3rd Annual Marion County Nostalgia Funny Car Nationals
As with any big gathering there were months of preparation and at times it seem like the race would never get here. Then in the blink of an eye it’s over and we are planning for next year.
The day started early with most of the funny cars already in the pits and being prepared for battle. This year there were eleven states represented and The Rainmaker injected funny car came from Canada.
When the cars were called to the lanes for the preview the final count was 6 injected, 21 blown and 2 nitro funny cars on the grounds.
To add even more excitement to the show there were also 4 front engine nitro dragsters, 20 gassers plus the track ran their regular bracket program and a quick sixteen class.
When the funny car class began, back in the mid 60’s they were injected on gas and nitro. We had 6 injected alcohol car that were on hand to show their respect to these pioneers. Some of the cars had stack injectors and all of them did wheels up launch as they did in the old days. These cars ran in the mid to low 8 second range with MPH’s in the 140 range.
Next up were the blown alcohol funny cars. There were 21 blown cars entered. The Lill Miss Behavior Challenger broke testing and was unable to make the call. This left 10 pairs of cars that made fast unpredictable and exciting runs. The Fuelish Monza did his usual quarter mile dance and wowed the crowd. There were many low seven-second runs and two six-second passes.
Twenty wild gassers, the nitro dragsters and the nitro funny cars filled out the show.
Justin Grant’s Stardust Cuda driven by Mike Lewis took on Army Armstrong in The Mexican Revolution. Both cars came out belching nitro and doing dry hops. It took some negotiating to get down the quarter mile for both cars. The Mexican Revolution took the win light.
The second round came with the sun setting and it was time for funny cars under the lights.
Out first again were the injected funny cars. The Rainmaker Arrow was unable to return for the second round. Brad Cashel out of Carmel, IN had the original Don Geradot Corvette. It is the same as it was when Don ran the car back in the mid 70’s. The Poison Arrow and The No Money, No Funny Nova were the class standouts and will meet in the Injected finals.
First blown pair was The Total Insanity Monza from NJ taking on The Fuelish Monza from In. The Fuelish car again did not disappoint the crowd. At the hit Tracy pulled the front end up and carried it for sometime then the car reacted and was side ways with Tracy finally getting the car calmed down enough to get down the track.
The Destroyer Trans Am out of NC was definitely the one to beat this round, but they had to work for it as the car was a handful but clicked the timers with a 6.34/217. The crowd went nuts.
There were many great runs with some of the cars reaching personal best. Jerry Streb in The Dazed & Confused Camaro ran almost back-to-back 7.25’s. Bob Rosetty in The Rollin Stoned Cuda from Philadelphia ran a strong 7.29 and The New Generation Corvette driven by Matt Stambaugh ran a very stout 7.11/183.
The Nitro funnies came out for on last run. Both cars thrilled the crowd with their burnouts and dryhops. On the line there was some confusion with The Mexican Revolution car and the crew only took out on of the parachute safety flags. Once the car took off and shook a little it rattled the other chute loose with The Camaro running the full quarter with the chute out. In the other lane Mike Lewis had his hands full with the slippery track and could not catch the Camaro.
The blown finals had The SnakeBite Mustang (6.86) taking on The Destroyer Trans Am (6.34). On paper it didn’t look good for the SnakeBite but I’m sure he was planning on doing his best on the tree. Both cars put on a show and did great smoky burnouts. They staged and where ready to do battle. Unfortunately there was some oil under the Destroyer and they were shut off. The SnakeBite took a single and the win. It was later found out that the oil came from the puke tank.
Next up was the Injected finals with Frank Barnard in The Poison Arrow (8.04) taking on The No Money, No Funny Nova (8.32).
Either way the injected crown was going to NJ this year. The cars were staged and the Poison Arrow car was lined up in the oil tracks from the previous run. At the hit the Poison Arrow took a hard right but Frank fought it and caught Willie at the strip with a .099 win margin.
This years Funny Car Nationals was a great success with a great crowd and the biggest field of funny cars this side of The Mississippi for probably 25 years.
Thank you to the following companies for helping with the event and sponsoring the special awards. Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Sylvanson Web Technologies, Fowler Engines, Len Hughes Magneto, Good Vibrations, Minute Man Staffing, Warped Worm Engineering, Finish Line Car & Truck, Classy Carts, MJM Trucking, HERCULINER, Mr. Gasket, Ramco Rental and Mike’s Roofing.
Thanks to the great people at Marion County International Raceway for giving us a place to put on this great event.