Outlaw Fuel Altered Finals at San Antonio Raceway
by Paul Caster
My daughter, Kriste Caster Hale, and I headed south, bound for Seguin, Texas from the Texas-Oklahoma border at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, October 10. Big mistake… as this was Texas/OU weekend at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and Baylor was to play TCU in Waco on Saturday. Combine this with highway construction and more construction from north of Ft. Worth nearly to Georgetown. It was like living a really bad nightmare! We finally made it to Seguin around 6:00 p.m. and got checked in at the motel. We did, however, have a great dad and daughter dinner at a local eatery and enjoyed our conversation very much. Did I mention it was 95 degrees (extremely hot for south Texas on October 10th) when we arrived in Seguin? But wait…this is Texas, if you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes.
Remember what I just said about the weather? Stepping out from the motel room Saturday morning about 8:00 a.m. I was hit with a very strong north wind, temps in the low 60s and very low, heavy clouds. Ten minutes later the rains came. Who’s going to let a little cold and rain dampen our spirits on race day? Not Us! By the time we hit the track around noon the weather had improved, the track itself was dry (thanks to the wind) but the pits had some large puddles. The great track crew at San Antonio Raceway were already working hard on clearing the water from the pits for the racers. Many of the OFAA bunch had arrived on Friday and were already set up and waiting to unload their cars.
With the weather now cooperating, bracket racing kicked off about 2:00 p.m. and we never looked back, with numerous dragsters, altereds and door cars, running qualifying rounds and laying down some rubber for the main event.
This was the eighth and final event of the 2014 season for the Painless Performance Outlaw Fuel Altereds. The points leader up to this race was Jimmy Jones and the “Tremor” AA/FA team with a one point advantage over John Broussard and his team’s “Purple Haze” AA/FA. Jimmy, the defending champion three times over, was hungry for his fourth OFAA championship in a row. The “Purple Haze” team, led by Papa Kevin Broussard with son John in the seat, had other ideas and were not going to make it easy for Jimmy and team “Tremor.” First round of qualifying kicked off at 6.00 p.m.
An added bonus at the event was local favorite Donnie Anderson with his beautiful “Summer of Love” AA/FD. Donnie made a couple of test hits but the track was not cooperating. No big deal, though, and we all had a great time celebrating Donnie’s birthday, with cake and plenty of good old Texas-style “male bovine fecal matter,” more commonly known as…well you get the picture. When you are at a race in Texas, hip waders are always required and never let the truth get in the way of a good drag racing story!
After two qualifying rounds, John Broussard and team "Purple Haze" of Lake Charles, Louisiana found themselves atop the charts with a 4.00 at 175 mph to take their fourth top qualifying effort of the season. Jones qualified fourth with a 4.10 at 146 mph in the "Texas Tremor" entry. With qualifying position points plugged in, Broussard now led the chase by just two points heading into the first round of eliminations.
Bobby Marriott's "Shockwave" nitro burner clicked off a 4.01 at 171 mph to qualify second and Mary Reep's "Grim Reeper" team laid down a 4.07 at 146 mph to qualify third. Raymond Dawson's "High Octane" rounded out the top five but a mechanical issue sidelined Dawson early. Dawson was joined by Doyle Smith and Donny McSwain - all out before first round with mechanical issues. Doyle Smith suffered the most damage when he pushed a pinion out of the front of the housing. The rpm’s went to 11,700 (not a good thing for a Hemi), nipped some intake valves and exploded the blower and injector hat (see photos of the damage). With eight cars remaining in competition, the call went out to bring them to the lanes for first round eliminations where the two quickest winners would advance to the final round.
Final Qualifying Order:
1. John Broussard (Lake Charles, LA) - 4.00 @ 175
2. Bobby Marriott (Pilot Point, TX) - 4.01 (3.988) @ 171
3. Mary Reep (Austin, TX) - 4.07 @ 146
4. Jimmy Jones (Cleburne, TX) - 4.10 @ 146
5. Raymond Dawson (Nevada, TX) - 4.210 @ 146
6. Mark Bowman (Oklahoma City, OK) - 4.219 @ 170
7. DoDad Burton (Tyler, TX) - 4.25 @ 111
8. Nick Poloson (Bulverde, TX) - 4.32 @ 162
9. Donny McSwain (Rockwall, TX) - 4.36 @ 130
10. Doyle Smith (Paris, TX) - 4.75 @ 106
11. Randy Mueller (San Antonio, TX) - 4.76 @ 127
Up first, none other than Jimmy Jones who would take on hometown boy Nick Poloson in the "Sundown" entry owned and tuned by Tom Wood. Poloson had struggled in qualifying but is fully capable of three second passes. Jones showed no mercy, however, as he took the starting line advantage and never trailed, posting a 4.05 at 177 mph to Poloson's off-pace 7.47. This put Jones back in the points lead for now with John Broussard sitting in the water box alongside Randy Mueller.
Mueller was in his first event with the OFAA series and would make headlines with a major upset here if he put Broussard on the trailer. Mueller took a slight starting line jump but Broussard quickly closed the gap and pulled away with a winning 4.03 at 174 mph to Mueller's 5.51. Broussard now re-gained the lead by two points but with a handful of heavy hitting cars still to go would his 4.03 and Jones 4.05 hold for a trip to the finals? Mary Reep had other plans, though. Reep always runs strong in San Antonio and clicked off the quickest pass of the event with a stellar 3.88 at 183 mph to take out DoDad Burton's 4.15 at 170 mph. Reep made history on this run, as her 3.88 bumped Jones from a final round appearance which in turn locked up the 2014 OFAA Championship for John Broussard and company. Broussard became the youngest driver to clinch the Championship and ninth driver in the eighteen year history of the series.
One pair remained in the first round of eliminations as Bobby Marriott and Mark Bowman lined up for battle. Bowman's "Blown Income" entry is fresh off a solid outing at NorthStar Dragway where he ran his first three second pass and took the advantage off the starting line against Marriott. By half-track, Marriott and Bowman were side by side but at the stripe Marriott's 4.10 at 177 mph took the nod over Bowman's 4.17 at 166 mph. Reep's 3.88 and Broussard's 4.03 held up for a trip to the final round as Broussard now had the chance to cap off a Championship season with a win at the last event, but Reep and company were hungry and had the performance advantage entering the final round.
First Round Results:
(W) Jimmy Jones (.023 rt) 4.05 @ 177 vs. (L) Nick Poloson (.060 rt) 7.47 @ 104
(W) John Broussard (.093 rt) 4.03 @ 174 vs. (L) Randy Mueller (.079 rt) 5.51 @ 106
(W) Mary Reep (.121 rt) 3.88 @ 183 vs. (L) DoDad Burton (.130 rt) 4.15 @ 170
(W) Bobby Marriott (.098 rt) 4.10 @ 177 vs. (L) Mark Bowman (.030 rt) 4.17 @ 166
The pressure was off the "Purple Haze" team with the Championship locked up but now crew chief Kevin Broussard had to find a way to put his son in the winner’s circle against Reep - the quickest and fastest car of the field. After their burnouts the cars crept to the line and crew chiefs made their final adjustments before sending their drivers to the beams. At the flash of the amber bulbs, Broussard blasted off the line first but immediately spun the tires, while Reep thundered to a solid 3.97 at 182 mph to secure the "Grim Reeper" team their first win of the season. Congratulations to both teams on their accomplishments in San Antonio and to Jimmy Jones on a hard fought Championship battle.
Final Round Results:
(W) Mary Reep (.070 rt) 3.97 @ 182 vs. (L) John Broussard (.024 rt) 7.16 @ 61
(Mary Reep - Winners Circle)
Mary Reep became the seventh different winner in eight races this season, an amazing stat considering how tough the competition is in the series. Yet again, the Painless Performance Products Outlaw Fuel Altered Championship came down to the elimination rounds of the final race. It was a real treat to see these drivers do battle across the southwest this season and next year will surely bring more of the same. Congratulations to the "Purple Haze" team and young gun John Broussard on a well-deserved title.
The OFAA racers and fans would like to thank Painless Performance Products, Good Vibrations Motorsports, Napa Auto Parts of North Texas, North Texas Diesel, Competition Sales of Dallas and Wizard's Warehouse for their support this season.
(John Broussard - 2014 OFAA Champion)
San Antonio Bonus Winners:
Good Vibrations Quick Reaction Time - Jimmy Jones
Napa Auto Parts "We Got There Fast!" Top MPH Bonus – Mary Reep
North Texas Diesel's "Quickest Non-Finalist" - Jimmy Jones
Competition Sales of Dallas / Brad Penn
"Luck of the Draw" - Nick Poloson
Competition Sales of Dallas / Sunoco Race Fuels
"Luck of the Draw" - Mark Bowman
I have to say, this is the best group of racers I have ever been associated with. There is not one person in this group who wouldn’t be willing to help or loan parts to another, even if they were slated to run them the next round. They all tell me the same thing over and over, that “racing these events is a mini vacation for me, my crew and family.” They are there to race, but above all, they’re also there to enjoy themselves and each other; the camaraderie within this group is nothing short of phenomenal. Special thanks to Bobby & Nancy Marriott for putting this group together and keeping it going for eighteen years. Thanks to all the OFAA members for allowing me to be part of this great family.
One thing is an absolute: you will never go hungry or thirsty at an OFAA event. The after-race parties are truly something to behold. This party (another story waiting to be told!) was a little exceptional due to crowning a new OFAA Champion, John Broussard, and with Mary Reep winning her first event of the 2014 season.
One last thing before I shut up: Congratulations to “Tera Wendland Graves” for a job well done in achieving her Nostalgia Funny Car license in John Hale’s “Big Mike Burkhart” - tribute nitro Nostalgia Funny Car. Also, rumor has it…(and remember you heard it here first in the action-packed pages of Nostalgia Drag World magazine)…Tera may be in the seat of a bad-a$$, nitro-burning AA/FA next season, based in the Denton, Texas area. Stay tuned on this developing story, guy’s & gals!
Special thanks to Chris Graves (aka Max Cackle Photos) for his help co-writing this article.
Paul Caster (aka Big Kahuna Speed Shots)
Continued on next page...
Nostalgia Drag World - Report and photos by Paul Caster - Big Kahuna Speed Shots
<<<PREVIOUS PAGE NEXT PAGE>>>