The Southwest Heritage Racing Association, presented by MalloryPrint.com & Mears Mazda-Volvo, held it's second event of the 2017 5th Anniversary season at North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas. This event was presented by Robinson Restoration & Service and was a true glimpse back in time as this was the location of the first ever SHRA drag race held in 2013. In that inaugural event, the SHRA welcomed about sixty cars to the five class program. Fast forward five years and we found over 130 cars entered across the now six class series for this year's event. With the support from a remarkable family of racers, sponsors and supporting race tracks, the growth of the SHRA nostalgia drag racing series has been simply extraordinary. Without a cloud in the sky and temperatures in the eighty degree range, the weather for the 2017 Spring Nostalgia Nationals was perfect and time trials got underway at 3 pm sharp.
- ALKYDIGGER NOSTALGIA ELIMINATOR 1 -
A full field of sixteen cars made up the AlkyDigger Nostalgia Eliminator 1 category which runs a 4.65 index. In similar fashion to the season opener a few weeks prior in Oklahoma, the top of the field was tight as Tommy Drozd claimed the top qualifying position with a 4.663 at 151 mph. Tera Graves was right on his heels with a 4.664 at 153 mph and Steve Dunkin's 4.67 at 152 mph qualified third. Andy Mears and Chris Graves rounded out the top five qualifiers heading into eliminations.
Clay Cunningham - Chris Graves
FINAL NE 1 QUALIFYING ORDER:
1. Tommy Drozd (Lake Dallas, TX) - 4.663 @ 151
2. Tera Graves (Denton, TX) - 4.664 @ 153
3. Steve Dunkin (Aledo, TX) - 4.67 @ 152
4. Andy Mears (Lubbock, TX) - 4.69 @ 148
5. Chris Graves (Denton, TX) - 4.70 @ 150
6. Clay Cunningham (Dumas, TX) - 4.72 @ 149
7. Keith Zimmerer (Gainesville, TX) - 4.75 @ 145
8. Dustin Johnson (Davis, OK) - 4.86 @ 144
9. Kent Carley (Carrollton, TX) - 4.91 @ 130
10. Jason ONeill (Mesquite, TX) - 4.98 @ 137
11. Wyatt Curbo (Dumas, TX) - 5.07 @ 136
12. Larry Bradford (San Antonio, TX) - 5.31 @ 116
13. Steve Spurlin (Amarillo, TX) - 5.81 @ 132
14. Brad Thompson (Gainesville, TX) - 6.18 @ 119
15. Dave Gallegos (Manhattan, KS) - 4.647 @ 153
16. Shane Blanton (Dumas, TX) - 4.643 @ 147
Tera Graves advanced to the final round after taking out the points leader and most recent class winner Andy Mears who red lit away his chances of back to back final round appearances. Steve Dunkin moved into the final round on a solo shot after Chris Graves was unable to make the semi-final round call with mechanical issues. The number two and three qualifiers were set for a great final round battle.
After long smoky burnouts Graves and Dunkin brought their blown front engine dragsters to the line and crew members made their final checks before sending the drivers into the beams. Neither driver seemed to want the advantage off the line as both were a bit sleepy at the flash of amber, but they were off and charging full throttle down the eighth mile as Dunkin held the lead at half-track. As they neared the finish line, Dunkin was still out front but made a wicked move to the centerline which forced him off the throttle early dropping to only 130 mph from his 150+ mph norm. The scoreboards told the tale as Dunkin's "perfect" 4.65 at 130 mph got the win over Graves' break out 4.648 at 153 mph. What a drag race to cap off some very close NE 1 action. This marked Steve Dunkin's first win in many years, a very well deserved and long overdue crown for the "Foolish Pleasure" team.