Cecil County Dragway is famous throughout the world for being one of the best-working, best-hooking racetracks around. It hosts many large events throughout the year including the Yellowbullet.com Nationals and the track’s own Outlaw Street Car Shootout, held monthly during racing season. The SCSO features eleven competition classes, a number of which are heads-up style classes. Delaware’s Larry Rhodes of Rhodes Custom Auto competes in the track’s Ultra 275 class and was running well on Saturday night – the next-to-last points race of the 2012 season.
Rhodes had qualified second with a 5.14 (1/8th mile) behind Marc McCloud’s 5.06 top qualifier hit. Rhodes outdueled Billy Gibbs in the first round – taking the easy win with a 5.14 to Gibbs’ 6.30 before rolling through the second-round bye. A tougher test in the semifinals came in the form of Todd Geisler, and Rhodes pulled out the win barely – with a .002 margin at the stripe, based on reaction time as Geisler was actually quicker from cell to cell. Rhodes matched up with top qualifier McCloud in the final round, and here’s where the plan went awry.
Rhodes explained, “I saw yellow so I left, but people are telling me the tree didn’t come down. I’m fine, I guess the car got out out of the groove, and at that point it’s gonna do what it’s gonna’ do. The car is repairable but I’m not going to fix it. That was actually my last race – I wasn’t going to run the car anymore. We were in the process of shaking the car down so that we could put my grandson into the car. The thing we’re the happiest about with the whole deal is that the safety equipment did it’s job in this car 100 percent. The cage did not move and the car structurally is fine. That’s a tribute to my son Ron who fabricated the cage – the worst thing that happened was that I bit my tongue pretty bad. That’s racing.” We’re sad to hear that Rhodes won’t be returning to the circuit with the car, but are happy to hear that he’s okay.