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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

East Coast Match Racing Across the Ages

By James Morgan

Jungle Jim Liberman in 1972. Photo by James Morgan

Come with me now as we take a little trip across the ages. Here for your enjoyment are some of the coolest match racing rides to traverse the eastern quarter miles. We'll start with the MAN -- Jungle Jim Liberman. (1972)

The Shark Funny Car 1972. Note fin on the front. Photo by James Morgan

Frank Federici's "Shark" never met a guardrail it didn't like. When not scaring the pants off everyone with wild sideways runs, the "Shark" could be appreciated for its awesome paint job. (1972)

Gary Burgin's Mustang Funny Car 1979. Photo by James Morgan

Gary Burgin could always be counted on for solid performances in his "Orange Baron" series of Nitro burners. (1979) The big guy by the back of the truck is John "Indian" Morgan, who developed a workable billet block for fuel cars.

Al Segrini's Super Brut Arrow Funny Car. Photo by James Morgan

The only person other than "Jungle" to win the "New England FC Nats" three times is Al Segrini. He did it once driving the awesome "Custom Body" and twice behind the wheel of his own "Super Brut" entries. (1980)

John Force vs Tim Grose 1980s. Photo by James Morgan

As the 80s wore on, Nitro match racing began to diminish. But the big shows continued in certain corners of the country. And it's a good thing as certain people who would go on to be superstars honed their competitive edge racing at the match race tracks. Here John "Brute" Force bangs a blower while trying to out pedal Tim Grose.

Mike Stawicki's Blown Nitro Coupe Camaro. Photo by James Morgan

In the 90s the match racing scene became dominated by fast doorslammers with the likes of Mike Stawicki and others coming to prominence racing in Pro Mod or in the "Super Chevy" Nitro Coupe classes.

David Rowe's Top Alky Funny Car 2000. Photo by James Morgan

At the beginning of the new century, Funny Cars have returned to the forefront of match racing headlines. Now it's the alky burners who are filling the stands. Whether it's the IHRA rules, track policies, or racer preferences, right now in New England, alky flopper racing seems alive and well. With 14 or more cars showing for the open shows and on-track performances on par with the Nitro burners of the early 80s, fans are treated to long burnouts and close racing. One of the toughest of the bunch is the "Boston Stock Exchange" Blue Chip Olds driven by David Rowe.

James Morgan


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