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Danny's Corner

Louisiana Grudge Match!

by Danny White (8/98)

On Saturday night, August 8, the brand new Red River Raceway at Gilliam, LA, was the sight of the Texas Quick 8 Racers first appearance at the track. The two cars in appearance were the blown BAE 1994 Camaro called the Texas Bounty Hunter of DeSoto, TX-based Gaylen Smith. The second car was the new team of Torrance Racing of Mesquite, TX, with their beautiful 1994 Grand Am with 706 inch Hans Fuestal power. The driver for the Torrances was Charles Wooten, a chassis builder at Kim Smith Race Cars in Arlington. Charles is the owner of a 1966 Chevelle Pro Mod of his own which he is currently rebuilding from the ground up. The main goal of the racers was to try to beat the track record held by Pat Musi at 6.99 seconds, 204 miles per hour.

The first round was to be a tuning run to get a baseline for the rest of the night. Smith chose the tower lane while Wooten got the pit side lane. The burnouts were executed to proper form, then the two cars staged with Wooten leaving on Smith. The blown showed its muscle on the top end, however, coming around Wooten to win with a 7.103, 172.30, to Wooten's close 7.56, 176.35.

The second round saw the racers switch lanes with Smith in the pit lane and Wooten in the tower lane. Wooten laid down the best burnout of the night with a super 200 foot fog bank and Smith did his consistent on the throttle stop burnout. The two cars staged with Wooten staging first to allow Smith to bring up the RPM on his engine without harming the engine. Wooten again took the lead, but Smith's setup drove around him again to win with a new ET record of 6.74, 194.75, to Wooten's 7.44, 174.

The third round was an all out shot at Musi's 204 mph record, but troubles set in for both teams. Wooten did his burnout and backed up, but found he had no pressure in the air bottle. Charles' wife Tina tried to fix the problem on the line but found the line running from the converter to the air bottle had a hole burned in it. Without the ability to shift, Wooten shut off. Gaylen had his car set on kill to try to get Musi's existing record but at the 500 foot mark the car got loose and Smith wisely shut off to a 9.10, 90.78 clocking.

The teams were impressed with the new track and will be back on Labor Day weekend for the Texas Quick 8 race. The Smith's were disappointed that they were not able to set a new MPH record but were happy with the 6.74 track ET record. The new Torrance team was happy with the new car because this was just their second time out. (The first time was the night before at Kennedale where they clocked a good 4.77 ET). Charles Wooten did say the converter/ Lenco setup would be replaced with a new clutch because the Hans Fuestal engine was driving though the converter. Wooten also said the engine had recorded a 1200 HP pull at only 6500 RPM with no nitrous, so the power is there. Both race teams will be at Kennedale for their monthly race on Friday.

Danny White
ddgw@valornet.com

 

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