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Danny's Corner

North Texas in August

By Danny White

The August Pro Mod show at I-35 North Texas Dragway in Denton was a good one with fourteen cars and a first time winner to boot. The number one qualifier was Jim Brooks in his Big Jim 97 Lumina with 707 Pontiac power, Jim's elapsed time was a 4.47, 160.88. The all red 38 Booth Automotive Chevrolet of Booby Booth was number two at 4.58, 152.42. The track points leader Gaylen Smith was number three at 4.61, 155.25 in the Texas Bounty Hunter blown KB 94 Camaro. The number four qualifier was Jerry Hicks in the Timmers Chevrolet nitrous 707 cubic inch 92 Camaro at 4.65, 125.45 early shut off run. Wayne Barlow in the Eagle Towing 1981 Camaro was number five at 4.90, 144.75. Phillip Vallair was the number six qualifier with a 4.91, 143.75 in his 707 cubic inch Pontiac powered 81 Camaro called the Black Bat. The number six qualifier was Robert Michew in his Rat Poison 77 Vega at 5.06 141.50. The run of Michew is even more amazing considering the car is powered by single carbed small block backed by Powerglide with loads of nitrous! The final spot was taken by Gerry Stephenson in the Bad Gee 92 Camaro with a 5.13,134.02 pass.

The first alternate was Nick Williams in the Guy Wadsworth blown 68 Camaro with a 5.18, 135.87. Local Pro Street racer Danny Bazan ran a super 5.19, 139.50 to land in the second spot in his 67 Camaro. Tommy Adams had his venerable 69 Camaro out with a new engine and ran a 5.24, 133.28 to end number eleven. Chuck Poindexter wild blown 72 Luv pickup was number twelve at a wild 5.25, 131.55. Pro Street Racer Kelly Willis ran a strong 5.47, 123.11 in his steel bodied 67 Camaro for number thirteen. The final alternate was Jimmy Freeman, Jr. in the Must Be Magic 1970 Chevelle with a 6.14. Freeman has put a blown engine in the well traveled machine and struggled with the car all night.

The first round began with Jim Brooks taking a solo 4.79, 122.02 win when Gerry Stephenson shut off on the starting line. The next race was a wild one Jerry Hicks ran the low ET and top speed of the evening with a 4.43, 161.13 over Wayne Barlow's backfiring 5.43, 94.53 shutoff. Jerry Hicks had some problems getting stopped and damaged the front end when making the curve on top end. Bobby Booth won the next race the Booth Automotive 38 Chevrolet with a 4.71, 133.07 to beat Robert Michew's 5.17, 136.85. The last race of the first round was a tight one with Gaylen Smith taking the win with a solid 4.54 152.70 over Phillip Vallair's close 4.68 155.31.

The semifinals began with Brooks and Hicks racing one another. Hicks and crew had to thrash to make it back for the second round but after Hicks did his burnout a nitrous problem occurred as indicated by a wild flame that exited the exhaust for few seconds. Hicks wisely shut the car off saving further damage to the engine Brooks took another solo and got out the groove and shut off to a 5.89, 82.89. The closest but scariest race of the night happened next between Booth and Smith. The two left together with Smith taking a close 4.51 153.09 win over Booth's tough 4.55 153.36. The problem s began to happen on the shutdown area when Booth and Smith try to make the curve, Smith got off the track surface trying to give Booth room to make the curve which he was unable to. Booth ran through the hay bales at the end of the track, through the fence getting airborne and stopping finally on the North Texas Kartway go-kart race track at the end of I-35 North Texas Dragway. Booby Booth was uninjured in the mishap and the car damage appeared to be superficial luckily. Thankfully, the races at the go-kart track were over for the evening and nobody there was on the track.

The final was a good one with the track points leader Gaylen Smith taking on Jim Brooks. The race was close until mid-track when Gaylen pedaled the car and had to shutoff to a 5.13 71.24 while Big Jim motored to a good 4.54 159.13. The win was the first ever for the likeable Jim Brooks after about ten runner-ups in the couple years he has been running Pro Modified in Texas.

Danny White
ddgw@valornet.com

 

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