SPRING NOSTALGIA NATIONALS
by Paul Caster and OFAA Media
The Spring Nostalgia Nationals held April 5th at NorthStar Dragway in Denton, Texas is now in the record books. The weather was not the greatest as the day started very overcast with a strong south wind in the low 40’s. The weather did start cooperating around 5:00 p.m. when the sun finally broke through, but when it blinked out and darkness hit it quickly fell into the upper 40’s again. That being said, the weather was certainly good for the nitro cars as when wet got to the track about noon the air was at 600’ corrected (not too shabby for north central Texas weather!).
I want to throw some kudos out to the OFAA (Outlaw Fuel Altereds) sponsored by Painless Performance and glued together by Bobby Lee and Nancy Marriott; also to the SHRA (Southwest Heritage Racing Association) sponsored by Al Mallory of Mallory print.com. Special thanks goes out to Chris Graves at maxcacklephotos.com and to his beautiful bride (and one tough F.E.D driver!), Tera Wendland Graves. I can’t say enough about the OFAA, SHRA, the dedicated crew and owner Gene Nicodemus of NorthStar Dragway and all the dedicated racers that make these events so great. If you hear the OFAA or SHRA will be at a track near you, please go and show your support for the track and all the hard-working racers that put on a great show for the fans. These racers are very approachable so take the time to stop and introduce yourself and visit with them; most also will have hero cards to hand out.
By the way, if you see me wondering around the pits with my Nostalgia Drag World I.D. and a camera hanging around my neck, please stop me and say hello. I tend to harp on this, but please support the nostalgia drag racing movement and Nostalgia Drag World magazine. Special thanks to Martin Libhart, our associate publisher and director of photography, for driving from Kansas and braving the cold to shoot pictures with Steve Scott and me, in the pits and on the guardrail. I also had the pleasure of meeting Les Mayhew of Nitro America last night and had a good visit with him on the guardrail during a short break in the action.
Did I mention action? The first pair of fuel altereds for the first qualifying session to make it to the starting line we’re none other than Dodad Burton and Bobby Lee Marriott. Both took the green with great reaction times, but Dodad found himself being pulled to the centerline finally crossing into Bobby Lee’s lane. Quick thinking and help from the brakes by Bobby kept the two cars separated. In the second session of qualifying, Dodad ran his personal best ever, a 4.08. Congratulations to him and his team. The “Outlaw Junkie” AA/FA was purchased by Raymond Austin at the end of last season and stayed in form with Kebin Kinsley still handling the shoe duties. They ran low E.T. and top speed of the meet with a 3.71 at 202 mph. The track temperature was very cold, but most of the fuel altereds as well as the SHRA cars did a terrific job of getting down the track with good numbers to light up the scoreboards.
Bowman Earns First OFAA Win at Season Opener
The 2014 Painless Performance Products Outlaw Fuel Altered Association season kicked off in fine style at the North Star Dragway "Spring Nostalgia Nationals" in Denton, Texas on Saturday, April 5th. OFAA teams were amped up and eager to his the strip after being cooped up over an unusually long and cold winter in the southwest. 2013 series Champion Jimmy Jones and the "Texas Tremor" team aimed to start off the season with the points lead, but would have their hands full against the hungry competition as teams warmed up their machines in preparation for the first passes of the season.
The "Sundown" team of Wood & Poloson debuted a brand new 1948 Fiat body on their blown alcohol entry which turned many heads in the pits as they rolled it out of the trailer. Bobby Marriott and team "Shockwave" also debuted a top secret new look on their nitro burner. The pits were packed with nitro hungry spectators and over 100 nostalgia drag racing machines as the Southwest Heritage Racing Association classes got the action started before the wicked fuel altereds took the stage for their two rounds of qualifying.
The opening pair featured DoDad Burton's "Free Spirit" lined up with Bobby Marriott's new look "Shockwave" entry as all eyes were on Burton as the ambers dropped and the cars blasted off the starting line. Burton had his hands full as the car went straight for the centerline. Despite lifting and giving it all he could in the cockpit, Burton's machine crossed the centerline and ended up directly in front of Marriott, who caught the action out of the corner of his eye and thankfully lifted just in time. The cars did not touch and after all the spectators picked their jaws up off the ground, qualifying action continued as Burton and Marriott exited the track safely at the top end.
Donnie Massey blasted to a strong 3.87 at 186 mph in the flame throwing "Showtime" machine while Kebin Kinsley posted a clean 3.90 at 192 mph in the "Nitro Junkie" entry. Jimmy Jones clicked off a 4.05 at 169 mph and Raymond Dawson's "High Octane" car posted a 4.06 at 175 mph. Nick Poloson had a wild pass as during the first run with the new body when the front windshield blew out about halfway down the track. Poloson kept his foot in it and posted a 4.38 at 160 mph. Donnie McSwain rounded out the top five after the first session with a 4.13 at 173 in his "Wild One" blown alcohol ride as the teams returned to the pits for the final qualifier.
In the second and final qualifying session, John Broussard and team "Purple Haze" posted a 3.97 at 184 mph to secure their spot in the field. Bobby Marriott made a clean lap with a 4.09 at 176 mph to claim the number five qualifying spot. John Broussard ended up claiming the first top qualifier of the year and would lead the field into eliminations. Parts attrition took its toll on several entries as five cars were unexpectedly sidelined including Mary Reep, Raymond Dawson, Donnie Massey, Doyle Smith and Donny McSwain. The seven cars left standing were paired up for the first round of eliminations.
Final Qualifying Order:
1. John Broussard (Lake Charles, La) - 4.02 (3.97) @ 184 mph
2. Jimmy Jones (Cleburne, Texas) - 4.05 @ 169 mph
3. Raymond Dawson (Nevada, Texas) - 4.06 @ 175 mph
4. Donny McSwain (Rockwall, Texas) - 4.09 @ 170 mph
5. Bobby Marriott (Pilot Point, Texas) - 4.09 @ 176 mph
6. Kebin Kinsley (Arlington, Texas) - 4.12 (3.87) @ 178 mph
7. Donnie Massey (Little Elm, Texas) - 4.12 (3.87) @ 186 mph
8. Mark Bowman (Oklahoma City, Ok) - 4.27 @ 169 mph
9. Nick Poloson (San Antonio, Texas) - 4.33 @ 157 mph
10. DoDad Burton (Tyler, Texas) - 4.48 @ 161 mph
11. Doyle Smith (Paris, Texas) - 7.12 @ 74 mph
12. Mary Reep (Austin, Texas) - No Time
DoDad Burton rolled out first on a competition single to start the round and laid down a career best 4.08 at 175 mph to take the first round win of the season. Next out, Mark Bowman's "Blown Income" entry lined up with the "Purple Haze" machine of John Broussard. Broussard was off the line first with a .009 reaction time but was forced to lift while Bowman blasted to a solid 4.04 at 179 mph to take the win. Jimmy Jones and Nick Poloson pulled to the beams in the next pairing of powerhouse blown alcohol entries. Jones jumped the gun and went red off the starting line, while Poloson cruised to a 4.15 at 173 mph to take out the defending series Champ. In the final pair of the round, Bobby Marriott and Kebin Kinsley brought their nitro burning machines to the line. Kinsley had Marriott covered but was disqualified as Marriott took the win with a 4.02 at 185 mph. Marriott's 4.02 and Bowman's 4.04 held as the quickest first round winners of the opening round which advanced them to the final!
First Round Results:
(W) DoDad Burton (.632 rt) 4.08 @ 175 mph vs. (L) Competition Bye Run
(W) Mark Bowman (.028 rt) 4.04 @ 179 mph vs. (L) John Broussard (.009 rt) 5.17 @ 143 mph
(W) Nick Poloson (-.014 rt) 4.15 @ 173 mph vs. (L) Jimmy Jones (-.122 rt) 5.05 @ 95 mph
(W) Bobby Marriott (.107 rt) 4.02 @ 185 mph vs. (L) Kebin Kinsley (.098 rt) 3.71 @ 202 mph
Mark Bowman was advancing to his first OFAA final round while Marriott looked to end a winless streak dating back to September of 2011. One thing was certain; the winner would be one happy fuel altered driver after this one as the call went out to bring them to the lanes to get strapped in for the final round. Despite a heavy storm moving in quickly, the event stayed dry throughout the day and with cold temperatures setting in, the track was a bit tricky for the last dance of the night.
After their burnouts the crew chiefs pulled their drivers to the line and made their final adjustments. Marriott blasted off the line just a tick early with a -.021 red light, then went into tire shake. Bowman was off the line with a .019 light and the car skated around at half track, Bowman pedaling his way to his first career OFAA victory with a wild 4.54 at 155 mph as the "Blown Income" team celebrated on the starting line.
Final Round Results:
(W) Mark Bowman (.019 rt) 4.54 @ 155 mph vs. (L) Bobby Marriott (-.021 rt) 8.91 @ 50 mph
"I really want to thank my crew. Without their hard work, we couldn't do this! We were literally putting the car back together Friday night before the race and then drove down Saturday morning. We are tickled to take home our first OFAA win and want to recognize our sponsors Jackson Auto Parts and Machine and RPM Performance. We're looking forward to the next race next month in Ardmore," said Bowman.
Mark Bowman leads the Painless Performance Products points standings heading into the second event of the season, May 24th at Ardmore Dragway's "White Walls & Drags" event. The OFAA would like to thank their title sponsor Painless Performance Products, as well as bonus program sponsors Napa Auto Parts Stores of North Texas, Good Vibrations Motorsports, North Texas Diesel, Competition Sales of Dallas and Wizard's Warehouse.