Farris Fights To Pro Mod vs. Fuel Altered Showdown Glory
Report by Chris Graves
It's a truly one of a kind event in drag racing, an all outlaw affair with bragging rights worth millions on the line. A gathering of some of the quickest and fastest machines from across the southwest, this two day tango separates the vulnerable from the mighty and no mercy is shown for the weak. Months of anticipation, prideful rivalries and a go hard or go home approach brew an unholy concoction of horsepower that is unleashed each 4th of July weekend at North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas. It's the one and only Pro Mod vs. Fuel Altered Showdown.
The highlight of the summer for drag racing fans across North Texas, this 4th Annual running of the Pro Mod vs. Fuel Altered Showdown delivered as advertised with a jam packed outlaw hootenanny featuring the top names of the outlaw pro mod and outlaw fuel altered ranks. There are no rules, no limitations, and no restrictions. This is a true outlaw, run what you brung, heads up contest to determine who is the best of the best in the long lasted rivalry between these two types of machines.
Great view from above
We wonder who was having more fun! Love this photo.
Spawned from the first ever Pro Mod vs. Fuel Altered Showdown held in April of 2002 in Sealy, Texas, this event went cold for a decade until in 2013 event promoter Chris Graves along with North Star Dragway owner Gene Nicodemus revived the epic showdown and brought it back to life in a way no one could imagine. Fuel altereds took home the win in 2013 with Kebin Kinsley and 2014 with Howard Farris, but in 2015 Brandon Lewis scored the first win for a pro mod and was back in Texas looking to repeat his effort and even the score. A total of twelve fuel altereds and fifteen pro mods were on hand with the top twelve in each class earning a spot in a huge twenty four car first round eliminator.
Terry Brian warm-up
Highlighting Friday night's qualifying was the call outs made between three pairs of drivers prior to the event. Online smack talk and ego driven friendly jabs were common leading up to the event and this resulted in some great $500 to win match races in the second session. The first call out brought Terry Brian's "Nitro Warrior" fuel altered to the line against Brandon Lewis' "Bad Ass 57" pro modified entry in a re-match of the 2015 final round. Brian was looking for payback and he got it as his header flaming 3.96 at 146 mph took the win and cash pot over Brandon Lewis' off pace 4.32 at 127 mph.
Brandon Lewis' 57
Terry Brian at the hit
Call outs continued as Eric Clark's 1967 Ford Mustang bodied screwblown pro mod came to life up against rival Donny McSwain in the blown alcohol powered "Wild One" altered. McSwain jumped the tree and lit the red bulb while Clark had problems at the hit of the throttle. Things got more interesting as McSwain was late on the parachutes on his 192 mph pass and sent his altered into the sand trap, thankfully only causing minor damage to the front wing, not the way either planned this call out to go.
The final call out match race of Friday night brought two of the most feared cars to the line with Brandon Pesz' screwblown 1958 Corvette alongside Howard Farris' "War Wagon" nitro burning fuel altered. Both these men could dip easily into the mid three second range in this eighth mile contest. Pesz took the advantage off the starting line, but Farris quickly closed the gap with a 3.76 at 216 mph blast, which took the top qualifying position in the fuel altered ladder. Pesz lost, but with a very respectable 3.86 at 179 mph, which qualified Pesz third in the pro mod field. Call outs and two rounds of qualifying were completed with action from Ray Kelley's "Game XChange" jet dragster closing out the first day of racing.
Ray Kelley in the jet dragster
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