Outlaws & Funny Cars
September 26, 2015: Atco Dragway, Atco, NJ
The cool, fall weather and the Pope both happened to be in town just in time for the Outlaws & Funny Cars event at Atco Dragway. We were part of an 8-car Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit group that was brought in to run along with Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes. We set up on Friday night to avoid the traffic in Philly from the Pope’s visit and got to work first thing Saturday morning. We had just finished installing a new steering box and bracket in the car in the early morning hours of Friday. Along with that change was a tweak to the throttle pedal to make things a bit more comfortable for driver Kevin Johnson. Thanks to Rocky’s Rod Shop for their work on these tweaks.
Saturday quickly turned to afternoon and we serviced the car and prepped for round one to be run around 7:00 pm. After the driver’s meeting with the GLNFCC’s director Denny Salzwimmer we warmed up the engine and set the timing. Around 6:30 we towed up to the staging lanes. We were the first pair to run and we were paired up with good friends Chris and Krista Masserella in their Total Insanity Monza. Chris and Kevin agreed to do side-by-side burnouts and then a few sets of dry hops to help amp up the crowd and get them ready for more funny cars.
After a quick stage both cars left and lost traction nearly immediately. Both drivers pedaled their unruly beasts to get them to hook up to the track. Chris doing this with a veteran’s touch went on to win the round with a 8.04 at 188 mph to a 8.81 at 167 mph for the Quarter Pounder. Back to the pits to service the car for the second round. Chutes get packed, fuel tank gets filled, plugs checked, timing ok, pill change isn’t needed. While putting the safety pin back in the fire bottles they are accidentally set off. DJ fire suppressant is everywhere – on the car, the crew and the engine. Thanks again to Rocky Roxlau who is also a dealer for DJ Safety’s Fire Systems has back up bottles ready to go. Rocky saved us. We put the bottles on and cleaned up the car.
9:00 rolls around all too quickly and we’re back in the lanes. Second round has us paired with the Agent Orange Duster driven by Kim McKean. Temps are dropping now that the sun has been down for a couple hours. We adjust tire pressure and figure on a long, smoky burnout to be sure we stick well this time. Long burnout, check! Dry hops, check! Staging…and…WHAT’S THIS? The pro-tree was set to the old, single bulb style and Kevin leaves too early red-lighting and losing the round. Kim clicked off an incredible 6.28 at 226 mph to a 8.89 at 164 mph. The Quarter Pounder was done for the evening.