Southwest Junior Fuel Association
Coker Doubles Up At Ardmore & Claims Points Lead
Ardmore Dragway 8th Annual Hot Rod Reunion - Ardmore, OK
Report: Chris Graves / Photos: Bill Glover
The Southwest Junior Fuel Association thundered into Ardmore Dragway to host their fourth event of the season as a feature class of the 8th Annual Hot Rod Reunion. This was a double whammy opportunity for two racers as Odie Coker and Ken Hawkins both had a chance to claim two victories in one day. The final round of the previous event at Ardmore in May was rained out and would be made up during the second qualifying session, putting the pressure on these two racers as they battled for points in the intense heat of a southern Oklahoma summer day.
Ron Muncy came into the event as the technical points leader with a minimal four point lead over Odie Coker, these standings not counting the previous event which hadn't yet been completed. Muncy had to keep stride with Coker if he hoped to contend for the 2013 series Championship and was pulling double duty, also driving an injected altered in another category. In the first qualifying session, Coker and Hawkins set the pace as Coker's 4.67 at 148 mph led the pack and Hawkins' 4.73 at 144 mph secured the number two position.
Heading into the final qualifying session, Brian Briggs and Mike Buchanan opened the action as Briggs clicked off a 4.81 at 143 mph which qualified him fourth alongside Buchanan who used his 4.94 from the first session to qualify sixth. Mike Millsap stepped up to a 4.79 at 143 mph, good for the number three spot with Ron Muncy's 4.82 from the first session grabbing him the number five spot. Tony Patterson made his SWJFA debut at Ardmore and his best of a 5.72 at 118 rounded out the field as the last pair of the session rolled into the waterbox. Odie Coker and Ken Hawkins were set to decide a winner from the previously rained out final round and Coker owned it from start to finish. Coupling a .006 reaction time with a 4.66 at 148 mph, Coker claimed the title over Hawkins' close 4.73 at 145 which earned him the number two qualifying position and a runner up finish from the May event. Odie Coker and his Ron Ussery owned and tuned Hemi powered slingshot would lead the field into eliminations where he hoped to double up and dance to the winners circle at the Hot Rod Reunion.
Final Qualifying Order:
1. Odie Coker (Dallas, Texas) - 4.66 @ 148
2. Ken Hawkins (Pooleville, Texas) - 4.73 @ 145
3. Mike Millsap (Sachse, Texas) - 4.79 @ 143
4. Brian Briggs (Lake Charles, Louisiana) - 4.81 @ 142
5. Ron Muncy (Weatherford, Texas) - 4.82 @ 143
6. Mike Buchanan (Wichita, Kansas) - 4.94 @ 139
7. Tony Patterson (Ponca City, Oklahoma) - 5.72 @ 118
The call went out to fire up the first pair of injected front engine dragsters in the opening round of eliminations. Odie Coker laid down another strong pass with a 4.68 at 147 mph to knock out Mike Buchanan's 4.94 at 140 mph. Ron Muncy kept pace with a winning 4.84 at 143 mph, defeating newcomer Tony Patterson's 5.78 at 118 mph. In the final pair of the round, Ken Hawkins got a slight starting line advantage, the best reaction time of the round with a .035 which earned him the Hayden Enterprises "Quick Reaction Time" bonus. Hawkins then ran into issues down track and Millsap drove around for the win, posting a 4.83 at 142 to take the nod over Hawkins' 5.09 at 107 mph. Brian Briggs drew the competition bye run and would move into the semi-final with the second quickest pass of the round, a 4.81 at 143 mph.
First Round Results:
(W) Odie Coker (.037 rt) 4.68 @ 147 mph vs. (L) Mike Buchanan (.048 rt) 4.94 @ 140 mph
(W) Ron Muncy (.084 rt) 4.84 @ 143 mph vs. (L) Tony Patterson (.360 rt) 5.78 @ 118 mph
(W) Mike Millsap (.051 rt) 4.83 @ 142 mph vs. (L) Ken Hawkins (.035 rt) 5.09 @ 107 mph
(W) Brian Briggs (-.003 rt) 4.81 @ 143 mph vs. (L) Competition Bye Run
Odie Coker and Mike Millsap kicked off the semi-final round action and off the starting line Millsap took a healthy advantage with a .012 reaction time to Coker's .093. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough as the Hemi horsepower closed the gap by half-track and lit the scoreboards with a winning 4.68 at 148 mph to Millsap's 4.82 at 142 mph. Coker advanced to his third final of the season to face the winner between Ron Muncy and Brian Briggs. Muncy had to keep pace with Coker to stand a chance at the series title and he did just that, as Briggs went -.008 red off the line in what would have been the closest race of the event, both cars clicking off 4.80's at 143 mph. Muncy moved on and would now have a chance to knock out the new points leader and make up some ground in the standings.
Semi-Final Round Results:
(W) Odie Coker (.093 rt) 4.68 @ 148 mph vs. (L) Mike Millsap (.012 rt) 4.82 @ 142 mph
(W) Ron Muncy (.087 rt) 4.804 @ 143 mph vs. (L) Brian Briggs (-.008 rt) 4.806 @ 143 mph
As the sun set in over the Oklahoma skyline, after a brutally hot and humid day at Ardmore Dragway, the final call went out to fire em' up as Coker and Muncy, the top two in the points, laid down their burnouts and crept into the beams. Muncy was off the line first by a slim margin but that advantage quickly closed as Coker pulled away and took the win; his 4.68 at 147 mph drove around Muncy's 4.81 at 147 mph. Coker laid down three straight 4.68 passes in eliminations to earn him the double up victory at Ardmore and the points lead heading into the final event of the season.
Final Round Results:
(W) Odie Coker (.040 rt) 4.68 @ 147 mph vs. (L) Ron Muncy (.022 rt) 4.81 @ 147 mph
"I'd like to thank the Rob and Jim Ragland and Ardmore Dragway for the pre-race BBQ on Friday night, which was a great way to start off the weekend! I also want to thank Sullivan Motorsports for their help and especially my crew and Ronnie Ussery for giving me such a consistent racecar in the heat. It's really cool to double up here and we're looking to take this points lead into Tulsa and secure the Championship!" said Coker.
The next and final stop on the 2013 SWJFA tour takes the series to Tulsa Raceway Park and the Nitro Nationals event on Saturday, September 14th. Ron Muncy has a mathematical chance at the title, but if Coker and Ussery post another dominating outing at Tulsa like they did in Ardmore, the Championship will go to them, their first in series history! Coker now holds a 22 point lead over Muncy with Brian Briggs, Mike Buchanan and Mike Millsap rounding out the top five. The SWJFA would like to thank Smiley's Racing Products, Champion Spark Plugs, Hayden Enterprises and Hilborn Fuel Injection for their support of the 2013 racing season. For more info please visit www.swjfa.com!
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Nostalgia Drag World - Report by Chris Graves; Photos by Bill Glover MaxCacklePhotos.com