Southeast Gassers Season Opener
Greer Dragway April 30, 2016
By Stephen Smith - Photos by Doug Trenholm
April 30, 2016, the Southeast Gassers Association opened the season at none other than the legendary Greer Dragway. Since 1958 Greer Dragway in Greer, South Carolina, has been a staple drag strip in the upstate area.
A short 5 years ago a couple of period correct gassers held a heavily smack talked grudge event. Quain Stott (2006 IHRA Pro Mod Champion) and legendary painter and hot rod builder Greg Porter of Hwy123 Speed Shop squared off in a gasser war grudge match that started it all!
(L) Greg Porter - (R) Quain Stott
Fast forward to April 30, 2016, 35 period correct gassers (as close to 1967 as the Quain Stott rules demand) raced in front of the largest crowd ever at Greer Dragway. The record crowd was conservatively estimated to be from 14 different states along with many foreign languages being heard throughout the stands.
Two classes of A/gas and C/gas cars battled it out after two rounds of qualifying for two 16 car ladders. The field consisted of cars from as far away as Iowa and Michigan to do battle in the Palmetto State. Fan favorites and YouTube sensations, the Skull Garage family, paired up for the first time. As "Big Daddy" Dale Wilson approached the line against his son Justin Wilson, he couldn't help but think of this moment as being a dream come true for him and his son. "I had tears in my eyes on the line. I couldn't see very well and I red lighted. I'm a lucky man. I hope we get to do it again in Knoxville!"
Justin Wilson in "Calamity Jane" and his father, Dale Wilson, in "Bad Penney"
2015 Champion Donovan Stott would learn a hard lesson in a quarterfinals round against Greg Porter in the "Night Stalker", '55 Chevy. After Donovan's hole shot and win against Porter, the Champ forgot to cross the scales on his way back to the pit area and was disqualified. The "Night Stalker" said it best, "He treed me and I scaled him!”
At the end of the day two main event winners were rightly awarded for their success. Shannon Smith in his "Pale Rider" '55 Chevy would win his first ever A/Gas main event at the famed 1/8 mile. Shannon shocked everyone with a clean stripped version of the popular '55 after removing all the "Pale Rider" graphics. As a plain sleeper look, Shannon referenced it as "Grandma's Chevy". Well don't look for Grandma to change her paint scheme anytime soon!
A/Gas Finals - Kenneth Phillips vs Shannon Smith
A/Gas Winner - Shannon Smith
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