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The latest update as of July 12, 2023

4th annual Funny Car Chaos Nationals


With the storm clouds gathering as the final session commenced, and getting darker throughout, the racers were hoping to get well placed in the respective fields before eliminations began in the late afternoon. With only 29 cars in competition, almost every car that was healthy after qualifying was going to be in the show. As the session began, the bump spot at the bottom of the "C" field stood at a relatively easy 5.148 e.t., held down by Robin Rish. At the other end of the spectrum, sitting at the very top of the "A" field was Kirk Williams with his Friday night 3.757 - 203.49 effort.

Christine Foster - 'Family Feud' (left side) vs 
Danny Smith - 'Snafu' (right side) --- Jordan Ballew - 'Ballew Thunder' (left side) vs 
Jade Cook - 'Nemesis' (right side)

(LEFT) First out of the lanes to start the final session were Christine Foster (near lane), and on the far side, Danny Smith. Both teams were running a Top Alcohol combination and both wanted to advance to the "A" field. Foster appeared to be in trouble as she was pushed back after the burnout, but was able to stage the car with no drama. Things came undone when she launched and headed directly at our photographer. Her 6.80 pass left her - at least temporarily - in the #10 position. Not doing much better was Smith as his 4.80 - 145.19 clocking left him in the #12 spot and in danger of falling further back in the "B" field.

(RIGHT) Coming into the final session sitting on the "A" field bump spot was Jade Cook (right side) was hoping to repeat, or possibly improve a little, to solidify her position in an "A" field for the first time in her career. On the left side of the photo, Jordan Ballew wanted to move up to the "B" field from his #17 spot as the session started. Neither driver got their wish, but Cook put down a very respectable 4.27, at an early shutoff 133.2 to remain in the #8 spot. Her 60' time of just .996 indicated just how much power the "Nemesis" has under the hood of their Dodge Daytona. In the other lane, Ballew showed incredible consistency, running his third consecutive 4.51 pass, this one a 4.515 that was just a thousandth slower than his Friday best of 4.514. He remained in the #17 spot, at the top of the "C" field and in a very good position going into eliminations..

Robin Rish - 'Blown Retirement' (left side) vs 
Michael Neal - 'Burnin' Love' (right side) --- Wayne Hofmann - 'China Syndrome' (left side) vs 
Mike Buchanan - 'Hombre' (right side)

(LEFT) Launching strongly on the right side of the photo, Michael Neal improved by three hundredths of a second but remained in the #20 position. On the left side, Robin Rish was unable to improve on his Friday best of 5.148 and hung on (by a fingernail) to the last spot of eliminations at #24 on the ladder.

(RIGHT) Pulling into an early lead on the left side, Wayne Hofmann improved half a tenth with a good 4.393 - 156.11 to strengthen his grip on the #16 spot at the bottom of the "B" field. On the right side, Mike Buchanan pulled a serious wheelie for the first hundred feet and wasn't able to challenge his earlier best of 4.513. That left him in the very tenuous #16 spot on the bubble in the "B" field. With Jeff Cameron and Chris Schneider waiting in the staging lanes, his position wasn't looking too sfe.

Jim Chase - 'Wicked Quick' (left side) vs 
Kirk Williams - '200 Proof' (right side --- Chris Schneider - 'Brutus' (foreground) vs 
Danny Mann - 'Pony Up' (background)

(LEFT) Two of the "A" field hitters faced off in the next pairing, with #5 Jim Chase (left side) matched up against #1 Kirk Williams (right side). Both racers were looking for another quick run, and Chase led them out of the gate, with the wheels in the air well past the 60' clocks. He kept the pedal all the way to the finish line, stopping the clocks with a great 3.888 - 186.28 to improve by more than a tenth, and join the "3-second gang", but remain in the #5 spot on the ladder. Williams shook hard and shut off quickly to an 8-second pass, but still held on to the top spot in the field.

(RIGHT) Following side-by-side burnouts, Chris Schneider (foreground) was looking to step up and grab a spot on the elimination ladder. For the first time of the weekend, he got the John Troxel owned and tuned Mustang to lay down a good pass, putting a 4.184 - 174.80 to climb all the way to #9 on the list, at the top of the "B" field. In the background, Danny Mann managed to post a somewhat respectable number at 5.331 to move up to the #25, still one spot outside the "C" field, in the first alternate position. The car was running decently but backfired the blower before the finish line, sending the burst panel in the hood flying.

Justin Herbst - 'The Executioner' (left side) vs 
Jeff Cameron - 'War Machine' (right side) --- Casey Geeslin - 'The Gambler' (left side) vs 
Tony Arcuri - 'Firefighter' (right side)

(LEFT) Coming into the final session at the bottom of the "C" field with a 4.988 "best" on Friday, Jeff Cameron was looking to move way up the charts, and hopefully into the 3-second zone. He did just that with a very good 3.871 - 188.36, initiated with a .996 time to 60' as he blasted his way to the #4 spot and first round lane choice in the "A" field. That moved the bubble for that group down to Steve Griboski's 4.066, and bump Jade Cook to the top of the "B" field. On the left side of the photo, Justin Herbst wasn't able to improve and stayed in the middle of the "C" field in the #20 spot.

(RIGHT) Leaving strongly on the right side, Tony Arcuri shaved two hundredths off his Friday best, posting a 4.317 - 166.09 to hang on to the #13 spot in the middle of the "B" field. Having an equally strong run until half track, Casey Geeslin started moving towards the centerline and clicked it off to a 4.995 - 106.25, leaving him in the #16 spot, with just a toehold at the bottom of the "B" field.

Kris Battey - 'Batmobile' (left side) vs 
Shayne Lawson - 'Man O' War II' (right side) --- Jesse Clark - 'JCR Racing' (left side) vs 
Keith Zimmerer - 'Penny Pincher 02' (right side)

(LEFT) Pulling into an early lead on the right side, Shayne Lawson ran a consistent, and slightly quicker, 3.804 - 199.35 to solidify his hold on the #3 spot in the "A" field, and nearly join Kirk Williams in the "200-mph club". Lawson also continued his improvement on 60' times with a very good .981 clocking. On the left side, Kris Battey cut nearly a tenth off his earlier best, with a 4.823 - 143.70 pass to give him a slightly stronger hold on the #23 spot as the final qualifying session was winding down.

(RIGHT) The next pair featured a pair of "A" field qualifiers, with Jesse Clark (left side) versus Keith Zimmerer on the right side. Zimmerer held the #2 spot with his earlier 3.781, while Clark was hanging on the bump spot in the "A" field with his 4.103 pass on Friday.

Chuck Loftin - 'Motivation' (left side) vs 
Clay Cunningham - 'Still Crazy' (right side) --- Tom Furches - 'Made In America'

(LEFT) Shutting off after the burnout earlier in the session, Chuck Loftin got one final chance to make the show in the last pair of qualifying. It didn't work as he sat on the line for quite a while, staring at the GREEN light before limping to a 6.943 - 102.75 that left him well outside the "C" field. Streaking away from Loftin was Clay Cunningham who blasted out a 3.967 - 173.47 that vaulted him all the way from #19 to #8 and a spot in the "A" field.

(RIGHT) Closing out qualifying was the final pass for Tom Furches, and he picked up nearly half a second, but only moving from the #15 spot to #11, but in the top half of the "B" field, with lane choice for the first round of eliminations.

With the fields set, the range of e.t.'s in the "A" field ran from Kirk Williams at 3.757 down to Clay Cunningham's 3.967, making for an all 3-second field. The "B" group started with Steve Griboski at 4.066 and worked down to Wayne Hofmann, in at 4.393. Griboski's e.t. set the index at 3.86 for the "B" field. The "C" field started with Danny Smith at 4.394, setting their index at 4.19, and sitting at the bottom of the ladder was Matt Nissen at 5.010, narrowly missing making it an all 4-second group.