MIDDENDORF & TIMOSZYK MASTER CHAOS IN MICHIGAN
The Best of Texas BBQ Sauce Funny Car Chaos Championship series presented by Red Line Shirt Club made its debut at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan on September 6th and 7th. This marked the most northern stop in series history for the southwest-based funny car series. With the battle heating up in the chase to the Inaugural Funny Car Chaos Championship, every run would prove critical in this, the sixth points race of the year presented by Powershield Coatings. Atop the Chaos, US 131 general manager Jason Petersen provided a non-stop line up of drag racing entertainment including the Top Fuel dragsters of Larry Dixon and Dom Lagana, Bob Motz jet-powered Kenworth, the Nostalgia Drag Racing League and much more.
Fourteen nitro and alcohol burning floppers made the tow to Michigan, including cars from as far south as Seguin, Texas to as far north as Ontario, Canada and included several first time Chaos participants. The open format to body style and engine combination attracted a wide variety of entries from the Canadian based Aidan Heatley-Smith and the “Ant Hill Mob” team who made their United States competition debut with their 2013 Ford Mustang bodied, screw blown 521 cubic inch combination, to Sue Christophersen who became the second female Chaos driver in series history in the “Susie Q” 1957 Chevy bodied entry powered by a roots style blown 521 TFX. Mike Minick, Vic Tiffin, and David Wagner also made their first Funny Car Chaos appearances in Michigan.
Ken Singleton’s “High Risk” team from Oklahoma came into the event atop the points standings with three final round appearances and three top qualifiers. Being on the top puts the target on your back and stiff competition from fellow points chasers Jordan Ballew, Brandon Lewis, Tod Barker, Chuck Loftin and Allan Middendorf had Singleton feeling the pressure. Steve Timoszyk and Mark McElwee, who represented both ends of the Rodak’s Custom Coffee ‘A’ field final round from the previous event in Illinois, were also in attendance and looking to defend home turf with their Michigan based teams.
Cool temperatures welcomed the racers and fans, but with that came a steady dose of lake effect moisture and an un-relinquishing drizzle that lasted well into the night, thus eliminating any chance of completing one of the two qualifying sessions scheduled for Friday night. With that, the pressure mounted as teams would have just one qualifying attempt on Saturday afternoon before the fields were set for final eliminations later that evening. Teams packed up and prepared for an all-out one day brawl at the fastest track in Michigan.
What a difference a day makes as Saturday brought sunshine and go-fast weather with temperatures in the mid-70s and track conditions at their best. Fans picked their favorite flopper to cheer on as teams made their way to the lanes for the critical one-shot qualifying round. Anticipation of a fast session became reality and by the end, a new record bump spot for the quick eight Rodak’s Custom Coffee ‘A’ Field was held by Kevin Lennon with a 4.06 at 197 mph. Allan Middendorf and the Jake Sanders tuned “American Outlaw” clicked off a 3.73 at 213 mph to take the pole followed closely by Ken Singleton’s career best 3.76 at 200 mph. Brandon Lewis and Mark McElwee rounded out the top half of the ‘A’ field, both in the 3.80s, and Mike Minick wheeled the “Chi-Town Hustler” to a pedaling 4.22 at 128 mph to take the top spot in the AlkyDigger ‘B’ Field. Points hungry Jordan Ballew lost fire after the burnout and would start off eliminations in the number fourteen spot. Canadian David Wagner went for a wild ride, tagging the wall on his qualifying run in the “Pure Insanity” Barracuda which ended his Chaos debut prematurely.
FINAL QUALIFYING ORDER RODAK’S COFFEE ‘A’ FIELD:
1. Allan Middendorf (Columbia, IL) – 3.73 @ 213
2. Ken Singleton (Chickasha, OK) – 3.76 @ 200
3. Brandon Lewis (Tulsa, OK) – 3.84 @ 204
4. Mark McElwee (Vandalia, MI) – 3.86 @ 205
5. Chuck Loftin (Seguin, TX) – 3.93 @ 188
6. Vic Tiffin (Oswego, IL) – 3.98 @ 163
7. Aidan Heatley-Smith (Ontario, CAN) – 4.03 @ 185
8. Kevin Lennon (Merrillville, IN) – 4.06 @ 197
FINAL QUALIFYING ORDER ALKYDIGGER ‘B’ FIELD:
1. Mike Minick (Justice, IL) – 4.220 @ 128
2. Sue Christophersen (Clarkston, MI) – 4.226 @ 173
3. Steve Timoszyk (Detroit, MI) – 4.42 @ 125
4. Tod Barker (Marlow, OK) – 4.45 @ 138
5. David Wagner (Ontario, CAN) – No Time
6. Jordan Ballew (Bartlesville, OK) – No Time
Brandon Lewis’ “Attitude Adjuster” tuned by Guy Tipton came to life to open the first round of eliminations in a competition bye run after his opponent Vic Tiffin was sidelined with transmission issues. Lewis set the bar with a strong 3.84 at 195 mph to make a statement to the competition and head into the semis. Mark McElwee was up next in “Buzzy’s Bomber” alongside Chuck Loftin’s “Motivation” Texas based Mustang in an all nitro pairing. Loftin qualified with a career best 3.93, but slowed to a 4.02 at 172 mph in first round which came up short to McElwee’s stout 3.81 at 207 mph.
‘A’ field eliminations continued as points leader Ken Singleton pulled to the line against Aidan Heatley-Smith, son of Top Fuel pilot Smax Smith. Two modern bodied alcohol burners were ready to unleash their fury and Singleton clicked off a powerful 3.77 at 200 mph to Smith’s burst panel booming 4.29 at 174 mph. In the final ‘A’ field pair of first round, Allan Middendorf lowered the boom with a flawless 3.65 at 218 mph to defeat Kevin Lennon’s 4.48 at 136 mph in the “Shake N’ Bake” entry. The 218 mph blast earned Middendorf 10 bonus points as he re-set the previous record held by Kebin Kinsley at 214 mph.
AlkyDigger ‘B’ Field action got underway with the “Detroit Tiger” of Steve Timoszyk lining up with the “Back In Black” Corvette of Tod Barker. Barker knew he needed to make up some performance and came in with a hot tune up that resulted in severe tire shake off the line, giving him the best seat in the house to watch Timoszyk advance with a career best 3.98 at 180 mph, the first ever three second pass for the “Detroit Tiger” team.
Sue Christophersen benefited from the bye run as David Wagner’s damage after tagging the wall in qualifying kept him from making the call. A timing system issue fouled her launch routine and “Susie Q” idled to the win light and into the semis. Top qualifier Mike Minick in the famed “Chi-Town Hustler” came to life next with Jordan Ballew and team “Ballew Thunder” looking to pull off the upset and hoping their mechanical issues were solved. Unfortunately for Ballew, the gremlins surfaced again and his 5.72 was no match for a thundering 3.80 at 194 for Minick, who clearly found their combination as the opening round came to a close.
RODAK’S COFFEE ‘A’ FIELD ROUND 1 RESULTS:
(W) Lewis (.292 rt) 3.84 @ 195 –vs- (L) Tiffin (.000) No Time – Broke
(W) McElwee (.096 rt) 3.81 @ 207 –vs- (L) Loftin (.138 rt) 4.02 @ 172
(W) Singleton (.084 rt) 3.77 @ 200 –vs- (L) Heatley-Smith (.081 rt) 4.29 @ 174
(W) Middendorf (.165 rt) 3.65 @ 218 –vs- (L) Lennon (.197 rt) 4.48 @ 136
ALKYDIGGER ‘B’ FIELD ROUND 1 RESULTS:
(W) Timosyzk (.154 rt) 3.98 @ 180 –vs- (L) Barker (.288 rt) 7.40 @ 60
(W) Christophersen (.518 rt) 11.52 @ 65 –vs- (L) Wagner (.000) No Time – Broke
(W) Minick (.113 rt) 3.80 @ 194 –vs- (L) Ballew (.504 rt) 5.72 @ 93
Dropping temps as clouds moved in over US 131 threw a curve ball for crew chiefs as cars returned to the staging lanes for semifinal round action. The ‘A’ field featured two powerhouse match-ups which got started with Ken Singleton taking on Brandon Lewis in an Oklahoma flavored battle that would prove critical in the Championship points. If Singleton could light the lamp, it would extend his lead over the two cars beneath him, while if Lewis could knock out the points leader, his efforts to catch up and stand a fighting chance at the season finale would drastically improve. The cars came to life and all eyes were on the starting line as the teams made their final adjustments.
Lewis bumped the “Attitude Adjuster” nitro burner into deep stage and possibly threw Singleton off his game as the resulting starting line advantage of over a tenth of a second had the nitro car out front early, but not for long. With the front end in the air, Lewis went into tire shake and drifted out of the groove forcing him to abort the run while Singleton charged to a consistent 3.78 at 200 mph to take the first spot in the ‘A’ field final round, his fourth of the season. For you statisticians out there, Singleton’s last three passes were 3.76, 3.77, 3.78.
Next up, big power, big noise, big flame action was on tap as Allan Middendorf and Mark McElwee brought their nitro burners to life. In a developing friendly rivalry, team “Buzzy’s Bomber” has made it no secret they are coming to win and plan to take no prisoners, this time loaded for bear and ready to battle the quickest car on the property. Meanwhile, Jake Sanders appeared to have a firm grasp on the tune-up in the “American Outlaw” and hoped to snag 10 more bonus points by leaving the event having re-set their own 3.59 series elapsed time record. With fumes pumping from the pipes, the cars pulled into stage and the ambers dropped.
McElwee blasted off the line with a tenth of a second advantage and was charging hard as the cars were side by side at half-track. As they neared the eighth mile stripe, the black Dodge Charger bodied fueler of Middendorf stuck a nose out and pulled ahead to take the win with a series elapsed time record of 3.580 and improved mph record of 221 mph. Cha-ching!
AlkyDigger ‘B’ Field semis welcomed Steve Timoszyk and Sue Christophersen to the line and despite her best pass of the event, Christophersen’s 4.16 at 173 mph came up just short to Timoszyk’s repeat 3.98 at 180 mph. A bye run for top qualifier Mike Minick set the final round as the “Chi-Town Hustler” took a free shot at the track and made a statement with a stellar 3.73 at 199 mph, the second quickest pass of the round.
RODAK’S COFFEE ‘A’ FIELD SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
(W) Singleton (.274 rt) 3.78 @ 200 –vs- (L) Lewis (.148 rt) 4.79 @ 109
(W) Middendorf (.199 rt) 3.58 @ 221 –vs- (L) McElwee (.099 rt) 3.79 @ 208
ALKYDIGGER ‘B’ FIELD SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
(W) Timoszyk (.088 rt) 3.98 @ 180 –vs- (L) Christophersen (.116 rt) 4.16 @ 173
(W) Minick (.118 rt) 3.73 @ 199 –vs- (L) Bye Run
The newly installed LED lighting system at US 131 had the facility lit to perfection as night fell in Michigan and four cars returned to the lanes for the last dance of the night. Timoszyk and Minick were in the waterbox and given the signal to fire. Quickly, issues were evident for the “Chi-Town Hustler” and after graciously waiting as long as possible, Timoszyk fired up the “Detroit Tiger” as it was evident Minick was not going to make the call. The issue quickly surfaced back in the pits as a bad coil had kept Minick’s engine from firing. So a solo shot for Timoszyk resulted in a 4.02 at 180 mph and marked his second straight Funny Car Chaos victory with a ‘A’ field win in Illinois and ‘B’ field win in Michigan. Congratulations to the entire “Detroit Tiger” team who will be making the long haul down to Texas to participate in the Entech Oil Funny Car Chaos Championship Finals at North Star Dragway, September 27th & 28th along with fellow Michigander Mark McElwee.
Final pair, number one and two qualifiers, both drivers gunning for every point they can earn towards being crowned the inaugural Funny Car Chaos World Champion. Middendorf and Singleton were guided into the beams by their crew chiefs and moved into the pre-stage position. It seemed as though everyone quit breathing in anticipation as the ambers dropped and the cars launched hard off the line. Singleton took a slim starting line advantage and Middendorf was hanging tough as the cars were glued together charging wide open for the stripe. In the final feet of the eighth mile strip, the “American Outlaw” stuck that nose out again and as the flames went out the scoreboard lit up with a 3.61 at 222.99 mph winning pass for Middendorf, which improved his mile per hour record by a tick to put icing on the cake. Singleton posted his best pass of the weekend with a 3.760 at 202 mph and for the fourth time this season would settle for ‘A’ field runner up. Despite being held off the win list this season, Singleton’s consistency has kept the team earning big points and with that, they will hold their points lead heading into the season finale in Texas.
For Middendorf, this marked a big weekend for the team and tuner Jake Sanders as they maximized their points earning ability at the event and moved from seventh to fourth in the points standings. This puts Middendorf in fine company with Jordan Ballew and Brandon Lewis, the main Championship contenders who all now target Ken Singleton in the race for a Funny Car Chaos Championship.
RODAK’S CUSTOM COFFEE ‘A’ FIELD FINAL RESULTS:
(W) Middendorf (.058 rt) 3.61 @ 222 –vs- (L) Singleton (.032 rt) 3.76 @ 202
ALKYDIGGER ‘B’ FIELD FINAL RESULTS:
(W) Timoszyk (.193 rt) 4.02 @ 180 –vs- (L) Minick (.000 rt) No Time – Broke
It was a great weekend for the fans and racers in attendance at US 131 Motorsports Park for Funny Car Chaos 11.0. Here’s some more statistical juice for you number lovers: 43 drivers have earned points in Chaos competition this year, 17 drivers have appeared in a final round and 9 different drivers have won an event. It’s been a fabulous effort across the country thus far, but only one driver can be Champion. The Entech Oil Funny Car Chaos Championship Finals is set for September 27th and 28th at North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas.
The Funny Car Chaos series and racers would like to thank ‘super fan’ Michael Spitzer for his cash prize bonuses in Michigan headlined by “Best Burnout” won by Aidan Heatley-Smith, “Best Appearing Crew” won by Ken Singleton, “Best Appearing Car” won by Vic Tiffin and “Best Dressed Back Up Girl” co-won by Amber Claire and Janell Ballew.
Funny Car Chaos would like to thank Powershield Coatings, Best of Texas BBQ Sauce, Red Line Shirt Club, Rodak’s Custom Coffee, AlkyDigger, S&W Race Cars, Taylor Motorsports Products, Entech Oil, VP Racing Fuels, Decades of Wheels, Littlefield Blowers, Dooley & Sons Hot Rod Shop, Precision Reprographics, Meyer Enterprises and Sam Tech for their support this season. For more information visit www.funnycarchaos.com.