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If your not on the edge, you're taking up space

If your not on the edge, you're taking up space

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2017 SSCC Results and Yearly Awards PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 October 2017 14:22

What started as the potential of having five Panteras at the 2017 30th anniversary running of the Silver State Classic Challenge, turned into two Panteras, both running and finishing.  Those who dropped, still attened in a lesser capacity and the team still had loads of fun.  Included in that fun was sharing the experience with the 2017 Pantera Owners Club of America (POCA) president Gerry Romack.

The first to drop his Pantera from running was Peter Menyhart, who came very close but in the end needed a few more things that were just out of reach.  The team is determined to make sure he has the final things in place next year.  Next to drop was pretty much a tie between Mark Skwarek with a leaking head gasket, and John Bentley with a broken starter mounting bolt.  In the end, neither racer could get the last minute items fixed in time.  Still, Mark Skwarek attended in a suitable street car and ran in a lower speed class against (of all people) Charlie Friend.  Mark squeeked out a second place against Charlie which puts him in good standing.  John came and shared the experience but did not race.  The real story of the weekend belonged to Gerry Romack.

Gerry had bee planning to run for several months.  However, in an unfortunately turn of events, Gerry had two things that would end up ensuring him the Iron Man award for 2017 if he could pull it together and finish the race.  First, his car ended up damaged and requiring a little bit of bodywork and paint.  Next, Gerry found his engine had a problem and there wasn't time to rebuild.

In an effort nearly nobody else could pull off, Gerry contacted Dan Jones of the 351 Cleveland Dyno project fame and was able to secure the Dave McLain Dyno mule.  With Team Pantera Racing Veteran Dave Doddek and additional Pantera friends Alan Camaron and George Scott (and his son) pitching in to help, Gerry had his Pantera on a trailer and headed to Nevada from the Great Lakes region within a couple of days.  He made Las Vegas in time to secure his Rookie School certificate, which is needed when a racer runs either the Nevada Open Road Challenge or the Silver State Classic Challenge for the first time.  With certificate in-hand, Gerry took the rest of the day off to recover, recoup and get rest for the drive to Ely.

Once in Ely, the team greeted him with enthusiasm; he would have the only other Pantera there next to Dennis Antenucci's multi-race winner.  It wasn't all fun and games just yet though, Gerry knew there were a couple of things he wanted to check on before heading through Tech Inspection.  Every TPR member jumped in to help at one point or another.  It may be hard to believe from a couple of photos showing everyone playing "supervisor" in a lawn chair as Gerry struggled in the trunk space of his  Pantera, but everyone did something with Gerry at some point.  Mark and Peter jumped in early to help diagnose a brake problem that turned out to be a bad brake line.  The team removed it and with help from the local NAPA were back to bleeding the system until it was solid.  Once finished they turned toward the hydraulic clutch bearing.

Gerry at work in his Pantera

Gerry had complained that his clutch felt very bad so Asa Jay Laughton who again came without a car to run, jumped in to help bleed the hydraulic clutch.  The process yeilded nearly a full pint of thin dirty grey water before getting decent slightly amber brake fluid.  Once new fluid was coming entirely through the system, Gerry took the car out for a spin and came back with a grin that told everyone the clutch was working a whole lot better.

A few final checks of basic tech items and Gerry head off Saturday morning to the car show in the park to have his car tech'd before parking with Mad Dog.  He passed without any issues.  At this point, all Gerry had to do was start -and- finish the race to earn the coveted Iron Man award.

And he did.

Gerry Romack, president of POCA and Dennis Antenucci, a former president of POCA both started and finished the SSCC for 2017.  This race marked a milestone in that three past or present POCA presidents had run the Silver State Classic Challenge, and finished.

Past and Present POCA Presidents

Dennis and Peter congratulate Gerry

With an 11th hour engine swap, a herculean drive to Nevada, fixing some serious mechanical problems right before tech, starting and finishing the race, Gerry Romack deserved, and with a unanimous vote of his veteran peers, rightfully earned the 2017 Team Pantera Racing, Ellis Woumnm Memorial Iron Man Award.  Congratulations Gerry.

The lesser story of the TPR Team in 2017 was that of Dennis (Mad Dog) Antenucci, whose Pantera went to Don Byars Full Throttle Panteras to have the engine extracted and sent to Russ Fulps for a refresh.  While there Dennis had a myriad of other small tasks done to the Pantera to bring it up to snuff and all it's masculine glory for the race.  As it was, a few minor glitches from Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame) happened upon Don's shop making it such that the Pantera was "just" ready when Dennis and Asa Jay arrived with trailer in tow to pick it up on the way to Ely for the Race.

Dennis' Pantera ran fine, finished the race fastest in class, and because of all the effort put into the last-minute work, Don became nominated for the SOBill award and was subsequently voted to receive it.

For his efforts in helping Gerry Romack, diving in to assist with coveralls and gloves at the ready, Asa Jay Laughton became nominated for the Gary Hall award and was subsequently voted to receive it.

In all, counting the Team Pantera Racing sponsor Paul Katchadourian and his Dodge Viper, the team had seven members at the event, four drivers and four finishers.  Another successful year for this team and open road racing.


Team Pantera Racing - 2017 Award Winners

Ellis Woumnm Memorial Iron Man Award, for showing stamina in the face of overwhelming odds, working hard against deadlines, parts shortages and other difficulties in order to participate in an Open Road Racing event with Team Pantera Racing, successfully finishing the race without disqualifying, and showing team spirit and a dedication to preserving the heritage of the DeTomaso Pantera.

The Iron Man Award goes to Gerry Romack, the 2017 president of the Pantera Owners Club of America


The Sweet Old Bill (SOBill) Award, for being a reflection on SOBills spirit of giving to the Pantera community, for unselfishly providing assistance to TPR members and other Pantera owners in the spirit of "paying the favor forward."

The SOBill Award goes to Don Byars of Full Throttle Panteras


The Gary Hall Memorial Award, for the Team Pantera Racing member who shows outstanding support and dedication to both the DeTomaso marque and the TPR team, who participates in racing events in a continuing effort to preserve the driving heritage of the DeTomaso Pantera.

The Gary Hall Award goes to Asa Jay Laughton, part of the race support team in 2017



Last Updated on Sunday, 22 October 2017 20:28
2017 SSCC Prep Stymied by Murphy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 04 September 2017 14:47

With less than two weeks to the final showdown of 2017 on Nevada Highway 318, Team Pantera Racing is up against the clock as Murphy leaves his calling cards amongst the determined racers.  Dennis "Mad Dog" Antenucci, John "JB" Bentley, Mark "The Professor" Skwarek, and POCA President Gerry Romack are all running out of time.  Never before in the history of Team Pantera Racing have all committed drivers been swapping, rebuilding or refreshing their Pantera engines within weeks of competition.

Mad Dog has seven plus races on the last rebuild from Russ Fulps and decided it was time to tear it down and refresh it.  Nearly done and Murphy hit him with a slight detour that should be fixed on time.  JB is replacing the engine that went south on him two years ago and Murphy hit him during final hookups, causing him the need to replace starter studs.  Mark needed more horsepower, so out his came too, Murphy has been somewhat kind to Mark.  Gerry, planning to make his SSCC debut ran into difficulties with his present engine and decided it should be replaced; Murhpy struck hard.

Each driver hails from a different part of the country, though Mad Dog and JB are nearly within spitting distance, both living in Calfornia.  Gerry comes from the Great Lakes region, while Mark drives to Neveda by starting out on the Northeast coast.  With that much disparity between the team members, it can be difficult getting the right kind of help, but each one is managing through it.  Help isn't as far as away as you may think.

Last word from all drivers is that they at least have engines in cars, with perhaps the exception of Gerry.  However, Gerry hails from the same region as a veteran TPR member, Dave Doddek, who single-handedly came to his first SSCC with parts in-hand and finished his build and tune at the event.  With Dave's help, there is high confidence that Gerry will be finished in time and on the way shortly.  Meanwhile, Mark's engine is in and he's looking to re-jet his carb in the hopes of pulling into the 150 MPH and higher classes.  Both Mad Dog and JB are running neck-and-neck in their final prep.  It's really a race now, to see who will make the September 30th Anniversary running of the Silver State Classic Challenge.

If anyone can do it, these men can.  The pressure is on, the men are working nights and weekends to get it all done.  Will they?  Stay tuned.

JB engine done

JB Engine in
JB's Engine ready to install JB's Engine installed, ready for final hookups

Mad Dog Engine MD engine in
Mad Dog's Engine ready to install Mad Dog's Engine getting final tune

Last Updated on Monday, 04 September 2017 15:21
2017 Pantera Homecoming PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 05 August 2017 10:52

Pantera Homecoming

Word from Gerry Romack, the current president of the Pantera Owners Club of America (POCA), tells us that Ford has just donated a 5.0 Coyote engine to raffle off at the Pantera Homecoming, Summer Fling event August 10-12, 2017.


The event consists of a tour of the coyote 5.0 engine plant, dinner with Raj Nair, a car show, an open tour of the Edsel Ford mansion with lunch provided and a group/individual picture at Ford HQ

It would seem the Pantera is beginning to get the recognition from Ford that it deserves.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 August 2017 11:12
2017 Season Prelude PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 20 May 2017 08:45

We're well into the 2017 Open Road Race season with the Big Bend Open Road Race having already run, and the Nevada Open Road Challenge happening this weekend.  Katch Environmental returns again this year as the primary sponsor for Team Pantera Racing.  Getting ready for this year's season are the boys from TPR Central heading to the Sandhills Open Road Challenge. 

Bob, Frank and Bud have been the lucky recipients of an entry to this year's SORC.  This is not an easy thing to do and TPR member Mark Skwarek just missed out and is now on the waiting list.  Meanwhile, Mark has been busy getting some new go-fast goodies ready for the big one in September at the Silver State Classic Challenge.

Also getting ready for SSCC are Dennis and JB.  Dennis is planning on sporting new/refreshed paint and a refreshed engine this year.  We imagine this will again put him fastest in his class.  JB has been working on a new 351C original 4-bolt main engine.  These are getting extremely hard to find, and in fact JB's ended up with at least one cylinder sleeve, maybe two.  Even so, the parts are coming together and it should all be ready by September.  Peter is also working on his Pantera for a long awaited return to SSCC.  Restorations can be slow, and we're all doing what we can to help him get ready for this year or the next.

Up in Washington, where Asa sold his Pantera last year, he's working to resurrect a 1971 Mach I Mustang and get it ready to run.  That probably won't happen this year.  However, we might have another couple of new entries this year.  One might be the new owner of Asa's Pantera, Steve Lisa, who has been working diligently on converting it to a spec Group 3 race car.  We've also heard rumblings that the new President of the Pantera Owners Club of America (POCA)  Gerry Romack may be making an appearance as well.

And lastly, TPR member Michael Frazier recently took a first place in the 120 MPH class at the Big Bend Open Road Challenge.  Michael's been dabbling in newer Mustangs and apparently been having some good success.  Go Michael!

Anyone interested in more information can click the links to the various races in the left sidebar, or click on the Contact menu item to get in touch with us.

2016 SSCC Recap PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:21

Another Open Road Race season comes to a close with the successful finish of two Panteras  at the Silver State Classic Challenge.  Travelling along as part of the team again this year was Paul Katchadourian from Katch Environmental (the team's major sponsor) in his 2013 Dodge Viper.  All three cars started and all three finished the 90 mile course at triple digit speeds.  The story began shortly after Sandhills Open Road Challenge.

Mark Skwarek returned to his home in Connecticut with his race-prepared Orange Pantera to clean up some details and perform more work to get ready for the SSCC race.  Mark leaves for Ely, Nevada just a few days prior to the start of the event and arrives on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, Asa Jay Laughton travelled to Fresno, California to hook up with Dennis (Mad Dog) Antenucci and Paul Katchadourian.  By Thursday night, all were assembled in Ely.

Dennis, Mark, Paul


A great car show in the park gave the boys a chance to relax and unwind prior the final driver's meeting.  Then it was off to dinner and a final check of the cars before getting a good night's sleep.

Sunday morning comes early for both the race drivers and their support teams driving trucks and trailers to the finish line.  The driver's gather at Lane's truck stop while support teams head out on the longer two and a half hour journey down highway 93 in order to get to the finish side of highway 318.  Dennis, Paul and Mark stage for the race with Mark leading the pack in the 150 MPH group, Paul trying his first time at 110 and Dennis taking a leisurely drive at 100.  Paul had a near-heartstopping even when the final tire inspection found a nail in one of his new tires; however, after Paul agrees to have the nail pulled, they find it's nothing more than a small stub and liquid check of the spot indicates there is no air leak.  While Paul races down the course he continues to monitor his trie pressures with the built-in technology of the modern Viper and ends up finishing the race without any problems.  Before noon, all three racers have finished.

Mark's finish

Paul's finish

Dennis' finish

Although each had a great time and enjoyed the race, there were no trophies handed out to Team Pantera racing during the awards banquet.  Still, that's not something that will stop this team from coming back next year.  When it comes to it, the people of the event, like the Sandhills event just before, it's the people that make the difference.  The friendships that develop last a long time and are what bring folks back again and again, even if it's to drive slower, or just hang out with the crowd, and maybe drive a trailer to finish line.

2016 was a good year for Team Pantera Racing, with four Panteras starting in the SORC and two in SSCC.

More photos of the team at the Silver State Classic Challenge can be found in the photo gallery here.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 10:07
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