Frequent weather fronts with large doses of precipitation have recently been plaguing tracks and races throughout the country. Unfortunately the very promising Funny Car Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park was not exempt from this recent weather onslaught. The Funny Car Nationals boasted a shootout of the baddest heritage series legal funny cars including Shawn Bowen, Mark Sanders, Marc White, John Hale, and Jason Rupert.
"The Violator" vs "The Crop Duster"
Also on the docket were some outlaw funnies and altereds including Joe Haas in John Lawson’s “Quick Draw” Firebird, Lawson in his own “Runaway” Camaro, Mike Minick in the “Chi-Town Hustler” Omni, and Buddy Hull at the wheel of the “Drastic Plastic” Anglia. These outlaw vehicles are using 14-71 supercharges and much larger fuel pumps putting out big show level flames from the headers. Adding to the event were the always popular Nostalgia Drag Racing League and exhibition vehicles including the legendary Bob Motz in his jet Semi.
NDW's Buddy Hull brings Tom Motry's "Drastic Plastic" to a stop after another battle with the 1320 - John Lawson speeds through the shutdown after piston damage and no chutes. Fortunately the chutes finally deployed and Lawson had enough room to make the turnoff.
Mike Minick catches a cone in Troy Martin's Chi-Town Hustler - Mike Minick throws the laundry after a wild ride
Tony Lombardi boils the hides of his beautiful Oldsmobile powered FED
Friday evening was supposed to hold two qualifying sessions, but unfortunately rain cut the number of sessions to one. The weather for Sunday began with just a series of morning showers, but those showers kept extending further and further into the afternoon. The rain finally subsided around 4 pm and the track crew quickly dried and prepped the track for round one of the NDRL and funny car shootout. Under sunny skies, a much welcomed sign, the cars hit the track and the increasing crowd were treated to some exciting passes. However, just before the second round could take place Mother Nature reared her ugly head again and showered the track with a fifteen-minute downpour.
An example of one the beautiful cars you can see in the NDRL's Pro Gas class
Another example of the variety of cars you see in the PRO Comp class
The latest downpour put an end to the NDRL series event granting the wins to those drivers with wins in the first round that were closest to their index. Winners included Michael Sexton in Ross Racing Engines PRO 7.0, Wayne Sears in Phenix Industries PRO 7.5, Troy Wilson in Hot Heads PRO Comp, and Gary Wildy in Quick Fuel Technology PRO Gas. Due in large part to the efforts of the track crew the last session of funnies were held hours after the storm. Joe Haas ran the quickest time of the Outlaw Nitro class with a 5.26 at 261 mph. Rupert won the battle of the heritage style floppers with a 5.72 at 252 mph recorded earlier in the day.
Jason Rupert slows down after a 5.72 pass while John Hale tries to get his bouncing and bucking funny car under control
It was a shame such a promising event was hampered by the weather. I can only hope for a similar show next year without the weather disruption because it will be a can’t miss opportunity.
See you at the drags-
Mike Sopko Jr.