With leader Tom Bailey out for good, the picture in the Unlimited category took a fresh new turn. But little did the challengers know what lied ahead of them on the road to Noble.
Jeff Lutz, the new leader in the clubhouse, made an early hit of 7.70-seconds in his ’57 Chevy, but torched a head gasket, sending his crew into an hours-long frenzy to try to repair the car in time to make one more hit. But his troubles paled in comparison to Larry Larson’s, who stayed overnight at Topeka to work on the truck and ran into a number of obstacles on the drive, eventually arriving just 45 minutes before the lanes were to close for the day. At the very last minute, Larson rolled his stunning S-10 pickup into the water box with all eyes on the property and on the web looking on. But it wasn’t meant to be the for the five-time champ, as his truck stumbled at the hit and just rolled off the starting line for an official 20-second elapsed time.
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Photos by Dominick Damato