St. Patrick’s Day is known for four-leaf clovers and other good-luck charms. But it was March 18, the day after the holiday, which turned out to be the lucky day for the Weaver family from Lubbock, Texas.
It was the day which Monte Weaver and his son, Kohl, both scored victories in International Hot Rod Association Summit Sportsman National Championship event at San Antonio Raceway. Monte Weaver captured the win in Top Sportsman and Kohl Weaver was tops in Top Dragster, making it a most memorable occasion.
“The father always dreams of something like that with his child,” Monty Weaver said. “I’ve been racing since I was 16 years old, and that was something I dreamed of happening with me and my dad. But, it never happened. It was really a special moment for me and my son. He had been driving the Junior Dragsters, and to have gotten to that place that quickly in the Top Dragster, it was rewarding and it was a special moment I will never forget.”
Kohl Weaver added, “It was the living the dream to get that first event win,” he said. “To do it with my dad winning, it put the cherry on top and made it that much more memorable. He’s more than my father. He’s my best friend and my teammate.”
The teammates certainly did their job at the starting line.
Monte Weaver had a .007 reaction time to defeat longtime rival Marty Blair in the final round. Kohl was even faster, nearly perfect with his .002 reaction time, to top hometown driver Scott Ball.
The victory validated the Weavers’ decision to go with new 540-inch procharged motors in their racecars. Kohl previously ran a naturally-aspirated 706 in his dragster, while Monty had run a nitrous motor in his Corvette.
The decision to not run nitrous freed up enough time where the Weavers didn’t have to rush as much through the eliminations until the final round. Then, Monty Weaver talked about how gracious his final-round opponent was.
“When we won at San Antonio, Marty Blair was there in staging lanes waiting on me,” Monty Weaver recalled. “Some people might have thrown a fit, but Marty said, ‘Do what you need to do and when you’re done, we will get it on.’ It was nerve-racking, but the whole way that deal turned out, we were blessed to have guys who waited.”
Both the 49-year-old father and 20-year-old son praised the officials, crew members, supporters and their fellow competitors with the IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship for creating a family-like atmosphere. They also love the format of the SSNC and how it works for the Sportsman racers.
“For the racers, it’s the only way to go,” Kohl Weaver said. “With the double-races, it makes it more economical to race these events. The officials treat us as family. When we won that race, (IHRA President) Mike Dunn and all the officials congratulated us. You see them working to make this series all it can be.”
Monty Weaver, who has raced with the IHRA since 2000, likes how the championship is decided on one’s merits over an entire season. Under other drag racing formats, championships often come down to a single round which can be as close as a thousandth of a second.
Beyond the competition and camaraderie with others, they like how it allows the father and son spend the weekends together.
Monte Weaver feels a sense of pride just seeing the racecars at the track. A journeyman lineman who works with high voltage, Weaver owns a mobile wash company on the side. Kohl has been helping since he was 11 years old and he saved the money from working there over the next six years to buy the Top Sportsman car.
“He paid for his own car,” Monty Weaver said. “It wasn’t given to him. He’s not a daddy’s boy where everything was handed to him. We worked from daylight until dark washing cars. Some people get the idea that things are handed to these kids, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth with my son. He has earned everything he’s got.”
Beyond the work ethic, Monty Weaver has passed on the importance of their actions speaking louder than words. Asked if they could double up again at the next IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship race near Baton Rouge, the son didn’t make any guarantees, but simply promised they would do their best.
“We’re going to give it all we’ve got,” Kohl Weaver said. “We don’t have expectations, other than to give all we’ve got and to see what happens.”