A regular competitor on the PMRA tour, Maier came out of nowhere during last month's IHRA Northern Nationals presented by Dart, making it all the way to the finals at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park by eliminating many of the best in the business ...
A regular competitor on the PMRA tour, Maier came out of nowhere during last month's IHRA Northern Nationals presented by Dart, making it all the way to the finals at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park by eliminating many of the best in the business today.
Maier took down former points leader Ed Hoover and new world record holder Tony Pontieri before his dream weekend finally came to an end at the hands of defending world champion Kenny Lang.
Maier had a better light than Lang, but Lang was on his game in recording a 6.012 second pass over Maier's 6.108 second shot.
Maier just missed out on his first career IHRA Ironman, while Lang picked up his second win of the season in his sixth consecutive final.
"Kirk (Silbermann) was reading those guys like a book," said Maier, driver of the Brad-Anderson-powered 1963 Corvette Stingray. "I just get in the car and hold the pedal to the rung."
Qualifying sixth with a 6.082 second attempt, the Pro Mod veteran ran a sure and steady race, getting by many of the classes heaviest hitter before meeting Lang in the final.
Maier's first round was an easy one, as opponent Burton Auxier was a no-show.
In the second round he defeated veteran Hoover with a 6.091 second run to Hoover's 6.285. In the semis, Maier went up against fellow Canadian Pontieri who had been ripping off passes in the fives all weekend long.
Despite that consistency, Pontieri succumbed to tire shake as Maier drove around his opponent with a 6.102 second decision to reach his first career IHRA final.
"Those cars are really fast, but we are pretty fast to and I think we showed that in Martin," Maier said.
"This was a confidence boost for the whole team," said Silbermann, crew chief on the Maier entry. "I knew we wouldn't be the fastest car out there, but I felt Ike had enough seat time to get more aggressive and run the lane and not the racer beside him."
Selling his 1969 Camaro Pro Modified last year, Maier has been very pleased with the success of his new Corvette in its first year on the strip.
"We made sure the car was the same all day and prepped the same," Silbermann said. "And the car responded very well."
Thanks to Maier's unexpected weekend, he was able to leap from near obscurity to eighth in the world in IHRA Pro Modified competition heading into next month where Maier plans to return to competition at the President's Cup Nationals in Budds Creek.
"We definitely want to come back to the IHRA and show we are not one hit wonders. We enjoy racing with the IHRA and look forward to seeing where this takes us in the future," Maier said.