Haight, Bowen Score Wins at Season Ending Goodguys Nostalgia Nationals
Beech Bend Raceway Park, Bowling Green, KY – The Goodguys 3rd Nostalgia Nationals presented by Snap-on at historic Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky was a colorful blend of hot rods, vintage race cars, outstanding warm weather and an enthusiastic standing room only crowd. Long time professional drag racers Cruz and Tony Pedregon joined the party on Sunday giving the fans a rare treat by signing autographs and firing off their gorgeous Fiat Nostalgia Top Fuel dragster built in memory of their late father “Flamin’ Frank.” The event served as the third and final Goodguys Vintage Drag Race of the 2010 season.
Veteran shoe Howard Haight had the car to beat all weekend in Top Fuel. He outperformed the competition in every qualifying and elimination leaving no doubt he still possesses the skills to be dominant. Driving Jim Didio’s New York based “Nitro-Diction” entry tuned by Funny Car legend Tom Anderson; Haight broke through for his record 8th career Goodguys Top Fuel win in 9 career finals. “I want my eighth win bad and we’re ready to take it,” he said before eliminations began. Haight started by dispatching David Pace with an opening round 6.203, got a bye-run in the semis in which he legged out a 6.055 @ 235.51 then beat Odie Coker in a rematch of last year’s final with a strong 6.096 @ 249.86. Coker, trying to draw Haight into a red light with a throttle blip as the tree went full, ended up red-lighting himself backfiring his plan. With the win, Haight became the all time winningest driver in Goodguys Nostalgia Top Fuel history.
Like Haight, Shawn Bowen and his colorful “Violator” ’77 Pontiac were simply dominant here in Bowling Green. Qualifying #1 with a 5.983 (the quickest run of the weekend), Bowen continued his march to the top on Sunday with a conservative 6.232 to defeat a crossed up Mike Lewis in Justin Grant’s Stardust ‘Cuda in the opener, then went on to take the final with a 6.045 @ 246.48 over Troy Martin’s 6.288 @ 229.31. The win was Bowen’s second of the season. Martin meanwhile ran the best ne ever has in Goodguys competition posting a stout 6.084 @ 233.84 in the first round.
Returning to the Pro Comp I winner’s circle for the third time this season was Williamsport, Pennsylvania’s Don Slout and his flip top big block Chevy powered ’48 Fiat. Slout made it a 2010 Pro Comp trifecta (a sweep of all three events) by defeating Larry Harlen’s ’48 Anglia in the trophy dash. In the 7.50 index Pro Comp II eliminator it was Pat Malloy breaking through for his first win of the season. After a runner-up at last month’s Blue Suede Cruise, Malloy qualified #1 here and defeated Steve Knopp in the final with a 7.600 to the loser’s oh-so-close 7.607 in a great drag race.
Lawrenceburg, Indiana’s Rob Davis showed everyone in B/GBAS why he’s the unquestioned class leader. Twice in eliminations, Davis ran identical 8.505 elapsed times – drag racing’s equivalent to a hole in one! It was Davis’ third final of the season and his second class victory this year. He defeated Darrell Wathen’s Willys for the trophy.
Special exhibitions were plentiful here in Bowling Green with 22 Nostalgia Super Stockers and 17 Geezer Gassers getting in as many as eight complete all-run sessions.
Other event winners included Tommy Cook (Nostalgia Comp – repeat winner from 2009), Kevin Thompson (Nostalgia Gas), Joey Litterini (Hot Rod Eliminator), Brian Basquez (1/8th mile street rod shootout) and Brian Schimmel (1/8th mile Hot Rod Shootout).
Official Race Results:
Nostalgia Top Fuel
Winner: Howard Haight, Brownsburg, IN 6.096 @ 249.86
Runner Up: Odie Coker, Kiefer, OK 6.740 @ 202.21 (foul)
Nostalgia Funny Car
Winner: Peter Shawn Bowen, Grand Blanc, MI ’77 Firebird 6.045 @ 246.48
Runner Up: Troy Martin, Pierceton, IN ’73 Charger 6.288 @ 229.31
Pro Comp I
Winner: Don Slout, Williamsport, PA 7.219 @ 171.77
Runner Up: Larry Harlen, Rockport, IN ’48 Anglia 7.728 @ 131.64
Pro Comp II
Winner: Pat Malloy, Buchanan, VA 7.600 @ 171.34
Runner Up: Steve Knopp, Shelbyville, IN 7.607 @ 187.94
Winner: Rob Davis, Lawrenceburg, IN ’67 Nova 8.505 @ 156.94
Runner Up: Darrell Wathen, Utica, KY ’41 Willys 8.558 @ 155.35
Winner: Tommy Cook, Columbia, KY ’34 Roadster 8.472 @ 156.55
Runner Up: Don Nave, South Whitley, IN 8.896 @ 111.89
Winner: Kevin Thompson, Glasgow, KY ’70 Olds 10.511 @ 121.58
Runner Up: Dave Mullin, LaMont, IL ’37 Chevy 9.096 @ 145.70
Hot Rod Eliminator
Winner: Joey Litterini, Bowling Green, KY ’70 Nova 11.498 @ 110.94
Runner Up: Kevin Thompson, Glasgow, KY ’55 Chevy 11.983 @ 112.50
Nostalgia Pro Stock
Winner: Mark Ipsen, Kenosha, WI, ’79 AMC, 9.534 @ 142.75
Runner Up: Mark Pappas, Park Ridge, IL ’81 Camaro 20.983 @
Top Fuel Round Results:
Lincoln Hassel, Raleigh, NC 6.825 @ 186.23 def Tom Steed, Ballerica, MA 8.961 @ 87.86
Odie Coker, Keifer, OK 6.619 @ 204.82 def Michael Sexton, Bloomington, IN (broke)
Howard Haight, Brownsburg, IN 6.203 @ 233.96 def. David Pace, Longview, TX 7.449 @ 168.14
Howard Haight 6.055 @ 233.51 was unopposed
Odie Coker 6.599 @ 204.45 def. Lincoln Hassel 6.810 @ 201.07
Howard Haight 6.096 @ 249.86 def Odie Coker 6.740 @ 202.21 (foul)
Funny Car Round Results:
Shawn Bowen, Grand Blanc, MI ’77 Pontiac 6.232 @ 241.37 def. Mike Lewis, Brownsburg, IN ’72 Cuda 6.780 @ 214.45
Troy Martin, Pierceton, IN ’73 Dodge 6.084 @ 233.84 def. Randy Baker, Waukee, IA ’70 Ford Maverick 8.988 @ 202.18
Shawn Bowen 6.045 @ 246.48 def. Troy Martin 6.288 @ 229.31