Singleton & Jackson Conquer Funny Car Chaos Finalscont...
It was semi-final round time in Texas as the 'A' field returned to the lanes and suited up for a battle of heavyweights. Again John Hale was first through the water box alongside Chris Morel in a nitro filled affair. Morel took a significant starting line advantage but shook the tires around 100 feet and Hale clicked off a 3.97 at 192 mph to move into his first Funny Car Chaos final round. His opponent would be winner of the next pair which featured Ken Singleton up against Nick Poloson. Eager beavers they were as both drivers went red, but Poloson's was worse as the win went to Ken Singleton who tripped the clocks with a strong 3.90 at 195 mph to Poloson's 4.04 at 195 mph. The "High Risk" team was final round bound and looked to claim their third 'A' field victory in their three FC Chaos entries this season. Nothing short of impressive, this team now had a chance to go undefeated in 2018 Chaos competition but had a hungry opponent in John Hale to handle first.
The 'B' field semis was a trip back in time as three of these four funny cars were finalists at the inaugural event last year. Action got underway with Keith Jackson staging up against Jordan Ballew. Ballew, the 2017 'B' field runner up, had his hands full with Jackson's nitro burner and despite the starting line advantage, Ballew's 4.74 at 146 mph was no match for Jackson's 4.21 at 176. Jackson and company scored the runner up finish at this event last year in the 'A' field and had all targets set on a 'B' field win to close off the season. The next pair welcomed Nick Johnson to the line to face off with the "Dragon Slayer" of Andy Mears, your 'B' field winner from 2017. With a wicked .004 reaction time coupled with a 4.55 at 152 mph, Mears charged into the final defeating Johnson's 4.93 at 141 mph. It was Hale -vs- Singleton in 'A' and Mears -vs- Jackson in 'B' as teams returned to the pits for their final round service.
Just past the tick of midnight, after flame filled and diesel smoke chaos from the match race between Ray Kelley's jet dragster and John Robinson's turbo diesel dragster, it was time to crown winners and put Funny Car Chaos 2018 in the books. With top prize money on the line and bragging rights for the rest of the year up for grabs, anticipation mounted as drivers suited up for the last dance.
'B' field finalists Andy Mears and Keith Jackson were up first as Mears looked to defend his win from 2017 and Jackson hoped to cap off the season with his first FC Chaos win. Nitro -vs- Alcohol, 1957 Chevy -vs- 1978 Challenger, the cars came to life with the command to 'fire em' up' came from staging lane director Bubba Corzine. Mears went into the beams first as Jackson followed suit. A brief staging battle ensued before Jackson put it on the 'high side' and was first to light the bottom bulb, followed by Mears. Ambers dropped and green lights a pair as Mears took a healthy advantage off the line. Side by side they charged and it was a dead heat as the cars passed the 330' marker. At that point the nitro power from Jackson soon showed it's strength as he took the lead and got the win light with a 4.18 at 177 to Mears' 4.52 at 153 mph. Mears posted his best run of the weekend but came up just short at the stripe as Jackson and company celebrated their first Funny Car Chaos win which made an exhausting weekend worth the effort. The team was able to celebrate with family and crew in the winners circle which also included his father and accomplished drag racer Les Jackson. Congratulations to both teams on a job well done!
'B' Field Winner Keith Jackson
'B' Field Runner-Up Andy Mears
Finally, the time came for the final pair of the night. A classic Funny Car Chaos match up as John Hale's nitro burning 1969 Camaro bodied entry lined up with red hot Ken Singleton's 2006 Monte Carlo bodied blown alcohol machine. Singleton has been a busy boy not only winning the 'A' field at Mo-Kan Dragway and Amarillo Dragway, but also leading the Outlaw Fuel Altered Association points for a majority of the season in this same car that doubles as an altered in OFAA competition. Hale had nothing to lose and aimed to cap off Chaos 2018 with a $5,000 win on home turf for the Best of Texas BBQ Sauce team while Singleton could ink a very impressive undefeated record on the season and score his third 5k win of the year at the Chaos.
With burnouts complete, crew chiefs made their final adjustments and gave their drivers the thumbs up as the cars rolled into the pre-stage beams. Hale was last to stage and at the flash of amber Singleton blasted off the line first as both cars were hooked up and charging hard. Side by side and straight down the groove they ripped through the traps at 190+ mph as Singleton's win light lit up the scoreboards with a 3.93 at 195 mph to Hale's extremely close 3.94 at 193 mph. What a spectacular final round drag race to cap off the weekend! For Hale, all smiles as the team put together four consistent and damage free runs to earn a solid runner-up finish in a stellar field of competitors. For Singleton, what can you say? A simply dominant performance from start to finish this season in FC Chaos competition as the team clinched their third 'A' field win and preserved their undefeated record in a $15,000 winning season for the team from Chickasha, Oklahoma. Singleton and company indicated in the winners circle they plan a full season assault on the competition in the 2019 points season which looks to be very exciting!
'A' Field Winner Ken Singleton
'A' Field Runner-Up John Hale
A Texas sized thank you goes out to the FC Chaos staff, North Star Dragway staff, all the Funny Car teams, Dirty South Gasser teams and of course the fans of Chaos who stuck it out to complete the final event of the season. Once the weather gave us a break, Chaos yet again delivered nail biting funny car excitement like none other. Additional thanks are certainly due to all the supporters of this event including Red Line Shirt Club, Best of Texas BBQ Sauce, Dooley & Sons Hot Rod Shop, Rodak's Custom Coffee, Mears Mazda Volvo, DJ Safety, S&W Race Cars, Tony Lewis Collision & Paint, DJ's Floater Service, Meyer Enterprises, Precision Reprographics, North Texas Diesel, Racers Igniting Hope, 2 Brothers Landscaping, Horny Toad Café & Bar, Seismic Activity Motorsports, Visual Effects, Kustom Metal Kraft, Weeaks Racing and One Wild Ride Safety Equipment.
That's a wrap for Funny Car Chaos 2018. We'd like to thank each and every racer involved in making funny car racing great again! An incredible total of 46 funny car teams participated in the Chaos this year, an incredible feat for this new series that turns one year old at the end of September. With seven to eight events on tap across the south and mid-west, we look forward to a busy off-season in preparation for what should be a memorable and thrilling 2019 season.
This event dedicated to the memory of Paul Caster
'A' Field Final Qualifying Order: 1. Chris Morel (Reno, Nevada) - 3.86 @ 204 2. Ken Singleton (Chickasha, Oklahoma) - 3.88 @ 196 3. Jim Chase (Bismarck, North Dakota) - 4.03 @ 182 4. John Hale (Addison, Texas) - 4.04 @ 193 5. Kebin Kinsley (Arlington, Texas) - 4.06 @ 187 6. Mike Newkirk (Great Bend, Kansas) - 4.102 @ 166 7. Nick Poloson (San Antonio, Texas) - 4.108 @ 180 8. Ray Stringer (Alamogordo, New Mexico) - 4.33 @ 170
Round 1 Elims: (W) John Hale (.095) 3.96 @ 195 vs (L) (.166) 4.36 @ 168 (W) Chris Morel (.070) 3.75 @ 208 vs (L) Kinsley (.117) 6.87 @ 59 (W) Nick Poloson (.080) 4.60 @ 154 vs Chase (.072) 8.55 @ 50 (W) Singleton (.052) 3.90 @ 196 vs Newkirk (.028) 4.14 @ 174
Semi-Final Elims: (W) John Hale (.133) 3.97 @ 192 vs (L) Chris Morel (.048) 8.61 @ 54 (W) Singleton (-.014) 3.90 @ 195 vs (L) Poloson (-.067) 4.04 @ 195
Final Round Elims: (W) Singleton (.042) 3.93 @ 195 vs (L) Hale (.144) 3.94 @ 193
'B' Field Final Qualifying Order:
1. Mark Billington (Prosper, Texas) - 4.36 @ 174
2. Andy Mears (Lubbock, Texas) - 4.541 @ 151
3. Nancy Matter (Lewisville, Texas) - 4.543 @ 129
4. Jordan Ballew (Bartlesville, Oklahoma) - 4.59 @ 151
5. Matt Nissen (Alma, Nebraska) - 4.75 @ 122
6. Keith Jackson (Lakewood, Colorado) - 4.76 @ 169
7. Nick Johnson (Orleans, Nebraska) - 4.86 @ 141
8. Jeff Cameron (Magnolia, Texas) - 4.98 @ 122
9. Daniel Butherus (Wichita, Kansas) - 5.72 @ 120
10. Larry Bradford (San Antonio, Texas) - 6.59 @ 82
11. Steve Northrop (Las Cruces, New Mexico) - 7.17 @ 94
12. Rick Krafft (Lowell, Arkansas) - 11.61 @ 43
13. Mike Buchanan (Wichita, Kansas) - 20.78 @ 10
14. Fred Farndon (Edmond, Oklahoma) - No Time (Cones)
15. Allan Middendorf (Columbia, Illinois) - No Time (Wall)