2017 Yellow Bullet Nationals Coverage From Cecil County Dragway


The highly-anticipated final day of the 2017 Yellow Bullet Nationals is here — it’s been a marathon weekend filled with high-flying action, record-breaking elapsed times, and all sorts of carnage. We are expected to be on-track at 10AM with 8.50, then Top Sportsman, and then into the big-boy classes.

Stay tuned here all day as we bring you the photos and information you want to know.

We’re through the third round of eliminations in all pro classes now. Despite giving up a substantial holeshot to Ronny Rhodes on the starting line, Alex Hays was able to power around him to the stripe and move on to the next round. Hays’ 4.75 elapsed time was the best of the round. He’ll face Rodney Ragen in the semis.

For a racer who’s vowed to quit racing, Joel Greathouse sure seems to have a lot of life left. How does a .013 reaction time and 4.81 ET sound? The Ultra Street racer has seen and done plenty in his illustrious career — can he bring home a YB Ultra Street win in 2017? He’s on a collision course with Hays but has to get through Chris Evans first in the semi.

Photo gallery


Don Teague has a bracket car in Top Sportsman — but isn’t that the point? He ran a 4.29 in round three and then a 4.30 in round four to dispatch Erica Coleman. Teague goes up against Dennis Gaboriault’s Shelby in the next round.

Scott McCracken was supposed to face local racer Tommy Romeo, but Romeo was a no-show at race time, so McCracken used the single for a test pass, knocking down the tree with a solid .020 reaction time. McCracken goes up against Chris Krajewski in the semis.

Longtime Ford hotshoe Jimmy Chahalis is knocking them dead in 8.50 Index this weekend. Despite pushing through on the top end with an 8.492, Chahalis took a win over Peter Mattheos when Mattheos turned on the angry red bulb early. Chahalis faces John Goss and his big-block Camaro in the semifinal.

If you don’t love a blown Pro Mod Camaro, go to the doctor and get your heart checked out, because Kevin McCurdy’s machine is just flat-out awesome. McCurdy has been on rails all weekend long; he knocked out Melanie Salemi last round on his way to the semifinals, where he’ll face Danny Perry’s in a battle of Pro Mod Camaros — one blown and one squeezed.

Paolo Giust took out Jimmy Bersani in the quarterfinals of Pro Mod on his way to battle Jonas Aleshire in a Corvette-on-Corvette slugfest. Paolo runs alongside Melanie Salemi in a loose team effort as Jon Salemi turns the screws on Paolo’s beast. Paolo also has a RvW Corvette, which he’ll be focused on for the rest of the season after this event. He’s on a mission to take home the big YB Nationals check at the end of the day, but he has to get through Aleshire and into the finals first.

Andrew DeMarco continues to make noise in X275 – he took out Vinny Gianelli in the quarters and gets to face his old NMRA nemesis Phil Hines in the semifinals of X275.

Speaking of Vinny G., he went for a wild ride, narrowly missing DeMarco as he crossed the track and nosed into the wall. He is OK, the car is obviously not.

Vinny Palazzolo did his job on the starting line during eliminations this morning, strapping a .009 reaction time onto Dean Marinis and winning on a holeshot. In the process, he ran a 4.523 – the quickest ET of the round in X275. He’s up against John Ashnault in the next round.

Joe Newsham cranked off a 4.08 at 187 in the quarters to knock out Mike Decker III. Newsham’s 540-inch ’68 Camaro is one of the cleanest cars on the property and is the epitome of what an Outlaw 10.5 car should be.

I keep talking about Mo Hall, and for good reason. Mo, Joe Newsham, and Mike Decker Jr. battle each other here at Cecil County Dragway every month at the track’s Outlaw Street Car Shootout, and their familiarity with the surface shows as all three have made it to the semifinals. Mo put John Bartunek on the trailer in the quarterfinals.

Final Round Notes

Cool as a cucumber – Luis Martinez simply knocked John Goss out of the show right at the starting line. A perfect .000 reaction time and 8.51 put the race in the bag for him.

Mo Hall kills ’em all – Mike Decker, Jr. never took the tree as the car was leaking after the burnout. Hall took the tree for the single and powered to a soft 4.092 for the Yellow Bullet Nationals Outlaw 10.5 win in an anticlimactic final round.

Chris Krajewski came all the way from the 27th spot to take the win in the Top Sportsman class. Krajewski was dead-on all weekend long.

.0045-second separated Pro Mod winner Paolo Giust and Kevin McCurdy in the final round. In a twist of fate, McCurdy had lane choice and switched lanes right before the burnout box, but it was for naught as Giust torched the track to a 3.890 at 195.51 mph to McCurdy’s 3.892 at 194.55 mph. This is Paolo’s first race out with the Liberty transmission setup and he came all the way from the 10th qualified spot to take the win. A totally awesome final round!

He must know something we don’t – Vinny Palazzolo was all thumbs up before the final round of X275. He took a 7-thou advantage over Andrew DeMarco on the starting line and then powered around him on the top end for a hard-earned win. Palazzolo had the transmission out of the car to rebuild it on Friday as the team discovered an internal problem that almost wrecked their weekend. A great showing for the Pennsylvania native. DeMarco goes back to Massachusetts empty-handed, but he also has to feel encouraged in just the second time out with the car.

Joel Greathouse took a .011-second advantage on the starting line, but Alex Hays took over almost immediately as Greathouse started a wheelstand and had to pedal the car. Hays turned in a 4.77 monster pass in the final in the naturally-aspirated hotrod to take the YB win – to go with his best-appearing crew award. A solid showing for the big-block Mustang.

Final Eliminations

Pro Mod/Outlaw 10.5/8.50 Index/Top Sportsman

Ultra Street/X275

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About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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