Photos by Chris Graves & Russell Brown
The Painless Performance Products Outlaw Fuel Altered Association rumbled into North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas for their seventh of eight races in the 2014 season last weekend. John Broussard and the Louisiana based “Purple Haze” team entered this event with a 15 point lead over three-time defending series Champion Jimmy Jones and the “Texas Tremor” gang. Needless to say, with two events remaining, the pressure was on both these camps to perform at their best if they hoped to keep their championship hunt alive. A strong sixteen car field packed the pits in Denton, Texas and with superb air conditions and the reputation North Star Dragway holds as one of the elite surfaces in the southwest, some stellar performances were sure to be seen.
The qualifying action got underway with a special tribute pass to the fallen “Wild One” team crewman BJ Billings by Donny McSwain. After a huge burnout McSwain backed up and put his blown altered in the beams with all of the OFAA racers and crew members gathered on the line. McSwain posted a clean and memorable 3.99 at 180 mph to the delight of the OFAA family who will all miss BJ Billings forever and know he will be with us at every race moving forward.
Upon the completion of two qualifying rounds, Donny McSwain and company held the top spot followed by Jimmy Jones and Donnie Massey who rounded out the top three. Terry Brian laid down his best pass of the season in his new nitro burning machine with a 4.15 at 172 mph, but mechanical issues kept him from making the first round as Mark Bowman was inserted as the first alternate. Ken Singleton, Clint Cross and Nick Poloson came up short of the quick twelve bump spot of 4.22 held by Doyle Smith.
FINAL QUALIFYING ORDER:
- Donny McSwain (Rockwall, TX) – 4.00 @ 180
- Jimmy Jones (Cleburne, TX) – 4.027 (3.97) @ 158
- Donnie Massey (Little Elm, TX) – 4.028 @ 188
- Raymond Dawson (Nevada, TX) – 4.03 (3.96) @ 182
- DoDad Burton (Tyler, TX) – 4.076 @ 175
- Mary Reep (Austin, TX) – 4.079 @ 176
- Bobby Marriott (Pilot Point, TX) – 4.08 @ 185
- Sean Belt (Shawnee, KS) – 4.09 @ 177
- Terry Brian (New London, TX) – 4.15 @ 172
- Roger Lechtenberg (Cedar Rapids, IA) – 4.18 (3.81) @ 183
- John Broussard (Lake Charles, LA) – 4.19 @ 168
- Doyle Smith (Paris, TX) – 4.22 @ 144
- Mark Bowman (Oklahoma City, OK) – 4.28 @ 177
- Ken Singleton (Chickasha, OK) – 4.48 @ 184
- Clint Cross (Crossroads, TX) – 5.00 @ 106
- Nick Poloson (Bulverde, TX) – 6.04 @ 75
The all-important first round of eliminations was set and the two quickest winners in this round would advance to the final. Twelve cars paired up in the lanes and the call went out to fire the first pair which brought Roger “Radar” Lechtenberg to the line driving Scott Gaulter’s “Nitro Madness” machine against Raymond Dawson’s “High Octane” entry. Lechtenberg left first and never trailed, taking the win light with a solid header flaming 3.95 at 199 mph to Dawson’s 4.15 at 154 mph.
Donnie Massey’s “Showtime” nitro burner was out next alongside Mark Bowman’s “Blown Income”. Bowman took the starting line advantage and clicked off a career-best 3.98 at 186 mph — his first three second pass ever — but it still wasn’t enough to hold off Massey’s thundering 3.90 at 192 mph. DoDad Burton was out next with John Broussard in the opposing lane. Broussard was outqualified by Jones and really needed a round win here to stay alive in the championship hunt. Despite leaving first, Broussard ran into problems and his 4.51 at 120 mph was no match for Burton’s career-best 4.03 at 181 mph as Burton and company celebrated a stellar weekend for the “Free Spirit” team.
As eliminations continued, Jimmy Jones came to the line against Sean Belt’s “Metal Mafia” entry. Jones just saw Broussard get knocked out and knew he had a chance to capitalize and did he ever. The “Texas Tremor” blasted off the line and lit the scoreboards with a monster run, his career best 3.84 at 190 mph to defeat the tire smoking Belt.
With just two pair remaining, Jones’ 3.84 looked very solid as one of the passes that would advance to the final round. Mary Reep and Doyle Smith, both three second contenders, brought their cars to life in the water box but Smith had issues getting the “Chemical Reaction” nitro burner into reverse and had to idle down the track, while Reep soloed to the round win with a strong 3.95 at 189 mph. Incredible that two first round winners ran 3.95 yet neither were in contention for a trip to the finals as Massey’s 3.90 and Jones’ 3.84 held the tickets with one pair remaining.
Bobby Marriott’s “Shockwave” was lined up with Donny McSwain’s “Wild One” and both cars could easily rip off a 3.80 zone pass and bump Massey from the final. It was close, but Marriott’s winning 3.92 at 188 mph came up just short while McSwain posted a 4.07 at 183. It was Jimmy Jones and Donnie Massey moving into the last dance in Denton with the pressure on Jones to get as many of those precious Painless Performance Products points he could, while Massey aimed to play spoiler at his home track.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS:
(W) Roger Lechtenberg (.095 rt) 3.95 @ 199 vs. (L) Raymond Dawson (.113 rt) 4.15 @ 154
(W) Donnie Massey (.104 rt) 3.90 @ 192 vs. (L) Mark Bowman (.071 rt) 3.98 @ 186
(W) DoDad Burton (.140 rt) 4.03 @ 181 vs. (L) John Broussard (.054 rt) 4.51 @ 120
(W) Jimmy Jones (.053 rt) 3.84 @ 190 vs. (L) Sean Belt (.040 rt) 6.95 @ 76
(W) Mary Reep (.127 rt) 3.95 @ 189 vs. (L) Doyle Smith (No Time)
(W) Bobby Marriott (.224 rt) 3.92 @ 188 vs. (L) Donny McSwain (.076 rt) 4.07 @ 183
Massey and Jones brought their machines to life for the final pass of the night, under the lights at North Star Dragway. Jones had the performance advantage from first round but Massey had laid down three straight strong passes as this was going to be a very good drag race on paper. At the flash of amber, Jones took almost a tenth of a second advantage off the line but Massey closed the gap fast as his header-flaming “Showtime” machine charged hard through mid-track and took the win light with a 3.94 at 189 mph to Jones’ pedal job 4.23 at 185 mph. This marked Massey’s first win since the spring of 2013 and capped off an excellent performance in Denton. Jones closed the gap in the points chase and now leads Broussard by just one point as the series heads south to San Antonio Raceway on Saturday, October 11th for their final event of the season where the Championship battle between Jones and Broussard will be decided.
FINAL ROUND RESULTS:
(W) Donnie Massey (.127 rt) 3.94 @ 189 vs. (L) Jimmy Jones (.036 rt) 4.23 @ 185
The Outlaw Fuel Altereds would like to thank the staff at North Star Dragway for providing an excellent racing surface which resulted in five OFAA drivers posting career best numbers. The series would also like to thank title sponsor Painless Performance Products as well as bonus sponsors Good Vibrations Motorsports, North Texas Diesel, Napa Auto Parts of North Texas, Competition Sales of Dallas and Wizard’s Warehouse for their support this season.