’24 Hallett Hoosier Super Tour Sunday: Hallett Evolving, Family Tradition, Rookie Helpers

Sunday was the second and final day of competition during the April 20-21, 2024, Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour (HST) hosted by Ark Valley Race Group at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit (HMRC) in Jennings, OK.

The 1.8-mile, 10-turn course saw action Sunday morning with 15-minute qualifying session for all seven competition groups. Later, each of those seven run groups had 35-minute or 27-lap events to decide winners.

Conditions Sunday were very nice with sunny skies and temperatures topping out in the upper 60-degree range. And of course, the efforts of drivers this weekend added to their tallies in the 2024 Hoosier Super Tour Point Standings.

Hallett Progress

Some tracks located in the central portion of the country have come and gone over the years. Frankly, a few have come, gone, and then rematerialized. Hallett, however, has persevered. Since opening in 1976, the revered circuit nestled in the rolling Osage Hills has hosted events attended faithfully by SCCA racers year after year.

Hallett has constructed a history, but that doesn’t mean it’s resting on its laurels. In the past few years, a permanent victory circle was created, and a tunnel added so vehicles have easier access to the infield throughout the day. The latest addition is a fancy, glassed-in, 1,800-square-foot, climate controlled pavilion erected just in the past year.

Of course, some things associated with the circuit haven’t changed. For instance, breakfast is a “must” to grab from the track café. And mornings at Hallett aren’t complete without the “chicken song" delivered over PA speakers. It’s a raucous version of Glen Miller’s In the Mood as clucked out by Ray Stevens. That cacophony serves as an anthem reminding everyone on site that it’s time to get ready for a day of racing.

The facility’s paddock has a predictable, comfortable feel, too. There are always youngsters peddling around on bikes and cheering in the grandstands. It’s a neighborhood that has grown to become a community, often times with drivers setting up in the same paddock spot one year to the next.

Scott Stephens, who manages the track and somewhat jokingly refers to himself as the “Master of All at Hallett,” said more is in the works for the facility. Additional motorhome spaces are being laid out, asphalt will be replacing gravel roads around the circuit, some additional shop space is ahead, and there will be more permanent restrooms with flush toilets.

If you haven’t been to Hallett Motor Racing Circuit before, it’s time to change that and put it on your “to do” list for the near future.

Johnson Family Spirit

An SCCA member beginning in 1966, Bill Johnson joined the Club’s Hall of Fame in 2009. His impressive list of accolades includes the Woolf Barnato Award and David Morrell Memorial Award. Atop that, he involved himself in just about everything else the Club offered, much of which is noted in his November 2023 obituary.

Bill’s influence can still be found across many SCCA activities. This weekend at Hallett, in fact, the impact is very apparent. Two of his sons – Cliff and Bill – were both on track during the Hoosier Super Tour.

Eldest son Bill piloted the No. 42 Portable Work Tools Van Diemen RF01-2 in Formula Continental (FC) competition over the weekend. Cliff was enrolled in the Formula F (FF) field driving the No. 4 Alpine Litho-Graphics Piper DF-5 car.

Another son, Steve, had every intention of competing at HMRC, too. Unfortunately, the motor in his Super Touring® Lite (STL) car was damaged last week during a dyno test, so he had to cancel plans.

“I’m so bummed,” Steve said about missing the fun at Hallett. “I was looking forward to a great battle with the STL guys. Still, it means a lot for the three of us to be carrying on the Johnson name in SCCA competition. It’s a Club our father loved, and he handed his passion along to us. We’ve been racing for years with SCCA, but it’s still always great when all three of us can spend a weekend together at a track.”

Bill’s weekend was pretty successful as he won both FC races. Cliff, however, ended up not being able to race Saturday after placing his car on pole, and also skipped Sunday’s competition.

Here’s a Toothbrush, There’s the Toilets

Randy and Susan Puls, a married couple who have been SCCA members since 2014, spent Saturday and Sunday volunteering at their very first HMRC event. They’ve been pretty involved in SCCA Solo for years, but this was their initial foray into working a HST weekend.

“Heard we’d clean Porta Potties with toothbrushes since we registered as unassigned volunteers,” Susan joked beforehand. “We had no idea what we’d be doing, but we just wanted to help.”

For the record, coming to help at any SCCA event for the first time is nowhere akin to pledging the fictitious Delta Tau Chi fraternity from the movie Animal House. Instead, new volunteers are greeted with a smile, copious amounts of gratitude, and are introduced to a new group of great people likely to become friends for life.

At Hallett, Randy and Susan spent their weekend flagging at corner stations. Teaching them the ropes were some very accomplished volunteers, some of whom have more than three decades of experience.

“We really had a good time … and we learned a lot,” Susan said afterwards. “It’s amazing how organized everything is. Everyone knows what their duties are, and the people are very, very friendly.”

The SCCA is made up of 115 regions, and each one of those regions is made up of SCCA members who like hanging out with friends. After all, it is a Club – but the clubhouses are found at different racetracks around the country.

Sports Car Club of America® exists today thanks to Club members who like driving cars, and Club members who like organizing events and being around cars. It’s a synergetic relationship, and one doesn’t happen without the other. Those wanting to learn more about helping at SCCA events, check in with your local SCCA Region for more information.

Sunday Race Winners

Below are provisional race winners from Sunday’s Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit with Class: Name, Hometown and Car. An asterisk (*) denotes drivers with a weekend sweep in the class.
American Sedan®: Sam Daniels; Northlake, TX; Chevrolet Camaro
B-Spec: Joe McClughan; Marion, TX; Mazda 2
*E Production: Tyler Ladd; Clearwater KS; BMW Z3
*F Production: Cliff Ira; Kansas City, MO;
Honda Civic
*H Production: Jesse Prather; Topeka, KS; Mazda 2
*Formula 600: Jason Martin; River Grove, IL; Novakar J10
Formula Atlantic®:
Paul Ravaris; Aledo, TX; Pro Formula Mazda
*Formula Continental®: Bill Johnson; Leawood, KS; Van Diemen RF01-2
*Formula Enterprises®2: Darryl Wills; League City, TX; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda
*Formula F: Nathan Down; Thornton, CO; Swift DB6
*Formula Vee®: Mark Richardson; Washington, IL; Vortec
*Formula X: Broch Evans; Austin TX; Formula Mazda
GT-2: Michael Quattlebaum; Houston, TX; Chevrolet Corvette
GT-Lite: Peter Zekert; Maryland Hts, MO;
Datsun B210
*GT-X: Michael Staab; Claremore OK; Datsun B110
Spec Miata: Chris Haldeman; McKinney, TX; Mazda Miata
*Spec MX-5: Justin Adakonis; Ridgefield CT ; Mazda MX-5
*Spec Racer® Ford Gen3: Tyler Stephens; Bixby, OK; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
*Prototype 2: Jack Donnellan; Chickasha OK; Carbir SR P2
*Super Touring® Lite: William Knight; Tulsa, OK; Mazda MX-5
*Super Touring® Under: David Fiorelli; Coppell, TX; Ford Mustang
Touring 1: Stephen M. Burns Jr., McAllen, TX; Porsche GT4
*Touring 2: Charlie Peter; Olathe, KS; BMW M2
*Touring 3: Michael Pettiford; Louisville CO; Pontiac Solstice
*Touring 4: Marc Cefalo; Swoyersville, PA; Mazda MX-5

Oregon Next for Hoosier Super Tour Competitors

SCCA Road Racing action now moves along to the seventh of 10 Hoosier Super Tour dates on the 2024 calendar. The next stop takes place May 11-12 in Oregon at Portland International Raceway (PIR) during a two-day event hosted by SCCA’s Oregon Region.

Registration is currently open for that gathering, which will be HST’s final visit to the West Coast this year. PIR’s 1.977-mile, 12-turn circuit that challenges various pro series each year will be in play for the HST weekend. For details, check out the HST Portland event webpage.

Photo: Randy and Susan Puls volunteered at their very first SCCA Road Racing event during the Hoosier Super Tour weekend at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit.

Photo by SCCA staff