(Photos by Randy Anderson and Dave Stoltz • Words by Darr Hawthorne) – As a teenager, funny cars have been that major draw keeping me coming back to the drags. Today’s Big Show cars aren’t the same attraction, yeah, they are the quickest and fastest and a bitch to drive, but not being able to identify a Big Three automaker’s body style without a vinyl nameplate across the top of the windshield, isn’t as much fun.
When hearing of the “Biggest Collection of Funny Cars” on Earth at Funny Car Chaos, it was time to drop everything and go. Sixty-four funny cars at Orange County kept the crowds there, but this race was going rival an old-school Bill Doner/Steve Evans extravaganza.
This collection of nitro and alcohol floppers at the Texas Motorplex proved to be an amazing collection of new and old, Lenco’s and planetary automatics all racing together on the Ennis, TX 1/8 mile. The place “Where Speed Was Born” was built in 1986 by former funny car driver Billy Meyer, the Motorplex was the first National Hot Rod Association “super track.”The pits were packed with every kind of funny car, fuel altered and some epic, gear-banging gassers.
With the dearth of funny cars, it was necessary to break them up into four elimination ladders, based on the order each laid down in three long qualifiers.
Leading the squad for the A-Field was southern Californian Del Worsham’s 3.210 at 270.90 mph, Del brought two different Big Show nitro funny cars out of Worsham & Fink Racing. After eliminations in the 8-car field, Worsham met #6 Qualifier Kyle Smith in the final with Smith taking home the trophy over a tire smoking Worsham.
In the B-Field final round, Doug Schneider ’07 Chevy defeated Scott Palmer’s ’15 Mustang with a solid 3.717 ET at 200.12 MPH for the win. The C-Field of Funny Car Chaos pitted Bill Bernard against Levi Keenen, with Bernard saving his best for last, running 3.669 ET at 205.07 MPH over Keenen’s 3.820 ET. In the final round of the D-Field Tom Furches met Bob Alberty Jr with Furches’ Pontiac winning over a red-lighting Alberty for the trophy.
Highlights of the AA/Fuel Altered class had Kebin Kinsley in the War Wagon (below) trading blows all weekend with Richard Hartman (above) driving Tim Wilkerson’s ultra-streamliner as both teams fought it out for the speed and elapsed time records. Early Saturday, Hartman became the first Altered to 300 MPH with his 304.53 pass with a 4.920 elapsed time, becoming the first in the 4.0’s! Kinsey then returned with the War Wagon to better Hartman’s MPH by .06 running 304.59 miles per hour pass.
Both teams did their job, while some purists wondered if Wilkerson’s swoopy machine isn’t really a Big Show funny car in hotpants, it was quite a battle, by two very competitive teams!
Don’t expect seventy-plus nitro and alcohol funny cars for the next event on April 23-24 at Amarillo Dragway. This Motorplex show may well have been the big daddy of current funny car racing, by sheer numbers!
Check out the first of our Funny Car Chaos at the Texas Motorplex Galleries below!