The 2009 Racer Appreciation and Awards Banquet

October 31, 2009 by  
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The 2009 Racer Appreciation and Awards Banquet will honor the racers and their families who compete at the Texas Motorplex. It will be held in the Champions Club.

December 5, 2009
Doors open at 6:00pm
Cocktails 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Dinner served 7:30pm
Awards presentation 8:00pm

Couples $25.00
Singles $15.00
Children (12 & Under) $5.00

You can RSVP by calling 972-878-2641, please RSVP by November 30, 2009.


Hamstra Escapes All Injury

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DEMOTTE, IN (October 29, 2009)  – While competing against Joshua Hernandez in a semi-final round of the National Guard ADRL’s championship-deciding Speedtech Battle for the Belts Oct. 23, Pro Extreme star Jason Hamstra lost control of his 1968 Camaro near the eighth-mile finish line and crashed heavily into the left retaining wall at the Texas Motorplex, narrowly missing Hernandez as he crossed in front of his ‘57 Chevy.

Hamstra, 22, had posted a 3.78-second pass at 203.46 miles per hour before the accident.

After the crash, he was transported via helicopter to Parkland Hospital in Dallas for observation, but by Sunday was home in Indiana recuperating. Other than some minor bruises, the young racer received no injuries.

“He’s doing well,” stated his mother, Karen Hamstra. “He came out of the ordeal in good shape, not even a concussion.”

Karen went on to say that the car is equipped with the latest and best in safety equipment, and was invaluable during the Friday evening Speedtech Battle for the Belts session.

“We’ve got the latest in safety equipment and it did its stuff,” she said.

Karen also was grateful for the help provided right after the crash, with many coming to the aid of her son.

“I want to thank everybody that helped. I would like to especially thank (Flowmaster Extreme 10.5 racer) Kenny Doak. He just jumped right in there and helped us,” continued Karen. “We also want to thank EMS attendants, the fire fighters, the ADRL and Texas Motorplex crews, along with the doctors and staff at Parkland Hospital.

”Thank you to (National Guard ADRL President and CEO) Kenny Nowling who drove over an hour to the hospital at 2 a.m. to check on Jason. And a special thank you to Jason’s number-one fan Brian Olson for his prayers and support. Thank you also to Dad, Mom, Brianna, Andy, Phil, Justin, the Barklages, the Tutterows, and everyone else who came to our need.”

The National Guard ADRL Web site ( received more than 600 e-mails following the crash, asking how Jason was doing, added Karen, who thanked family and friends for their prayers and concern.

Well wishes can be sent to Jason at

(ADRL/Richards photos)


AER Race of Champions at the final bracket race of ’09

October 28, 2009 by  
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2009-10-31 Ennis, TX . – The Texas Motorplex would like to congratulate Jeff Lopez of Bedford Tx and Jackie Jones from Kemp, Tx for making it to the finals for the AER Race of Champions and to Jackie Jones for winning the block from AER which will be given out at the 2009 Texas Motorplex Racer Appreciation Banquet on December 5.  Click here for more info on the 2009 Racer Appreciation Banquet.

Ennis, TX –Texas Motorplex and AER Manufacturing have teamed up to offer another opportunity to the local bracket racers for the 2009 season.  At the end of the 2009 O’Reilly Bracket Racing Season at Texas Motorplex, various top performers from the four bracket season points classes will participate in the AER Race of Champions during the final bracket series race of the season.

The AER Race of Champions winner will receive a BOSS 302 crate engine provided by AER Manufacturing. The small block engine is a 302 cubic inch 340 horsepower engine valued at nearly $7,000.

“One of the goals for the 2009 race season here at the ‘Plex was to boost the local bracket program,” said Glenn Menard, Texas Motorplex President, “By offering added value like the AER Race of Champions to the bracket program, we are hoping racers will see that we are re-dedicating to the program to make bracket racing at the Motorplex fun again.”

In 2009 Texas Motorplex has already added several perks dedicated exclusively to the local points racers this season. At the 2009 kickoff race of the season, Texas Motorplex gave away a slot in the Reher-Morrison Engine School won by Mike Crader.

Also, Texas Motorplex will be giving away a 300cc 4×4 JCL All Terrain Vehicle to a lucky bracket participant at the season end racer awards ceremony banquet. Through the Contingency Connection racers will qualify for thousands of dollars in discounts from over  product sponsors.

“With the support of folks like Reher Morrison, JCL ATVs  and AER Manufacturing, we want to provide new and fun ways to make racing at the Motorplex enjoyable and rewarding,” Menard added.

April 11 is the final day to register for points for the 2009 O’Reilly Bracket Racing Series at Texas Motorplex.  To register for points, go to or sign up in the race control.   For more information, racers may contact Ashley Kellough, Texas Motorplex Competition Director at (972) 878-2641.

AER Manufacutring located in Carrollton, TX is a world leader in the engine remanufacturing industry for more than sixty years. AER is the chosen supplier of standard and high-performance engines and engine components to original equipment manufacturers. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have come to rely on AER’s high-quality, remanufactured engines and engine components for a wide variety of applications.


Paul J. Meyer

October 27, 2009 by  
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Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. Paul J. Meyer adopted these words of the great theologian John Wesley for his own and lived them fully. Paul, 81, longtime Waco civic leader, international businessman, philanthropist, loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to legions of people worldwide, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Oct. 26, 2009, at home surrounded in love by his family. Paul’s life will be celebrated at a memorial service 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at the Paul J. Meyer Arena, at the Baylor University Ferrell Center, with the Rev. Bill Hinson and the Rev. Mike Toby officiating. Immediately following the service there will be visitation with the family at the Ferrell Center. Paul was born May 21, 1928, in San Mateo, Calif. He was the son of the late August Carl and Isabelle Rutherford Meyer. His father was a first generation immigrant from Germany and master craftsman who instilled in Paul a standard of excellence in everything he did. Paul’s mother, of Scottish descent, was trained as a teacher and a nurse who nurtured his desire to learn, to teach others, and to practice the principles of good health. Paul took great pride in passing these time-honored values to his children and grandchildren. Commitment and exuberance for success in his hobbies matched those Paul exhibited in his business life. He enjoyed flying his yellow Piper Cub airplane, snow skiing, cycling, scuba diving, tennis, and hiking. His varied interests and hobbies also included photography and antique cars, especially 1936 Ford Cabriolets. Paul loved Scriptures; he lived by them daily, and he shared them frequently with family and friends. One of his favorites was Luke 6:38: Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your hands. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. (Paul’s paraphrase) Until the day of his departure from this life, Paul was witnessing for Jesus Christ. He did indeed give “a good measure” of “gifts” to his family, his friends, and to more than 30 important charities, including Mission Waco, Friends for Life, Lead Like Jesus Ministry, Compassion Ministries, Haggai Institute, and the First Baptist Church of Woodway. In addition to tangible gifts, Paul leaves behind many wonderful memories with family, friends, and business associates. Paul was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Elizabeth Meyer; and granddaughter, Allison Bucy. Paul is survived by his wife, Jane Gurley Meyer, and five children and their spouses, including the Honorable Jim Meyer and Carolyn of Waco, Larry Meyer and Lynn of Austin, Billy Meyer and Deborah of Waco, Janna Slechta and Randy of Waco, Leslie Rhea and Kevin of Waco; and brother, Carl Meyer and Joyce of Port Isabel. Paul’s 15 grandchildren were a significant part of his life – Mike Meyer and wife, Nadine of Dallas, Brady Meyer of Dallas, Jessica Meyer of Austin, Jennifer Meyer of Chicago, Joshua Meyer of Austin, Adam Meyer and wife, Claire of Ft. Worth, Christie Johnson and husband, Barry of Waco, Morgan, Brooke, and Kelsey Slechta of Waco, Jordan, Jaden, and Ryan Rhea of Waco, Cole Bucy and wife Skye of Washington, D.C., and Jason Bucy of Los Angeles. Honorary pallbearers are Bill Armor, Steve Bright, Del Chesser, Gene Franklin, Ferrell Hunter, Terry Irwin, Joe Baxter, and Chuck Williams. Jane and the family wish to express their deep appreciation to all the doctors, nurses, and caregivers. These angels on earth helped Paul as he fought his battle with cancer. Memorials may be made to any of the ministries named above or any Waco charity of your choice.


Despite difficult season, Pedregon remains a contender

October 25, 2009 by  
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by Kevin McKenna, National DRAGSTER Senior Editor

Tony Pedregon’s turbulent 2009 season has included the departure of long-time crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Kurt Elliott, a much publicized top-end skirmish with former boss John Force, and a violent body-destroying engine explosion in Memphis, yet with two events remaining, the street-wise and battle-ready Pedregon somehow finds himself in contention for a third Full Throttle Funny Car championship. He currently is just 48 points behind leader Robert Hight and 35 behind second-ranked Ashley Force Hood with two races remaining in the Countdown to the Championship.

“When I look at where we are, I wouldn’t use the word surprised,” says Pedregon, who has three wins this season, including a memorable victory in Brainerd that came just days after the departure of Venables and Elliott. “I think most people are more surprised than I am. That being said, I do feel that we are fortunate that after three [recent] first-round losses, I’m still even within two rounds of first place. In that regard, I would say that I’m a bit surprised.

It’s been a season of highs and lows for Tony Pedregon. (Above) he was overcome with emotion after winning in Brainerd just days after losing his crew chief and assistant crew chief. (Below) The team has a setback in Memphis a few weeks ago with a body-tossing blower explosion.

Rahn Tolber, left, and Tony Shortall have gamely stepped in to help keep Pedregon’s Funny Car in the championship hunt.

“Make no mistake, this has been a tough year,” he said. “Financially, it has been very challenging to keep up with some of the other teams. I think that says a lot about our team and people that have stuck with me. We do not have a lot of depth, but there is a lot of loyalty and determination and a lot of untapped talent here. That has made the difference in the second half. When Dickie and Kurt left, I think most people expected that we’d fall out of contention. That wasn’t the case. [Crew chiefs] Rahn Tobler and Tony Shortall along with the guys who stayed and knew our routing, were able to re-focus and carry on. I called on them in Brainerd to dig deep and they have. The people who stuck with me are our biggest asset.”

Despite the upheaval, Pedregon is nothing if not optimistic as he prepares for next weekend’s NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, and why shouldn’t he be? Pedregon has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with three wins and two runner-up finishes. He also fondly recalls the 2007 Las Vegas event where he nearly clinched his second NHRA Funny Car championship. At that event, Pedregon came into the event locked in a multi-way battle for the top spot. In a bizarre twist of fate, all of his rivals lost early while Pedregon went on to win the event. As a result had to do little more than qualify for the final race in Pomona in order to secure the title.

“Based on what happened in 2007, I know the possibility exists for a repeat [championship],” Pedregon said. “One of the reasons why I’m so optimistic that that there are so many good cars in the class right now. We can’t rely on ourselves to beat either Ashley or Robert and I’m not going to try and go after either one of them. Our goal is simply to qualify and earn as many points as possible. Robert is very strong right now but he’s not untouchable. The same goes for Ashley. They are both very good but so is Del [Worsham] and so is Tim Wilkerson and so it Jeff Arend. Any one of them could win one of the last two races. That being said, going into Las Vegas I feel like we have a good opportunity to get to the final and if we can do that, we have a fighting chance.”

With his close ties to the Palms Resort and Casino and his love for competitive poker, Pedregon doesn’t need many addition reasons to look forward to the two annual stops that the NHRA Full Throttle tour makes in Las Vegas, but his career stats, which include three wins and two runner-up finishes at the famed Strip, certainly help add to the track’s appeal.

“Sure, I have a good history in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean a lot,” said Pedregon. “I’m not superstitious but maybe I should be. What matters now is what happens this year. If I do have an edge, it’s that I’ve got experience. I’ve been in this situation several times before and I know what it takes to get it done. Now, we just have to execute. This sport has a tendency to mentally weigh on you. It can make you better or worse. I just need to rely on that experience and use it to my advantage.”

With his mind firmly focused on the job at hand, Pedregon won’t allow himself to look too far into the future. However, he does acknowledge that if he were to somehow claim a third championship, it would rank as the greatest achievement of his career.

“That would be an amazing thing and I hope that is the case Sunday night in Pomona,” he said. We have put in our time an paid our dues but I’m really not thinking that far ahead. For now, the game  plan is to make the final Vegas and get close. If I can go to Pomona and still have a fighting chance, I’ll gladly take it.”


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For event information or tickets please call 972-878-2641
or 1-800-MOTORPLEX (1-800-668-6775)