Millsap Tops In Tulsa & Coker Clinches 2013 SWJFA Championship
Tulsa Nitro Nationals - September 14th, 2013 - Tulsa, OK
Report & Photos - Chris Graves
The Southwest Junior Fuel Association held their final event of the 2013 season as a headlining act of the Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park Nitro Nationals event, on Saturday, September 14th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Eight junior fuel teams made the tow to the famed quarter mile facility joined by a plethora of other nostalgia drag racing machines at this annual event which also included the final event of the season for the DRO Nostalgia Funny Car series. A highly entertaining event was on tap as junior fuel action got started Saturday afternoon. Odie Coker entered the event the most recent winner and points leader with Ron Muncy giving chase as the series Championship would be decided here in Tulsa.
Coker wheeled his Ronnie Ussery owned and tuned Hemi-powered junior fueler to the top qualifying position with a 7.34 at 179 mph after two sessions. This, their fifth number one qualifying effort in the five race season, was enough to mathematically ensure the Ussery & Coker team's first Southwest Junior Fuel Association Series Championship! Ron Muncy qualified third with a 7.54 at 174 mph and Ken Hawkins squeezed in between at the number two spot with a strong 7.40 at 179 mph. Jimmy Scott drove the Buster Johnson owned "Texas Demon" to a 7.89 at 166 mph to qualify seventh and Tony Patterson rounded out the eight car field with a 8.93 at 147 mph in his second appearance with the series as the teams returned to the pits to prepare for their elimination rounds.
Final Qualifying Order:
1. Odie Coker (Dallas, TX) - 7.34 @ 179 mph
2. Ken Hawkins (Pooleville, TX) - 7.40 @ 179 mph
3. Ron Muncy (Weatherford, TX) - 7.54 @ 174 mph
4. Mike Millsap (Sachse, TX) - 7.55 @ 174 mph
5. Brian Briggs (Lake Charles, LA) - 7.57 @ 175 mph
6. Mike Buchanan (Wichita, KS) - 7.74 @ 170 mph
7. Jimmy Scott (Los Angeles, CA) - 7.89 @ 166 mph
8. Tony Patterson (Ponca City, OK) - 8.93 @ 147 mph
Mike Millsap and Mike Buchanan kicked off the opening round of eliminations for the SWJFA series. Buchanan's unfortunately car was leaking fuel from the fuel tank after the burnout and officials signaled him to shutoff, while Millsap soloed to a winning 7.54 at 174 mph. Next up, Jimmy Scott looked to upset number one qualifier and points leader Odie Coker. Coker's car was also unable to fire due to a failed magneto, as Scott soloed to a winning 12.34 at 156 mph. Ken Hawkins rolled out next in the Charlie Smith owned "Whiz Kids" entry alongside Ron Muncy. Hawkins blasted off the line first with a .015 light (earning him the Hayden Enterprises "Quick Reaction Time" bonus) and never looked back, clicking off a career best 7.36 at 179 mph to Muncy's 7.53 at 174 mph. In the final pair of the opening round, Brian Briggs Louisiana based injected slingshot lit the scoreboards with a 7.56 at 174 mph to advance over Tony Patterson's 9.02 at 145 mph.
First Round Results:
(W) Mike Millsap (.108 rt) 7.54 @ 174 mph vs. (L) Buchanan (No Time - Broke)
(W) Jimmy Scott (-.355 rt) 12.34 @ 156 mph vs. (L) Odie Coker (No Time - Broke)
(W) Ken Hawkins (.015 rt) 7.36 @ 179 mph vs. (L) Ron Muncy (.073 rt) 7.53 @ 174 mph
(W) Brian Briggs (.257 rt) 7.56 @ 174 mph vs. (L) Tony Patterson (.357 rt) 9.02 @ 145 mph
Semi-final action got underway with Jimmy Scott and Brian Briggs pulling to the line. Briggs tossed away a career best 7.50 at 175 mph with an unfortunate -.008 red light, as Scott's 7.85 at 167 mph advanced to their team's first SWJFA final round for team owner Buster Johnson. Mike Millsap was out next set to take on Ken Hawkins. Millsap's car failed to start and Hawkins and company not only waited with the engine running, but also loaned their starter to Mike's crew to get his car successfully fired. After quick short burnouts, Millsap took a huge starting line advantage and needed it all as his 7.53 at 174 mph upset Hawkins' quicker but loosing 7.47 at 175 mph. Millsap earned the "Hilborn Injection Holeshot" bonus and was advancing to his first series final in almost two years as we were guaranteed new face in the winners circle this year in the SWJFA at Tulsa.
Semi-Final Round Results:
(W) Jimmy Scott (.123 rt) 7.85 @ 167 mph vs. (L) Brian Briggs (-.008 rt) 7.50 @ 175 mph
(W) Mike Millsap (.027 rt) 7.53 @ 174 mph vs. (L) Ken Hawkins (.156 rt) 7.47 @ 175 mph
The call went out to fire up the final round as Millsap and Scott did their burnouts and rolled to the line to decide a winner of the Nitro Nationals in Tulsa. Scott hoped to take his first SWJFA win back to California while Millsap looked to take the "Sachse Rod Shop" dragster to the winners circle for the first time since Shreveport of 2011. Millsap was out first and held the lead from start to finish, posting a 7.52 at 174 mph to take the event win over Scott's 7.84 at 168 mph.
Final Round Results:
(W) Mike Millsap (.015 rt) 7.52 @ 174 mph vs. (L) Jimmy Scott (.052 rt) 7.84 @ 168 mph
"I want to thank my dad Frank and my daughter Faith for their help and support! Terry Coker and Gilley Obregon also for their help on the crew this weekend. I'm glad the SWJFA can be a part of such a great race as the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa and we look forward to being back. Thanks to all the series sponsors: Hilborn Fuel Injection, Hayden Enterprises, Champion Spark Plugs, Smiley's Racing Products and PRM Performance. The car ran great and that made driving a lot easier, it was a great weekend for our team," said Millsap.
Millsap claimed his first win of the season in the final SWJFA points race of the year. Odie Coker and the Ron Ussery owned and tuned machine held onto their points lead despite an early exit in round one, claiming their team's first SWJFA Championship. Congratulations to both finalists and the Champion on their successes at Tulsa! The 2013 SWJFA season is now in the books and the series would like to thank Smiley's Racing Products, Champion Spark Plugs, Hayden Enterprises and Hilborn Fuel Injection for their support!
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Nostalgia Drag World - Report & Photos by Chris Graves MaxCacklePhotos.com