After three days of qualifying at SCSN 16 all of the fields were set on Saturday night and elimination began for many classes. Racing ran well into the night after a few delays due to on and off-track incidents. There were several upsets during the first round of eliminations and many racers ran personal bests thanks to the great weather and track conditions.
Racers will go to great lengths to make a car their own, for Tess Wood that meant getting a 1973 Ford Maverick, painting it jet black, and stuffing some big Ford power under the hood. Wood’s Maverick is powered by an 8.2 deck small block Ford that measures 363 cubic inches. The engine gets its boost from an F3 ProCharger that hangs on the front via a gear drive. Don’t ask Wood how quick the car is either, she campaigns the Maverick in various no time classes so the boards are never lit.
Why a Maverick? Wood’s answer is simple, they are something you just don’t see at the track often. You can turn around in the pits at any track and see tons of traditional muscle cars, but a Maverick is just rare and cool so it was an easy choice.
Wood’s drag racing journey actually began thanks to a school trip to the iconic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. She also shares the goals most heads-up racers have, to go faster every time she hits the track
“I got into drag racing because of my dad. He was into off-road racing, but it was still racing and I loved to be around it. In high school, I took an automotive class and we went to Pomona for a race and it became something I was obsessed with. I always want to just go faster, that’s my goal after each race. For me, the rush of drag racing makes it fun. You’re always trying to find ways to go faster, solve problems, and just win,” Wood explains.
Paul Langlie’s 1970 Outlaw 10.5 Camaro known as the “Oaktown Hustler” has had an interesting life. It started out as a legit streetcar that transformed into a nitrous-huffing slick tire monster, moved to a nasty blower combination, and even took a ride upside down on a guardrail at 180 MPH.
The Oaktown Hustler still has its factory steel quarter panels and roof. Between the fenders is a rowdy 489 cubic-inch Ken Vinny headed HEMI with a 14-71 Superman supercharger that’s backed by a Rossler three-speed speed transmission.
“Horsepower got easier to make and build, so our old Chevy engine just wasn’t cutting it anymore. We got an opportunity to pick up an old NHRA Pro Mod combo from 2005 thanks to Jeff Prock so we could stay competitive. After we decided to go really fast with this new engine, Performance Chassis built us a brand new 6.0 certified chassis,” Langlie says.
One thing you notice about the Oaktown Hustler’s pit is that everyone is smiling and having fun. The team enjoys coming to the track and competing in the Outlaw 10.5 class. The car’s logo has an old-school feel to it too and that’s no accident either.
“I come from drag boat racing and every boat has a name, so I was joking with the co-owner of the car Kirk Olson that we should name the car so we could sell shirts. I’ve owned an automotive repair business in Oakland, California for over 20 years so that’s where the name Oaktown Hustler comes from,” Langlie explains.
Drag racing is a sport that will put you through the wringer when it comes to emotions. You can experience the highest of highs after a big win or new personal best, but the lows can quickly follow with a loss or equipment issues. Unfortunately for Jay Boddie Jr., he rode the entire drag racing emotional roller coaster in one pass when his stunning 1967 Camaro laid down a great lick and hit the wall.
Boddie’s race weekend at SCSN 16 started off great as his team made big progress with the Camaro’s performance. On Friday however, Boddie went for a wild ride at the top end when his Camaro made a big move sideways and began to spin at the top end. Thankfully, Boddie’s stellar driving job kept the car off the wall that pass, but on Saturday luck wasn’t on his side.
“I pulled the chutes going through the finish line and one deployed fully, the other got tangled up and it just jerked the car sideways. It sent me towards the wall and there was nothing I could do, I was just along for the ride,” Boddie explains.
While the damage to the Camaro looks extensive, according to Boddie the car is fixable. There are only a couple of bars in the front of the chassis that will need replacing. Since the Camaro still had an all-steel front end it took most of the damage and actually saved the car from a much worse fate.
John Urist has collected a lot of event wins and championships over his racing career and that’s not by accident. His methodical approach to building and perfecting a car makes him a formidable force on the track, it’s also taught him how to deal with adversity. Urist has been chipping away at his technologically advanced 2016 Mustang and all of that work is finally paying off with a string of low 4.20s in X275 trim at SCSN 16.
The plan for Urist in 2020 was to come out stronger than ever and use what he learned in 2019 to make the next big step with his Coyote-powered Mustang. Unfortunately, COVID crashed his plans, moved races, and forced Urist to take a step back and regroup a bit. When the time was right, Urist made the trip from New Mexico to South Georgia Motorsports Park (SGMP) to work on bringing his racing plan to life.
“We went to the Sweet 16 and No Mercy, so that gave us a great track to make hits on for two weeks. During that time we just made lap after lap so we could see what the car really wanted. We ran our best time with a 4.24 at SGMP and we brought the car here to try and chip away at it more. The track this weekend has been stellar, hats off to Kurt Johnson and the TVC crew for what they’ve done,” Urist says.
Urist has taken a non-traditional path with his 2016 Mustang. The Coyote engine uses a direct injection system for fueling that’s similar to what the car would be equipped with from the factory. The extreme horsepower requirements of X275 require a radical fuel system and advanced ECU. Urist worked with Bosch to get control of the fuel system and control the engine.
“This car has always had the capability to run at the front, but with new technology like this direct injection, it just takes time to figure it out. The fueling is crucial with direct injection, and Xtreme DI has developed the only injectors that can fuel something like this. Now that we have the fueling figured out, we’ve been able to unlock more potential and that 4.22 is the fruits of our labor with our partners,” Urist explains.