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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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We wish to thank Katch Environmental for sponsoring Team Pantera Racing in this year's Sandhills Open Road Challenge and Silver State Classic Challenge.  This marks their fourth year of sponsorship.

2013 SSCC Mad Dawg Through Narrows PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 24 October 2013 18:08

One of our members at large from Japan managed to catch this video of Dennis (Mad Dawg) Antenucci coming out the Narrows at this year's Silver State Classic Challenge.  Enjoy.


Last Updated on Thursday, 24 October 2013 18:11
2013 SSCC Results PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 28 September 2013 13:14

The 2013 running of the Silver State Classic Challenge was ultimately attended by two Panteras and an overall team of six.  Team Pantera Racing president Dennis (Mad Dawg) Antenucci hauled in from southern California picking up Peter the German on the way, while Asa Jay (AJ) Laughton drove his Pantera to the event with his Dad, Bullet.  John (JB) Bentley drove the mobile TPR headquarters to Ely, while Mark (The Professor) Skwarek flew in and ended up navigating for a fellow competitor.

Although TPR had been planning and working to have five Panteras at the event, in the end tough decisions were made to leave some at home.  When a car isn't ready... it's not ready and there is no reason to push it, sacrificing safety or reliability just to race.  For various reasons this left the team with two competitors, Mad Dawg and AJ.  This didn't stop everyone's enthusiasm, despite record rains in Ely over the four days of the event.

Rain seemed to be the order of the day, every day.  From the time team members began showing up Wednesday night, all through Saturday, rain was an intermittent reminder that summer was on the way out.  The Pantera's were prepped and teched Friday.  Mad Dawg managed to beat AJ through tech and get his covered, while AJ ended up being at the front of the tech line when the next downpour arrived.  Several minutes later the tech team decided to come out and finish Asa's Pantera.

Saturday brought the car show and it began pleasant enough with breakfast provided by the Lion's club.  The weather cooperated for a long time, even though JB continued to check the forecast on his iPad.  Peter the German set up his film equipment and took shots of the Panteras coming and going, and even managed to catch the Ely Ghost Train.  We're still not sure it showed up on film, which might just -prove- it's a real ghost train.

The team of all six guys were nearly constantly together, prepping the cars, shooting the breeze, hanging out or having a meal.  Asa Jay's Dad, Bullet provided some great stories of his days in the military, flying various jet bombers in his career.  Between he and Dennis, there was no lack of conversation and the team really enjoyed having him there this year, and are hopeful he can make it back next year.

Sunday morning came and it was time to race.  Peter was going to drive Dennis' truck the long way around to the finish line.  Bullet had been set up to drive another competitors truck but at the last minute they had a mechanical failure of their race car and headed to Vegas in the hopes of fixing it.  So Bullet rode with Peter and helped set up the film equipment at the finish line.

Dennis and Asa met at TPR headquarters at about 0515 and after checking final items, headed out ahead of the caravan to Lane's Truck Stop.  From then on, it was race day.  The weather was beautiful; in the low 50's, clear, cool, and crisp; perfect for a race.  As the time came, each participant was directed out to stage at the start pits, where Mark Skwarek and Asa Jay were able to get a few more shots of the team just before the race.

 Mad Dawg just before the Start Line

AJ in the start grid

At the finish line, we found Dennis came in with the highest average speed in his class, proving once again it's hard to catch an old dog in a Pantera.  Meanwhile Asa Jay didn't do too badly, finishing below target this year (instead of way ahead).  Maybe next year he'll get it right.  Results can be found on the Silver State Classic Challenge web site.

Even though both Panteras finished the course, there was doubt along the way if it would happen.  In the last 10 miles or so of the course, Dennis began experiencing a fuel supply problem.  For some reason the High Volume Bosch fuel pump was losing pressure, and at a certain pressure drop the computer would shut down the engine.  There he was, like Bullet back in Vietnam, the engine is out, speed dropping quickly.  Would fuel pressure come back in time for a restart before he dropped below tech speed?

Yes!  As soon as Dennis saw the fuel pressure was back up, he'd fire the engine and get back up to speed and then some, making up for the average loss.  He would go through that same exercise a half dozen times before the finish line came into view.  Despite it all, the Dawg showed his perseverance in finishing the race, and did so with the highest average speed in his class.

While Dennis was getting the Pantera ready to roll onto his trailer past the finish pits, Asa Jay was having a concern of his own.  After driving some 800 miles in the Pantera to the event without any problems, as soon as he got above 100 MPH the car began to shake.  In those first few miles past the start line he had seriously considered shutting it down and pulling off to sit the rest of the race out by the side of the road.  He monitored oil pressure and temperature, and prayed.  Whatever it was, wasn't getting worse and there were no "bad" noises coming from the engine, so he pressed on.

AJ managed to keep it all together, including a 130 MPH run through the measured speed trap.  The last few miles were hairy with regards to timing.  When he finished, he figured he was off time by about five seconds.  When the preliminary results came out, it turned out he was spot on his estimate.... about 5 seconds too slow.  That evening, he and Bullet sat down at the Hotel Nevada for dinner and race results while Peter, Mad Dawg and Mark attended the banquet in Vegas.  AJ and Bullet then drove the Pantera back home without incident or vibration at all. He'll be troubleshooting that little problem this winter.

Many of the team members took photos, but only a few are posted so far.  You can view them here.

For more information on how you can join us next year, contact us.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 14:06
2013 Sponsors PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 August 2013 18:11

Team Pantera Racing is proud to announce our 2013 sponsors ahead of the upcoming Silver State Classic Challenge:







Russ Fulps Race Engine & BL Machine Works

Last Updated on Monday, 09 September 2013 13:29
2013 NORC Results PDF Print E-mail
Written by Asa Jay Laughton   
Saturday, 25 May 2013 15:24

The 2013 Nevada Open Road Challenge (NORC) was attended by Mark (The Professor) Skwarek and Dennis (Mad Dawg) Antenucci.  The Dawg has been shuttling around with a new contract job and wasn't able to bring his Pantera for this event.  This may have been the first event Dennis has missed in many years, but he still managed to attend and play pit-crew for Mark who was ready an rearin' to go.  This illustrates the enthusiasm Dennis carries and tries to foster among those Pantera owners who wish to race in Open Road events such as this.

Mark ready to go, heading to NORC

Mark entered the 125 class this year and finished with an average of 118.51 due to a small engine problem during the race.  It seem he lost an oil breather on one of the valve covers.  Driving at speed to average 125 caused so much oil fog that Mark had to drop it down a notch and reduce the oil blowing out.  At the lower speed he wasn't causing a hazard on course and was still able to finish the entire 90 mile course.

Mark on course at speed

With this successful run Mark can again move up in classes.  He's already beginning to talk about taking on the Unlimited division in the near future.

More photos can be seen in the Gallery.
Good Job Mark!

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 15:01
2012 Silver State Finishers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 12:14

It was 25 years in the making and it all came off without a hitch.  2012 was the 25th Anniversary running of the Silver State Classic Challenge open road race.  Team Pantera racing had a strong attendance at this year's event, with five members either driving or supporting.  Two TPR veterans and one rookie successfully entered and completed the race, each in their own speed class.

For Dennis "Mad Dog" Antenucci, this years event was one to remember.  If not for the valiant attempt to repeat the most Panteras ever entered, but for the team spirit of everyone present who managed to come and put forth an effort.  Rich Hoppe returned this year sporting a different Pantera; the original Round Table Pizza race car, re-imagined and re-engineered into a formidable powerhouse of a Pantera.  John Bentley returned for a stab at the silver plate as well.  New this year was Asa Jay Laughton, who had been trying for the last four years to make the race.

John trailered his Pantera behind Team Pantera Racing Cafe' Finito, a large motorhome that served as TPR headquarters in the back lot of Hotel Nevada for the duration of the event.  In addition, Peter Menyhart came to support the team while his Pantera is being reconstructed at home.  Peter's help was welcome when John discovered he needed a new alternator and regulator in order to keep the Pantera running.  In an unfortunate turn of events during tech inspection however, John was disqualified due to over-age tires.  The unfortunate turn was that he had purchased the tires only two years prior but hadn't noticed the date codes were already six years old.  There's a lesson in there about requiring the vendor to check dates codes before they ship them to you.

Dennis decided to enter a slower class in order to take time and enjoy the scenery.  Even in the 135 MPH class though, he couldn't resist pushing the envelope, finishing at just over 140 and feeling comfortable in doing so.  Meanwhile Rich Hoppe and the Round Table Pizza Pantera entered the 140 MPH class and finished just over 136 MPH, proving once again, Dennis was top Dog.

The rookie, Asa Laughton, was limited to the Touring class, and chose 105 MPH with fewer entrants.  He was tentative about driving the 90 mile course flat out at 105 and was receptive to all the advice from all the Veterans who really looked out for him on his first time out.  After months of preparation and only a couple days of final checks and sage advice, Asa finished with an average just over 108 MPH.  He said later he was just so excited about how well the car was running at high speed, he forgot all about the plan to keep it down to just around 106.

With all smiles after the race, the team made their way to Las Vegas for the banquet.  Being the 25th Anniversary running of the race, Silver State Classic Challenge Inc. pulled out all the stops.  They held the banquet in the large showroom at Sam's Town.  There was video playing, slide-shows, various speakers and of course, the awards.  It was a great celebration of both the event and the racers who run it.

Check out the Gallery for photos of the event.

Finish Results:

Driver Target MPH Average MPH MPH Variance Time Variance* High Trap MPH
 Rich Hoppe  140  136.8345  3.1655  53.5378 146.2
 Dennis Antenucci  135  140.3822  5.3822  92.0151 147.7
 Asa Jay Laughton  105  108.8249  3.8249  108.4549 118.9

*note:  Time Variance is in seconds

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:37
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