--- Home Page
--- What's New
--- Features
--- Features
--- E-mail

The latest update as of July 14, 2021

58th Summer Nationals - Kansas International 
Dragway - Funny Car Chaos

Before we start the Funy Car Chaos report, we've got to wish a very happy - albeit slightly belated - 100th birthday to the "Cam-Father" Ed Iskenderian. He's still very much alive and so is his cam grinding business that's still turning out some great products. The last cam I ever bought was a custom grind for my Top Alcohol car. It got a little beat up when we hydrauliced the engine... but that's beside the point now. Best wishes for another great year for Mr. Iskenderian.

Qualifying Session #3 (FINAL)

Keith Jackson - 'High Heaven' --- Jim Chase - 'Wicked Quick'

(LEFT) Leading off the final session was Keith Jackson in the family's iconic "High Heaven" Camaro. This was a special pass for the team as they had a large banner on the side of the car memorializing the life of the recently passed owner of one of the FCC series major sponsors, Randy Ranew of the Red Line Shirt Club. After failing to get down the track on Friday, Keith kept the pedal down to the tune of 4.247 - 171.04 to earn a slot in the "B" field. Unfortunately, the run did enough damage to the engine that they had to pass on eliminations and let an alternate into their spot.

(RIGHT) After a couple of so-so runs on Friday, North Dakota's Jim Chase stepped up big in his "Wicked Quick" '55 Chevy, blasting into the middle of the "A" field with a very strong 3.888 - 187.03 that held up for the #4 spot on the final ladder.

Mary Reep - 'Grim Reeper' --- Chris Schneider - 'Brutus'

(LEFT) Making a huge leap up the ladder was Mary Reep in her "Grim Reeper" entry, vaulting from #22 all the way to the #8 spot (and a first round match against the low qualifier) with a strong pass of 4.105 - 144.60, despite an early shutoff.

(RIGHT) A furious burnout didn't help Chris Schneider as he wasn't able to improve on his Friday best of 4.471 - 157.18 in the "Brutus" Mustang and saw himself fall from #9 to #15 on the final list, putting him near the bottom of the "B" field.

Scott Pareso - 'Altered Reality' --- Tony Arcuri - 'Firefighter'

(LEFT) Still trying to come to grips with his conversion from an open-bodied Altered to a Funny Car, Scott Pareso finished Friday with a best of 4.756 - 146.82, before stepping up to a 4.417 - 157.67 in the last session on Saturday. It moved his "Altered Reality" from just outside, to just inside the "B" field in the #14 position.

(RIGHT Making his Funny Car Chaos debut, another convert from the Rocky Mountain Superchargers group, Tony Arcuri in his "Firefighter" had no luck on Friday, and very little on Saturday, "improving" from a 20-second time to a 15-second pass in his final attempt. While the car could do a good burnout, problems in the Lenco drive were the likely culprit causing the lack of motion when it left the starting line.

Mike Newkirk - 'Disturbed'

Closing out qualifying was Mike Newkirk in his "Disturbed" entry and he improved slightly from Friday's 3.936 - 188.44 best
to a 3.871 - 191.00 clocking that kept him in the #3 position in the "A" field.

Eliminations - Round #1

The only change made to the ladders after qualifying was the withdrawal of #11 qualifier Keith Jackson due to breakage, which moved everyone below him up one spot. The biggest beneficiary of that change was series debutante Alex Barker who moved from #25, and out of the show, into the last spot in the "C" field. That change also put Daniel Butherus in hot water as he moved from the top of the "C" field into the bottom of the "B" field, and a first round match against Dave Gallegos, the top qualifier in that group.

"A" Field

Mike Newkirk - 'Disturbed' (right lane) 
vs Shayne Lawson - 'Man O' War' (left lane) --- Mike Newkirk - 'Disturbed'

(LEFT) Kicking off eliminations were the #3 and #6 qualifiers, Mike Newkirk (right lane) and Shayne Lawson in his beautiful "Man O' War" entry (left lane), and they put on a great side-by-side 3-second race. Despite a rather late light (.153 to .106), Newkirk turned on the scoreboards first with his best of the weekend 3.823 - 191.41 to overcome Lawson's early lead and slightly slower 3.948 - 185.72 effort.

(RIGHT) Here's a closer look at "Disturbed" as it passes our photographer enroute to his first round win.

Kirk Williams - 'Williams Bros. Racing' 
(right lane) vs Mary Reep - 'Grim Reeper' (left lane) --- Mary Reep - 'Grim Reeper'

(LEFT) The next pair out of the lanes featured the dominating (two wins and two runnerups in the last four races) Kirk Williams, and it looked like he was still on a roll with a great (.037) light, but the win streak snapped early and he slowed to a losing 5.270 - 127.08 against opponent Mary Reep.

(RIGHT) Here's a closer look at the "Grim Reeper" as Mary pushed the loud pedal hard to the tune of a winning 3.906 - 178.29 for her first round win and best pass ever in Funny Car Chaos competition.

Jim Chase - 'Wicked Quick' (right lane) 
vs Chuck Loftin - 'Motivation' (left lane) --- Ken Singleton - 'High Risk' (right lane) 
vs Nick Poloson - 'Bucket List' (left lane)

(LEFT) Catching everyone's attention with a wheels-up (way up!) launch, Chuck Loftin made a hard charge in his "Motivation" entry (left lane), but was forced to pedal to get the errant Mustang under control and the resulting 4.491 - 145.35 wasn't enough to cover Jim Chase's good-enough-for-the-win 4.307 - 176.89 effort in the right lane. Chase's win put him into semifinals, against Reep, with Mary having her choice of lanes.

(RIGHT) Closing out the round was the co-points leader, Ken Singleton (right lane) matched up with many time opponent Nick Poloson (right lane) and it turned into another runaway victory for the "High Risk" team as Singleton turned on the winlight with his best run of the weekend (to this point) 3.763 - 202.16 to hold off the good try 4.145 - 151.82 of Poloson. The win set up a semifinal match between Singleton and Newkirk, with Singleton holding lane choice.

"B" Field

Tom Furches - 'Made in America' (right 
lane) vs Nick Johnson - 'Prairie Fire' (left lane)

Moving down to the second eight, FCC championship contender Tom Furches (right lane) left second but finished first, as his (.150 to .066) launch didn't stop him from taking the win with a 4.143 - 171.17 over Nick Johnson's (left lane) trailing 4.498 - 153.79 clocking.

Scott Pareso - 'Altered Reality' (right 
lane) vs Dustin Bradford - 'American Dream' (left lane) --- Scott Pareso - 'Altered Reality'

(LEFT) Cutting the best light of the round (.027) wasn't enough to help Scott Pareso (right lane) get to the finish line first, as his 4.461 - 156.96 fell to the much quicker 4.213 - 170.20 of Dustin Bradford. Pareso's six hundredths advantage at the start still left nearly two tenths behind at the stripe.

(RIGHT) Another, closer view of the "Altered Reality" entry.

Daniel Butherus - 'Rat-A-Tude' --- Daniel Butherus - 'Rat-A-Tude' (right 
lane) vs Dave Gallegos - 'Nitro Clown' (left lane)

(LEFT) Blazing the hides on the burnout, Top Ten (in the points standings) runner Daniel Butherus really put the whip to his big-block Chevy powered "Rat-A-Tude" flopper.

(RIGHT) When the ambers flashed, Butherus (right lane) jumped out to an early lead over opponent Dave Gallegos (left lane) as the "Nitro Clown" was more than a little late on the launch (.205 to the .074 for Butherus). And Gallegos kept the pedal down all the way to the finish line, stopping the clocks with his best ever 3.896 - 180.07... for the LOSS.

As explained in previous Funny Car Chaos reports, there is a breakout rule in effect for the "B" and "C" fields, that fixes an index two tenths of a second below the low qualifying e.t. for that field. In this case, Gallegos was low qualifier at 4.230, setting the index at 4.030. Obviously his 3.896 was far below the mark, disqualifying him and advancing Butherus to the semifinals.

Chris Schneider - 'Brutus' (right lane) vs 
Steve Vang - 'Wicked Weekender Racing' (left lane)

Closing the round was the pairing of Chris Schneider (right lane) against the "Wicked Weekender" entry of Steve Vang. The race was over right at the starting line as the "Brutus" was actually broken (blower problems) and limped to the starting line before shutting off when the green came on. Easily advancing to the semifinals and a match against Tom Furches, Vang put down a solid 4.290 - 164.65 for the win.

"C" Field

Finishing the first round, the "C" field - which is looking like a regular feature at Funny Car Chaos events this year due to the continuing excellent car counts - put on a good show for the spectators.

Andy Mears - 'Dragon Slayer' (right lane) 
vs Alex Barker - 'Back in Black' (left lane) --- Matt Nissen - 'Runnin' Down A Dream'

(LEFT) Even though it looks like a major holeshot, Andy Mears (right lane) didn't leave that much quicker than opponent Alex Barker (in his father Tod's "Back in Black" Corvette). Barker's .561 reaction was worse than Mears' .453 light, but the gap opened quickly as Barker's 4.759 - 142.72 was no match for the winning 4.525 - 135.34 put down by the "Dragon Slayer" '57 Chevy.

(RIGHT) Filling the frame is Matt Nissen in his familiar "Runnin' Down a Dream" as it appears that he might be on a solo pass. However, looks can be deceiving as he left first in a bit of a snoozing contest (.388 to .465) over the not shown Jordan "Ballew Thunder" Ballew. Ballew's quicker 4.489 - 155.98 pass held off Nissen's second best 4.634 - 140.01 for a less than two car length victory.

Tod Barker - 'Back in Black' (right lane) 
vs Jade Cook - 'Nemesis' (left lane) --- Mike Buchanan - 'Hombre' (right lane) 
vs Justin Herbst - 'Scorpion' (left lane)

(LEFT) In what became a continuing pattern for the "C" field, another pair of less than stellar lights initiated this match, with Jade Cook (left lane) leaving second with a .614 (!) light to Tod Barker's (right lane) slightly "better" .498 launch. Looking closely at the photo shows that Barker launched crooked and got off the throttle early, crossing the finish line with a 5.198 - 106.89 time. Cook's winning numbers were 4.461 - 155.17 that put her into the semifinals with lane choice over Jordan Ballew.

(RIGHT) The final race of the first round saw a pair of Chevys, a Vega in the right lane driven by Mike Buchanan paired up with the Monza of Justin Herbst in the left lane. Buchanan turned on the winlight with a quicker 4.735 - 146.87, while Herbst turned on the redlight, throwing away a 4.816 - 148.17 pass.

Eliminations - Round #2

"A" Field

Mary Reep (Grim Reeper) left - 
Jim Chase (Wicked Quick) right - in the staging lanes

A friendly greeting of competitors in the staging lanes preceded the semi-final match between Mary Reep (left) and Jim Chase (right).

Jim Chase - 'Wicked Quick' (near lane) 
vs Mary Reep - 'Grim Reeper' (far lane) --- Ken Singleton - 'High Risk' (near lane) 
vs Mike Newkirk - 'Disturbed' (far lane)

(LEFT) Doing her job on the starting line, Mary Reep (far lane) left first by a margin of .032 to Jim Quick's (near lane) .066 light. But her lead was used up quickly as Chase laid down his best ever e.t. in Funny Car Chaos competition, 3.830 - 189.47 to leave Reep's early shutoff 4.330 - 136.16 far behind at the finish line.

(RIGHT) The other pairing in the semifinal saw Mike Newkirk (far lane) leaving first - by a bunch - but only due to a redlight (-.079), and he shutoff soon after this photo to a losing 6.561 - 76.80 time. Taking the automatic win, but not taking it easy, Ken Singleton (near lane) tickled the tuneup a little more and turned his best run of the weekend, 3.743 - 203.07 to garner lane choice honors in the final against Chase.

"B" Field

Tom Furches - 'Made in America'

It's never a good sign to see the crew pushing a car back to the starting line after the burnout, and in this case it was an accidentally shutoff Tom Furches, as his "Made in America" car bowed out before getting a chance to stage in the semifinal.

Steve Vang - 'Wicked Weekender Racing' --- Daniel Butherus - 'Rat-A-Tude'

(LEFT) Taking advantage of his opponent's plight, Steve Vang made a full pass, stopping the clocks at 4.222 - 166.36 in the hope of earning lane choice for the final round.

(RIGHT) In a bizarre twist, Daniel Butherus took a solo pass as his opposition, Dustin Bradford, sat behind the water box, unable to fire his "American Dream". Butherus tried hard, but his 4.621 - 152.49 fell far short of Vang's e.t. and left the "Wicked Weekender" team with lane choice for the final.

"C" Field

Andy Mears - 'Dragon Slayer' --- Jade Cook - 'Nemesis' (near lane) vs 
Jordan Ballew - 'Ballew Thunder' (far lane)

(LEFT) Another bye run? Yes, that was the case as Andy Mears ran alone as Mike Buchanan failed to make it to the starting line. Mears responded with his best run of the weekend, finally escaping the 5.50-zone and laying down a 4.443 - 157.73 to move into the final round.

(RIGHT) Joining Mears in the "C" field final was the surprise of the 2021 season, Jade Cook, (near lane) as she advanced to her third final in her last four races with a 4.414 - 155.66 pass that easily handled the early shutoff run of Jordan Ballew (far lane), who trailed with a 5.469 - 87.72 timeslip. Cook's run was her best of the weekend and snatched lane choice away from Mears by just three hundredths.

Eliminations - Final Rounds

With the sun set and the track lights on, it was final round time and the races for the big prizes and glory, starting with the "C" field and working upwards to the "A" final.

Andy Mears - 'Dragon Slayer' (near lane) 
vs Jade Cook - 'Nemesis' (far lane)

With two evenly matched cars it might become a battle of reaction times with Andy Mears (near lane) in his "Dragon Slayer" '57 Chevy taking on the hands-down "FCC Rookie of The Year" Jade Cook in her "Nemesis" (far lane). It was a close race, with Mears leaving first by just .014 and holding the lead all the way to the finish, turn on the winlight with a 4.331 - 161.64 over Cook's close 4.386 - 156.47 time. The margin at the finish line was just over a car length as Mears notched his second consecutive "C" field win, moving him up to the #5 spot in the points standings.

Steve Vang - 'Wicked Weekender Racing' 
(near lane) vs Daniel Butherus - 'Rat-A-Tude' (far lane)

After battling hard all weekend, and running consistently in the 4.20's to advance to his first final round of the season, Steve Vang (near lane) in his "Wicked Weekender" fell - on a holeshot - to the hard running "Rat-A-Tude" of Daniel Butherus (far lane), as Butherus left first first by a full tenth of a second and made his 4.358 - 163.22 stand up for the win over Vang's quicker 4.301 - 161.87 effort. Like in the "C" final, it was barely a car length between the cars at the stripe as Butherus won his second race of the 2021 season and moved into a tie for third place in the FCC standings.

Ken Singleton - 'High Risk

Then came the race that everyone had been looking forward to, for the big prize going to the winner of the "A" final. In the near lane, Ken Singleton (near lane) left hard in his "High Risk" car and outran the very worthy challenger from North Dakota, Jim Chase, (far lane) in his aptly name "Wicked Quick" '57 Chevy. Singleton turned up the wick just a tad and made his best pass of the weekend at 3.734 - 204.92 (top speed of the meet) to cover Chase's off-pace 6.844 - 88.25 losing effort.

Singleton had already broken the tie for the points lead with Kirk Williams earlier in the evening, but the event win opened the gap to a 30 point lead for Singleton. This was also Ken's fifth consecutive final, with three wins to his credit... so far.

Here's the updated Funny Car Chaos points standings following the Kansas International Dragway event at Wichita, KS.

NOTE: Click on the image to see a larger - and easier to read - version of this table

Funny Car Chaos Points Standings - July 13, 2021

Data courtesy of FUNNY CAR CHAOS - Thanks Chris Graves!