The semi-finals were delayed by a pop-up shower. After a brief drying session, the floppers were back in the lanes and fans were ready to see which drivers would take it to the final. In a nail biting Rodak’s Custom Coffee ‘A’ field semi, Brandon Lewis and Nick Poloson got the action started in their fuel funnies. Poloson took a slight starting line advantage and was straight and smooth in the “Bucket List” while Lewis had his hands full as the car drifted to the wall, then back to the centerline. Lewis held on, wide open and white knuckle to drive around at the stripe with a winning 4.12 at 178 mph to Poloson’s close 4.18 at 178 mph.
Next up brought Ken Singleton and Mark Billington to the line in a powerhouse match up of modern bodied alcohol burners. Revved up and ready to go, at the flash of amber Singleton was off first with a slight advantage, which Billington had already made up by sixty feet. Billington had a nose out in front at 330, but at the stripe Singleton muscled his way to the win light with a 4.16 at 185 mph to Billington’s extremely close 4.19 at 176 mph for an .021 margin of victory. Lewis was headed to his first career Chaos final in his rookie season on tour, while Singleton was in familiar territory winning three ‘A’ fields in 2018 including Amarillo, but in search of his first win of 2019.
AlkyDigger ‘B’ field semi-finalists were ready for action that kicked off with ‘dry hop king’ Jordan Ballew facing off with Jeff Cameron who had not only earned his first career Chaos round win, but also claimed the “Long Haul Bonus” courtesy of A Glass Company in Amarillo. Ballew never trailed in this one as his 4.98 at 140 mph held off Cameron’s 5.29 at 138 mph. Andy Mears and Chuck Loftin fired up next to see who would face Ballew in the ‘B’ field final. Mears took a healthy starting line advantage but at the stripe his 4.71 at 146 mph was no match for Loftin’s best pass of the weekend with a 4.39 at 168 mph. Loftin was headed to his first career Chaos final in his rookie season on tour to face off with the youngest driver on tour Jordan Ballew, who was looking for his second win of the 2019 season.
RODAK'S CUSTOM COFFEE 'A' FIELD SEMI-FINAL RESULTS:
(W) Brandon Lewis (.542 rt) 4.12 @ 178 –vs– (L) Nick Poloson (.520 rt) 4.18 @ 178
(W) Ken Singleton (.527 rt) 4.16 @ 185 –vs– (L) Mark Billington (.583 rt) 4.19 @ 176
ALKYDIGGER 'B' FIELD SEMI-FINAL RESULTS:
(W) Jordan Ballew (.798 rt) 4.98 @ 140 –vs– (L) Jeff Cameron (.870 rt) 5.29 @ 138
(W) Chuck Loftin (.609 rt) 4.39 @ 168 –vs– (L) Andy Mears (.511 rt) 4.71 @ 146
With a storm system brewing and targeted with a bullseye on Amarillo Dragway, the rush was on to get the final round cars serviced and back to the lanes. Teams thrashed in the pits and made it back to the line with dark grey skies rapidly approaching. The AlkyDigger ‘B’ field came to life first as Ballew and Loftin staged their machines and crew chiefs walked away after their final adjustments. The drivers were off the line together but Ballew quickly lost power and pulled to the side while Loftin ripped off his best pass of the weekend with a 4.26 at 170 mph to claim his first career Funny Car Chaos victory!
The Rodak’s Custom Coffee ‘A’ field finalists came to life as Brandon Lewis and Ken Singleton took the stage in a nitro versus alcohol battle. Singleton ripped off the line with a large starting line advantage but his performance fell off, while Lewis and his Guy Tipton tuned team saved their best for last with a 4.10 at 184 mph to clinch their first Funny Car Chaos victory over Singleton’s 4.41 at 176 mph!
“With a proven car and a proven tuner, I know I need to bring my ‘A’ game to every race. Having raced Pro Mods for the last nine years, I had some adjustments to make in the cockpit to re-establish my driving abilities from our TAFC days. Nitro is a different animal. The center steer driving style all came back to me in Amarillo. The car improved on every lap and we proved to be the car to beat at the end of the night. I want to thank my family and crew, they busted their butts between rounds and I’m thankful to get the win for them. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season and hope to double up with a win at Lufkin in a few weeks,” said Brandon Lewis.
RODAK'S CUSTOM COFFEE 'A' FIELD FINAL ROUND RESULTS:
(W) Brandon Lewis (.577 rt) 4.10 @ 184 –vs– (L) Ken Singleton (.475 rt) 4.41 @ 176
'A' Field Winner - Brandon Lewis
'A' Field Runner Up - Ken Singleton
ALKYDIGGER 'B' FIELD FINAL ROUND RESULTS:
(W) Chuck Loftin (.485 rt) 4.26 @ 170 –vs– (L) Jordan Ballew (.497 rt) 18.25 @ 58
'B' Field Winner - Chuck Lofton
'B' Field Runner Up - Jordan Ballew
The Chaos lived up to its name in Amarillo as the skies unleashed a wicked fury just minutes after the final rounds were completed. Thankfully all racers were able to safety load their cars and spectators made their way through the exits, with minimal damage reported once the storm passed. Despite not being able to celebrate their first career Chaos wins in the winners circle, Lewis and Loftin were all smiles in Amarillo and both drivers made big strides into the points battle. The Chaos continues at the fourth event of the seven race tour as the series makes its first appearance at Pine Valley Raceway in Lufkin, Texas on July 5th and 6th. The Chaos staff would like to thank track managers Cody and Jeremy Melton and owners Kameron Walker and Justin Craig for their hard work and excellent track conditions.
Funny Car Chaos would like to thank Red Line Shirt Club, Best of Texas BBQ Sauce, AlkyDigger, Rodak's Custom Coffee, S&W Race Cars, Taylor Motorsports Products, Decades of Wheels, VP Racing Fuels, Performance Boiler & Mech, Triple C Agency, Littlefield Blowers, Dooley & Sons Hot Rod Shop, Still Crazy Racing, Moore Auto Parts, Glass Tech, A Glass Company, Racer Ink, Meyer Enterprises and Precision Reprographics for their support of this event! For more information visit www.funnycarchaos.com.
NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD - Event coverage by Funny Car Chaos Media
Photos courtesy of www.MaxCacklePhotos.com - Ken Bennett, Russell Brown, Paul Fields, Sara Pennington, Wes Ramsey