Wednesday, April 7, 2010

John Pandeles Turning 63? Where's the Party? At a drag strip, where else?

When Ilene Pandeles told us that her husband John's birthday was on March 28th and that she was having a party for him, our first thought was, "How's that going to work? That's a Summit Race day and you run Summit!" But then she hit us with the obvious answer. "We're having the party at the track during the race." Hey, works for us! So on a beautiful Sunday at Irwindale's 1/8 mile drag strip we set up party central along the north fence of the track and raced and partied all morning and afternoon while going rounds in the Pro class of the Summit series. It was unfortunate for Ilene that a break out 1st round took her out of competition. But the good news was that she had more time to spend with all the people that came to support John on his special day. Erica and the BG Oil Chevelle had a little better luck going 3 rounds and running on her number two of the three rounds. All in all it was a great day of family, friends, fun, good food, and racing. Thanks for the invite, Ilene. And John, we hope you had a great birthday!

It was great having our crew member, Blake
Wigley, back after a few months away. Erica
was especially glad he was back. That's usually
her job! "You missed a spot, Blake."

Ilene Pandeles: Wife, mother, race car driver,
grandmother, and greeter.

John and Ilene's blown '65 Chevelle.

Blake with Dad and Grandpa.

Off to the driver's meeting.

We think Ilene had more pictures taken of her
than John did. Who's day is it anyway?

The Man. The Myth. The Legend. The Speed
Merchant.....John Pandeles.

Hey John, how many times have you put her in
the water?

Ilene, (r), during time trials.

Check it out...Ilene coming back on the return
road gets handed a sandwich for her drive back!
Now THAT'S hospitality and good friends!

Big Mike A. punchin' the run card.

Erica takin' care of "Chucky" in the left lane.

Nobody left this party hungry!

Phil Wigley and a photo op in a friend's blown
Vette. You look good in that car, Phil. But then
again, anyone would look good in that car.

Pete "Wild Man" Gallup with his wife, "Wild

Gettin' ready to cut the cake...

The birthday boy...

1st round, 1st victim. The '63 Plymouth. Erica
ran a 6.780 on a 6.78 dial in.

Wanna' take a ride with Erica? Click here. She
puts the Vega on the trailer with a 6.771 on a
6.77 dial in.

3rd round.

Erica did it all right cutting a nearly perfect light,
.505 to Mark's .570. But the BG Oil Chevelle
decided to pick up .04's and ran a 6.72 on a 6.76
dial. Tough loss.

A day at the races wouldn't be complete without
Lil' Kass on hand to cheer for her Aunt Erica!

Two of the Three NL Trucking gang were on
hand to give Erica some moral support.

The perfect ending to a perfect day. Happy
Birthday, John. You're a lucky man!!!

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