We all took a break from our extended holiday weekend and put some time in at Cecil County this weekend, for the monthly installment of the Finishline Performance Outlaw Street Car Shootout. It was a real scorcher, full sun for most of the day with the occasional cloud or two. Before 3PM, track temps were in the 150s! The track staff pulled an old trick out of their back pockets and hosed down the track before the pro qualifying rounds at 4PM, dropping track temps by about 30 degrees. The track really came around after that and continued to get better as the sun went down.
Click here to go straight to the Photo Gallery for this race! (run sheets are at the beginning of the gallery)
Compared to last year’s 12.0 Index class, we have a lot of new faces in 11.50 Index. The racers in this class are continuing to get dialed in on the index, the hot weather didn’t seem to phase them on Saturday. The story of the day in 11.50 was Keith Huffman, who qualified second with a 11.520 pass, and continued on to take his first ever win in the class! Keith ran 11.580, 11.509, 11.557, and 11.539 passes on his way to victory. With those kind of runs, we are sure this will not be the first time we see Keith in the winner’s circle before the season ends!
We keep saying it, and we keep meaning it – 10.0 Index has the closest competition out of any Index class that we cover. Today was no exception, again we saw the top 10 in the field within 3 tenths of the Index, with the top 6 in the 10.0 range. Floating around the top were some of the familiar names, such as reigning champ Mike Romeo, Carl Ungaro, Carey Cable, and Mike Colo. Brandon Dirmicke came in the #3 spot with a nice 10.020 pass, Colo #2 with a 10.012. The top qualifier was rightfully earned by Christian Benedict, who made the ride from NY and put up a 10.008 pass. Nicole Worthington, who has been absolutely dangerous lately, qualified in the #5 spot with a 10.047.
Top qualifier Christian Benedict had a great day during eliminations, making it all the way to the semi-finals, where he tossed it away with a .037 red light to Nicole Worthington. Nicole also unfortunately lit the reds in the finals against Mike Romeo, going red by .002 on a 10.001 pass – that was probably the only way that Mike could take the win against a pass like that! Mike Colo also had a great day, making it to the semis where Romeo caught him sleepin at the tree, Colo had a nice 10.012 pass but lost on a holeshot. Romeo also took the chance to display his gratitude with a contingency sponsor from last season, while in the winner’s circle. Some day, he might get his winnings?
Billy Gibbs took home the win in 10.0 for the continuation of the June race.
8.50 Index had an amazing car count, with 22 fine rides trying to make the 16 car field. We were surprised to see two regular round winners in 8.50 on the outside looking in, Luis Martinez and Craig Cusamano. Martinez went too fast by .010 seconds, and Cusamano was a few tenths too slow. On the bump spot with team ADD was Mike O’Sullivan. Between the bump and the top qualifier, the field is filled with the regular heavy hitters in the class – so many of them that we doubt there is space to list them all here! Rounding up the top 3 spots were Mike Good in #3 with a 8.554, Darrell Varner in #2 with a 8.529, and Harry Gerb from H&J Motorsports in the top spot with a 8.502. Adam Sailor, who is yet to be beaten at Cecil in 8.50 this year, was in the #6 spot with a 8.572.
Just to show that #1 qualifier means nothing once eliminations start, Mike O’Sullivan caught Harry Gerb polishing up his wheels at the starting line and beat Harry’s perfect 8.500 with a 8.527, due to Gerb’s .097 reaction time versus Mike’s .036. Lil’ man Marty Brown Jr. was very consistent on the tree, making it to round 2 where he broke out and lost to the Fonse Performance racing team. The naturally aspirated Fonse car was strong throughout the day even in the heat, putting up 8.514 and 8.501 passes. Team Fonse made it all the way to the finals to line up against the still undefeated Adam Sailor. Guppy took Fonse at the tree with an .013 advantage, the two played some pedal games at the top end and the win light came on in Guppy’s lane. Gup goes a breakout 8.496 to Fonse’s 8.489, in an amazingly close race.
Guppy also doubled up, as he won the continuation of June’s race and took home TWO wins today!
Outlaw Drag Radial
Outlaw Drag Radial continues to live at Cecil County’s Street Car Shootouts, with a few teams hurt and in the shop at the moment, we still had ten cars looking to fill up the 8 car field. Abdullah Alshatti even made the ride from Kuwait to race in this awesome series!! As far as qualifying goes, Wild Bill Dutka was back in action with his multicolored, twin turbo J&E powered Malibu. He did well, taking the #2 qualifier spot with a 5.076 @ 146mph. The top of the field was all Don Burton, though, in the twin F1R Procharged machine, with a 4.737 @ 157 pass. In the heat we had, 70s on radials was impressive!
In a huge upset, Abdullah Alshatti took out Don Burton in the first round of eliminations, on a holeshot win. Abdullah had a .032 light and put up a 4.807 pass for the first round win, Burton tried to run him down but had to pedal it as he got close to the center line. Abdullah went on to take out Matt Butrim in the semis, continuing to get quicker with a 4.711 @ 162mph pass. In the finals, Frank Soldridge from PSI motorsports took his turn against Abdullah and went A to B to take the win. We thought we would see Abdullah go .60s, as they didn’t touch the car between rounds, but he smoked the tires at the hit and Frank was off with no chance to catch him.
TWENTY, count them, TWENTY Outlaw 10.5 cars were on the property Saturday to bring the fans quite a show. There are no slouches in the Northeast, either, we are talking about 20 of the best performing (and best looking) Outlaw 10.5 cars in the entire country right in our own back yard. Outside looking in was a surprise to see Shawn Zubler, Joe Newsham, and Brad Harris, just barely missing the field. John Cheman also did not make the field, having a slight mishap in the first qualifier and unable to get down quick enough on the second. With the summer heat, both in the air and on the track, qualifying during the afternoon was tough for all of the teams. Mo Hall, who has been doing quite a bit of testing as of late, was in the middle of the field in the #7 spot with a 4.616. Steve Gorman, May’s winner, was in the #9 position with a 4.685 pass. Lou Sciortino continued to improve on previous races with a #5 spot and a 4.540 pass. Larry Wood, K&K built and Proline powered, took the number four spot with a 4.509 @ 177mph. Number two and three were taken up by the Gil Christy Motorsports team of TJ Kasper and father Tom Kasper, TJ with a 4.434 and Tommy with a 4.435. Topping off the field with over a tenth advantage on everyone was Richard Sexton’s C-rotor GTO, running a 4.319 @ 181mph.
Mo Hall was upset by another nitrous car, Brian Penna, in round #1, when Penna went 4.509 to Mo’s 4.504 to take a holeshot win. The Chrisy and Kasper Racing team, earning their spots at the top of the field, continued with their success as the day went on. TJ took out Buck Jarvis in the first round, and Brian Penna in the second, until his old man Tommy took advantage of TJ’s tire smoke in the Semis to earn a spot in the finals. Larry Wood’s Corvette was doing great in the first round, putting up a 4.466 @ 179mph pass. He continued to do well, making it all the way into the finals against Tommy Kasper. Both cars spooled up their 670ci Proline, Precision Turbo powered motors and waited for the tree to drop. As Tommy pushed his transbrake button in, it never engaged, and his car rocketed down the track before the tree activated. It looked like a great pass, but we’ll never know the time – Larry Wood took advantage and took home his first win of the season at Cecil.
Concluding June’s Outlaw 10.5 race was TJ Kasper versus Steve Gorman. Steve had TJ on the tree, but overpowered the track and TJ took home the win.
X275 Drag Radial
The heat on Saturday really tested the X275 guys, it’s tricky enough to get down the track without smoking the tires but being in the 90s does not help their cause at all! Rich Bruder and Ron Rhodes didn’t seem to mind much, however, qualifying right where they usually do, at the top of the field. Bruder’s Procharged beast went a 5.066 @ 145, while Rhodes’ went a 5.168 @ 138. Chris Evans piloting ‘Big Green’ was in the #5 spot with a 5.316 @ 136mph. Brendan Mills and Tom Wood continued to get used to being the X275 newcomers and both made the field, Mills #11 and Wood #14.
Rich Bruder made easy work of his opponents during eliminations, taking out Bob Clayton, John Ashnault, and Chris Wilkinson to earn his way in the finals. He would meet Ron Rhodes in the finals, who also made it through some tough racers to get there – Willie Jimenez, Kyle Buonocory, and a familiar face, Larry Rhodes. Rhodes went in the 5.0’s in the first round, but in the second and third he slowed up a little bit. In the finals, he brought ou the 5.0 tune at just the right time, to take out Rich Bruder. Both racers within .001 seconds of each other, but Rhodes made it A to B with a 5.091 to Bruder’s 5.397.
That wasn’t it for Rhodes on Saturday, however. In the continuation of June’s race, Ron Rhodes took out Craig Walls to take the win and double up for the day. Rhodes went 5.09 to Walls’ 5.37.