Smith & Hawkins Go Big In Bowling Green
by SWJFA Media
The second stop on the Lubrication Engineers Inc., Southwest Junior Fuel Association tour landed the series in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the 12th Annual Holley Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway Park. In past seasons, the SWJFA series cars competed in a non-points format but this year's event was for series points and the pressure was on to see who could take home the pride of winning such a prestigious event. Six cars composed the junior fuel field and after two qualifying sessions, Ken Hawkins wheeled the "Whiz Kids" injected slingshot owned and tuned by Charlie Smith to the top spot with a strong 7.355 at 179 mph. Points leader and defending event and series Champion Odie Coker clicked off a 7.357 at 179 mph to qualify second in the Ron Ussery owned and tuned Hemi powered dragster. Brian Briggs made his first appearance in Bowling Green all the way from Lake Charles, Louisiana and rounded out the top half of the field heading into eliminations with a 7.52 at 175 mph.
Final Qualifying Order:
1. Ken Hawkins (Pooleville, TX) - 7.355 @ 179
2. Odie Coker (Dallas, TX) - 7.357 @ 179
3. Brian Briggs (Lake Charles, LA) - 7.52 @ 175
4. Steve Dunkin (Aledo, TX) - 7.54 @ 175
5. Mike Millsap (Sachse, TX) - 7.58 @ 173
6. Mike Buchanan (Wichita, KS) 8.66 @ 157
(L-R) Steve Dunkin (Aledo, TX) - Brian Biggs (Lake Charles, LA); photos by MaxCacklePhotos.com
Saturday's first round of eliminations brought some great racing to the line in front of a capacity crowd. Ken Hawkins was set to match-up with Mike Buchanan, but mechanical issues kept the Kansan from making the call as Hawkins clicked off a 7.43 at 177 mph to advance. Brian Briggs came to the line next along side Steve Dunkin. Dunkin stepped up to a 7.44 at 176 mph to take the nod over Briggs' red lighting 7.48 at 176 mph. In the final pair, Mike Millsap pulled the upset win over Odie Coker as Coker lost traction at the hit, pedaled it, but wasn't able to run down Millsap's 7.56 at 173 mph.
First Round Results:
(W) Ken Hawkins (.038 rt) 7.43 @ 177 vs. (L) Mike Buchanan (No Time - Broke)
(W) Steve Dunkin (.056 rt) 7.44 @ 176 vs. (L) Brian Briggs (-.177 rt) 7.48 @ 176
(W) Mike Millsap (.040 rt) 7.56 @ 173 vs. (L) Odie Coker (.069 rt) 7.69 @ 180
(L-R) Mike Millsap (Sachse, TX) - Odie Coker (Dallas, TX); photos by MaxCacklePhotos.com
(L-R) Mike Buchanan (Wichita, KS) - Ken Hawkins (Pooleville, TX); photos by MaxCackle.com
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