday, David Stover qualified on the pole with Austin Embry and Darryl Wills in 2nd and 3rd. Stover qualified with a 1:14:53 which was the fastest time of the weekend. At the completion of Lap 1 on Saturday’s race, Russell Walker was in 2nd behind Stover. Darryl Wills patiently pursued Walker. Walker held him off for 11 laps, but Wills finally got him on the Front Straight on Lap 12. 16 year old Austin Embry and Ben McCrackin fought long and hard for 4th position – but McCrackin prevailed.

Sunday’s Qualifying was spectacular with 3rd through 8th positions only being separated by .12 seconds. There were 8 drivers who qualified under a 1:16 on Sunday compared to only 4 on Saturday. Stover led the entire race with Russell Walker in 2nd. With Wills qualifying in an uncharacteristic 7th, Walker didn’t have to worry so much about him as he did on the previous day. However, Wills did make his way up to his typical comfort zone and overtook 16 Year Old Ricky Woods for 3rd on Lap11. Woods finished in 4th. Stover won the race with Walker and Wills in 2nd and 3rd. Dave Defnet, who qualified 3rd, finished in 5th. Complete Qualifying and Race Results are shown below.

After the weekend, Stover has moved into 2nd place in the points race behind Wills. Ben McCrackin still leads for the Masters Championship and Russell Walker has taken the lead in the race for Rookie of the Year.

Round 11 (Hallett - COMMA)

  Driver Qual. Time
1 David Stover (1:14.53)
2 Austin Embry (1:15.00)
3 Darryl Wills (1:15.28)
4 Russell Walker (1:15.71)
5 Dave Defnet (1:16.08)
6 Ben McCrackin (1:16.30)
7 Greg Labadie (1:16.51)
8 Michael Tari (1:16.54)
9 Ricky Woods (1:16.63)
10 Walter Gragert (1:16.64)
11 Frank Tomlinson (1:16.67)
12 Steve Davison (1:17.44)
13 Brad Jackson (1:18.93)
14 Roger Addison (1:19.26)
15 David Knapp (1:22.21)
  Driver Race Time
1 David Stover (1:14.65)
2 Darryl Wills (1:15.16)
3 Russell Walker (1:15.40)
4 Ben McCrackin (1:15.86)
5 Austin Embry (1:15.76)
6 Michael Tari (1:16.94)
7 Ricky Woods (1:16.79)
8 Walter Gragert (1:16.78)
9 Greg Labadie (1:17.46)
10 Dave Defnet (1:16.57)
11 Steve Davison (1:17.89)
12 Roger Addison (1:18.03)
13 Brad Jackson (1:18.68)
14 David Knapp (1:21.22)
15 Frank Tomlinson (1:16.81)


Round 12 (Hallett - COMMA)

  Driver Qual. Time
1 David Stover (1:14.65)
2 Russell Walker (1:14.89)
3 Dave Defnet (1:15.32)
4 Ricky Woods (1:15.34)
5 Frank Tomlinson (1:15.36)
6 Austin Embry (1:15.403)
7 Darryl Wills (1:15.409)
8 Ben McCrackin (1:15.44)
9 Greg Labadie (1:16.05)
10 Walter Gragert (1:16.34)
11 Michael Tari (1:16.86)
12 Steve Davison (1:17.97)
13 Roger Addison (1:18.57)
14 Brad Jackson (1:18.61)
15 David Knapp (1:21.21)
  Driver Race Time
1 David Stover (1:14.79)
2 Russell Walker (1:15.53)
3 Darryl Wills (1:15.17)
4 Ricky Woods (1:15.98)
5 Dave Defnet (1:15.92)
6 Ben McCrackin (1:15.76)
7 Frank Tomlinson (1:16.50)
8 Greg Labadie (1:16.89)
9 Steve Davison (1:17.98)
10 Brad Jackson (1:18.21)
11 Roger Addison (1:18.67)
12 Austin Embry (1:15.94)
13 Walter Gragert No Time
14 Michael Tari No Time
15 David Knapp No Time


2004 Southwest Formula Mazda Series Point Standings