The spring edition of the Throwdown In T-Town at Tulsa Raceway Park lived up to it’s reputation as one of the largest and wildest doorslammer events in the southwest, held May 15th through 17th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This event has a few years under it’s belt and has grown into a major attraction for some of the quickest and fastest cars in the region from Outlaw Pro Mods to X275 drag radial machines. A stellar line-up of attractions including classes for Outlaw Pro Mod, Legal Pro Mod, Outlaw Doorslammer, Pro Street, MX275, MX235, Outlaw 10.5, Pro Mod Motorcycle and several classes of Junior Dragsters plus exhibition runs from Scott Palmer’s NHRA Top Fuel Dragster,
Richard Hutchins’ “Chevy Rebellion” 1973 Volkswagen Pick-Up Wheelstander, the SDRA and nostalgia gassers combined for one hell of a drag racing event for the fans in Tulsa. To top it off, admission was FREE! Todd Martin and the rest of the staff at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park laid the frame work for one stellar event and the spectators responded with a crowd that literally overflowed the facility all weekend, as a seat in the stands was almost impossible to find.
Thursday and the first half of Friday hosted a test session for teams looking to get some pre-qualifying hits in. Some stout runs were laid down by many of the teams who elected to test, which was just a teaser of what was to come once the official qualifying rounds got underway around 6 p.m. Friday evening. As the stands continued to fill, the call went out from event announcer Brian Olsen to bring the first of the heads up classes to the lanes for their first qualifying attempts. Under the eyes of a capacity crowd, teams got in a full session of qualifying in all classes before a rain storm blew into Tulsa, Oklahoma in the middle of session number two, ending the remainder of Friday night’s action.
Fans weren’t let down by the rain because prior to the showers, some great drag racing action unfolded under the lights at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway. Frankie “The Madman” Taylor blasted to a 3.62 at 210 mph in his Stupid Fast Racing Corvette to lead the Outlaw Pro Mod field. Jeffrey Cummins Jr. led the Legal Pro Mod field with a 4.12 at 178 mph in his beautiful 1967 Shelby GT 500 nitrous powered entry. Dewayne Mills held the top spot after Friday in the Outlaw 10.5 class with a 4.22 at 188 mph in his 1968 Camaro.
Fred Silbernagel’s 4.69 at 152 led the pack in the MX275 class after day one and Roy Parsons joined the qualifying leaders with a 5.41 at 137 in the MX235 class. Scott Palmer closed the show with an epic pass in his Top Fueler. Palmer laid down a match race style burnout and blasted off the line into a 200 foot wheelstand, never lifted, then lit the scoreboards with a 3.19 eighth mile pass but he went a lot further than that with header flames high in the air! With Friday in the books, it was time to rest up for the big day on Saturday.
By 11 a.m. Saturday morning cars were burning rubber in Tulsa as qualifying continued for all classes. Richard Hutchins wowed the crowd and brought them to their feet in his “Chevy Rebellion” wheelstander, covering the quarter mile on two wheels in under ten seconds. As qualifying concluded, Frankie “The Madman” Taylor held his position atop the Outlaw Pro Mod qualifying sheets with Randell Reid and Todd Martin rounding out the top three. Jeffrey Cummins Jr. also held in to lead the Legal Pro Mod field into eliminations as Jerry Holt and Bob Gulitti rounded out the top three. Mike Kimmis wheeled his 2002 Trans-Am to a 4.19 at 189 mph to steal the top spot in Outlaw 10.5 racing.
Mark Woodruff in his stunning brand new 2010 Corvette qualified second with a 4.20 and Dewayne Mills’ 4.22 at 188 mph was good for third qualifier. Fred Silbernagel’s 4.69 held on for the top qualifying position in MX275 but Brad Medlock snuck up to the number two spot with a 4.73 and Cecil Whitaker qualified third with a 4.79. Dave Scott stepped up to a 5.25 at 139 mph in MX235 to qualify number one over Ray Parsons and Junior Surface. Brent Deputy rounded out the heads up class qualifiers with a 4.45 at 164 in his blown 1992 Trans-Am to qualify number one in the Pro Street class followed by Duane Bryant’s 4.51 at 161 mph.
With grandstands already packed on both sides of the facility, the line to get into Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park was still wrapped around the access road of the highway and onto the exit ramp with eager drag racing fans ready to see some elimination action under the lights in Tulsa. Just after 6 p.m. eliminations got underway with spectators still pouring through the gates.
In Outlaw Pro Mod, Frankie Taylor, Randell Reid, Todd Martin and Aaron Wells all earned first round wins but it was the two top qualifiers Taylor and Reid who met in the final round. As the pair of heavy hitting blown doorslammers crept into the stage beams all eyes were on the starting line and fans had their ears plugged to see who would take home the win. At the hit, Reid lost a blower belt and could do nothing but watch as Taylor blasted down the eighth mile for the win! The quickest doorslammer in the country would rack up another impressive win and head back to Dickinson, Texas the winner at the Throwdown.
In the Legal Pro Mod class, Darrell Reid, Bob Gulitti, Jerry Holt and Jeffery Cummins Jr. advanced past their first round opponents but it was Reid and Gulitti who lined up to dance in the final round. Fresh off an NHRA Top Sportsman win at the Division 4 event two weeks before, Bob Gulitti of Tomball, Texas kept his winning streak alive in his green 2011 Camaro by defeating Darrell Reid in the finals. The Wichita Falls, Texas based Reid Motorsports team laid down career best numbers and posted two runner-up finishes in the pro mod classes in Tulsa, but Gulitti was leaving with the bragging rights.
There was some great racing in the Outlaw Doorslammer class as Bob Storie, Chad Sheffield, Jerry Yeoman and Todd Hall earned first round wins. Chad Sheffield from Muldrow, Oklahoma and the “Blown Addiction” 1941 Willys met Jerry Yeoman of Galena, Kansas and his turbo charged 1959 Corvette in the final round where Yeoman took the win. It was an uphill climb at Tulsa for Yeoman who struggled early in the event, but put it together on race day to take home the hardware in Tulsa.
Outlaw 10.5 provided some great side by side racing and as the rounds dwindled down it was Mike Kimmis’s 2002 Trans-Am from Lebanon, Missouri ready to take on Mark Woodruff’s 2010 Corvette out of Arnold, Missouri. At the flash of amber they were off the line and charging hard, but at the stripe it was Kimmis’ 4.18 at 189 that took the win and track record. Pro Street found number one qualifier Brent Deputy of Reed Springs, Missouri in his blown 1992 Trans-Am lined up against Duane Bryant’s Grove, Oklahoma based 2001 S-10 in the final round. Deputy had a great outing in Tulsa clicking off several runs in the 4.40 range and capped it off with a big win in Tulsa’s Pro Street category.
In small tire action, number eleven qualifier David Summerton of Tulsa, Oklahoma wheeled his 1971 Nova past a still field to meet Mt. Vernon, Missouri’s Jason Brown and his 2001 Chevy Camaro in the final. Brown had a front end failure as an A-arm broke pulling into the waterbox for the final and Summerton soloed to the MX275 win. In MX235 action, number two qualifier Ray Parsons of Ratcliff, Arkansas met Stephen Plunkett’s Broken Arrow, Oklahoma based 1993 Ford Mustang in the final. Parson’s owned this one, taking the win with a 5.21, a track record that wasn’t backed up because it was so much quicker than any of his previous runs. Good news for Parson’s though, as his 5.28 was backed up and will stand as the TRP MX235 record along with the event win. Josh Gray took home the win in the MX275 second chance race over Chad Wilson.
Another very successful Throwdown In T-Town was in the books at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park and fans were treated to yet another very entertaining event. Several teams laid down career best numbers and a few track records were broken. Let’s not forget the epic match race between Frankie “The Madman” Taylor” and Scott Palmer, which had massive potential but Palmer lit the hides at the hit of the throttle and had the best seat in the house to watch Taylor take the win and the bragging rights of whippin’ up on a Top Fuel Dragster. If you haven’t been to a Throwdown In T-Town event, this is a bucket list race for sure. Your next chance will be October 17th and 18th as TRP hosts the fall edition of the Throwdown. Make your plans now to be there, you won’t be disappointed!