RAIN ENDS OUTLAW STREET CAR REUNION
"The plug has been pulled on this event."
With these words, Tyler Crossnoe confirmed early Saturday afternoon (Apr. 13) in front of hundreds of drivers, crew members and race fans gathered near the starting line of Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, KY, that the 2019 version of his Holley EFI Outlaw Street Car Reunion had come to a premature end.
After qualifying rounds for all OSCR heads-up classes were completed on Friday, time trials for Super Pro bracket racing began as planned at 9:30 a.m. However, mid-morning rain showers and severe thunderstorms forecast for southern Kentucky after nightfall ultimately forced Crossnoe's hand.
With his voice at times cracking with emotion, Crossnoe explained just the shutdown area would take more than three hours to dry, leaving only about a five-hour opportunity before heavy rainfall was expected to return.
"We wouldn't get all the way through even one full round," the clearly dejected 28-year-old promoter said. "Six years of this event and six years that weather has messed with us in some way, but this is the first time we've really had to cancel from the get go. We did have to cancel one year after going deep in rounds, but even with another window possibly opening tomorrow, more rain is gonna' come, so we don't want everyone to sit around here getting rained on while we know we have deadlines that we're not going to be able to meet.
"So, out of respect for the fans and crews and vendors and media and everybody that's come to this deal, we decided to pull the plug early this time knowing that we don't have a window to get it done. We wanted to be respectful of the racers and fans that did come out even in the face of an unfavorable forecast that did seem to have windows, but we know now that we're just not able to pull it off this year."
Making the decision even more disappointing was the history already made at OSCR VI. The quickest 16-car, eighth-mile Midwest Pro Modified Series Pro Mod field ever assembled was established Friday afternoon, with Jason Hamstra's blown Hemi-powered '69 Camaro holding the final position at 3.73 seconds, while the 3.61 posted by number-one qualifier Ali Aryan set a new elapsed time record for roots-blown entries.
Meanwhile, running on drag radial tires, Jamie Hancock set the drag racing world ablaze with the world's first nitrous-assisted pass in the 3.50s--regardless of tire type--and fellow Alabama racer Paul Gargus steered his '69 Camaro to a pole-sitting 4.08-seconds pass that also set a new Limited Drag Radial record.
"The three rounds of qualifying we were able to get in, one on Thursday and two on Friday even with a weather delay, man, that was the best three rounds of qualifying we've ever had at this event," Crossnoe stated.
"I was really looking forward to eliminations and really hated to make this call, but at the same time I know it's the best call for everyone when we know there's no way we could get this thing done. I mean, we're all in business or we work hard for somebody, so we didn't want to string this out all weekend long. We all have to go back to work on Monday."