When more than 800 Micro/Minisprint competitors converge on Tulsa, Oklahoma the week after Christmas, they’ll have to contend with an all-star caliber team from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The northeastern group can be called “Team Hyper” because it was organized by Mike Dicely’s staff at Hyper Racing – headed up by General Manager J.D. Esh, who began to plan this big assault just about one year ago.
“We were in the middle of a major renovation to our facility during the 2014 Tulsa Shootout,” explained Esh, “and we were all immersed in that project, rather than the big event in Tulsa. While we were represented out there, it was kind of slim and we sort of felt slighted as a company. It seemed like we were overlooked, and we’re not about to let that happen again.”
Esh and the Hyper Racing staff began talking and planning for the 2015 edition of the Speedway Motors Tulsa Shootout, which begins with practice sessions on New Year’s Eve. Qualifying heats will commence on New Year’s Day, and it all leads up to the long list of main events (there are numerous classes for both the 600’s and 1200cc Minisprints at the Shootout) on January 3, 2015. This year’s extravaganza marks the 30th annual event for Micro and Minisprints inside the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa.
“The biggest discussion centered around one question,” said Esh. “How do we get the area’s top 600cc Hyper teams to Tulsa?”
After he toyed with the idea of renting a tractor-trailer to haul several cars – Esh figured he could get eight or nine cars in a 53-foot trailer – he had a conversation with one of the region’s top 600cc pilots, Tyler Walton.
“Walton was planning to compete in Tulsa anyway,” noted Esh, “and he is a truck driver; he’s got his own tractor-trailer. He said it wouldn’t cost that much more to drive his rig out to Oklahoma, rather than his team’s regular race car hauler, so we started to do some calculating.”
Walton, from Mifflintown, Pa., came up with a price to take his two cars to the Shootout in his big rig. He and Esh split that cost among the six additional Hyper teams who wanted to make the trip, and the result was a very economical deal to haul a total of eight cars to Oklahoma in Walton’s tractor-trailer.
Once they get to Tulsa and are unloaded, those cars will be gassed by a very impressive cast of pedal-mashers…along with Walton, the roster will include Jeff and Jay Hartman, Tony DiMattia, Robbie Hocker, Kameron Morral, Greg Stevens, and Eddie Strada as part of Team Hyper’s lineup.
Yes, those heavyweights are just part of the northeastern cast representing Hyper Racing. Three of the company’s employees, Ryan Greth, Jim Radney, and Austin Quick, will steer the “Hyper House Cars” in Tulsa. Those machines will be carried to the midwest by the Hyper Parts Trailer, which will be stocked and ready for business during the Shootout.
“We are going out there with the single-minded purpose of bringing at least one, and hopefully several Drillers back to PA,” stated Esh. The “Driller” is a reference to the Golden Driller trophy that is awarded to the winner of each prestigious A-Main at the Shootout. “That is the number one goal of our team, and we believe we have the drivers and cars that can get the job done. Most of them will be racing in multiple classes out there, so our chances of collecting some Drillers are even greater.”
“Here at Hyper Racing, we feel that we truly belong at the Shootout, and that we, as a company, can and should be a major player in that event,” he continued. “We feel it’s time to kind of show the world what we can do and what products and services we offer to the Micro and Minisprint industry. What better way to do that than to go out there and get some Drillers?”
In addition to Esh, other Hyper employees making the trip include Chris Snyder, who will act as a mechanic to all of the members of the team. And Misti Kopp will join Esh as marketing liasions in Tulsa, working to promote Hyper Racing to the thousands of competitors and fans who will attend the annual event that precedes, by two weeks, the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.
“Mike (Dicely) is letting us run with this project,” said Esh. “He will going out there for the Chili Bowl, when Greth and Radney make their second trip of the month to Oklahoma to race their Hyper Midgets.”
The Tulsa Shootout will be streamed on the worldwide web by MavTV, and Hyper Racing will be prominently featured during the webcast. “We’re making a commercial now,” noted Esh, “and they’ll be doing interviews with us and our drivers throughout the week.”
Four more Pennsylvania wheel-twisters will enter their Hypers in the Shootout and are members of the team from the northeast. James Morris will travel and take his car to Tulsa with Kutztown’s Jarid Kunkle, who just recently purchased a used, ready-to-race Hyper. The Smith family, Joe and Cody, will round out the Hyper contingent from the northeast when the Shootout begins at the Tulsa Expo Raceway.
For additional information on the Tulsa Shootout and to follow the action from December 31 through January 3, log on to www.tulsashootout.com.
**Some background information regarding the 30th Annual Speedway Motors Tulsa Shootout at Tulsa Expo Raceway…
The Tulsa Shootout in Tulsa, Oklahoma is the largest event for micro sprint racing in the country. Going into the 30th year of this prestigious event, many drivers dream of bringing home the Golden Driller. With the numbers of entries growing every year, with a record of 998 total entries last year, it is certainly an event for every race fan and driver to experience. It’s a five-day event that encompasses 8 different racing classes including Winged and Non-Wing 600cc Outlaw Micros, A-Class 600cc Micros, ASCS ECOtech Midgets, Restricted Micros,1200cc Mini Sprints, and the exciting Jr. Sprint class for the kids from 6-12. You’ll see drivers from all over the country attending this event ranging from amateur to professional, ages 6 to 60! Invite your friends, invite your family…This is something you do not want to miss!
**Credentials of some of the drivers representing Team Hyper:
Tyler Walton, Mifflintown, PA: the leading 600cc Sprint winner in the northeast in 2014, with 15 feature victories.
Eddie Strada, Lake Ariel, PA: second to Walton in northeastern 600cc Sprint triumphs, with 14 feature wins and the Hamlin Speedway point championship.
Jeff Hartman, Flagtown, NJ: Past 600cc point champion at Bridgeport, NJ and at the Kutztown, PA Fairgrounds (multiple track titles at both speedways). Also the 2011 champion of PA 600 Speedweek.
Jay Hartman, Flagtown, NJ: Jeff’s older brother who has captured the past two 600cc point crowns at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. Also won the 2014 Linda’s Speedway National Open for the 600cc Sprint Cars.
Tony DiMattia, Malvern, PA: the 2013 PA 600 Speedweek Champion and winner of that season’s Micromania event at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Ryan Greth, New Cumberland, PA: twice in his 600cc Micro-Sprint career, he earned $10,000 victories in big races…in 2006, he won the Super 600 Showdown at Hill Valley and in 2011 Greth captured the Micromania race at Clyde Martin.
James Morris, Riegelsville, PA: over the past few years, he’s racked up multiple victories in the Florida Minisprint Winternationals. Also garnered feature wins with a wing (three at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway) and in non-wing competition (three-time winner at Kutztown’s JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA) during 2014 season.