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The latest update as of May 18, 2021

We've got the photos from Saturday's eliminations at the FUNNY CAR CHAOS event at Penwell Knights Raceway in Odessa, TX. Despite threatening weather, the first two rounds and two out of the three finals were run before the rain took over and put a halt to the proceedings. The "A" field final will be run during the final qualifying session at the next event on the FCC tour, Eddyville Raceway Park.

Funny Car Chaos - Odessa - 2021 --- Scott Cousimano - 'WTF Racing'

Here's a shot of one of the non-qualifiers, as Scott "Nitro Mafia" Cousimano could only manage a "best" of 6.252 - 80.62 in qualifying. This picture pretty much sums up the trouble that the "WTF Racing" team was facing. Note the throttle position - wide OPEN - and the flames coming out under the body and through the front wheel wells. Looks like it's back to the drawing board for the Fuller & Cousimano team

Qualifying Session #3 (FINAL)

Bad Boyz - Chevy II --- Camaro SS

Before the final qualifying session began for the Funny Cars, a variety of support classes took to the track, and not all met with great success, as can be seen here. On the (LEFT) it appears that the "Bad Boyz" Chevy II had a "minor" nitrous malfunction, while on the (RIGHT), the Camaro SS has some directional control issues, as the obviously overpowered narrow slicks are not gripping the track very well

Steve Vang - 
'Wicked Weekender Racing' --- Chris Schneider - 
'Brutus' and BUB

(LEFT) It was a case of "good news, bad news" for Steve Vang as he did improve on Friday's best of 4.442, running nearly a tenth quicker and a bunch faster, at 4.358 - 161.00, but he only improved from the #15 to #14 on the ladder and stayed near the bottom of the "B" field

(RIGHT) This is something you don't see every day (thank goodness!) at the track, as a faux Roman Centurion appears to be threatening Chris Schneider to do a good burnout before his final qualifying pass


(LEFT And it gets worse, as the "BUB" (Back-Up Bob) moves into action, directing Schneider into the best launch position

(RIGHT) With his "helper" safely removed from the starting line, Schneider moves into stage, but all the assistance he was given was no help as he failed to improve on Friday's best of 4.666 - 144.00 and fell from the #20 to #22 on the qualifying sheet

Nick Johnson - 
'Prairie Fire' --- Damon Kuhn - 
'Passin' Gas'

(LEFT It was a case of one step forward... two steps back, as Nick Johnson picked up a "nickel" from Friday's 4.596 to a slightly improved 4.543 - 152.03 in his last qualifier, but he dropped two positions, from #18 to #20, to the middle of the "C" field

(RIGHT) Maintaining his spot (#25) but managing to sneak into the bottom of the "C" field was Damon Kuhn as he got in due to Tod Barker's breakage. He did pick up quite a bit from Friday's sub-par 5.502 - 125.10 results, to a 5.177 - 132.39, but it was for naught as other racers stepped up also

Jordan Ballew - 
'Ballew Thunder' --- Mitch Bowen - 
'Northland Express'

(LEFT He didn't stand pat on his previous runs, but Jordan Ballew's improved 4.662 - 149.06 still left him in the #21 spot and in the middle of the "C" field

(RIGHT) Unable to move up as he wasn't able to better Friday's 4.244 - 165.99, the "Northland Express" dropped one spot to #12 and put Mitch Bowen in the middle of the "B" field

Daniel Butherus - 
'Rat-A-Tude' --- Lynn Logue - 
'Back in Black'

(LEFT In yet another case of step up or move backwards, Daniel Butherus stayed stuck on his previous best of 4.494 - 159.18 which moved him down to #19, and a spot near the top of the "C" field

(RIGHT) Another one of the "failed to improve" bunch was Lynn Logue in his "Back in Black" entry, as his Friday numbers of 4.932 - 146.72 saw him drop one spot to #23, near the bottom of the "C" field

Shayne Lawson - 
'Man O' War' --- Nancy Matter - 

(LEFT One car/driver that did improve was the Mustang-bodied "Man O' War" of Shayne Lawson as he jumped all the way from #12 to #6 and a spot in the "A" field, courtesy of a strong 4.021 - 184.96 pass

(RIGHT) Unable to improve on her Friday best of 4.029 - 174.76, and consequently dropping two spots from #5 to #7, Nancy Matter remained in the "A" field but faced with a very tough opponent (Ken Singleton) in her first round match

Bob Alberty Jr. - 
'Thunderin' Okie' --- Doug Schneider - 
'Milliken Monster'

(LEFT Improving by nearly two tenths, from his Friday 4.440 - 158.39 to a 4.264 - 163.99, the "Thunderin' Okie" of Bob Alberty Jr. only picked up one spot to #13 for the first round of eliminations

(RIGHT) Not having the same luck, but still in a very good qualifying position, Doug Schneider's Friday best of 3.959 - 180.14 moved down to the #3 spot in the top half of the "A" field

Jody Austin - 
Red Baron' --- Andy Mears - 
'Dragon Slayer'

(LEFT The "Red Baron", driven by "reformed" AA/Fuel Altered pilot Jody Austin didn't improve on Friday's 3.985 - 178.50 clocking and dropped down one spot from #4 to #5, losing lane choice in the first round of "A" field eliminations

(RIGHT) No improvement on Friday's numbers for Andy Mears meant that the "Dragon Slayer" slipped down the charts two spots (from #18 to #20) and out of the bottom of the "B" field into the top of the "C" group

Bill Bernard - 
'Hellanor' --- Dustin Bradford - 
'American Dream'

(LEFT After a miserable Friday, with a 5.014 - 97.95 best, Bill Bernard cranked up the volume in the last session with a better 4.450 - 126.09 that showed there was a lot left in the tank, judging by the early shutoff speed

(RIGHT) Treading water and staying in the #24 spot, Dustin Bradford kept his "American Dream" alive by improving more than a quarter of a second to a 5.039 - 141.46 clocking

Pre-Race Ceremonies

United States of America and State of Texas 

Spectators standing for the anthem --- Spectators standing for the anthem
Starting line standing for the anthem --- Starting line standing for the anthem

Despite skies that looked a little gloomy, the pre-race ceremonies of an invocation, the national anthem, and the sweet sound of "Fire the first pair!" rang out over the P.A. system, signalling the start of eliminations

Eliminations - Round One - "A" Field

Nick Poloson - 'Bucket List' (near lane) vs 
Kirk Williams - Williams Bros. Racing' (far lane) --- Eric Eoff - 'Shazam!'

(LEFT) First out of the lanes were the #1 and #8 qualifiers in the "A" field, with Kirk Williams in the far lane putting down an excellent 3.912 - 193.05 to take out Nick Poloson's (near lane) close - but not close enough - 4.061 - 177.87 effort. Poloson left first, by three hundreths of a second, but the gap at the finish line was nearly three car lengths

(RIGHT) It wasn't scheduled to be a bye run, but when Jody Austin failed to show in the broken "Red Baron", it gave a free pass to the semi-final to Eric Eoff and he took it easy with a 17-second pass at 37 mph to save on the equipment for the next round's match against Kirk Williams

Shayne Lawson - 'Man O' War' (near lane) vs 
Doug Schneider - 'Milliken Mosnter' (far lane) --- Ken Singleton - 'High Risk' (near lane) vs 
Nancy Matter - 'Guardian' (far lane-)

(LEFT) The next race saw the #3 and #6 cars paired up, with a little more than five hundredths (3.95 to 4.02) separating them in qualifying. Both drivers were sharp on the tree, with Shayne Lawson (near lane) leaving first by an .043 to .047 margin, but he ran into trouble downtrack and shut off to a losing 4.636 - 123.97. Taking the win in the far lane with a much better 3.995 - 177.44 time was Colorado's Doug Schneider in his NHRA Top Alcohol flopper

(RIGHT) Finishing out the first round was defending FCC series champion, Ken Singleton, (near lane) as he took a close decision based on elapsed times over Nancy Matter in the far lane. The big winning margin at the finish line for Singleton came largely from a huge reaction time advantage, as he cut a decent .097 light against Matter's rather sleepy .201 launch. The timeslip difference was much less, as Singleton's 3.960 - 190.52 covered Matter's 4.016 - 184.20, but it was all about the reaction times in this race

Eliminations - Round One - "B" Field

With a spread of four tenths of a second (4.062 - 4.467) between the eight cars in the "B" field, the "index" was set at 3.862, two tenth of a second less than the top qualifer's e.t. The intent of the index is to minimize the possibility of someone "sandbagging" in qualifying, then blowing everyone out of the water with much quicker runs during eliminations. One small caveat: the index is abandoned for the final round. It's all-out for the win then.

Bob Alberty Jr. - 'Thunderin' Okie' (near lane) 
vs Mitch Bowen - 'Northland Express' (far lane) --- Steve Vang - 'Wicked Weekender' (near lane) 
vs Jeff Cameron - 'Jake's Speed Shop' (far lane)

(LEFT) Leading off the "B" field were the #4 and #5 qualifiers, with Bob Alberty Jr. (near lane) overcoming a tardy reaction time (.223) to overcome Mitch Bowen's (far lane) much quicker leave (.084). The e.t.'s and speeds were all in Alberty's favour, as his 4.332 - 162.10 easily covered Bowen's slowing 5.129 - 107.07 clocking

(RIGHT) Next up were the #3 and #6 qualifiers, separated in qualifying by nearly two tenths, with Jeff Cameron (far lane) holding the performance advantage over Steve Vang (near lane). Vang led Cameron off the starting line (.087 to .121), but the scoreboards told a different tale as Cameron's 4.437 - 157.84 gave him the victory over Vang's 4.571 - 121.56. The margin at the stripe was a tenth of a second; just two car lengths

Jade Cook - 'Nemesis' (near lane) vs 
Tim Boychuk - 'Happy Hour' (far lane) --- Bill Bernard - 'Hellanor' (near lane) vs 
Tom Furches - 'Made in America' (far lane)

(LEFT) With the withdrawal of Tod Barker from the field due to breakage, surprising newcomer Jade Cook (near lane) moved up to the #8 position in the "B" field and found herself matched up with top qualifier Tim Boychuk. Running a carbureted nitrous assisted big-block Chevy, against the blown fuel Hemi of Boychuk, she left first by two hundredths (.099 to .119), then played "Jill the Giant Killer" by outrunning her heavily favoured opponent, 4.441 - 154.53 to the close, but losing, 4.512 - 163.34 effort of Boychuk. The gap at the finish line was roughly two car lengths

(RIGHT) Finishing out the opening round were the #2 and #7 cars, with Tom Furches (far lane) holding a nearly three tenths advantage in qualifying over Bill Bernard (near lane). But when it counted, Bernard turned on the (NHRA Top Alcohol) "big show" power and ran away from Furches, taking nearly a full tenth of a second lead on the launch (.037 to .128) and lengthening it all the way down track to take a decisive 4.016 - 169.17 win over Furches' losing 4.248 - 170.58 effort

Eliminations - Round One - "C" Field

Jordan Ballew - 'Blue Thunder' --- Damon Kuhn - 'Passin' Gas' (near lane) vs 
Andy Mears - 'Dragon Slayer' (far lane)

(LEFT) Leading off the "C" field eliminations was Jordan Ballew on a bye run, as scheduled opponent Chris Schneider was unable to show, allowing Ballew an (almost) automatic advancement to the semifinals, and he took it easy, with a leisurely leave (.259 r.t.) and turned on the winlight with a 4.707 - 148.32 clocking

(RIGHT) The first pair of the round were the #1 and #8 cars, with a nearly seven tenths gap between them in qualifying, and that margin held in this race, as Andy Mears (far lane) laid down a solid 4.469 - 151.31 to leave Damon Kuhn (near lane) far behind as he could only muster a 5.404 - 108.10 time. Making the race look even more one-sided was the (.012 to .408) reaction time advantage for Mears

Nick Johnson - 'Prairie Fire' (near lane) vs 
Lynn Logue - 'Back in Black' (far lane) --- Dustin Bradford - 'American Dream' (near lane) 
vs Daniel Butherus - 'Rat-A-Tude' (far lane)

(LEFT) With nearly half a second advantage in qualifying times, Nick Johnson (near lane) didn't have to push the tree, but he nearly went too far, clocking a nearly unbelievable .0009 reaction time to open up a sizeable lead instantly over Lynn Logue's (far lane) much slower .191 launch. Johnson stopped the clocks with a 4.562 - 151.31 to trainlength Logue's 4.868 - 146.34 numbers

(RIGHT) Closing out the first round of eliminations, the #2 and #7 qualifiers met, with Daniel Butherus (far lane) leaving second (.127 to .061), but finishing first over Dustin Bradford (near lane), taking the winlight with a 4.636 - 145.96 to handle the much slower 5.031 - 142.63 pass of the "American Dream" 'Cuda

Domino's Delivery

Before the final rounds started, someone at the far end of the track phoned in a RUSH order for a pizza, and the local Domino's franchise was only too happy to oblige, with their promised rapid delivery. With the 1/8-mile racing distance, it looked like their motto was "FIVE seconds... or less... or it's on us!"

Eliminations - Round Two - "A" Field

Doug Schneider - 'Milliken Monster' (near lane) 
vs Ken Singleton - 'High Risk' (far lane) --- Eric Eoff - 'Shazam!' (near lane) vs 
Kirk Williams - 'Williams Bros. Racing' (far lane)

(LEFT) Getting down to the serious business of the semi-finals, Doug Schneider (near lane) took on Ken Singleton (far lane) and together they put on the best side-by-side match of the evening, leaving almost together (.035 to .038 r.t.'s, favouring Schneider). It was a different story at the finish line as Singleton took the winlight with a best of eliminations 3.904 - 192.97 that just nipped Schneider's 3.986 - 185.57. The true win margin was little more than a car length

(RIGHT) The other half of the semis featured Eric Eoff (near lane) and Kirk Williams (far lane), and it was the NHRA Top Alcohol car taking the win to advance to his first Funny Car Chaos final round. From the picture it's obvious that Williams opened a considerable margin over Eoff right off the starting line, as "Shazam!" was in trouble very quickly and slowed to a 11.064 - 50.77 losing pass, initiated with a slow reaction time (.167). Williams really turned up the wick with a new low e.t. and top speed of the meet at 3.877 - 196.42 to earn lane choice for the final

Eliminations - Round Two - "B" Field

Jeff Cameron - 'Jake's Speed Shop' (near lane) 
vs Bill Bernard - 'Hellanor' (far lane) --- Jade Cook - 'Nemesis' (near lane) vs 
Bob Alberty Jr. - 'Thunderin' Okie' (far lane)

(LEFT) Earning the first berth in the "B" final was Jeff Cameron (near lane) as he took care of opponent Bill Bernard (far lane), despite Bernard's very quick 3.937 - 174.49 pass. Bernard left first by a margin of .080 to .181, but threw it all away when he took out the finish line timing cone, disqualifying him and preventing Cameron from receiving an e.t. or speed

(RIGHT) The other racer to advance to the finals was the hard running newcomer Jade Cook (near lane) as she dispatched the "Thunderin' Okie" of Bob Alberty Jr. to move into her second final in a row, and put herself into the top ten in the points standings. She left first with a great reaction of .033, to Alberty's .053, then outran him to the stripe 4.428 - 155.82 to the losing 4.803 - 151.98 for Alberty

Eliminations - Round Two - "C" Field

Nick Johnson - 'Prairie Fire (near lane) 
vs Daniel Butherus - 'Rat-A-Tude' (far lane) --- Jordan Ballew - 'Ballew Thunder' (near lane) 
vs Andy Mears - 'Dragon Slayer' (far lane)

(LEFT) Moving down to the "C" field, we can see Nick Johnson (near lane) opening up a sizeable lead right off the starting line, but he left a redlight on the tree, wasting a decent 4.634 - 152.08 pass with a -.189 reaction time. Opponent Daniel Butherus (far lane) took the win with a 4.587 - 155.71 pass and advanced to the final for the second consecutive event

(RIGHT) Taking the other spot in the "C" final was Jordan Ballew (near lane) as he took out the "Dragon Slayer" of Andy Mears for the win on a holeshot. Ballew's .043 to .095 reaction time advantage made his 4.516 - 155.01 turn on the winlight over the very close 4.471 - 158.23 of Mears, for the closest decision of eliminations, with just .005 separating them as they crossed the finish line

Eliminations - Final Rounds

Jordan Ballew - 'Ballew Thunder' (near lane) 
vs Daniel Butherus - 'Rat-A-Tude' (far lane) --- Jeff Cameron - 'Jake's Speed Shop' (near lane) 
vs Jade Cook - 'Nemesis' (far lane)

(LEFT) With the threatening skies putting a few raindrops on the track, it was a battle between Mother Nature and the track crew to keep things running, but they were able to prevail for the first two ("C" and "B") final rounds. Taking the first winlight was Jordan Ballew (near lane) as he lit up the scoreboards, defeating opponent Daniel Butherus to take home the points, the bucks and the trophy. Both drivers redlighted, but "first or worst" prevailed, and Butherus's -.079 reaction was worse than Ballew's -.006 leave. Ballew kept his foot in it to clock a 4.609 - 154.16 pass, while Butherus coasted through at 6.433 - 71.60

(RIGHT) What turned out to be the last race of the event was the "B" final, as Jade Cook (far lane) took her first Funny Car Chaos event win over Jeff Cameron (near lane) and showed how far she has come in just a few months. The numbers indicate that both drivers were unable to hook up on the slick track, but Cook's 6.606 - 67.76 prevailed over Cameron's 7.609 - 67.58 pass. And as she did all night, she left first by a .071 to .167 margin

Starting Line conference --- Wet Track - show's over

(LEFT) After dodging the rain drops for the first two final rounds, the track crew just couldn't keep up with the precipitation, and following a conference on the starting line between series promoter Chris Graves, and the crews of the "High Risk" (Ken Singleton) and "Williams Bros. Racing" (Kirk Williams), it was agreed to postpone the "A" field final until the next event at Eddyville Raceway Park (June 4-5th)

(RIGHT) Never one to give up easily, especially after a 700+ mile drive to the track, BIG Bob Snyder hung around under the protective covering of the timing tower until the official decision to call the event came down