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The latest update as of June 12, 2021

Funny Car Chaos - Kearney - 2021

Saturday morning update

It was quite a surprise to see my email inbox filling up with photos late last night, but I managed to get them all downloaded and posted (see below). Now all I have to do is fill in the blanks underneath the pictures. The photos from today's final qualifying and eliminations at the FUNNY CAR CHAOS event in Kearney probably won't arrive until tomorrow morning... if we're lucky. With a drive of 1172 miles home facing him, our ace lensman (BIG Bob Snyder) might just hit the road and send the pics along on Tuesday. Fingers crossed.

A few notes from the FCC event: All 29 cars on the pre-entry list showed up for this event and they all made at least one qualifying pass. While some of the familiar faces and cars were missing from the lineup, they were replaced by some newcomers to the circuit, which included Steve Cluck ("Red Headed Stepchild"), David Hill ("Zeus"), and Jon Reich, who's doing double duty, debuting his blown fuel "Blitz Kreig" and an injected alky car "Cox Pinto" (a recreation of a car campaigned in the early 1970's.

Joining them were Jim Chase, out for the first time this year in his "Wicked Quick" '57 Chevy, and a handful of cars that have stayed home since the season opener in March at the Texas Motorplex. Besides the 29 FCC cars, there are four injected alky funnies, and a pair of Jet Funny Cars. Lots of action and some great performances are going to make this weekend a big one at Kearney Raceway Park.

7:00 PM UPDATE: The first round of eliminations is over at Kearney Raceway and there were some incredible battles in all three fields. Only one racer (Danny Smith) reported in broken, allowing the #25 car (Scott Pareso) into the "C" field. We'll have details later this evening and photos tomorrow morning. Hopefully.

Gulf Western Oil Winternationals logo

In other drag racing news, the 53rd Australian Winternationals is in progress at Willowbank Raceway (Ipswich, QLD). It's always the biggest event on the Australian drag racing calendar, and with things starting to return to "normal" downunder, it's being run for the first time in two years. There's a dozen Top Alcohol cars entered, good numbers of Pro Slammer (all-out Aussie Pro Mod), Pro Stock (with small-block engines), Supercharged Outlaws (a great mix of altereds, funny cars, dragsters, etc), and a host of support classes, but the "flagship" class (Top Fuel) is sorely lacking with just three entries. With the Rapisarda Motorsports team not there (they have four cars), it's not much of a show, but Peter Xiberras gave the fans a great show last night, running the quickest 100 ft. pass in Aussie history, at 3.76 - 320+ mph... but lost the race to opponent Phil Lamattina due to a redlight.

Sidenote: The last time I went down a dragstrip in my Top Alcohol Dragster was there at the 2001 edition, where we were fortunate enough to qualify in the tough 8-car field. We won't mention that we dropped a valve on the first round burnout and finished with the car next to the wall and me standing (on the other side) watching my opponent, Mark Brew, make a 5.72 solo pass that stood for low e.t. of the meet. At least we knew that we'd have had a very tough time coming close to that number.

We've got heaps of stories and pictures from those days buried somewhere in the archives of this website, but we will endeavour to dig them up and update the "What's Old" pages, which while they have lots of links to What's New page updates, the html code behind them needs to be updated to the current directory structure of the website. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen any time soon though.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 6 logo

After a total washout yesterday due to unrelenting rain, the NHRA Western Regional Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is underway at Seattle's Pacific Raceways. The forecast for today is fine, but after that, it's more rain starting late this evening, and continuing throughout Sunday. The plan is to have everyone make one qualifying run, then go straight into eliminations, with a view to completing the event in one day. We'll bring you updates on the Top Alcohol cars when they run.

6:30 PM UPDATE: We have the details on the Top Alcohol classes running at the NHRA Western Regional at Seattle. Only seven dragsters and just three funny cars showed up and they were given one qualifying pass before going into eliminations. With rain forecast to start again this evening, it looks like they may just get finished before the track shuts down for the evening.... and with the forecast bad for tomorrow, that would most likely be the end of the event for now.

The funny cars just finished their second, and final, round of eliminations, and Oregon's Chris Marshall took the win over Brian Hough. The other racer, Top Ten contender Nick Januik redlighted in the first round and got an early start on the long drive home to Las Vegas. The win marked Marshall's first NHRA appearance of the season, as he's been on the MidWest Drag Racing Series tour up until now.

The Top Alcohol Dragsters still have the final round to run (scheduled for 8:00 pm). Low qualifier was the Canadian, Shawn Cowie who blasted out a 5.178 - 277.32 that earned him a bye run in the first round in the 7-car field. Following not too far behind in qualifying were the A/Fuel cars of Garrett Bateman (5.247) and Mitch Myers (5.257). Cowie shook hard before the 330' mark and shutoff to an 8-second clocking, while Casey Grisel stepped up BIG and laid down a 5.206 to advance to the semi-final with lane choice over Cowie. The other first round wins went to Bateman and Myers, with Bateman holding lane choice for their semi-final match.

The semi-finals just finished running and Cowie dispatched Grisel with a 5.203 - 279.09 when Grisel was forced to lift at the 500' mark. In the other semi, it was Myers winning over Bateman, setting up the final round match between Myers and Cowie, with Cowie holding lane choice in that one.

8:30 PM UPDATE: The final results are in from Seattle and it was Mitch Myers taking the win with a great 5.226 - 273.77 over Shawn Cowie's pedal-job 5.474 - 274.72 pass. Cowie launched first, but Myers took back the lead at the 60' mark, then when Cowie had to pedal at the top of low gear, he lost enough momentum that he trailed Myers by three car lengths at half track. From there to the finish line, Cowie poured on the power, clocking a higher speed than Myers, but at the stripe it was a trainlength between the two cars.