Time Machine Nationals and much more from Great Lakes Dragaway
by MoPar Mike Schwartz
This year, Great Lakes Dragaway hosted three BIG Vintage/ Nostalgia Drag events with their 57th Annual OLYMPICS of Drag Racing on Memorial Day weekend, the 56th birthday of their biggest yearly event - the TIME MACHINE Nationals on Labor Day weekend and a brand new event - the DINOSAUR Nationals in July.
Mike Schwartz (Skinny Mike '67 FE Dragster) & Kenny Thatcher (Exterminator II Fiat Altered & President of America's 1320s) pumped up GLD's fields or competitors this year by inviting the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Cars and Great Lakes Gassers to attend all three events.
Vintage & Nostalgia Drag Cars started off the summer at the OLYMPICS Of Drag Racing with (4) Funny Cars representing the GLNFCC (Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit), (14) Front Engine Dragsters & Altereds in America's 1320s, (8) Vintage Great Lakes Gassers, at least (16) cars from Nostalgia Super Stocks, Inc. along with Pro Mods from the Chicago Wise Guys and a handful of Nitro FCs, FEDs and Jet Cars for the Grand Finale! • GLNFCC cars included Monty Stotz in his 'Blue Thunde'r '69 Camaro running a career best 7.065 @ 196, the Horvath family's 'Damn Yankee' Vega driven by son Mark who also ran a 7.065 @ 191, Rocky Ausec's 'Solid Rock' Mustang and the Hallet family's 'Shyster' Corvette driven by Nick Tilley. • America's 1320s ran low to mid 8s with the Injected Alky cars of Kenny Thatcher 8.01 @ 165 and Billy Fuesting 8.49 @ 156 and ran consistent 8s & 9s with member's Small Block Alky or Big Block Gas FE Dragsters & Altereds. • Everybody knew some of the Nostalgia Super Stocks were hiding NOS bottles when they ran 9s & low 10s (ha ha ha), but most ran the usual 11s & 12s on straight racing gas.
Vintage/Nostalgia Drag Cars poured into Great Lakes Dragaway for the Brand New DINOSAUR Nationals with (6) GLNFCC Funny Cars including Rocky Ausec's 'Solid Rock' Mustang, Monty Stotz 'Blue Thunder' '69 Camaro, Mark Horvath's 'Damn Yankee' Vega, John Troxel's 'MoPar Crazy' (formerly the original Funny Honey) Challenger driven by Chris Schneider and Jerry Streb's 'Dazed & Confused' Camaro. (14) front Engine Dragsters & Altereds from America's 1320s showed up in their usual Old School style with best runs going to Kenny Thatcher's Big Block Injected Alky Fiat posting a 7.70 @ 171. Schwartz's 'Skinny Mike' '67 Boxed Chute Tail FED ran a 9.2 @ 147 with an all-steel '67 Chrysler 440 Six Pack on Gas and Dan Sheehan ran a best 8.96 @ 145 with his Injected, Alky BB Chevy powered Fiat. The Great Lakes Gassers had a full 16 car field and were a track owner favorite. They're cars included '41 Willys Coupes & Pickups, Henry Js, Shoe Box Chevies and a whole host of early '60s cars with Big Blocks - ALL with Straight Axles.
GLD's TIME MACHINE Nationals did not come of like anybody had originally planned. The GLNFCC elected to pass on GLD's third event in favor of a better booking. The Great Lakes Gassers passed on the event too, as their membership were tired of long trips to tracks far away from their homes in Ohio & Michigan. America's 1320s were there regardless with 16 cars with some new members bringing some Super Cars like Freddie Michaels DON'S sponsored Fiat running a Sprint style (injected into the cylinder head) Alky Chevy and clicking off a best 8.14 @ 159. • Front Engine Dragsters were at this show in force! John & Jayson Metler brought out an original FED built in 1968 and only run thru 1971 - it had been parked ever since. Bob & Andy Riley and Tony Rea were running their late '60s Full Tin FEDs along with Kenny Hubatch, Pat Lamont, Skinny Mike, Gene Ritchie and the Duban family rail. Bob Huberty in his late '50s era Flathead Rail performed at all three shows.
Nostalgia Drag World – by Michael G. Schwartz; photos by Peter Ores Ores Action Photography
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