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Danny's Corner

Casper in the Stock Wars!

by Danny White (11/26/98)

The Duncan Motorsports team of Jeff Duncan from Gadston, Texas, chose the first annual IHRA World Finals in Shreveport, Louisiana, to bring out "Casper." Casper is an I/SA 1968 Chevelle with a 327 combination, all white with deep purple stripes. Jeff Duncan has had the Chevelle for two years and this was only his second Stock Eliminator race ever. The first was the 1997 Ennis Divisional race where he went out in the first round. The Casper Chevelle is joined in the Duncan Motorsports team along with his street legal '68 all pink Chevelle and the car I used to dread -- the all black 1955 Chevrolet. Jeff's father Richard Duncan also successfully races a 1981 Camaro in No Electronics at Paris. The 1955 Chevrolet has been inactive for a couple of years but is ready to go at any time. I used to race in Pro ET against Jeff and I hated racing that black car. The street legal '68 Chevelle is NSCA legal for limited street and was rebuilt after the infamous Paris hailstorm of a couple years ago. The only race this year ended with a locked up engine after three runs at the North Texas Dragway at Denton. Denton is a true outlaw track -- they even ask for your blood type on the entry form!

Casper was ready for action at Shreveport after some of the engine parts were rebuilt and freshened up a week before the big race. The first weekend, the team consisting of Jeff, Angel Shook, Ronnie Ellis, and Tim Salter headed from Paris on Saturday to do battle with best of IHRA Stock Eliminator. I had talked to Jeff on the phone and figured there would be around 30 cars there to race, but I was wrong -- 37 cars showed up. The car was teched and sealed promptly by the IHRA officials while the team looked for the best pit spot in the Louisiana red mud that had been a soybean field earlier this year. The spot was a decent one, made better by a spread out bale of hay on the finish line. Jeff would have two shots in getting a descent run. The first time trial was to be a shakeout run, but it turned out to be the best all weekend. The competition was Clay Peterson and his P/SA '65 Malibu wagon, a Red River Raceway regular. Jeff shook (no pun intended, Angel) out the cobwebs and ran a 13.39 to Peterson's 13.24.

After the first run Jeff, Ronnie, Tim, and Angel decided to take out the 50-pound weight bar and get reweighed by IHRA. Casper came out 25 pounds over the limit after the extraction of the custom-built weight bar. We hoped to God we would not have to run Kenny Doughty's I/SA 1974 455 Trans Am who ran an 11.801 (-.799) to our (+.799) run. The car should have picked up five hundredths on the pass just on weight loss alone, along with the car loosening up. But Murphy's law came for a visit in the third and final time trial for the class. The car running against Jeff was the infamous Ronnie Caldwell and his K/SA 1990 Firebird. Caldwell ran another index bashing run while Jeff fell off to 13.45. The team was perplexed about what to do at the track to run quicker. A rear end gear change was an idea, but would have to wait until Jeff got home. The first round was bumped back to Sunday allowing the team to get two runs on Saturday. Jeff ended up in the number 36 spot out of 37 cars -- way behind the number one qualifier Jeff Teuton's truck.

Sunday's eliminations were rained out, and the race was rescheduled for the next week on a Saturday. Jeff had to regroup in order to come back. Crewmember Tim had to work the next Saturday and Ronnie Ellis' father passed away during the week. Jeff had to use his own truck to tow back with Angel being the only one able to return. Jeff had switched the rear end ring and pinion during the week. The change was supposed to help the car to keep pulling during the quarter mile and not over rev the engine. Stock Eliminator had a time trial that morning, but Jeff was unable to run. The first round competition was to be Dave Mercer's R/PSA '90 Cougar from Benton, Illinois. We had hoped he would be unable to attend the race, but he was there in force. Dave had told Jeff that he hoped Jeff had not found anything on the week off. The race was a slaughter. Jeff had to dial in his index and was only able to run a 13.50 clocking. Mercer's sub-index Cougar ran 14.60s. Mercer would last four more rounds falling to Jeff Teuton. Washington State-based Toby Lang won the race over Jeff Teuton.

Duncan Motorsports had a good time during the two weekends despite the results. The team would not have been able to make it to Shreveport if it were not for the following sponsors: Doyle's Pit Stop, Ronnie Rains Auto Sales, Skinner Concrete, Discount Wheel & Tire, W&R Auto Supply, Graham International, Campbell Creations, and Lamar National Bank. We at DragList.com would like to thank Jeff for carrying the www.draglist.com logo on his shirts. I would like to say a long overdue thanks to Jeff and Angel for hanging out at Kennedale together at the TQ8A races and for all the T-shirts. We at DragList.com hope for bigger and better things next year for Duncan Motorsports in the seasons to come.

Danny White
ddgw@valornet.com

 

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