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

The latest update as of June 12, 2023

Chaos in the Cornfield

Yes, we know that the "Chaos in the Cornfield" doubleheader event ended TWO WEEKS ago, but we've got an excuse for not posting the balance of our coverage in a more timely manner. Simply put, we spent a week in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia playing golf and touring a small fraction of the 250 wineries in the region. Now we're back and rested and it's time to get back to drag racing. We're starting with what could be called "Chute Shot Sunday", but the calendar is reminding us that it is Monday already. Still to come (tomorrow) are the photos from the first round of eliminations for the Funny Car Chaos and Nitro Chaos competition.

And, we've got some photos from the most recent Bandimere Speedway event, featuring nitro funny cars and fuel altereds. They come courtesy of our Colorado correspondent, Dale Fackler, who has been kind enough to provide us with some great pcitures over the last few years. They will be posted later this week.

NITRO CHAOS - Qualifying Session #3 (FINAL)

Leading off the final session were the "nitro nasties", with 23 cars trying to fit into the two (A &B) 8-car fields. That meant seven racers were going to be spectators when eliminations began in the late afternoon. In the top spot on the ladder, with an awesome 3.401 - 215.21, was NHRA "Big Show" racer, Dale Creasy Jr.. On the other end of the scale was the #16 qualifier (bottom of the "B" field), Andy Fangman, driving a blown fuel Pro Mod. (Insanity comes in many different shapes and sizes, doesn't it?). Fangman was hanging on to the bubble with a very respectiable 4.238 - 174.62, but knew he would need to run quicker, possibly into the 3-second zone, to hang onto a berth in the elimination show.

John Umlauf Jr. - 'Mass Chaos' (left) vs 
Joey Haas - 'Nimrod 2.0' (right) --- Anthony Whitfield - 'Mighty Mouse' (left) vs 
Levi Keenen - 'Illinois Thunder' (right)

(LEFT) The first pair to run were John Umlauf Jr. in the "Mass Chaos" AA/Fuel Altered (left side) facing Joey Haas in his "Nimrod 2.0" (right side). Despite launching first, Umlauf finished second by quite a margin, slowing from his earlier 3.990 pass on Saturday, to a 4.02 - 177.40 that left him in the #11 position, and almost certain to stay in the "B" field. On the right side though, Joey Haas picked up more than two tenths e.t., with a very strong 3.658 - 200.18 to vault from #9 to #5, and a spot in the middle of the "A" field.

(RIGHT) It was another Fuel Altered versus Funny Car matchup in the second pairing. On the left side, the "Mighty Mouse" small-block Chevy powered entry of Anthony Whitfield. On the right side, it was Levi Keenen in his Plymouth Arrow-bodied "Illinois Thunder" entry. Sitting in the #14 position after the second session, Keenen pushed his way into the 3's with a very good 3.991 - 189.18 that elevated him to the #12 spot on the list, at least temporarily. Making an even bigger jump up the ladder was Whitfield, as he came into the final session in the #21 spot with a 6-second best on Friday. He pulled it out though on his last shot with a great 3.887 - 194.89 to climb all the way to the #10 spot as the round continued.

 Dave Brown - 'Beedy & Molloy' 
(left) vs Gary Wheeler Jr. - 'Brooks & Wheeler (right) --- Rachel Meyer - 'Rachel Meyer Racing' 
(foreground) vs Megan Meyer - 'Queen Bee Racing' (background)

(LEFT) After the last pair ran, the bump spot for the elimination fields had dropped from a 4.238 (Andy Fangman) to a 4.064 (Rachel Meyer). This pair had Dave Brown in the injected Donovan-powered "Beedy & Malloy" car (left side), facing the blown fuel "Brooks & Wheeler" entry, with Gary Wheeler Jr. at the wheel. Both needed to make some serious performance gains, with Brown in the #20 position, and Wheeler just ahead of him in the 19th spot. Staying in front all the way from the starting line to the braking area, Wheeler pounded out a great 3.792 - 186.34 to catapult to #10 and a solid spot near the top of the "B" field. In the other lane, Brown made a small improvement from his Saturday best of 4.720 to a 4.673 - 137.40 that kept him at #20 and well outside the show.

(RIGHT) The next pair, both from Randy Meyer Racing saw Rachel Meyer (Curl) (foreground), and Matt Sackman (background) in Julie Nataas's regular ride, facing off. It was do-or-die for Rachel as she needed to run better than 4.027 to bump into the "B" field. Sackman, meanwhile, was solidly ensconced in the "A" field with an earlier 3.727 pass. Meyer accomplished her goal of getting down the track with a competitive run as she blasted out a 3.722 - 212.87 to pass Sackman on the ladder and take the #6 spot in the "A" field. Sackman ran hard for a few hundred feet before losing traction and shutting off to a 4.34 at 116.91, and falling one spot on the qualifying list.

Dave Hill - 'Mad Max' (foreground) vs 
Tim Cullinan - 'Irish Car Bomb' (background) --- Tim Cullinan - 'Irish Car Bomb'

(LEFT) With the "B" field bump spot now down to an incredible 4.027, both Dave Hill in the "Mad Max" (foreground) and Tim Cullinan in the "Irish Car Bomb" Camaro (background) both had to step up. Hill had the biggest..... Hill (pun UNintended) to climb, sitting dead last on the charts with a 6.92 best, while Cullinan wasn't far off the mark with a previous best of 4.082, less than a tenth outside the field. When the lights came down, Cullinan rumbled to a decent 4.09 - 163.64 that didn't come close to making the show. In the other lane, Hill stopped the clocks with a 3.95 at only 149.15, as he struck the guardwall before the finish line and nullified his run.

(RIGHT) A closer picture of Tim Cullinan slowing as he ends his weekend in the first alternate (#17) spot at the conclusion of the session.

Brian Inouye - 'Frantic Fueler' --- Andy Fangman - 'Pandas'

(LEFT) That last two cars to run the session were both sitting on the outside of eliminations, with Brian Inouye in the "Frantic Fueler" sitting one notch below the bubble due to a Saturday best of 4.027 - 185.87. But to make it into the show, Inouye was going to need a 3.990 or better. He did just that, with a 3.911 - 198.68 that moved him up to #14 pending on the results of the last car to run the session.

(RIGHT) And that final racer was the almost unique "Pandas" '69 Camaro blown fuel Pro Mod of Andy Fangman. He was sitting with a best of 4.238 - 174.62 on his run card and needed to step up big time to fight his way into eliminations. Fangman made a good effort but his 4.26 - 170.65 wasn't close to what he needed. And that was it for Nitro Chaos qualifying.

FUNNY CAR CHAOS - Qualifying Session #3 (FINAL)

Matt Nissen - 'Runnin' Down A Dream' (left) vs 
Mike Buchanan - 'Hombre' (right) --- Jim Chase - 'Wicked Quick'

(LEFT) Running in the third pair of the session, Matt Nissen in the Corvette-bodied "Runnin' Down A Dream", (left side) was sitting just outside the "C" field in the #26 position. He failed to improve on his earlier 4.823 best, as a 5.005 - 154.96 left him well short of the 4.575 bump spot for the "C" field. Running alongside him (right side) was Mike Buchanan in the Vega, and he fell back from his earlier 4.833 best with a 4.938 - 157.58 that saw him sitting one spot behind Nissen in the #28 spot on the ladder.

(RIGHT) In the only '57 Chevy-bodied car currently running in Funny Car Chaos, the "Wicked Quick" entry of North Dakota's Jim Chase came into the session in the #7 spot, near the bottom of the "A" field, and he made a statement with an even better 3.889 at only 165.44 mph. That compared with his earlier 3.940 - 162.05, that showed there was more e.t. if he ran it hard all the way to the finish line. The pass moved him up one spot to #6 in the field, at least temporarily.

Mike Newkirk - 'Disturbed' --- Robbie Massey - 'Moats & Massey

(LEFT) One of the heavy hitters when he appears, Mike Newkirk piloted his "Disturbed" entry to an excellent 3.786 - 193.13 to move up one notch to #3 in the "A" field. His pass was half a tenth quicker, but four mph slower than his Saturday best.

(RIGHT) In the next pair, Robbie Massey in the "Moats & Massey" Top Alcohol car wanted to get his #3 spot back from Newkirk, but failed to improve on his earlier 3.795 - 198.59, as he had to lift at the 330' mark and slowed to a 4.376 - 123.32 clocking.

Jesse Clark - 'JCR Racing' --- Lance Van Hauen - VBR Racing'

(LEFT) Making an impact in his first Funny Car Chaos race, Jesse Clark in the unlettered Camaro bodied car, was sitting near the bottom of the "B" field with a 4.299, only good for the #14 spot. He found the tuneup he needed and bombed the scoreboards with a great 3.872 - 196.25 to advance all the way to the #7 and at least a toehold on a spot in the "A" field.

(RIGHT) Next up were the "Van Haeun Brothers", with Lance Van Hauen driving, as they looked to improve on their earlier 3.91 and 3.85 passes. It didn't quite happen as they slipped back slightly to a still very good 3.894 - 185.80 timeslip. That kept him in the #5 position in the "A" field with only a few more cars waiting in the staging lanes that had a serious shot of moving him down the ladder.

Tony Arcuri - 'Firefighter' --- Jeff Cameron - 'Jake's Speed Shop'

(LEFT) Driving the unique '55 Ford Crown Victoria, Tony Arcuri drove the "Firefighter" to his best numbers of the event, with a good 4.191 - 170.00 pass that advanced him from #20 (middle of the "C" field) to #12, in the middle of the "B" field.

(RIGHT) Low qualfier Jeff Cameron in the very familiar "Jake's Speed Shop" car had a firm hold on the top rung of the ladder with his 3.661 - 208.53 run on Saturday. He tried hard but just fell short of improving on those numbers with a still very good 3.735 - 206.52 pass.

Shayne Lawson -'Man O' War 02' --- Casey Geeslin - 'The Gambler'

(LEFT) After running a 3.73 in Friday testing, and laying down a 3.76 in the first qualifying session - that was DQ'd when he took out a finish line block - left Shayne Lawson down to his last chance to make the show after not getting down the track in the second qualifier. The Ken Singleton-tuned Mustang-bodied "Man O' War II", finally got the run they had been looking for with a great 3.785 - 201.97 to leapfrog from the very bottom of the field (#30) all the way to #3 and lane choice in the first round of "A" field eliminations.

(RIGHT) Running in the lane opposite Lawson was Mississippi's Casey Geeslin in the Camaro-bodied "Gambler". He occupied the #11 spot at the beginning of the final session, but had fallen to #14 and needed to improve a little to assure himself of a spot in the "B" field. He wasn't able to do so as his 4.369 wasn't as good as his earlier 4.273 - 171.89 pass.

Tom Furches - 'Made In America' --- Justin Herbst - 'The Executioner'

(LEFT) Coming into the event in the #10 position in the FCC points standings, Colorado's Tom Furches in his "Made In America" Corvette wanted to stay near the top of the "B" field with his Saturday clocking of 4.098 - 150.45 mph. He came close with a 4.111 - 150.65; note that his speeds were down from what a low 4-second pass would normally produce. His earlier pass was good enough to hold onto the #10 spot on the ladder, giving him lane choice in the first round of eliminations.

(RIGHT) Closing out qualifying was the "Executioner" of Justin 'Hot Rod Herbie' Herbst. He was sitting in the middle of the "C" field in the #19 position with a previous best of 4.382 - 159.97 and was hoping to move up a little higher. It wasn't to be however, as his 4.405 - 161.12 wasn't quite good enough, as he remained at #19 on the ladder.