Born out of the legendary Fastest Street Car Shootouts held in Memphis, Tennessee in the early 1990s, the Outlaw 10.5 eliminator took root at sleepy, outlaw-style tracks around the South by the middle of the decade. Little more than loosely organized grudge races void of structured rules early on, the money eventually came, and with it more professionalism and faster, higher-dollar machinery. After the turn of the century, the class — credited with ushering in the genre of small-tire doorslammer racing — was a featured attraction at outlaw-style venues around the country and with series like ORSCA and the NMCA, launching drivers the likes of Tim Lynch, Brad Brand, Billy Glidden, Mike Hill, and Steve Kirk into the spotlight.
Following its peak in the mid-to-late 2000s, the class began to wane in participation — due in part of oversaturation, costs, and the rapid rise of drag radial competition. But Cecil County Dragway and its monthly Strange Engineering Street Car Shootouts remained the haven for the Outlaw 10.5 faithful.
In recent years, drag radial tires have been injected into the category to boost participation, changing the dynamic of the eliminator and offending its purists. Now, three years removed from Ken Quartuccio notching the first-ever victory in Outlaw 10.5 on radial tires, Cecil County owner and promoter Jim Halsey is bringing to a close a quarter-century-old chapter in the sport.
Said Halsey this week in a prepared statement:
Since there has been a little buzz about the future of Outlaw 10.5 at Cecil County Dragway we feel we owe it to everyone to know where we are headed with the class. First of all, we want to thank the racers, crew, fans and sponsors for your support past, present and future, without all of you we would not be successful. Everyone knows Outlaw 10.5 has been a premier class at our Strange Engineering Outlaw Street Car Shootout Series for 22 years and in the recent past it has struggled to get racer support. We have tried many things in an effort to pick up additional participation but it seems as if nothing has worked. Due to these circumstances we are going to replace the Outlaw 10.5 program with something similar to the Pro 275 class that has been contested at several events this past year. We are currently working on rules and will post them as soon as we are finished. One thing we know for sure is that we will allow all brands of 275 radials in the class. We realize that this is a big change for some and wanted to get the word out as soon as we possible to give everyone that wants to run the class time to make changes to their cars. Our sponsors are very supportive of the change as they see the value in this new and exciting class. Thanks again for everyone’s support and lets all hope for a better 2021 racing season.
Twenty-one drivers raced at least once in the Outlaw 10.5 class at Cecil in 2020, with Blake Copson earning the final series championship.