Saturday night the masses of race fans rolled into corner of routes 75 and 80 where Maryland’s oldest dragstrip resides. With the record crowd in attendance 75-80 Dragway had quite possibly the best race ever to be held there. The air temperatures and humidity were unbearable at times but even with track surface temperatures in the 150′s the surface was prepared well. From the first pair of cars down the track the traction was right where it needed to be for some record setting performances once the sun went down.
At this years Run What Ya Brung a new class debuted for the index racing fans. 5.20 Index was open for just about anything from dragsters to door cars as long as you can run the number. Nine cars came out to try their luck and after qualifying was done Dave Skinner was on top of the ladder with a 5.244 second elapsed time. He was followed closely Chris Carter in his Ford EXP and the field was rounded out by Rob Bower in the Martin Brothers dragster.
Opening up round one was the number one qualifier Dave Skinner. Skinner laid down one of his trademark 300 foot burnouts but then had some mechanical difficulties which would force him out of competition on his bye run. A crowd favorite was the 1957 Chevrolet driven by George Paul which faced off against Mike Bower. Bower would advance to round two by taking out Paul. Ronnie Guariglia picked up a round one victory in his Dodge Demon which would place him against Rob Harris in round two.
Mike Bower and Chris Carter would both have bye runs in the second round so the lone heads up race was Ronnie Guariglia against Rob Harris. Guariglia laid down another consistent pass as Harris fell off the pace. Ronnie’s second round win will grant him a bye run in round 3 which will place him in the finals against either Mike Bower or Chris Carter.
Mike Bower in the dragster lined up against the short wheel base EXP of Chris Carter. Carter chased down the dragster of Bower and ran him under the index for the win. Carter and Guariglia would face off in the finals of 5.20 Index.
Chris Carter jumped out to a lead off the line and that was enough to hold off the Demon of Guariglia. Carters 5.281 second elapsed time placed him the winners circle at the first ever 5.20 Index race at 75-80 Dragway. Congratulations to Chris and his crew on a great performance.
Outlaw Drag Radial
A quick trip through the pits and it was easy to see that this was the best field of Drag Radial cars to date that have run at 75-80. 15 cars came from New York to Virginia to try and claim the $3500 top prize. A familiar car here on Dragzine was at the top of the field after qualifying. Chris Evans and his small block Procharged Mustang outgunned many a heavy hitter while being on the much smaller 275 tires. 4.972 @ 130 mph was enough to hold of John Carter in his twin turbocharged Corvette who laid down a 5.052 @ 129mph. John Balinsky made the long ride trip from New York and brought along Mustang Mike Modeste to lend a helping hand. Balinksy qualified ninth in his “On a Budget” Oldsmobile Cutlass powered by a twin turbocharged big block. Rounding out the field was Eric Hendrickson in his Mustang. His small block nitrous assisted combination may have been like bringing a knife to a gun fight but he still laid down an impressive 5.669 @ 126mph.
In round one it was one of the local longtime racers Larry Palmer facing Rob Falcone. It was a battle of small block versus big block and the small block nitrous assisted Mustang of Palmer came out on top with a 5.395 second elapsed time. Quite possibly one of the top picks to take home the money was Richie Stine behind the wheel of Ricky Foxs’ Mustang. Stine took on Steven Montgomery in round one and Montgomery took a huge hole shot advantage but the Mustang came around on the big end for the win with Stine behind the wheel. Two of the strongest nitrous cars came out of Virginia to compete and faced off in round one as well. Nick Bernardo and Keith Matheson took the tree but it was the late model Camaro of Matheson taking the win with a 5.087 and would face Larry Palmer in round two. Chris Evans, Brian Deyton, John Carter, Bobby Demilt and Bill Dutka would all advance into round two as well.
Chris Evans would have to take on Brian Deyton in his Firebird which is truly a unique piece with Ponhco power under the hood. Deyton gave it everything he had with a nice wheelie well past the sixty foot clocks but it was the hard charging small block of Evans on the other end. His 5.016 would make him second fastest for the round. It was John Carter who would be the fastest as he continued a string of 4.90 passes in this round. He faced Richie Stine and Stine was away first from the line but the twin turbo Proline power was building a full head of steam down track and narrowly edged out Stine with a 4.934. Bobby Demilt and Bill Dutka were doing battle to advance to the next round. The Maryland native, Demilt would advance as he simply outrun the Malibu of Dutka who made the haul from New Jersey. The last pair was Larry Palmer versus Keith Matheson. Matheson once again stepped up his performance and pulled away from Palmer to move onto the semi- finals.
In the final four there were some great races lined up to take place. Chris Evans and Keith Matheson lined up first and it was Matheson using a huge hole shot advantage to take out the 4.94 second run of Evans. Matheson advanced to the finals to face the winner of Carter versus Demilt. Carter continued his dominance against Demilt. He already had backed up the new track record in the previous round and lowered it again. A 4.914 advanced him to the finals to take on Matheson.
Keith Matheson would have a huge task in the final round against John Carter. Matheson running his big block nitrous combination against the twin turbos in Carters Corvette. Carter would leave the line first and never look back. Matheson improved on all his previous times but it was not enough to hold off Carters 4.977. Carter and crew celebrated a hard earned victory at their home track and we look forward to seeing them back soon.
Outlaw Pro Street RWYB:
The most anticipated class of the day was the Outlaw Pro Street Run What Ya Brung. With the open rules just about anything was possible to show up and take a shot at the money. Chuck Ulsch may have been the most talked about entry of the day in his 1968 Camaro that is a record holder in the ADRL Extreme 10.5 ranks. Ulsch would claim the number one spot with a 4.392 @ 150mph. Mo Hall was number two on the ladder and really started his day off in a bad way during his first run. As he left the line the steering wheel came off in his hand which left him helpless as he went for a ride up the right side retaining wall. The car was pretty much unharmed and he would come back to qualify number two with a 4.501 2 134.64mph. Doug Harris made the trip from New Jersey to qualify number three with a 4.636 @ 139.66mph. Rounding out the field was Terris Hicks who struggled to get down track running a 6.49 @ 135mph.
Number one qualifier Ulsch received a bye into round two and used it as a test pass. He posted another super fast pass of 4.411 to prepare himself for the competition. Darren Eash took his wildly painted Firebird to the line against the wheelstanding Erik Vandrew. Vandrew gave it all he had but Eash drove around him for the win. Doug Harris and Sammy carter were next up and Carter would bring his 1957 Chevy to the line being tuned by the legendary Camp Stanley. Camp put the Chevy on kill but the Kogan Motorsports power under the hood of Harris’ GTO walked by on the top end with a 4.62. Last seasons RWYB champion Ronnie Proctor line up his Mustang against another Mustang counterpart in Robert Norris. Norris’ GT500 was virtually untested but made a clean pass but it would not be enough to hold off Proctor who ran a 4.679. Mo Hall in his Fulton powered Camaro lined up against Terris Hicks. Hicks once again struggled to keep the car running and could not make it to the line. Hall took the solo run and blasted to a 4.488 second elapsed time. Finally Jeff Mullins in his twin turbo Willy’s took on the Camaro of Mike Decker. Decker fell off the pace at the hit of the throttle and Mullins blasted to a 4.471 which was second fastest for the round.
Rolling into round two it was Ulsch taking on Darren Eash. Eash would have to pull off a major upset to take out the Mobley Motorsports Camaro. Ulsch once again dipped into the 4.30′s for the win over Eash. Doug Harris had to try and knock off the ever tough Proctor and tough he would remain. He used his skills at the starting line to get out on Harris and carry it to the finish line for the win moving him one step closer to the money once again this year. Mo Hall would have to face his closest competition all day in Jeff Mullins. Hall turned the wick a bit more on the Fulton power to take out Mullins. A 4.457 would make him just a little closer to Ulschs’ low qualifier numbers.
Mo Hall received a bye run into the finals as Proctor faced Ulsch for the other spot. Once again a betting man may have laid their money on Ulsch who had been nearly three tenths faster than Proctor but Ulsch red lighted the round away and Ronnie would take the easy win to the final against Hall.
The last race of the night sure did not leave out any excitement. Ronnie Proctor did as he done so many times before and got a good jump at the line but as he drifted out of the groove he came real close to the wall and Hall had the candles lit on his Camaro hauling a 4.458 out the back for the victory. Halls victory shows that you can never count someone out even after making contact with the wall early in the day. The crew and driver were very excited in the winners circle as they collected the check for the win.
For more photos from the race click here