NITRO AND NOSTALGIA AT 15TH ANNUAL FUNNY CAR NATIONALS
‘Original Jet Truck,’ ‘Nitro Ninja,’ Studebaker Wheelstander Also on US 131 Program
MARTIN, Mich. – Recalling a golden era in which race cars had both names and personalities, US 131 Motorsports Park’s 15th annual Funny Car Nationals promises a large helping of nostalgia served up with a side order of Top Fuel and a dessert tray that includes the return of Bob Motz and the Original Jet Truck plus an exhibition by one of the most unique vehicles on the planet, a wheelstanding 1950 bullet-nosed Studebaker firetruck.
The action begins Friday, Sept. 7, with a special ticket price and a diverse program featuring eight nitro-burning nostalgia Funny Cars, two fuel altereds including Tom Motry’s world record-holding “Drastic Plastic” 1948 Anglia and two qualifying rounds for the classic 1923 T-roadsters, ’32 Bantam roadsters, ’57 Chevy coupes, Anglias, Willyses, Fiats, hemi-Plymouths and GTOs active in the Nostalgia Drag Racing League
All those vehicles will return Saturday where they will be joined by track record holder Dom Lagana and the “Nitro Ninja” Top Fuel dragster, Motz and his awe-inspiring jet-powered 1998 Kenworth conventional and Rick “The Shoe” Ream, driver of Jimmy DeAngelo’s aforementioned wheelstanding Studebaker.
There also will be daily non-points races for cars and drivers active in the track’s Lane Automotive Bracket Series with champions crowned in Modified, Top ET, Street and three Jr. Dragster classes.
Special on-line advance ticket price for Friday is just $12 for adults, a savings of $3 over the gate price. Kids 6-12 are $5 Saturday with children under six free with a ticketed adult. Saturday adult tickets are $19 if purchased in advance; $25 at the gate. Kids 6-12 get a $2 break on advance purchase. At the gate, kids’ Saturday tickets will be $7.
NDRL qualifying rounds in the 7.0, 7.5, Pro Comp and Pro Gas classes are set for 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday with a round of nitro cars at 8 p.m.
Among the Funny Cars committed to the event are the “Runaway” 1980 Chevy Camaro of John Lawson of Joliet, Ill., the “Quickdraw” 2001 Pontiac Firebird driven by Joe Hass of Joliet, Ill., the “Buzzy’s Bomber” 1962 Chevy II of Mark McElwee of Vandalia, Mich., and the “McAttack” 1969 Camaro of Mike McIntire Jr. of Mentor, Ohio.
The remainder of the lineup includes the “Bluegrass Thunder” ’69 Camaro of Eric Stevens of Somerset, Ky., the “All-Star Dodge” 1970 Challenger of Greg Jacobsmeyer of St. Louis, Mo., the “Down Under Thunder” ’69 Camaro of Aussie Bazz Young, and the “Gone Ballistic” 1975 Chevy Monza of Brian Cunningham of Stanfield, N.C.
Troy Martin will be at the controls of the Chicago-based “Drastic Plastic” fuel altered which has covered the quarter mile in as few as 5.286 seconds at 275 mph. Providing the opposition will be the “Moonshine Express” 1943 Fiat Topolino driven by Gary Kraus of Buffalo, N.Y.