South-East Gassers Visit Paradise
Words and photos by Ian Tocher
Gabriel Burrell performs a dry hop shortly before taking his "Southern Flyer" Falcon on
an A/Gas trip down the Paradise eighth mile.
A regular in the SEGA A/Gas class, Burrell also got the nod to pilot this unique Ford-powered, four-door '67 Chevy in its
B/Gas debut at Paradise Drag Strip. Just a couple of days after being completed at SEGA leader
Quain Stott's North Carolina race shop, the car qualified eighth and made it to round two of eliminations.
The headlights shine bright on Ben Christopher's "Happy Daze" entry, just prior to him falling
in the A/G semis to eventual race runner-up Alan Gaulden.
In support of eventually adding H/Gas to the SEGA raceday mix, Kentucky's Paul Combest made several exhibition passes
in his "Sour Kraut" '64 Bug. Watch for a feature story on this car coming soon to NostalgiaDragWorld.com.
Bryant Dalton brought his '49 Ford Coupe down from Dandridge, TN, but missed the cut in C/G qualifying.
The yet-to-be-named machine is a resurrected Gasser from the '60s that currently sports a faded, but period-original paint scheme.
Steve Davis qualified "Spinny" in the top half of the A/G field (5th), but fell in the opening round of racing to Tony Turner.
A 13-place start in B/G was the best Gary Smith could do with his '51 Henry J, as he lost in round one
to the "Junkyard Dog" Chevy II of eventual semi-finalist Danny Byrd.
Number-two starter in C/Gas Jimmy Huff boils the hides on his "Hoopty Wagon" before eventually losing
a very close semi-final match to eventual race winner Josh Pruitt.
The SOHC 427-powered '55 Ford "Skairlane" of Jeff Jacobson placed 7th in A/G qualifying, but fell
in the first round of competition to Ben Christopher.
In qualifying 9th, Indiana's Adam Lowhorn lived up to his reputation as the "Burn Out King" of B/Gas with his "Rodslinger" Ford Falcon.
After starting 5th, Larry Noel and his "Crazy Horse" Chevy leave hard in the C/G semis against first-place qualifier Leslie Horne, who
went on to finish runner-up overall.
Travis Owen sits in the Paradise staging lanes prior to making his first C/G qualifying attempt.
Owens would eventually start his "Born to Boogie" '55 Chevy 10th, but lost in round one to Larry Noel.
At each SEGA event, cousins Alan Platt (near lane) and Rocky Platt make several side-by-side exhibition passes in recreations of their fathers'
original A/FX rides: Hubert Platt's "Georgia Shaker" '65 Falcon and Huston Platt's unique "Dixie Twister" fastback '65 Nova, respectively.
Ernie Smith put the "Bounty Hunter" in 8th place after two rounds of AG qualifying, but after taking out Barry Lynn and
his "Lil' Red Wagon" Chevy in round one, he fell in round two against eventual race winner Shannon Smith (no relation).
From only about an hour's drive away in Cumming, GA, Tony Turner brought "Quick and Dirty," his 392 Hemi-powered Dodge
out to Paradise Drag Strip, where he qualified 12th in A/Gas before bowing out in round two against Gabriel Burrell.
Georgia-based Lance Yoakem couldn't quite get his slick-looking "Bad JuJu" '55 Bel-Air dialed in all the way and DNQ'd for the B/G field.
NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD - Words and photos by Ian Tocher