Eddyville Raceway Park once again hosted the World Fuel Altered Nationals the third weekend of August. This event has become a must-see race, and was host this year to 20 fuel altereds from across the Midwest. With improvements to the track surface and facility this past year, expectations ran high for some fast and competitive racing, and we were not disappointed.
The Eddyville facility is situated in the beautiful Iowa countryside, midway between Oskaloosa and Ottumwa. And for those that don’t recall, Ottumwa was the ‘home’ of Radar O’Reilly in the long-running M.A.S.H. television series. The track is 1/8 mile, with the shutdown terminating on the backstretch of a small paved oval track. Miss the turn during shutdown and you will find yourself mowing an adjacent cornfield, as some will confess.
Qualifying rounds for the altereds were held Friday evening and during the day Saturday, with elimination rounds beginning on Saturday at 6 p.m. As with many such events, the top 16 qualifiers were divided into two 8-car fields – with the quickest 8 being in the A Field, and the remaining 8 cars making up the B Field.
After qualifications were complete, the top qualifier was Jim Dickey driving his “My Favorite Charity III”. His top qualifying run was 3.968/185.80 mph. Qualifying second was Roger “Radar” Lechtenberg in the “Nitro Madness” car owned by Scott and Peggy Gaulter. Lechtenberg tripped the lights at 4.039/178.93 mph.
Elimination rounds saw some surprises, with both Jim Dickey and Roger Lechtenberg going out fairly early. Additionally, a much-anticipated race between Howard Knowles’ “Psycho Therapy” and the “Wild Rat” belonging to Greg Lippard ended in disappointment when the Knowles car sat at the line much too
long as Lippard tried to get the reverser to engage. The result was tire spin at the hit for Knowles, followed by a spectacular belch of nitro flames from the headers. Lippard won, as Knowles coasted through the lights. The championship final for the ‘A’ field was won by Scott Dominguez (4.10/175.23) over John McDonald (4.37/161.99).
Scott Dominguez out of Garden City, CO. Scott was the eventual champion of the ‘A’ field of altereds, running a 4.108/175.23 mph.
John McDonald in the “Booze Brothers” fuel altered. John was the runner-up in the ‘A’ field final, with a losing 4.374/161.99 mph to Scott Dominguez and his 4.108/175.23 mph pass.
In the ‘B’ field final, Bill Seals (4.51/152.34) won a close one over Don Wilcox (4.54/152.85). Wilcox actually beat Seals off the line, but a slight loss of traction at half-track cost him the win.
Bill Seals in “Sudden Debt”. Bill was the eventual champion in the ‘B’ field of altereds with an extremely close win,
running a 4.51/152.34 mph.
“Diamond Don” Wilcox, in his “Show Me Thunder” altered. Wilcox is a consistent driver and threat on the track, and was the eventual runner-up in the ‘B’ field of cars, running 4.54/152.85 mph, but losing a very close one to Bill Seals who ran 4.51/152.34 mph.
Butch Patrick was the Grand Marshal of this year’s event. Patrick played Eddie Munster in the long-running “The Munsters" TV series. Patrick now owns the 2 famous cars from the program, and staged a re-creation of the memorable drag race between Herman Munster and Grandpa.
The track officials at Eddyville always do a great job of keeping things moving, with the final elimination rounds completed prior to 11 p.m. Saturday evening. If you’ve never attended this event, don’t wait any longer. The traditional date is the 3rd weekend in August. See you there next year!