A stellar 40 car field of Old School No Electronics racers came to play in the final SHRA race of the season. Points leader Michael Graves had this title locked up by simply showing up for the event as his two wins on the season and attendance at every race this year catapulted him to the top of the charts. Congratulations to Graves and company on their well-earned SHRA Championship in their first full season with the series.
Michael Rhea, Jason Marshall and Tony Caprio made up the semi-final round. Caprio and Marshall were up first and what a drag race it was. Caprio's .021 reaction time coupled with a dead on 6.14 at 111 mph took the win by an eyelash over Marshall's .035 reaction time with a dead on 6.10 at 112 mph. Both drivers dead on, Caprio got the win on the starting line. Michael Rhea benefitted from the bye run and posted a 5.95 at 113 on a 5.98 dial to move into the finals against Caprio.
Rhea and Caprio did their burnouts and proceeded to the starting line in the final round of Old School No Electronics. Rhea was racking up points in hopes of a runner up finish in the Championship standings. Both staged up, it was go time and Rhea had the better of the two reaction times. At the stripe, Rhea's 6.01 at 105 mph and .025 reaction time held off Caprio's dead on 6.14 with a .070 reaction time as Michael Rhea scored his second win of the season to cap off the year in style. Mickey Frey, Dustin Bradford and Michael Graves posted respectable quarterfinal finishes. With his win, Rhea moved from fifth to second in the final points standings behind 2017 Class Champion, Michael Graves.
Old School No Electronics Race Winner Michael Rhea
2017 Old School No Electronics Championship Winner Michael Graves
The SHRA Old School Electronics class did offer up title hopes for multiple drivers, all chasing Brent Lancaster who had thundered into the lead with two wins in a row coming into the final event. His closest opponent Ray McFarland had 44 points to make up with Dean Johnson and Jim Baughan both within 54 points from the lead. To Lancaster's delight, McFarland, Johnson and Baughan all bowed out in round one while Lancaster won his first round match with Jake Lee. That win secured Lancaster his first SHRA Championship in Old School Electronics, a very well deserved title.
Lancaster kept the heat on and advanced to the semi-finals lined up with Casey Swift. Wow, what a race this one was folks. Lancaster is .035 on the tree and dead on 5.649 at 118 mph while Swift was .039 on the tree, dead on 6.980. Do the math and Swift took the win in an extremely close race. Swift moved into the finals to battle Jim Bien. As the cars came to the line we were guaranteed a first time SHRA winner and as the ambers dropped, Bien went -.004 red as Swift and company scored their first SHRA event win at the SHRA Finals. Congratulations to Swift and your 2017 Class Champion, Brent Lancaster!
Old School Electronics Race Winner Casey Swift
2017 Old School Electronics Championship Winner Brent Lancaster
Nostalgia Super Stock racers pack the pits with a season high 12 cars in competition. Ronnie Smith, Vic Corlett and Garry Durham all held a strong chance at the title in this final event of the season. With eliminations underway, the Championship battle was on. Durham bowed out in round one, followed by Corlett in round two. Ronnie Smith was marching on and advanced to the final round to meet Doug Watkins. Smith had defeated James Durham and Corlett on his way to the final while Watkins had bested David Ardoin, Clay Kossuth and Rosie Kossuth.
In the final, with the Championship locked up for Ronnie Smith, a -.033 reaction time ended a double up possibility for Smith as Watkins posted a 6.39 at 103 mph on a 6.41 to take first win of the season at the SHRA Finals. A great showing for all this season, but it was Watkins taking home the last victory of the year and Ronnie Smith crowned 2017 Nostalgia Super Stock Champion! Vic Corlett ended up second with Garry Durham in third.
Nostalgia Super Stock Race Winner Doug Watkins
2017 Nostalgia Super Stock Championship Winner Ronnie Smith
What a 5th Anniversary season it was for the SHRA nostalgia drag racing series. Congratulations to all our winners at the SHRA Championship Finals, our Dooley & Sons Shootout winners and of course, 2017 SHRA Class Champions! A tip of the hat to all the series staff and racers as their continued support has kept the SHRA thriving as the largest independent drag racing series in the Southwest. It will be a long off-season, but the SHRA will come together again in January to host the 2017 banquet where over $14,000+ in year end payouts will be dished out to the top five finishers in all six series classes. The banquet will also be where our Champions will be fitted with their custom Championship jackets courtesy of MalloryPrint.com and Championship rings courtesy of the SHRA series.
The SHRA would like to thank five year title sponsor Mallory Screenprint & Embroidery for their continued support. Additional thanks to co-title sponsor Mears Mazda Volvo, Nostalgia Eliminator 1-2-3 class sponsor AlkyDigger, NE Shootout sponsor Dooley & Sons Hot Rod Shop, along with Equipment Sales & Service of Texas, Neil & Parks Racing Enterprises, Red Line Shirt Club, Meyer Enterprises, VP Racing Fuels, Bubba's Tow, Dunkin's Custom Cabinets, Robinson Restoration & Service, Gary's Muffler, Lenamond Auto Supply, Be An Angel and MaxCacklePhotos.com. That's a wrap, we'll see you at the drags in 2018!
NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD - Report: Chris Graves
Photos: Chris Graves, Steve Scott, Wes Ramsey - MaxCacklePhotos.com