Let it be known, Monday was the quickest and fastest Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week competition day in the history of the event, which is now in its eighth running. Three cars crested the two hundred mile per hour barrier on a well prepared and maintained strip at Tulsa Motorsports Park and Larry Larson went 6.94-seconds, the quickest all time pass at Drag Week. In addition to the three cars who went over 200, which included Lutz, Larson, and Joe Barry, there were others that will get there today, assuming they survived the hellacious ride from Tulsa to Ennis, Texas.
Tom Bailey, who is driving the former “Sick Seconds” 1969 Camaro laid down a 7.108/196mph cannon shot with the power coming from a Steve Morris twin turbocharged Chevy style wedge engine. Dave Ahokas, who ran immediately behind Larry Larson’s 6.94 second lap went 7.00/193.99mph. It was a breathtaking a pair of runs that could only be see as drag racing’s version of two heavyweights standing toe to toe and landing hay makers on one another.
The run of the day, though came from Jeff Lutz. In the morning, the familiar 1957 Chevy pulled to the starting line, completed a burnout and then failed to stage, instead driving back to the pits. After remedying a transmission issue and having to wait for the Daily Driver session to end, Lutz came back for two more hits at the tree. The second lap was titanic. 7.168/212-mph and since it was so late in the day and so many of the fans and competitors had hit the road, the run stands as the biggest hidden gem of the event thus far. It was an impressive piece of driving for Lutz as the car was beginning to spin the tires and yaw back and forth at mid-course. He managed to keep the pedal buried and drive the shoebox through the traps under power. It is an astounding MPH number and all indications are that neither he, nor the other heavyweights show any signs of slowing. For those not in the know, Lutz trimmed at least 150lbs from the car this year and part of that came from the intercooler and all associated piping being left at the shop. Instead, Lutz is running on alchohol at the track under stupid boost numbers. It wouldn’t surprise us to see 50 lbs stuff through the venerable Chevy.
Joe Barry in the orange and cream colored 1956 Chevy ran his first 200mph lap on Monday as well, zipping down broadway at a clip of 202mph in 7.56 seconds. Interestingly, Barry waited and made a hit late in the afternoon in an apparent effort to step on the car and better their elapsed time. It left the starting line like a rocket and early incremental times showed a car with as much low end grunt as anyone else in Unlimited. It looked to all the world like Barry would be vaulting himself down into the bottom 7-second zone, but at the top of first gear the car spun the tires and then shook, pitching sideways and forcing Barry to pedal. It was one of those moments that makes an observer realize that these men are running their cars on the knife edge, with respect to the tune up.
Roadside breakage was unkind to many competitors. Unconfirmed reports have as many as 10 cars faltering and potentially out of the event, dead on the roadside somewhere between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Ennis, Texas. Earl Schexayder’s incredible twin turbo, 605ci Ford shotgun hemi powered Mustang was sidelined with a dead fan about 40 miles from the track. The men were out gathering a fan to make the necessary repairs and continue on when we left them in the later afternoon of Monday.
In other class car related news:
Mike Roy leads Pro Street Power Adder class in his 1971 Monte Carlo after a monster 7.64 second run at 187mph. This car just touched the 7s last season and has now picked up more then three tenths from that day in Great Bend, Kansas.
Curt Johnson leads Pro Street Naturally Aspirated after romping his way down the Tulsa quarter mile in 8.85 seconds and 152mph.
Todd Maschmeier is leading the Modified Power Adder class by more than a half a second due to a 7.79/179mph effort. The Camaro had trouble on the road last night though. The guys struck a concrete lip somewhere along the way doing damage to the front cross member and oil pan. They made an on the road fix last night and has sought the help of a local chassis shop this morning to make a more permanent repair.
Raymond Meyers is the leader in Modified Naturally Aspirated with a current average of 10.02/135.
Vince Rasch went 9.95/137 in his Pontiac powered Pontiac to lead Super Street Big Block Naturally Aspirated. Incidentally, Vince has been to and competed at every single Drag Week since the event started.
Jeff McConnell is leading Super Street small block naturally aspirated and became the first competitor in class history to make a nine second lap with a 9.990/132mph run on Monday.
Rick Prospero and his totally gnarly Chevy II wagon dive bombed the Super Street Power Adder class with a mind numbing 7.96/183mph lap that puts him out in front of Tim Reed and the legendary Pinto by about a tenth of a second.
John Monast of Massachusetts leads Street Race big block power adder with a 10.20/131mph run with his Nova. His lead is more than a half second on the second place runner, currently.
BangShifter Bill Fowler in his familiar big block powered 1971 Mustang leads Street Race Big Block naturally aspirated over James Pringle. Bill hammered his near 4,000lb car to a 10.00/140 mph elapsed time.
Street Race small block power adder is shaping up to be a barn burner. Jon Wischmann is leading the class with an 8.83/161mph effort on Monday.
Street Race small block naturally aspirated is currently led by the red Chevelle of Jake Stelter. His Monday efforts garnered him a 9.96/132mph slip and he is the only competitor currently in the 9s in this class.
Keith Fox has an early strangle hold on the Gasser/AFX class leading by nearly 1.5-seconds in his 1930 Ford coupe. 11.06/118 was enough to put him in front by a wide margin.
As we all know, this is a game of survival and early leaders often falter and fail to make it to the end. Stay tuned all week for more updates, photos and inside info from Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week 2012 presented by Gear Vendors!