Home  Drag Lists  Forum  Blog  Links  Stories  Pictures  RacingJunk  Goyda Collectibles  Movies  Store  Help  More  RSS

 

Back
Home
Up
Next

Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Meet the Guys Who Race the Next Big Thing

The Draglist Story of the Funny Car Reunion... FINALLY

Story by Bill Pratt
Photos by James Morgan, Tim Pratt, Phil Elliott, Art
Cimilluca, Stephen Jones, Bill Ott, and Steve Bell

Jerry Smith and the First Love machine lowered their personal best on every run. Photo by James Morgan
Jerry Smith and the First Love machine lowered their personal best on every run.
Photo by James Morgan

Ok gang. You all heard the whining about how I did the FCR on ten hours total sleep for the week and then took a week to recover after I returned. But damn! It's been two weeks since the event! Time to get busy! I finally dug out my notebook and am resolved to get this story out before my NEXT big gig – the Classic Southern Thunder event in Ware Shoals, SC, this weekend. So, here goes...

INTRODUCING THE CLASSIC FUNNY CAR RACERS WHO MADE HISTORY AT E-TOWN ON JULY 28, 2002: (In the order I found ‘em in the staging lanes before the first round...)

Leroy Blackman (in white shirt) and team line the Monza up for the fire up. Photo by Tim Pratt
Leroy Blackman (in white shirt) and team line up for the fire up. Photo by Tim Pratt

LeRoy Blackman, Absecon, NJ – "Blue Moon" '75 Chevy Monza, 478 inch Chevy, blown on alcohol with an 8-71 blower. Crew chief: LeRoy Blackman. Crew: Rick Cox and John Seyler. Best times: 7.65 at 184.

Joe and Steve Boyle came out and impressed everyone with their clean and fast Arrow. Photo by James Morgan
Joe and Steve Boyle came out and impressed everyone with their clean and fast Arrow.
Photo by James Morgan

Joe Boyle, Springfield, PA – "Sudden Impact" '77 Plymouth Arrow. 509-inch Chevy, blown on alcohol. Crew chief: Steve Boyle. Best times: 7.40 at 188 (as an altered).

Lou Sgro has captured the essence of Kenny Goodell's Action Man big time. Photo by James Morgan
Lou Sgro has captured the essence of Kenny Goodell's Action Man big time.
Photo by James Morgan

Lou Sgro, Slatington, PA – "Action Man" '71 Dodge Challenger. 452-inch Keith Black Aluminum Hemi, blown on alcohol. Crew Chief: Colleen Mahony. Best times: 7.21 at 198.

Bob Rosetty's Rollin' Stoned car is immaculate in every way. Photo by James Morgan
Bob Rosetty's Rollin' Stoned car is immaculate in every way. Photo by James Morgan

Bob Rosetty, Willow Grove, PA – #116 "Rollin' Stoned" '73 Plymouth Cuda. 470-inch Keith Black Aluminum Hemi, blown on alcohol. Crew Chief: Kevin Wilkinson. Best times: 7.28 at 182.

John Kippen's injected Maine Event Corvette looked great. Photo by Steve Bell
John Kippen's injected Maine Event Corvette looked great. Photo by Steve Bell

John Kippin, York, ME – "The Maine Event" '78 Chevy Corvette. 496 inch Chevy, injected on alcohol. Crew Chief: Leo Quigg. Best time: 8.60 at 160.

Dave Sano's immaculate Corvette thrilled the fans at the FCR. Photo by Steve Bell
Dave Sano's immaculate Corvette thrilled the fans at the FCR. Photo by Steve Bell

Dave Sano, Dayton, NJ – #1176 "Sano's Custom Paint" '79 Chevy Corvette. 468 inch Chevy, injected on 20 percent nitro. Crew Chief: Jim Gibbons. Best times: 8.50 at 153. Notes: The 1979 John Force funny car body on an old Tom Anderson funny car chassis.

The South State Shaker looked good, but didn't run. Photo by Tim Pratt
The South State Shaker looked good, but didn't run. Photo by Tim Pratt

Rick Yanelli, Hackensack, NJ – "South State Shaker" '69 Chevy Camaro. 496-inch Keith Black Aluminum Olds, blown on alcohol in a Logghe chassis. Best times: 7.20 at 193.

The Zombie wants to become history's quickest Chevy flopper. Photo by James Morgan
The Zombie wants to become history's quickest Chevy flopper. Photo by James Morgan

Rob Bruce, Flint, MI – "Zombie" '72 Pontiac Firebird. Keith Black Aluminum Olds, blown on NITRO. Best times: 6.48 at 227.

Bruce Neely's Poison Arrow looked and ran great. Photo by James Morgan
Bruce Neely's Poison Arrow looked and ran great. Photo by James Morgan

Bruce Neely, Roselle, NJ – "Poison Arrow" '80 Plymouth Arrow. 454 Chevy, injected on alcohol. Crew Chief: Bob LaMarca. Best times: 8.77 at 150.

The Plastic Fantastic had a real Ford 429 on board and sported original paint. Photo by James Morgan
The Plastic Fantastic had a real Ford 429 on board and sported original paint.
Photo by James Morgan

Jim White, Eddington, ME – #364 "Plastic Fantastic" '70 Ford Maverick. 494-inch Boss 429 Ford, blown on alcohol. Crew Chief: Phil Foster. Best times: 8.25 at 170. Company restores old funny cars. The Centurion car is coming out next year.

Rocky and the Nitro Charger impressed with real NITRO. Note missing wing. Rocky: We'll play with aerodymanics AFTER gettign the tune up right! Photo by James Morgan
Rocky and the Nitro Charger impressed with real NITRO. Note missing wing. Rocky says:
"We'll play with aerodynamics AFTER getting the tune up right!" Photo by James Morgan

Rocky Pirrone, Philadelphia, PA – "Nitro Charger" '69 Dodge Charger Daytona. 484-inch Keith Black Aluminum Hemi, blown on NITRO. Crew Chief: Tom Fox. Best times: 7.40 at 185.

Barone's car proudly wore the "B/FC" designation for injected alcohol. Photo by James Morgan
Barone's car proudly wore the "B/FC" designation for injected alcohol. Photo by James Morgan

Bob Barone, Worsham, PA – #1356 "War Horse" '78 Ford Mustang II. 440 inch Chevy, injected on alcohol. Crew Chief: Mike Giovinazzo. Best times: 8.87 at 148.

John Denski had a fantastic time at the event, but after watching Rob, Frank, and Rocky, thinks he'll just do burnouts with his jewel. Photo by James Morgan
John Denski had a fantastic time at the event, but after watching Rob, Frank, and
Rocky tear up their stuff, he thinks he'll keeping doing only burnouts with his jewel.
Photo by James Morgan

John Denski, Canton, MI – "Auto Craft Collison" '70 Dodge Challenger. Iron 426 Chrysler Hemi with iron heads, blown on alcohol in a Tom Smith Wolverine Chassis. Crew Chief: Winston Newton. No times; burnouts only thus far.

Donnie Reeves and son Jason were two of the nicest folks at the FCR. Photo by James Morgan
Donnie Reeves and son Jason were two of the nicest folks at the FCR. Photo by James Morgan

Donnie Reeves, White, GA – #212 "Fascination" '68 Chevy Camaro. 482-inch tall deck Chevy, blown on alcohol in a Romeo Palamides chassis. Crew Chief: Jason Reeves. no times; burnouts only thus far.

A star is born! Willie Johnson was highly entertaining with his injected Nova. Photo by James Morgan
A star is born! Willie Johnson was highly entertaining with his injected Nova.
Photo by James Morgan

Willie Johnson, Edison, NJ -- #1968 "No Money No Funny" '68 Chevy Nova. 468 inch Chevy, injected on alcohol. Crew Chief: Todd Bechtoldt. Technical Advisor: John Marchese (who provided 24/7 support to get the car built). Johnson A.K.A. "The Fat Pollack."

The Shell Shock was a former Ohio Express BB/FC, will give birth to many new Vegas. Photo by James Morgan
The Shellshock was a former Ohio Express BB/FC, will give birth to many new Vegas.
Photo by James Morgan

Rob "Bobcat" Bundy, Flowertown (Philly), PA – "Shellshock" '71 Chevy Vega. 438-inch Chevy, blown on alcohol (under construction) with 2-speed tranny. Crew Chief: Scott Jezak. No times yet. Car under construction. Rob and his new Fliptop Industries will create Vega bodies by using his car as a mold. He also has a '70 Camaro on tap.

Rick Stambaugh's awesome New Generation Corvette readies for battle. Photo by Tim Pratt
Rick Stambaugh's awesome New Generation Corvette readies for battle. Photo by Tim Pratt

Rick Stambaugh, Fredericksburg, VA – "New Generation" '77 Chevy Corvette. 517-inch Keith Black Aluminum Hemi, blown on alcohol. Crew chiefs: Rick, Matt, and Robin Stambaugh. Best times: 6.86 at 210.

Kerry Underwood's Corvette lines up next to Donnie Reeves Camaro. Photo by Tim Pratt
Kerry Underwood's Corvette lines up next to Donnie Reeves' Camaro. Photo by Tim Pratt

Kerry Underwood, Marble Dale, CT – "Feed the Children" '84 Chevy Corvette, blown on alcohol.

The first love team are real Nostalgia Funny Car veterans. Photo by James Morgan
The first love team are real Nostalgia Funny Car veterans. Photo by James Morgan

Jerry Smith, West Erlo, NY – "First Love" '69 Chevy Nova. All steel 468 inch Chevy, blown on alcohol. Crew Chief: John Parks. Best times: 8.40 at 166. Dedicated to late brother Keith Smith.

Photo not available. If you have one, send it! bilden@draglist.com

Jerry Smith, West Erlo, NY – "New York Super Twister" '71 Dodge Challenger. Stayed on the trailer.

Brian Bennett's ex-Gene Snow machine drew a lot of attention and rightfully so. Photo by James Morgan
Brian Bennett's ex-Gene Snow machine drew a lot of attention and rightfully so.
Photo by James Morgan

Brian Bennett and Melissa Masse, New Milford, CT – #404 "Rambunctious" '71 Dodge Charger. 426-inch Keith Black Aluminum Hemi, blown on alcohol. Crew Chief: Brian Bennett. Best times: 7.13 at 198.

Greg Beckner shook out Jerry Millner's Travel-N-Man Arrow on its initial runs. Photo by Steve Bell
Greg Beckner shook out Jerry Millner's Travel-N-Man Arrow on its initial runs.
Photo by Steve Bell

Jerry Millner, Chesterfield, VA -- #230 "Travel-N-Man" '77 Plymouth Arrow. 440-inch Rodeck Aluminum Chevy, blown on alcohol. Crew Chief/Driver: Greg Beckner. Crew chief: Junior Bailey. New car; no times.

Mike Adams the the Blue Angels team were definiltey on the POP! Photo by James Morgan
Mike Adams and the Blue Angels team were definitely on the POP! Photo by James Morgan

Mike Adams, Phoenix, AZ -- "Blue Angels Ground Attack" '77 Chevy Corvette, blown on NITRO.

Frank Jonkman came down from Canada and impressed all. Photo by James Morgan
Frank Jonkman came down from Canada and impressed all. Photo by James Morgan

Frank Jonkman, Ontario, Canada. "Nitromare" '72 Ford Mustang, blown on NITRO. Crew Chief: Mike Kirk. Best times: 7.15 at 190.

Bob Gibson's Tom n Jerry car battled parts woes all weekend, but Bob had fun. Photo by James Morgan
Bob Gibson's Tom n Jerry car battled parts woes all weekend, but Bob had fun.
Photo by James Morgan

Bob Gibson, Springfield, IL. "Tom ‘n' Jerry" '74 Plymouth Duster. Chrysler, blown on alcohol. Crew Chief: Terry Scovin. Best times: 7.02 at 188.

...Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Tim Pratt
...Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Tim Pratt

The info on Jonkman and Gibson is from Draglist.com... I didn't see these guys in the lanes and I didn't think to ask them later. BAD Bill...)

FIRE ‘EM UP!!!

Nearly 30 funny cars fired up in unison for the first time in many a moon at Raceway Park. Photo by James Morgan
Nearly 30 funny cars fired up in unison for the first time in many a moon at Raceway Park.
Photo by James Morgan

The event kicked off, as promised, with all "32" Funny Cars lined up and ready to fire up. Truth be told, not all of them fired and there weren't quite 32 of them on the line (but 32 were on the grounds if you counted the rocket funnies, the A/FX cars, and the trailered heaps for sale). But a good 25 of them ran and it was cool as hell anyway. 

The crowd was good and ready for the fireup at the Funny Car Reunion. Photo by Bill Ott
The crowd was good and ready for the fireup at the Funny Car Reunion. Photo by Bill Ott

Jungle Pam Hardy walked down the middle of the firing floppers, cheering and egging them all on. The crowd applauded enthusiastically after the show as oldsters saw it all come flooding back and youngsters saw what once was. I hopped a ride back to the pits on the tailgate of the Brian Bennett "Rambunctious" tow truck and had a nice chat with Melissa Masse, who is Brian's full partner in life and in the funny car.

THE GREAT RACE BEGINS!

I positioned myself right behind the starting line for round one and then in the photographer's area for round two. Besides WANTING to be that close, I NEEDED to be that close! Hey, I was judging burnouts and best appearing cars! I had put up $250 for the best burnout of the event and Doug Herbert Performance Parts matched that amount in racing products. That meant the best burnout of the event got a $500 check. My partner Bob Gettys of Computer Magic Online (who hosts draglist.com and several other drag racing sites) had put up $250 for the Best Appearing Car award. While we're mentioning special awards, Jeff Burk put up $250 for the Best Dry Hop award and the Frantic Ford fuel funny car team put up $500 for Low ET and Top Speed of the Meet in memory of their late driver, the great Dodger Glenn. Anyway, that was my EXCUSE for being close to the cars!

Bob Barone looked good, but John Kippin beat him in the first race of the first FCR. Photo by James Morgan
Bob Barone looked good, but John Kippin beat him in the first race of the first FCR.
Photo by James Morgan

The first round kicked off with Bob Barone's good looking blue Mustang II B/FC (injected alky) taking on John Kippin in the similarly powered Maine Event Corvette, all the way down from, well you know... After two burnouts that I gave a five each, the Maine Event Corvette won the first official race of the Funny Car Reunion, 8.973, 151.70 to 10.415, 138.48. Save that one for future trivia contests, gang.

Young Joe Boyle impressed with awesome burnouts and mid seven second runs. Photo by James Morgan
Young Joe Boyle impressed with awesome burnouts and mid seven second runs.
Photo by James Morgan

Up next were Joe Boyle in the all-white but soon to be named "Sudden Impact" Arrow taking on pit pal Leroy Blackman in the Blue Moon Monza. Boyle woke up the house with an awesome blown alcohol burnout that rated a 7 on the Draglist Scale. Blackman, who has laid down his share of mosquito-killers with the Fiat body on the car, came in second in this contest with a 5... The kid from PA also did well in the actual race with a super 7.614, 181.96 effort to take out LeRoy's close 7.994 at 167.41.

Lou Sgro took the measure of the First Love car in round one. Photo by James Morgan
Lou Sgro took the measure of the First Love car in round one. Photo by James Morgan

Lou Sgro then lined up the ex-Kenney Goodell Action Man car against the immaculate Rollin' Stoned machine of Bob Rosetty (with Joe Jacono proudly joining the crew all day). The ‘Stoned had a hard time firing up, so Berserko Bob called the next guy up and kept the race moving. That next guy was Jerry Smith, in the tough and touching "First Love" Nova, dedicated to his late brother Keith. After a couple of 6.5 scale burnouts, Sgro put the Action Man through the traps first, 7.594 at 183.14 to Smith's trailing, but personal best, 8.441 at 149.90. Jerry was ecstatic after the run.

Dave Sano leads Bruce Neely through the lights. Photo by Art Cimilluca
Dave Sano leads Bruce Neely through the lights. Photo by Art Cimilluca

Bruce Neely then lined up the Poison Arrow against Dave Sano's gorgeous '79 Corvette. Neither machine did a super burnout (both rating 4s), but they sure did put on a super race! After an even start, the cars were welded together all the way down the strip. Sano eked out a 8.724, 147.88 to 8.900, 145.81 win over Neely's good looking Plymouth.

Frank Jonkman burnouts out prior to his first six second pass. Photo by James Morgan
Frank Jonkman burnouts out prior to his first six second pass. Photo by James Morgan

The big guns came out next, with two blown nitro machines on tap. The difference in burnouts was immediately apparent as Frank Jonkman and Rob Bruce hit the loud pedals. Jonkman's Nitromare rated a 7, matching Boyle's alky-fueled effort, but Rob Bruce and the Zombie NAILED a burnout! It was loud and long and smoky, and it rated a definite 8 on the Draglist Scale (hey, ya gotta leave some room for eighth and full quarter mile efforts!) Unfortunately for Bruce, the burnout antics continued in the actual race. While the Zombie fried the hides to a 12.613 at 87.15, Frank Jonkman fired the first big shot of the weekend with a great 6.911 at 183.89 to take the win! 

Rob Bruce and the Zombie at the start of their award winning burnout. Photo by James Morgan
Rob Bruce and the Zombie at the start of their award winning burnout. Photo by James Morgan

The crowed cheered their approval, but oohs and ahhs changed to oh nos as the Nitromare did not STOP at the end of the track. Seconds later, a HUGE plume of tan shot into the sky, looking for all the world like a bomb dropped into the desert. Jonkman and the Nitromare were the victims of a stuck throttle and Frank went into the sand and THROUGH the safety net. The front end of the ‘Mare was shattered, but Frank walked away unharmed. We'll take that any day... Recent conversations with Frank in online forums lets us know that the Nitromare's pretty face is patched back together and will be painted soon.

Donnie Reeves gets ready to run against Tom n Jerry. Photo by James Morgan
Donnie Reeves
gets ready to run against Tom n Jerry. Photo by James Morgan

Donnie Reeves and the Fascination Camaro next faced Bob Gibson and the Tom 'n' Jerry Duster. Gibson's car is no stranger to the media with nice coverage at Indy last year and elsewhere. Reeves' machine LOOKS like it's straight out of 1968 Southern Funny Car Match Racing. What a great looking car. By the way, it was very cool to see so many different "eras" represented within one race. This race truly did have something for every classic funny car fan (even a few Factory Experimental cars in the pits...) Anyway, back to the race. After two attempted burnouts (hey, they TRIED – 3s a pair), the Chevy and Mopar lined up. Gibson left before the tree came down (the victim, I think, of parts failure) and Reeves took the win with a very 1968 Southern Match Race Funny Car effort of 10.446 at 137.09 mph.

Northeast TAFC veteran Kerry Underwood then came out with the pretty turquoise Feed the Children '84 Corvette (which looked just a bit too modern for this field). The ‘'Vette popped the blower burst panel right at the hit for the burnout and Underwood coasted through.

Willie Johnson in the lanes next to Rick Stambaugh's New Generation. Photo by James Morgan
Willie Johnson in the lanes next to Rick Stambaugh's New Generation. Photo by James Morgan

Willie Johnson then came out with the No Money, No Funny Nova. Johnson, who insisted we call him "The Fat Pollack" (which, for me, would totally be the pot calling the kettle black), put on about the most entertaining show of the day in terms of antics. Johnson laid down a solid claim to the DRO Best Dry Hop award with some great, jerky, hoppy, errant fits and starts towards the line. After all that, Johnson lifted the wheels at the green and marched off to a bouncy 8.762 at 146.46. Gimmie eight of these guys on a Saturday night any time!

Rocky Pirrone begins his awesome first round burnout. Photo by James Morgan
Rocky Pirrone begins his awesome first round burnout. Photo by James Morgan

More big guns came out next with the Blue Angels Ground Attack ‘'Vette taking on Rockin' Rocky Pirrone and the Nitro Charger. I figured they had just run out of nitro cars for the Rock to run, but sure enough, Mike Adams had that familiar CACK in the blue Corvette and laid down a pretty good 5 on the burnout scale. Rocky, on the other hand, NAILED it and matched the Zombie with a superb 8 that had the crowd cheering. At the launch, the Rock took the lead and never gave it up, even through parts damage. Rocky's 7.313 at a tell tale 158.30 took the win over Adams' 8.110 at 174.80. It was a new personal best for the Nitro Charger, but Rocky was a spectator for the remainder of the event.

Bruce Larson thrilled the E-town fans with his meticulously restored '68 Camaro. Photo by James Morgan
Bruce Larson thrilled the E-town fans with his meticulously restored '68 Camaro.
Photo by James Morgan

Bruce Larson then brought out the famous and fabulous "USA-1" 1968 Camaro. After a crowd-pleasing burnout, Jungle Pam herself backed Bruce up, the unique "LOPE.... LOPE... LOPE..." of the blown Chevy piercing the E-town air. Bruce nailed it at the green and was on a fantastic pass, but (seemingly reluctantly) shut if off at half-track, as the safety rules state he must with an absolutely period correct piece. The times: 8.054 at 135.37 mph.

Jungle Pam and Berserko Bob share a photo op before the event. Photo by Tim Pratt
Jungle Pam and Berserko Bob share a photo op before the event. Photo by Tim Pratt

Berserko Bob Doerrer and Jungle Pam Hardy then matched up in the Cartek Corvette Challenge Drag Racing Series. Matched up was hardly the term, however. In a race that got all the guys in the stands fightin' mad, Berserko laid a MASSIVE holeshot on the lady, then took an easy win with a 12.931 at 104.93 to Pam's 15.11 at 90.55. Hey! Who tuned these things up? Not exactly IROC cars in terms of similar horsepower output, were they? The Cartek folks have some nice FCR coverage, too, at www.corvettechallenge.info.

Brother Tim and yours truly hanging out in Gar's pit space. Photo by Stephen Jones
Brother Tim and yours truly hanging out in Gar's pit space. Photo by Stephen Jones

This travesty of justice was somewhat appeased by Don Garlits coming out and nailing a half-track blast in the monostrut Top Fueler. Big was preparing for a Wednesday night match-up against Shirley Muldowney and hit a 6.846 at 119.45 mph, shutting off way early. It was nice to see the late Chevy Top Fuel star Jim Bucher's sons crewing on Garlits' machine along with TC Lemmons.

Nostalgia Super Stocks and other cool nostalgia categories entertained between flopper rounds. Photo by Tim Pratt
Nostalgia Super Stocks and other cool nostalgia categories also entertained.
Photo by Tim Pratt

After Garlits, the Nostalgia Super Stocks came out and commenced another round of fun North East Timing Association action.

Round two BEGAN with Bruce Larson, who motored through after some problems.

Dave Sano then met Bruce Neely again in a battle of injected alky machines. And again Sano's ex John Force Corvette took the win over the Poison Arrow, 8.896, 143.61 to 9.305, 130.18. Burnouts? Fagedaboudit...

Bob Rosetty gets towed to the line to face good pal Lou Sgro. Photo by Tim Pratt
Bob Rosetty gets towed to the line to face good pal Lou Sgro. Photo by Tim Pratt

Bob Rosetty and Lou Sgro then staged a great battle of blown alky cars after nice burnouts. In perhaps the best side by side race of the weekend, Bob pulled out a 7.461, 173.27 to 7.5090, 183.77 win over Lou. I was starting to lean towards Rosetty's Rollin' Stoned machine as the Computer Magic Online Best Appearing car, when I heard that announcement from the tower: "And your winner is also the best appearing car for today!" Hey! Who said? Not that I wasn't gonna vote for him anyway, but... Turns out Berserko Bob had instructed the tower staff and event organizers to vote their choices. Fair enough, I guess. At least they picked the right car...

Willie Johnson sealed a win over the Maine Event after sealing a win in the Dry Hop Award. Photo by Phil Elliott
Willie Johnson sealed a win over the Maine Event after sealing a win in the Dry Hop Award.
Photo by Phil Elliott

Up next were the entertaining No Money No Funny machine of Willie Johnson and the Maine Event Corvette of John Kippin. If Johnson had laid the Dry Hop Award foundation in round one, he SEALED it in round two. Johnson backed up the red/orange Nova to the water box and NAILED it, the Nova's front end LEAPING off the line. After a few more of these to hoots and hollers, the race ensued with Johnson taking the win, 8.724, 148.36 to Kippen's close 9.166 at 150.69.

Greg Beckner jumped into Rick Stambaugh's New Generation machine in round two to face Bob Barone in the War Horse Mustang II. Becker followed a super 7.5 burnout with an easy win for the New Generation Corvette (itself a finalist for best appearing). The blown car easily took the measure of Barone's injected machine, 7.411, 182.30 to 9.006, 144.06.

LeRoy Blackman races Jerry Smith in Round Two. Photo by Phil Elliott
LeRoy Blackman races Jerry Smith in Round Two. Photo by Phil Elliott

Jerry Smith's First Love Nova then faced LeRoy Blackman's Blue Moon Monza in an interesting match-up of different eras. There was a huge shift in technology between 1968 and 1975 and these cars lined up side by side made that clear. Blackman got his first win of the day with an 8.031 at 168.41 to defeat Smith's close 8.247 at 163.59. Once again, Jerry Smith was ecstatic with another all time personal best ET. (Jerry recently ran 8.01 at Maple Grove -- the sevens are near!)

Rob Bruce and the Zombie prepare to try to set the all-time Chevy FC record. Photo by Phil Elliott
Rob Bruce and the Zombie prepare to try to set the all-time Chevy FC record.
Photo by Phil Elliott

The nitro cars were up next as Rob Bruce and the Zombie faced Mike Adams in the Blue Angels Ground Attack machine. Another awesome burnout (this one a 7) pretty much gave the Doug Herbert/Draglist.com Burnout Challenge title to Bruce as Rocky Pirrone sat broken (but smiling) in the pits. Following the awesome burnout, Rob grabbed another couple of awards as he nailed a 6.474 at 186.20 to set the Dodger Glenn Low ET and Top Speed of the Meet. However, any award money Rob won (and much more) went up in flames as the Zombie exploded into a HUGE fireball at the end of the run. 

The Nitromare and the Zombie definiltely gave it all they had for the fans. Both were OK. Photo by Phil Elliott
The Nitromare and the Zombie definitely gave it all they had for the fans. Both drivers were OK.
Photo by Phil Elliott

The Raceway Park rescue teams were on the scene immediate and Rob was OK, but the Zombie definitely sacrificed some parts to the nitro gods. Rob and team had made it known that they were after the all time quickest nitro run for a Chevrolet (currently sitting at 6.40 seconds for the King Camaro at St. Louis 1973). Damned if they didn't almost get it, too. It's only a matter of time... By the way, unnoticed in the other lane, Adams finished a good day of work at 8.378, 159.08.

Rob Bruce and the Zombie really gave it up to the nitro gods on his 6.47 pass. Photo by Phil Elliott
Rob Bruce and the Zombie really gave it up to the nitro gods on his 6.47 pass.
Photo by Phil Elliott

After the cleanup, Bob Gibson brought out the Tom n Jerry car for a single. The Duster got wiggly at mid track, but Gibson saved it and coasted through the lights at 9.775, 127.22.

By this time, Greg Beckner had hot footed it to the back of the staging lanes and had strapped into Jerry Millner's Travel-N-Man Arrow. (I knew there was a reason that Stambaugh's car was the first one in the lanes and the Arrow was WAAAAY back at the end of the lanes...) Beckner made a 900 foot shut off run on the car's first pass and went 11.745 at 60.31.

Kerry Underwood then rolled out and seemed to pop ANOTHER burst panel. The Corvette just kept on rollin' through the lights...

Berserko, Bob Rosetty, Jungle Pam, and I present Bob the Computer Magic Online Best Appearing Car Award on behalf of Bob Gettys. Photo by Phil Elliott
Berserko, Bob Rosetty, Jungle Pam, and I present Bob the Computer Magic Online
Best Appearing Car Award on behalf of Bob Gettys. Photo by Phil Elliott

And that was it! The First Annual Funny Car Reunion was in the books! Berserko, Jungle Pam, and I went around to each of the special award winners for photos and the delivery of checks and cash, then everyone went over to check out the damage inflicted on the Nitromare and the Zombie (who, pitted next to each other, made for some dramatic post apocalypse photos).

Lots of other stuff went on. I met dozens of internet friends I'd only seen in type. I saw dozens more drag friends that I've met over the years. All those meetings are another story, however, and it's time to put this one up on the ‘net.

All I can say is: DON'T MISS NEXT YEAR'S EVENT!

Bill Pratt
bilden@draglist.com

 

Free Homepage Translation



Home  Drag Lists  Forum  Blog  Links  Stories  Pictures  Racing Junk  Goyda Collectibles  Movies  Store  Help  More  RSS

Drag Photos  Drag Blog  Facebook  Twitter  60s Funny Cars  70s Funny Cars  80s Funny Cars  Gasser Madness  Project 1320  Drag Times

Google

 
Web draglist.com

Copyright 1996-2014 by Bilden Enterprises. All rights reserved.