(By Jason Mazzotta) – Saturday night match race shows may not be as prominent as they once were but this flashback to 1993 is the true definition of showmanship during a nitro match race. During the Thrill Show at Atco Dragway in New Jersey, a couple of nitro funny cars are paired up for a winner take all match race between Bobby Lagana Sr. in the “Twilight Zone,” and the driver of “The Udder Nonsense” flopper, Brent Fanning.
For anyone who has seen a wheelstander make a run at a show like this, such as Danny O’Day, knows one of his staples is after making a run he will turn around and come back up the track to wave to the crowd and add to the performance. After coming across this video, it makes me wonder if Fanning perhaps inspired the wheelstanders of today in some way.
After Fanning comes through the water he completes a huge smokey half-track burnout with the flash and flicker of header flames, making for a spectacular scene. Not stopping there, Fanning adds to the excitement and with the nitro funny car still running and cackling away, makes the turn off the track and drives it back up the return road, completes the U-turn back onto the track and stages up to make the run!
Check out this is an incredible piece of showmanship from Fanning, and an unthinkable use of his funny car, as he is cruising around in the nitro-powered flopper.