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The latest update as of July 10, 2023

4th annual Funny Car Chaos Nationals

FUNNY CAR CHAOS Qualifying - Round ONE

We've got the first session photos and captions posted below and will start working on the second round of qualifying from Friday evening later this afternoon. Stay tuned for that report and the final session from Saturday afternoon. And we'll have some bonus photos from Dale Fackler to share with you later.

Wayne Hofmann - 'China Syndrome' --- Daniel Butherus - 'Rat-A-Tude' (near lane) vs 
Wayne Hofmann - 'China Syndrome' (far lane)

(LEFT) First out of the lanes was Connecticut's Wayne Hofmann in the big-block Chevy powered "China Syndrome" car.

(RIGHT) Paired up with Hofmann was Daniel Butherus in his season debut of an all-new combination. It's got a twin-turboed 572-cid Rodeck for motivation and it should fly once they get on top of the tuneup. It sounded nasty as it spooled up and left hard before running into trouble and coasting to a 6.11 at 79.95 mph. On the far side, Hofmann put down a solid opening pass of 4.468 - 158.50 to stake his claim for a spot in the "B" field.

Tony Arcuri - 'Firefighter' (near lane) vs 
Danny Smith - 'Snafu' (far lane) --- Mike Buchanan - 'Hombre'

(LEFT) A good close race to the finish line developed in the next pairing, as Colorado's Tony Arcuri (near lane) pushed his Thunderbird bodied "Firefighter" to the top of the list with a solid 4.351 - 164.51. Not far behind in the far lane was Danny Smith in the "Snafu" entry, stopping the clocks at 4.394 - 161.92 to move into the #2 spot on the ladder.

(RIGHT) Debuting a new carbon fibre, and still unwrapped, Vega body, Mike Buchanan made a solid pass in his "Hombre", with a 4.513 - 162.45 pass. Not shown, on the far side was Jordan Ballew who was just a tick behind on the clocks with a 4.514 - 156.32 set of numbers.

Alex Barker - 'Back In Black' (near lane) vs 
Matt Nissen - 'Runnin' Down A Dream' (far lane) --- Matt Nissen - 'Runnin' Down A Dream'

(LEFT) Getting out of shape on the burnout, the orange and black flamed "Back In Black" GTO of Alex Barker ran into more trouble on the run as he launched into instant tire shake and shutoff before getting to the finish line.

(RIGHT) Running alongside Barker was the "Runnin' Down A Dream" car of Matt Nissen, and he had a much better result than Barker, as he laid down a 5.016 - 155.31 to grab the #7 spot on the list. However, with more than 20 cars waiting to run, that spot was certain to be only temporary.

Robin Rish - 'Blown Retirement' --- Chris Schneider - 'Brutus' and crew

(LEFT) Seen completing his burnout, Robin Rish in the Camaro-bodied "Blown Retirement" entry, didn't really get up on the tires as the car laboured down the track to a 5.076 - 139.36 clocking. That put him in the #7 spot as a total of eight cars had an e.t. at that point.

(RIGHT) Not having similar luck, Chris "The Flying Butcher" Schneider broke shortly after the launch and received NTR and NSR (no time or speed recorded) as he failed to reach the finish line. That made two cars in a row to fail to get down the left lane. Oddly enough, the crew elected to push the car back to the pits instead of towing it down to the top end turnout and making the longer trip back.

David Hill - 'Zeus' --- Justin Herbst - 'The Executioner' (near lane) vs 
Danny Mann - 'Pony Up' (far lane)

(LEFT) Things started changing quickly as David Hill piloted "Zeus" to the top of the list with a new low e.t. (of the moment) at 4.225 - 166.48 clocking. Not shown in the far lane was the "Burnin' Love" Nova of Mississippi's Michael "Toad" Neal who grabbed the #8 spot with a decent 4.828 - 145.20 clocking.

(RIGHT) Launching hard with the wheels up was "Hot Rod Herbie" Justin Herbst in his sinister looking "Executioner" in the near lane. He put down a solid 4.608 - 153.84 that placed him momentarily in the #7 spot. Trailing him off the line in the far lane was the Mustang-bodied "Pony Up" of Danny Mann, who stopped at half track, restarted (onboard starter) and idled across the finish line, but didn't receive an elapsed time.

Jim Chase - 'Wicked Quick' --- Kirk Williams - '200 Proof'

(LEFT) Two of the heavy hitters came out next, with North Dakota's Jim Chase in the beautiful classis '57 Chevy "Wicked Quick" in the left lane. He shut off just before the finish line but still managed the second best time of the session - to this point - with a great 4.013 - 183.89 showing on the scoreboards.

(RIGHT) Laying down the first 3-second pass of the event was the defending series champion, Kirk Williams in the Williams Brothers Racing "200 Proof", as he blitzed the timers with a very strong 3.818 - 201.43 to take the top spot in the "A" field.

Keith Zimmerer - 'Penny Pincher 02' --- Keith Zimmerer - 'Penny Pincher 02' (near lane) vs 
Chuck Loftin - 'Motivation' (far lane)

(LEFT) Showing off with a solid burnout, the Will Hanna-tuned, Keith Zimmerer driven "Penny Pincher 02" was back in action after a two race absence waiting for a new supercharger.

(RIGHT) Leaving first by quite a bit in the near lane, Zimmerer bounced Williams out of the top spot with a new low e.t. of the session at a brilliant 3.781, paired with a speed of "only" 192.25 to shake things up at the top of the charts. That moved the bump spot for the "A" field down to Mike Buchanan's 4.513 pass. But with still at least ten more cars waiting in the lanes, Buchanan was certain to be bumped down to the "B" field.

Clay Cunningham - 'Still Crazy' (near lane) vs 
Lance Van Hauen - 'Van Hauen Brothers' (far lane) --- Jesse Clark - 'JCR Racing'

(LEFT) Things got a little weird when the lights went green as Clay Cunningham (near lane) shot off the line in his "Still Crazy" entry, and ran strong for a few hundred feet before clicking it to a 4.737 - 110.73. He missed the last two races waiting for parts to arrive and probably took it easy on this pass to save wear and tear on the equipment.

(RIGHT) Hoping to keep both sides shiny, as he's kissed the guardwall on both sides at the last two events, Jesse Clark kept his Monte Carlo-bodied car mostly in the groove before shutting off a little early, stopping the clocks with a good 4.103 at only 146.78 to take the #4 spot in the "A" field.

Christine Foster - 'Family Feud' --- Kris Battey - 'Batmobile' (near lane) vs 
Steve Griboski - 'Mile-High Express' (far lane)

(LEFT) Running a full-on Top Alcohol Camaro-bodied entry, Christine Foster experienced severe tire shake shortly after launching, pedalled it once, then gave up on the run to the tune of a 5.170 - 98.69 to take a place at the top of the "C" field.

(RIGHT) Leaving first in the near lane, Kris Battey pushed the "Batmobile" to a so-so 4.916 - 140.30 to take the #16 spot on the list, while in the far lane, Colorado's Steve Griboski had a troubled (for him) run in his nitro burning "Mile-High Express" early model Mustang, as he could only muster a 4.382 - 169.78 to take the #7 spot in the "A" field. His run moved the "A" bump spot down to a 4.394, with still more cars left in the lanes and ready to lower that number.

Casey Geeslin - 'The Gambler' (near lane) vs 
Tom Furches - 'Made In America' (far lane) --- Shayne Lawson - 'Man O' War II'

(LEFT) Next up were a pair of Top Ten runners, with points leader Tom Furches (far lane) in the Firebird-bodied "Made In America", facing series rookie Casey Geeslin (#7 in points) in the hot looking Camaro-bodied "Gambler" (near lane). Neither racer got the numbers they wanted, as Geeslin had to pedal at the 60' mark, then got on it hard to stop the clocks at 4.576 - 172.65. The e.t. wasn't the best, but the speed was seriously fast.

(RIGHT) With only one more car waiting behind him in the lanes, the gorgeous "Man O' War" of Oklahoma's Shayne Lawson was looking to blast into the top half of the "A" field and he did just that with a very strong 3.840 - 198.50 to take the #3 position. The Ken Singleton tuneup was obviously continuing to pay dividends for the team.

Jeff Cameron - 'War Machine'

The last of 29 cars to make an attempt in the first qualifying session was Jeff Cameron in the "War Machine" (aka: Jake's Speed Shop), left very hard with a .990 time at 60', but started heading towards the centerline, and took out the 330' timing block to DQ the run. The scoreboard read 4.603 - 144.29 but it was all for naught with the centerline infraction.

With the first round of qualifying in the books, the "A" field runners ranged from Keith Zimmerer in at 3.781, down to Steve Griboski at a 4.382. The "B" field started with Danny Smith with a 4.394, and ended with Lance Van Hauen coming in at 4.687. In the "C" field, the numbers started from Clay Cunningham at 4.737, then trailed off down to Chuck Loftin in the #24 spot at 6.661. Below him were three drivers that didn't reach the finish line, one that broke on the burnout, and one that crossed the centerline. With the second session coming in the evening, under cooler conditions and possibly better bite, the qualifying numbers were almost certain to improve.