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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Southeastern Gassers Invade Wilkesboro

By Rickie Bowie and Bill Pratt

Wilkesboro Raceway, Wilkesboro, NC (June 1) - The weather was hot with only a few clouds as eight of the Southeast's finest gas coupes, sedans, and pickup trucks invaded Wilkesboro Raceway. Four A/Gas and four B/Gas cars of the Draglist.com Southeastern Gasser Tour were on hand for some old-time fun. After two rounds of qualifying, the results were set:

#1 6.03 Rodger McConnell
#2 6.21 Heath Daniel
#3 6.22 Gerald Baker
#4 6.27 Jerry Curtis

#1 6.99 Jim Guillen
#2 7.27 Danny Austin
#3 7.58 Ted Stiles
#4 11.68 Rickie Bowie

The first round in B/Gas saw Jim Guillen take on Danny Austin. Austin got the win with a 7.27 to a 7.00 as Jim Guillen turned on the red light. Next up, Ted Stiles took a free ride as Rickie Bowie could not show.

The run for the money in B/Gas was at 9:30pm. At the green, Austin took the win as Stiles looked at the red bulb. Austin ran a 7.19 to defeat Stiles' 7.31. Danny Austin was the B/Gas winner at Wilkesboro.

The A/Gas class looked to be a great race. McConnell was the fastest car in both qualifying rounds. The first run of A/Gas was Jerry Curtis and Heath Daniel, driving Mac Pressley's car. At the light, Curtis left too quick, giving Daniel the win, his 8.21 defeating the red lighting 6.27.

Next up was the number one man talking on the number three man. At the green, McConnell chopped the tree with an outstanding .002 light. He never looked back and took the win over Gerald Baker, 6.03 to a 6.22.

Round two saw a match between the two first round losers. It was Gerald Baker going against Jerry Curtis. Baker made a great run at 6.17, even after Curtis red lighted. This put him into the final against the winner of the first round winner's bracket.

In round two, Daniel and McConnell, both winning their first rounds, came to the line. At the green, McConnell showed the way, cutting another great light at .001. He then took a very close race with a 6.02 to a 6.20.

The final in A/Gas was not very pretty. McConnell and Baker both did great burnouts, staged, and left at the green. McConnell did another tree job with a .001 light. Baker was just a few hundredths behind. At about half-track, however, Baker's engine let go. He got in his own oil and skated all over the track, trying to keep it off the guardrails. Mike couldn't avoid them, however, tagging the guardrails on the big end. The damage included some fiberglass on one side, an a-arm, and the front wheel, but Baker was OK. McConnell ran it on through with a winning 6.01 to claim the A/Gas title.

Rickie Bowie/Bill Pratt


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