Team "Shockwave" & Ronny Young Rise to the Occasion
at North Star Dragway
Recap: Chris Graves - Photos Chris Graves, Tera Graves, Wes Ramsey, Steve Scott
The Outlaw Fuel Altered Association, presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Lone Star Forklift, busted through the gates of North Star Dragway on Saturday, August 19th for the Summer Night of Fire! This was the third of six races on the season and coming into the event, Nick Poloson and Ken Singleton were tied for the points lead with Bobby Marriott just one point behind in third. A 13 car field of Outlaw Fuel Altereds were on hand to bruise the North Star Dragway eighth mile under the lights on a very humid summer afternoon in North Texas. With a great crowd on hand, it was time to put some fire in the pipes as qualifying got underway.
Clint Cross Warm Up
In the first pair down the track, Mark Billington ripped off a 4.001 to take the top qualifying spot in Raymond Austin's "Magic Dragon" nitro burner. Jimmy Jones posted a 4.01 in the "Texas Tremor" alcohol burning entry and Clint Cross posted his best qualifying effort in years with a 4.02 to qualify fourth. Unfortunately, carnage took its toll during the two qualifying rounds as four cars were sidelined. Nick Poloson was the most notable, as his place atop the standings would surely be forfeited due to a broken ring and pinion. John Broussard, who had posted a 4.01 which would have qualified him second, found rods and pistons exiting the block on the "Purple Haze" which ended their weekend early. Donny McSwain and Donnie Massey also found themselves packing up early due to parts failure as the nine remaining cars were paired up and ready to unleash their fury in first round of eliminations. It was a close field as nine cars were all within .07 of a second on the ladder.
Nick Poloson Warm Up
FINAL QUALIFYING ORDER:
1. Mark Billington - 4.001
2. John Broussard - 4.012 (Broke)
3. Jimmy Jones - 4.016
4. Clint Cross - 4.022 (3.9774)
5. Mark Hunter - 4.023 (3.9770)
6. Mary Reep - 4.031
7. Raymond Dawson - 4.061 (3.938)
8. Nick Poloson - 4.069
9. Ronny Young - 4.073 (3.926)
10. Ken Singleton - 4.27
11. Jody Austin - 4.37
12. Donnie Massey - 5.65
13. Donny McSwain - Broke
The first round got underway with Jody Austin's "Bushwhacker" lined up with Mark Hunter's "Jail Break" entry. Austin blasted off the line first and with flames hung high to the tips of the rear wing, but was forced to lift early as the car drifted to the centerline. Austin kept it in his lane with a 4.11 at 136 mph to take the win over Hunter's 4.61 at 124 mph. Defending series Champion Raymond Dawson and the Danny Wright tuned "High Octane" team rolled out next alongside top qualifier Mark Billington. Dawson took the starting line advantage and eventual win light with a 3.94 at 176 mph.
Ronny Young, driver of the "Blue Max" Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car, was sub-driving for Bobby Marriott and team "Shockwave" at this event as Marriott was healing from a shoulder injury. Young dipped into the threes on his first qualifying pass and backed it up in first round with a strong 3.86 at 195 mph to take out fellow funny car veteran Jimmy Jones' 3.92 at 187 mph. These two had shared the starting line many times over the years and this pair was especially fun to watch.
Mary Reep's "Grim Reeper" benefitted from the bye run as she posted a 3.97 at 182 mph to earn the round win points, but came up just short of a final round ticket. In the final pair, Clint Cross got the win after Ken Singleton left before the tree activated. Cross was on a solid pass, but drifted to the centerline and coasted to a 4.13 at 145 mph for the win. The two quickest winners, Ronny Young and Raymond Dawson were final round bound in Texas, ready for battle in a nitro -vs- blown alcohol showdown.
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