Kinsley Last Man Standing
North Star Dragway's Pro Mod vs. Fuel Altered Showdown
North Star Dragway - Denton, Texas - July 5 & 6, 2013
Report & Photos - Chris Graves, MaxCacklePhotos.com
After over a decade, the rivalry between the Texas Outlaw Pro Mods and Painless Performance Outlaw Fuel Altered Association was revived as North Star Dragway stepped up to host the "Pro Mod Vs. Fuel Altered Showdown" over the 4th of July weekend in Denton, Texas. With a long history of friendly smack talk, the two organizations had plenty of steam built up from the past and in January when news of this event was publicized, word of mouth and hype in the pit area immediately rose. Interest from both sides of the fence continued to develop and the success of this event as the headline show of the summer in North Texas was eminent.
In 2002, Lone Star Raceway Park in Sealy, Texas hosted a similar style event which was won by Frankie Taylor's pro mod over Larry Reep's fuel altered in the final. In those days, a 4.00 eighth mile pass was stellar and a 4.20 at 150 mph would win most races. Fast forward ten years and it will take you a 4.20 to have a chance at a qualifying spot and you better be packing several low 3.80's pushing 200 mph if you hope to go some rounds with the company these two series keep.
The racer support of this unique showdown between the two top "outlaw" organizations of the southwest was proven as 35 cars (16 pro mods and 19 fuel altereds) packed into North Star Dragway to battle for a spot in the quick 16 car field. Names included the heaviest hitters of the area like defending two time OFAA Champion Jimmy Jones, 4 time TOPMA Champion Gaylen Smith, the OFAA's most recent winner Kebin Kinsley, TOPMA's most recent event winner and ADRL stand out Doug Riesterer, Bobby Marriott, Eric Clark, Mitch King, Steve Wiley, Mary Reep, Don Wooten and many more.
With the 35 outlaw cars on the property, a field of over 75 nostalgia front engine dragsters, altereds and bracket racers also came to strut their stuff in this special two day event. This was the fourth event of the season for the Southwest Heritage Racing Association (SHRA) presented by MalloryPrint.com. Action for the SHRA series started shortly before noon on Saturday and wrapped up by five o'clock leaving the rest of the evening for the stars of the show. Odie Coker, Rob Ragland, Doug Morrison, Bill Cogswell and Sharon Godwin all took home SHRA wins in their respective classes.
By then, one Pro Mod vs. Fuel Altered qualifying session was in the books from Friday night's session. Mitch King's "Bone Bucket" held the top spot from Friday with a 3.83 at 187 mph pass in his header flaming, nitromethane burning, eye watering fuel altered. King hadn't attended an OFAA event in over two years, racing part time in the NHRA Top Fuel series as a car owner, but re-built his famous "Bone Bucket" and brought it out just for this event. Eight cars clicked off three second passes in the opening qualifying round and the quick 16 bump spot was held by Steve Wiley's "Grim Reaper" blown pro modified 1963 Corvette with a 4.36 elapsed time as the second qualifying session got underway on Saturday evening under a very hot Texas summer sky.
Bill Doucet was out first in Clayton Poole's "Wild Child" blown Corvette alongside DoDad Burton in the "Free Spirit" blown alcohol fuel altered. Doucet posted a 4.42 at 149 mph which came up just short of getting in while Burton was out of the throttle early and could only hope his 4.21 from Friday would hold up through this final qualifying session. Bobby Marriott's "Shockwave" fuel altered was outside looking in after his 3.95 from Friday night was tossed out due to a centerline violation. Marriott lined up with Don Wooten's blown 1969 Camaro pro mod, both looking to get into the field. Marriott posted a 4.11 which held for the number fourteen position while Wootton clicked off a nice 4.01 at 192 mph, good for the number eleven qualifying position.
Donnie Massey's "Showtime" nitro burning fuel altered missed his qualifying attempt after a freak accident in the staging lanes where a spectator vehicle ran over his wheelie bar, leaving Massey just one shot to get into the quick 16. Massey showed no mercy, posting a stout 3.79 at 189 mph to jump from the bottom of the qualifying list all the way to the top as the "Showtime" team claimed the number one qualifying position.
Steve Wiley, now outside looking in, posted a strong 3.95 at 180 mph in the "Grim Reaper" pro mod to secure the number nine spot and Gaylen Smith's "Bounty Hunter" blown 1957 Chevy Bel-Air made the field with his 3.94 pass from Friday night. John Broussard stepped up his Louisiana based "Purple Haze" blown fuel altered to a 4.18 at 177 mph to secure the number fifteen qualifying position, but the nitrous pro mods struggled to find the right combination and Thomas Myers, Doug Riesterer, Jim Brinkerhoff and Rodney Whatley all came up short of a spot in the quick sixteen.
Jimmy Jones, Mary Reep, Howard Farris, Donny McSwain and Kebin Kinsley all claimed a spot in the top half of the field in their fuel altereds and E.J. Hickl's blown 1941 Willys pro mod qualified number twelve with his 4.06 at 166 mph from Friday's session. Two of the quickest cars in the house, Eric Clark's blown Ford Mustang pro mod and Chris Trussell's "Assassin" nitro fuel altered, both had problems in qualifying and unfortunately missed the 4.21 bump spot which was held by DoDad Burton's blown alcohol altered. The quickest 16 cars on the property returned to the pits to prepare for what would certainly be an intense first round of eliminations.
Final Qualifying Order:
1. Donnie Massey (Little Elm, Texas) - 3.79 @ 189 (Fuel Altered)
2. Mitch King (Galveston, Texas) - 3.83 @ 187 (Fuel Altered)
3. Jimmy Jones (Cleburne, Texas) - 3.86 @ 186 (Fuel Altered)
4. Mary Reep (Austin, Texas) - 3.87 @ 184 (Fuel Altered)
5. Howard Farris (Springtown, Texas) - 3.91 @ 150 (Fuel Altered)
6. Donny McSwain (Rockwall, Texas) - 3.941 @ 192 (Fuel Altered)
7. Gaylen Smith (Mansfield, Texas) - 3.943 @ 186 (Pro Mod)
8. Kebin Kinsley (Arlington, Texas) - 3.953 @ 189 (Fuel Altered)
9. Steve Wiley (Burleson, Texas) - 3.954 @ 180 (Pro Mod)
10. Nick Poloson (Bulverde, Texas) - 3.954 @ 181 (Fuel Altered)
11. Don Wootton (Houston, Texas) - 4.01 @ 192 (Pro Mod)
12. E.J. Hickl (Van Vleck, Texas) - 4.06 @ 166 (Pro Mod)
13. Mark Bowman (Oklahoma City, OK) - 4.08 @ 175 (Fuel Altered)
14. Bobby Marriott (Pilot Point, Texas) - 4.11 @ 180 (Fuel Altered)
15. John Broussard (Lake Charles, LA) - 4.18 @ 177 (Fuel Altered)
16. DoDad Burton (Tyler, Texas) - 4.21 @ 167 (Fuel Altered)
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17. Doyle Smith (Paris, Texas) - 4.26 @ 165 (Fuel Altered)
18. Rodney Whatley (Sanger, Texas) - 4.31 @ 170 (Pro Mod)
19. Raymond Dawson (Nevada, Texas) - 4.32 @ 151 (Fuel Altered)
20. Bob Alexander (Brock, Texas) - 4.33 @ 138 (Pro Mod)
21. Jim Brinkerhoff (Keller, Texas) - 4.33 @ 160 (Pro Mod)
22. Doug Riesterer (Victoria, Texas) - 4.34 @ 169 (Pro Mod)
23. Tim Cruce (Fort Worth, Texas) - 4.37 @ 169 (Pro Mod)
24. Bill Doucet (Opelousas, LA) - 4.42 @ 149 (Pro Mod)
25. Terry Brian (New London, Texas) - 4.51 @ 133 (Fuel Altered)
26. Eric Clark (Arlington, Texas) - 4.52 @ 118 (Pro Mod)
27. Jim West (Addison, Texas) - 4.65 @ 143 (Fuel Altered)
28. Thomas Myers (Granbury, Texas) - 4.68 @ 112 (Pro Mod)
29. Ray Jaso (San Antonio, Texas) - 4.94 @ 145 (Pro Mod)
30. Chuck Poindexter (Dallas, Texas) - 4.95 @ 148 (Pro Mod)
31. Aaron Leyda (Bartlesville, OK) - 5.63 @ 81 (Fuel Altered)
32. Kevin Hargett (Dallas, Texas) - 5.96 @ 83 (Pro Mod)
33. Dennis Hendrix (Fort Worth, Texas) - 6.10 @ 76 (Pro Mod)
34. Clint Cross (Athens, Texas) - 6.91 @ 69 (Fuel Altered)
35. Chris Trussell (Canton, Texas) - No Time (Fuel Altered)
With four pro mods and twelve fuel altereds in the sixteen car field, the altereds had the car count advantage as the first pair of cars were brought to life. A capacity crowd was packed into the stands and lined up past the scoreboards at North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas to see this epic showdown. The best of the best were in the lanes and ready to destroy each other where it counted most, on the drag strip.
Nick Poloson wheeled the "Sundown" fuel altered to the starting line alongside number two qualifier Mitch King in the intimidating and OFAA elapsed time record holding "Bone Bucket" fuel altered. King came in a top contender and a runner-up to Frankie Taylor in the 2003 showdown in Sealy, Texas, ready to claim a big win here in the opening pair. Poloson knew he had to leave the line first, and that's just what he did as he took over a tenth of a second advantage off the line then posted his best run of the season with a 3.86 at 186 mph to take out Mitch King with a much quicker but loosing 3.74 at 178 mph. The margin of victory at the top end was three thousandths of a second, the closest race of the round. Continued on next page...
Nostalgia Drag World - by Chris Graves; photos by MaxCacklePhotos.com