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Danny's Corner

Kennedale in September, 9/99

By Danny White

The monthly Pro Mod race at Texas Raceway in Kennedale was two day 16 car barnburner with 22 cars on hand to fight it out for the $2500 dollar top prize. Three qualifying sessions were held Friday and a final session held Saturday evening. Last month's winner Nathan Martin came out as the top qualifier with a 4.183 169.45 pass. The Stove Parts team of Martin and crew chief Hans Fuestal made a switch to a three speed Lenco along with several other changes to come up with the pass. Landon Jordan was number two qualifier with a smooth 4.241 170.37 in Ray Brooks' wild looking Jokers Wild 63 Corvette. The run was made on the backup engine that the team was forced to used after hurting the main engine in the first round of qualifying. Frankie "the Mad Man" Taylor made his return to Texas Pro Mod racing after a foray into Outlaw Pro Street that ending in a wreck at St Louis. The Taylor and Brooks 97 Firebird entry would not win best appearing but did lay down a good 4.284 169.89 pass for third. James Satterwhite almost made it into the thirties for the first time but came up with a best ever 4.401 164.77. The pass by Satterwhite came at the cost of a cylinder head and a piston forcing the team to rebuild the engine finishing just before the first round. Jerry Hicks made his first ever appearance at Kennedale while having problems in his first couple of attempts he laid down a last minute 4.408 159.53 pass for number five in the Timmers Chevrolet 94 Camaro. Pro Street racer Carl Silmon laid down a wild 4.499 160.27 in his all red 67 Camaro for the number six spot. Gaylen Smith ran a 4.514 150.54 in the blown Texas Bounty Hunter 94 Camaro for number seven. Mark Walker came back to Kennedale after a couple of months off to rebuild the engine in the Texas Ranger 72 Pinto. Walker ran a 4.676 150.15 to complete the top half of the field.

The 68 Camaro of Freddie Taylor was next with Elijah "Thriller" Byrdson was number nine with a 4.694 155.79. The run by Byrdson was the fastest by an automatic transmission in the field. Bobby Booth made the long nine-hour tow from Brownsville, showed up Saturday in time for the final qualifying session, and got the number ten spot. The beautiful 38 Chevy Coupe of Booth Automotive ran a tire shaking 4.711 127.44 shutoff run. Tommy Adams ran his best ever of 4.715 151.54 in his nitrous 69 Camaro for number eleven. Pat Edwards ran a good all engine, no bottle with an automatic trans 4.814 144.27 in his repainted 85 Corvette. The run got him the number twelve spot however was done at the expense of several pistons ending his weekend. Jr. Herron added a Lenco transmission and made the step up from grudge racing to Pro Mod. The Herron team with a clean nitrous 92 Camaro ran a 5.001 145.00 for number thirteen. Gary Steveson ran a good 5.051 137.93 in the Bad Gee 92 Camaro for number fourteen. The car broke on this run also putting the Bad Gee team out for the weekend. Local bracket racer Russell Marr took his sanitary 95 Cutlass to a smooth 5.076 134.83 for number fifteenth. Pro 5.0 racer Keith Hargett showed up in the USA Motorsports 87 Mustang formerly campaigned by Doug Mangrum and ran a 5.082 139.35 for the final bump spot.

The first alternate was Pro Street racer Tony Thorn with a 5.163 138.43 in his nitrous 74 Nova. Thorn broke an engine on this run at the 500-foot mark with a backfire. Esau Speed returned to racing at Kennedale after a couple years off and ran a troubled 5.321 138.33 for the second alternate. Nick Williams had nothing but troubles all weekend in the Wadsworth racing 67 Camaro. He could only manage a 5.90 for the third alternate spot out of the blown Camaro. Ron Curley in the Curley Brothers post 66 Chevelle broke a transmission on his only run. The big Chevelle left hard but finished with a coasting 19.956 16.89 for the number four spot. Keith Anglin competing in his first ever Pro Mod race in the USA Motorsports Pontiac powered 94 Mustang broke on the burnout on his only run. The final car unable to make a run was the Bracket $ Daily 93 Beretta driving by Corky Daily, the car broke a piston in the pits while warming the car up ending his weekend. The ladder was redone for the first round when Carl Silmon, Pat Edwards, and Gary Steveson could not return for the first round, giving Nathan Martin and Landon Jordan solo runs in the first round.

The first round started with Nathan Martin taking his solo run into the second round. Martin launched hard but got loose and shut off to a 5.686 85.39. Tommy Adams from the tenth spot and Mark Walker from the number seven spot raced next. The blown Pinto took the win with a sashaying 4.996 132.38 to Adams shutoff run off 6.23 89.48. Number five qualifier laid down a good 4.403 160.03 to easily cover the number twelve qualifier Russell Marr and his 5.100 136.10. Marr should be commended for not only racing Pro Mod Saturday but also competing in Super Pro, Air Co Quick 32, and Quick 8 doorslammer all on the same night! The number three qualifier and alternate Esau Speed raced next in a weird race that involved the first or worst rule. After a minor staging battle, Frankie went in last after Esau, Frankie redlighted first, but then Esau crossed the centerline, disqualifying himself. Frankie ran a 4.438 to Esau's null and void 5.955 106.95. Number six qualifier Gaylen Smith flexed his muscle and ran a good 4.372 158.37 to beat number eleven qualifier Jr. Herron's troubled 5.221 135.09. Landon Jordan ran a solo run of 4.279 167.97 to advanced to the second round. Number nine qualifier Bobby Booth stepped up to a 4.579 145.20 to beat the 4.86 147.85 of Elijah Byrdson. In the final race of the first round James Satterwhite, the number four qualifier, took the number thirteen qualifier Keith Hargett with a 4.519 158.90 to Hargett clutch ailing run of 7.043 68.17.

Nathan Martin and Booby Booth raced first in the second round with Martin winning with 4.255 161.78 to Booth shutoff 4.89 102.70. James Satterwhite won next with 4.73 144.69 to beat the wild up on two wheels run of Hicks and his shutoff 5.19 94.49. Landon Jordan ran a 4.321 166.09 to beat the world fastest Pinto of Mark Walker who ran a 4.833 142.89. Gaylen Smith beat Frankie Taylor in the battle of blown cars with Smith 4.476 148.98 winning over Taylor who was forced to shutoff when a seal broke spraying the windshield with gear oil. Taylor did manage to run a 5.182 90.02 before his sight become too fogged to see out the windshield.

In the semifinals Nathan Martin beat James Satterwhite in the battle of Hans Fuestal engines 4.233 169.12 to the shutoff 4.681 124.93 of Satterwhite. Gaylen Smith was unable to return for the semifinals when major bottom end engine problems such as a bent crankshaft, bad rod journals, and scored bearings kept him from racing. Landon Jordan took another solo run of 4.325 165.40 to advance to the finals but give the lane choice to Nathan Martin.

The final round race for the $2500 first prize was a wild one between the number one and two qualifiers Martin and Jordan. Jordan got the early holeshot but Martin was able to motor around to win by car length with a 4.226 169.96 to Jordan's trailing 4.309 165.95. The win for Martin was his third at Kennedale of the year but his biggest ever Pro Mod win yet but also the second month in a row he beat Jordan in the final.

Danny White
ddgw@valornet.com

 

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