MILLS ONCE AGAIN DELIVERS AT NO MERCY 8 WITH WIN
When the No Mercy 9 event rolls around in October 2018, one would be wise to visit the ATM with a pile of cash and make a beeline for the madness of South Georgia Motorsports Park grandstands for a couple of days filled with gambling.
And when a certain gold first-gen Camaro rolls to the line, it would be even wiser to bet on this car.
Radial Vs. The World standout DeWayne Mills, for the second year in a row, proved to be a sure bet during the No Mercy 8 event, the popular drag race promoted by Donald "Duck" Long.
Make no mistake about Mills victory; he beat the toughest dude on the block in taking out Stevie "Fast" Jackson, a driver who plays the mind games as well as he does a race car.
Jackson was slightly quicker out of the gate, but Mills was able to come around Stevie Fast late in the run when the engine in his Shadow 2.0 expire the engine late in the run.
Mills pocketed $50,000 for winning the 32-car Radial vs. The World division, the top of the food chain for the Drag Radial cars.
"Man, we rolled in here, and you know just went first round of qualifying, it went an .80, and everything was good," Mills said. "Went up for the second round and everything just worked out the way it should. The car responded, kept going faster and faster, and it did everything we asked it to do. We had to freshen it up going into eliminations, we put a set of rods in it, and here we go."
Mills ran a 3.746, 208.36 to stretch out the victory over Jackson's troubled 4.034. In the post-race interview, Mills had nothing but praise for one of drag racing's more colorful personalities and his team.
"He’s a great guy, shoot they’re a great team, competitor," Mills said. "It’s a rivalry, but we’re all friends. We get up there on the starting line; we want to, you know, kill each other, but, you know, just a good weekend."
Mills, who entered eliminations as the No. 4 qualifier, opened Friday's first-round eliminations with a single when Chad Opaleski failed to make the call. He stepped in the second round with a 3.791 to beat Andrew Johnson's radical '57 Chevy.
Mills picked up the pace in the third round with a 3.72 to beat Wednesday's provisional low qualifier Jeff Sitton.
Mills admitted of the four rounds he raced; this third round race gave him the most cause for concern.
"When you make it there you’ve got to run .75 or faster to even continue on," explained Mills, who beat the Scotty Cannon-tuned Firebird to advance to the finals. "Everybody stepped their game up. There are no easy rounds when you get to the quarterfinals, and on up to the finals, you know. If you ran this race again, I mean it’d probably have a different outcome, who knows. But man, it was tight racing."
For his part, Jackson who entered eliminations as No. 3 qualifier, beat Ruben Tetsoshvili, Keith Haney, Tim Slavens and Daniel Pharris to reach the final round.
The No Mercy 8 marks the second Duck Productions race win for Mills in the last three events. Mills hold the trophy in high regard as a badge of honor.
"I don’t know why we waited to so long to start winning," Mills said. "I mean we ran seven years at Lights Out and No Mercy, and we didn’t win anything. Still haven’t won Lights Out yet, but we’ll try to get ‘er done in February."
Dean Marinis put on a driving clinic for four qualifying sessions in X275 competition and taught a refresher course in winning five rounds of eliminations en route to the winner's circle with his 2000 Mustang.
Marinis, who qualified No. 1, sealed the deal with a 4.438, 164.29 to beat Shane Heckel in the final round.
Josh Klugger was equally as dominating in the Pro 275 division as he too qualified No. 1 and worked his way through five rounds of competition in beating Richard Reagan in the final round.
Ralph Howard, who made the tow from Georgetown, Texas, ended the dominance of the No. 1 qualifiers in the 275 divisions as he continued his torrid 4.7-second pass with a 4.737 which went unopposed when low qualifier Josh Minzenmayer took the tree and broke.
Shane Stack's Alabama-based Limited Drag Radial Monte Carlo scored the victory over the Mustang of Scott Husted. Stack's victory required five round wins, and he started from the No. 1 qualifying spot.
Joel Greathouse scored the Ultimate Street crown in a battle of Mustangs by beating Mark Rogers in the final round.
Shawn Pevlor drove his potent 1993 Mustang to the Nitrous X crown with a 4.706, 150.05 to beat Matt Schlein.
The only non-Drag Radial division, Outlaw 632, was won by Dominic Augustine, who drove his 1965 Chevelle SS to a 4.391, 161.88.