LIGHTS OUT 8 - EVENT RESULTS
SATURDAY QUALIFYING/ELIMINATIONS - RAIN DELAYS WHAT TURNS OUT TO BE A GREAT DAY
FRIDAY QUALIFYING - STEVIE "FAST" JACKSON LIVES UP TO THE REPUTATION
At this point, it's apparent little can rattle Stevie "Fast" Jackson.
Returning to the same lane where he crashed a race car on his last trip to South Georgia Motorsports Park didn't do it.
One-hundred percent wholesale changes to a car with less than ten runs barely fazed him.
Watching a fellow racer lay down the quickest elapsed time in radial tire drag racing didn't even make it on his radar.
With a fellow racer crashing in the opposite lane, Jackson never flinched en route to the quickest run in Radial vs. The World competition as he stopped the timers with his Strange Engineering-sponsored, RJ Race Cars Camaro at 3.737 seconds at 199.82 miles per hour.
"This is why we do it," Jackson said. "This is home run racing, and that's why I have a big 'ol stick. I told these guys coming into here that I have a hot rod. I didn't know it was going to come along this quick.
"Competition breeds improvement. These guys are hauling butt out here. Yes, it was the quickest run but its only ,001 quicker.
"All the turbo queers, I don't know what is wrong with them. Their controllers must have shut off. They will get them fixed and be right there with us. This is a tight field, and its fun to see all the fans fired up."
Mike Gwynn, in the opposite lane of Jackson, impacted the retaining walls in the shutdown area. He was uninjured in the mishap.
Jackson had no idea of the mayhem which was going on behind him.
I got out of the car at the top end, and I'm jumping up and down because we hauled butt," Jackson said. "Everybody was running towards me, and I thought they were coming to high-five me. It was chaotic; I hope Mike is okay and his car is fixable."
Seven pairs before Jackson's historic run, Barry Mitchell lowered the drag radial mark with a 3.738, 197.27.
Joe Albrecht jumped up to the third spot with a 3.812, 202.42.
The 32-car field is anchored by the quickest and fastest four-cylinder powered machine in the world, a 4.229 elapsed time by Carl Brunet.
The Radial vs. The World division has one more qualifying session before headed into the first round of eliminations Saturday afternoon. Jackson promises more of the same for the capacity crowd at South Georgia Motorsports Park.
"Ya'll wait until I get a handle on this, it is going to be good," Jackson pointed out.
Other low qualifiers after three days included David Comstock (Outlaw Drag Radial), Ken Quartuccio (Outlaw 632), Tony Alm (Ultimate Street), Rob Goss (X275), Scotty Gudano (Pro 275), Jeff Carpenter (Nitrous X), Lyle Barnett (Leaf Spring).
Q2 - RADIAL VS. WORLD
THURSDAY RESULTS - LONG DAY WINDS DOWN WITH INCOMPLETE FINISH
Day Two of the daily marathon known as Lights Out 8 hosted by South Georgia Motorsports Park outside of Valdosta, Ga., ended with an incomplete grade. A score of mishaps and engine failures pushed race officials to suspend the second session of Radial vs. The World until Friday morning at 9 AM, EST.
Mark Woodruff, Wednesday's provisional No. 1, was one of the eight drivers who failed to get in his run, remained the top runner with his 3.835 performance.
Ryan Martin made a leap into the second spot with a 3.840, 207.34.
Jeff Sitton ran a 3.853, 199.11 to climb into the third spot.
In the day's scariest moment, Radial vs. The World competitor Steven Fereday suffered an overwhelming fire with his Camaro. He exited the car under his own power and suffered no obvious injuries.
David Comstock won the war but lost the battle in Outlaw Drag Radial qualifying. Comstock, racing against Justin Swanstrom in a $5,000 match race within qualifying, ran low elapsed time of the opening session with a 4.215, 176.19, but fouled in the match race.
Swanstrom collected the wager but was only quick enough for the third spot with a 4.255 elapsed time.
Sandwiched in the middle of the big money match racers was Nick Yarber, whose Mustang stopped the timers second quickest with a 4.228 elapsed time.
Ken Quartuccio jumped out to a huge lead early Outlaw 632 qualifying as he ripped off a rapid 4.295 elapsed time at 168.11 miles per hour. Second quickest was Dominic Augustine with a 4.341, 157.85. Kenny Hubbard was third with a 4.476.
The remainder of Q-1, including Open Comp, X275, Leaf Spring, Nitrous X and No Time until 9 AM, Friday morning with temperature permitting.
WEDNESDAY RESULTS - WOODRUFF IS WEDNESDAY'S KING OF THE HILL
What doesn't kill us only serves to make us stronger.
Wednesday evening, during the opening qualifying session of the Lights Out 8 drag radial event, Mark Woodruff in full view of his competition in the Radial vs. The World division flexed his muscles en route to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position.
Woodruff, just two weeks after crashing his Corvette in the finals of the U.S. Street Nationals, pushed his repaired entry to a 3.835 elapsed time at 212.36 miles per hour.
A marathon repair session by Larry Jeffers Race Cars and his entire shop enabled a two-week turnaround with 240 man hours and Woodruff believes Wednesday's performance serves as an excellent testimony,
"We came here knowing we have a good hot rod," Woodruff said. "The tune-ups we learned in Bradenton we applied here, and went a 3.98 in testing. The car was running straight, and it went an .87 after that. We studied the data and felt confident we could come up there tonight and run what we did.
"We got that M&M torque converter and two-speed 400 lock-up in it, I think the speed on the scoreboard proved it's a bad hombre."
Woodruff was .067 quicker than No. 2 Scott Coxwell, who stopped the timers with a 3.902 elapsed time. The extreme performance advantage out of the box came as little surprise to Woodruff when he called his shot back in the trailer.
"Honestly I felt it could run that, and Jamie Miller helps me with the car, and what we saw earlier in the test run we felt like we could do it. I told Steve Petty I felt we could run a 3.82. There's a bunch of, bunch fast cars behind us. I don't expect that number to live. It's nice to come out first round and lay down a nice run. Hopefully, we can stay in the top half of the field come Saturday's first round."
Steven Fereday (3.911), Ryan Martin (3.912) and Keith Haney (3.915) rounded out the top five positions.
There were a couple of scary moments, starting with the opening pair when Ron Clark lost control of his supercharged Volkswagon and barrel-rolled 11 times in a fiery crash where his car jumped the retaining wall before coming to a stop right side up. Clark was alert, conscious and talking to emergency personnel. He was transported to the South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta, Ga.
Two pairs later Josh Klugger's Mustang caught fire in the shutdown area. He emerged uninjured.
Shawn Ayres anchored the 32-car field with a 5.887 elapsed time.