After spending the better part of the past year bouncing around all over the deep South, chasing Outlaw 5.30 class events, this Spring/Early summer has been a change of race pace. Without a true points style championship series in my region, we’ve had to adapt the car to the racing that is available and make the best of it.
So far, we’ve tried our hand at 5.00, 5.30 and most recently 5.50 index class races and this past weekend we got our first “W” of the season at the National Outlaw Professionals Race Series in the 5.50 class in Owingsville, KY. The NOP is an Ohio based start-up series, and little old Owingsville Dragstrip is an IHRA track located in a cow pasture about 15 minutes away from where my Mom and Dad live in the foothills of the Daniel Boone National Forrest in Morehead, KY. This scenic setting would provide the debut weekend as crew chief for my new bride Amber who made it a quick study…by successfully helping call the shots, as well as providing the extra muscle needed to help close the deal.
It sure was awesome to have my Mom and Dad there too….although I’m not so sure they really knew what was going on most of the time, I am sure that they enjoyed it as evidenced by all that cheese in the above picts. I think they’re probably just relieved that I don’t race motocross anymore and don’t have to keep life support on stand-by these days.
So two weekends ago it was a short trip up the road to Bowling Green, Ky for the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion where I met up with mi amigo Henry Gutierrez and his Texas Jungle race team for a little nostalgia nitro funny car match race action. Henry’s Texas hospitality was abundant as he made Amber and I feel right at home in the middle of his well-oiled race operation. In addition to the ’72 Camaro Jungle Jim replica funny car driven by John Capps, they’re now running a ’72 Mustang Mach 1 driven by John Smith and both cars are tuned by legendary nitro guru Paul Smith. With a gnarly looking thunderstorm bearing down on Beech Bend, the Jungle car snuck in a 6.06 pass, and the Brand-X barely got the fuse lit and off the line before rattling the tires and shutting down in the rain. Both cars were stranded at the end of the track in a deluge before being towed back to the pits…pretty epic.
Henry says that they’re working on a Vega version of the Jungle car as well as a re-vamped Camaro version of Brand-X. When it’s all said and done, that’ll be 4 nitro funny cars total – wow! He also threw out there that he’d still like for me to steer one of his nitro taxi’s at some point….one thing’s for sure, Texas Jungle has no shortage of top-shelf equipment or talent to make it happen.
Meanwhile, back in Tennessee, the Dynamo of Dixie has made big strides in the past week, and we’re still on track to be on the track at some point this season. The killer body/chassis is back from Army’s Funny Factory and will go into the body shop in the next day or two. We’re also starting to get a handle on our final engine/transmission combination after much consultation from our awesome sponsor’s; Dart, Comp, TCI, Lunati, Royal Purple, Holeshot Wheels, M&H Tires, and good friends John Dunn, (Dunn& Gone) Kerry Grams (Black Reign Motorsports) and Steven Farrow (Farrow Motorsports). More to follow on this next time…
This weekend I’ll try my hand at my 4th different Outlaw index class race of the season, as our local track is having a 6.0 class heads up race. The only thing we have to change about our set-up is everything….lol. Oh well, diversity makes for better driving, and right now I need all the seat time I can get as I prepare for the challenges ahead.