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

Nostalgia Comp
Winner: Tommy Cook, Columbia, KY ’34 Roadster 8.472 @ 156.55
Runner Up: Don Nave, South Whitley, IN 8.896 @ 111.89

Nostalgia Gas
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:
First Rd:
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:
First Rd:
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

-Tony Pedregon squirts the injector of the Flamin Frank Fiat cackle car

-Cruz Pedregon cackles the Flamin Frank Fiat on 97% nitro!

-Top Fuel Final. Howard Haight (near lane) won his 8th Goodguys race!

-Funny Car Final between the Chi Town Hustler and the Violator!

-Nostalgia Pro Stock Final

-Pro Comp Final. Congrats to Don Slout on 3 straight wins this year!

-Pat Malloy (near lane) won one for the Irish in Pro Comp II

-B/GAS Final

-Tommy Cook (near lane) won Nostalgia Comp for the 2nd year!

-Nostalgia Gas Final

-Hot Rod Eliminator Final


Good Sunday morning from Beech Bend Raceway Park! The first round of Funny Car and the semi’s of Top Fuel started off today’s program here under sunny skies and warm temperatures. The weather man is calling for a high of 83 degrees today.

Prior to the start of eliminations, Cruz and Tony Pedregon, here today with their late father ‘Flamin Frank’s” restored 1960s dragster, had a chance to get acquainted with the crowd. They told of how they love coming to hot rod events like the Nostalgia Nationals and connecting with the fans and old friends alike. A lot of people don’t realize just how much these two have accomplished in their careers. Both won NHRA World Championships in Funny Cars driving for team owners then built their own teams and went on to win NHRA World Championships (Tony in 2007 and Cruz in 2008) as team owner/driver. They will be signing autographs and cackling their father’s dragster at NOON at the Snap-on tent.

In the opening round of Funny Car, Shawn Bowen ran a pedaling 6.232 @ 241.37 to defeat Mike Lewis who logged a mechanically challenged 6.780 @ 214.45 in the Stardust entry. The other matchup featured Troy Martin and his Chi Town Hustler and “Rapid” Randy Baker. Martin took the win running his best-ever lap at a Goodguys event (6.08 @ 233.84) over Baker’s crossed-up 8.98 @ 202.18.

The Top Fuel semi’s featured started with a bye run by Howard Haight and to the delight of the crowd he ran it through the lights going 6.05 @ 235. The next pair was Odie Coker against the small block Chevy car of Lincoln Hassel. Coker streaked to a 6.599 @ 204.45 over Hassel’s game 6.810 @ 201.07.

We’re currently running Pro Comp I and will follow with the remainder of the program. Check back tonight for final results! If you’re anywhere near the city of Bowling Green, come on out and join us!

-Tony and Cruz Pedregon with track owner Dallas Jones

-Shawn Bowen defeats Mike Lewis in Round 1

-Troy Martin defeats Randy Baker - Funny Car Round 1

-Howard Haight ran 6.05 @ 235mph in a semi final bye run

-Odie Coker (near lane) defeats Lincoln Hassel in the Top Fuel semi's

It’s after 6pm here at Beech Bend Raceway and we’re working from the press tower because it beats trying to get in line to get out of the facility. With a big sun drenched crowd filing out on a one-way exit road back to town all we see is brake lights so we’re just gonna chill for a while.

Final qualifying was fairly uneventful in most classes but the first round of Top Fuel eliminations featured some excitement indeed. The first pair out was Lincoln Hassel in the small black Chevy car matched against Tom Steed in the Mr Boston.  As the tree came down, Hassel red lit with a .043 foul then Steed went right and hit the guard rail which results in the ol’ “First or Worst” ruling. Since hitting the wall is worse than red-lighting, Hassel was declared the winner. Next pair out was Michael Sexton against Odie Coker. After a hi-revving burnout, it was reported that Sexton “kicked the rods” allowing Coker to streak to a 6.619 lap. The final pair of first round was David Pace in the “Backyard Guys” entry against defending champ Howard Haight. Haight took a fairly easy win with a 6.203 @ 233.96 (Low ET and top speed of the meet so far) but Pace gets credit for getting the Backyard Guys car down track on a competitive run. The team was mired with mechanical issues throughout the weekend and this opening round lap was their first full pass of the weekend. Hats off to them.

Blue Suede Cruise winner Shawn Bowen led the way in Funny Car with a stout 5.983 @ 248.07 in the “Violator” ’77 Firebird and Randy Baker ran his best lap ever at a Goodguys race, going 6.172 @ 220.58 in Danny Miller’s Rear Gears Maverick.  Our old friend Mike Lewis, the same Mike Lewis who serves as the Vice President of Don Schumacher Racing took Justin Grant’s Stardust to a 6.188 @ 232.91 for the third spot. Rounding out the field was Troy Martin’s Chit Town Hustler with a 7.643 @ 140.42. The Funny Cars will come out for their first round tomorrow morning at 10am along with the Top Fuel semis.

Richard Edwards (Pro Comp I) and Pat Malloy (Pro Comp II) led qualifying in their respective divisions as did Rob Davis in B/GAS. Hats off to both Davis and second place qualifier Darrell Wathen who ran identical 8.507 ET’s in the final qualifier, their speeds determining who got the pole!

We’ll see you again tomorrow. Check back at the end of the day Sunday for a full race recap. Good night from bowling green!

-Top Fuel Round One

-Funny Car Final Qualifying

-Pro Comp I Final Qualifying

-Pro Comp II Final Qualifying

-B/GAS Final Qualifying

-Howard Haight vs David Pace - TF Round 1

-Shawn Bowen, #1 Qaulifer in Funny Car

Richard Edwards and his brightly colored '48 Fiat. Pro Comp I #1 Qualifier

-Pat Malloy, Pro Comp II #1 Qualifier

-Rob Davis, B/GAS #1 Qualifier

-Steve Friesel's Florida based '32 Bantam catching some air in PC II qualifying!

It’s mid afternoon Saturday here at the 3rd Nostalgia Nationals and action has been hot & heavy on the drag strip all day. We just finished running the 1/8th mile Street Rod/ Hot Rod Shootout which featured a record 17 entries! The race is a special 1/8th mile heads up, run-what-ya-brung drag race for car show participants only – no race cars allowed!

The Street Rod Shootout featured heart break for Indy winner Roger Burman but sheer unadulterated joy for Sacramento, California’s Brian Basquez.  Basquez’s journey to Kentucky began last Wednesday evening. “I was sitting at my home in Sacramento on the fence asking myself if I should go or not,” he said. “That’s when I just said – heck with it – I’m goin!” He went to Uhaul, rented a car dolly, hooked up his Brizio-Built black ’32 Ford roadster behind his pickup and drove straight through here to Bowling Green stopping for just a few hours at night to sleep in his truck. He arrived here just this morning!

At the onset of eliminations it appeared Burman and his wicked black ’32 5-window were going to Waltz to the victory. Burman was some 7/10th’s of a second faster than Basquez but as it turned out, Burman had to be shut off on the starting line due to a leak in his semi final race with Bill Reeves. That left a bye run for Basquez into his first-ever final. He’d run a career best 6.851 @ 103.41 in the semi’s but that wasn’t going to cut it against Burman but he caught his lucky break when Burman broke. The racing God’s indeed had smiled upon him! In the final, Basquez dispatched Reeves with a 7.255 @ 86.92 to the loser’s 8.719 @ 79.08. “That’s racin’ he said,” fists pumping in the air upon pulling into the winner’s circle to collect his first Goodguys hemi trophy. “This is the 3rd time I’ve competed in the event and have driven back to Indy twice and now to Kentucky. I’m so happy!”

He went on to thank Roy Brizio for building him the roadster, Roseville Rod & Custom for installing the  427-inch Smeding Performance small block Chevy and John “Action” Jackson for helping him with travel arrangements over the years to get back to the Midwest to compete in the Shootout. He then promptly accepted his first Goodguys hemi trophy, packed up his things and started the 2,248 mile journey back to Sacramento!

Brian Schimmel of New Berlin, WI again showed the world just how fast a ’55 Chevy Pickup could be. Competing in the Hot Rod Shootout, Schimmel flexed the muscles of his 496 inch, 1,000 horsepower big block and blew the doors off the competition by running a full 3 seconds quicker than some of them! Facing 6 others, he needed just three rounds to take his second title of the year having won at Indy as well. In the final against Tim Whitcomb, he clicked off a staggering 1/8th mile run of 5.826 @ 122.29! Schimmel’s patina covered truck, which he and his crew lovingly regard as “farmtastic”,  sports a Turbo 400 transmission, 4 link rear end, coilovers, Mickey Thompson ET Street slicks and a heavy dose of Nitrous Oxide. Brian thanked C & S Performance for helping him thrash to get the transmission in order (he indicated he had three tranny’s in the car in the last 72 hours!), as well as Steve Balzer, Terry Reinders, Paul Tadin and everyone at Hillbilly Customs and Rod & Competition.

Both Top Fuel and Funny Car ran a solid session for the capacity crowd here today with Howard Haight retaining the pole in Top Fuel. Since there are 6 dragsters here and now 4 Funny Cars (after Troy Ray was unable to repair his rear end over night), Top Fuel will run their first round at approx 4pm Central while Funny Car will run another qualifier here this afternoon and start their final eliminations tomorrow morning. Here’s a look at some sheets and pictures from today’s action. We’ll be back later on tonight with the final qualifying sheets, round one top fuel results and the day’s photo highlights. Check back after dark!

Street Rod Shootout Round Results

Hot Rod Shootout Round Results

Top Fuel Final Qualifying Results

Street Rod Shootout Final

-California's Brian Basques burns some rubber

-Basquez and his shiny hemi oscar!

-Hot Rod Shootout Winner Brian Schimmel


Hot Rod Shooutout Final. Brian Schimmel (far lane) takes the win!

-Tom Steed, Mr Boston Top Fueler

-Mike Lewis in Justin Grant's Stardust Cuda

Good morning from Beech Bend Raceway which today is blanketed in gorgeous warm sunshine. The staging lanes are full of cars, the hot rods & customs are everywhere and the vendor midway is swamped. It’s indeed a great day in Bowling Green, Kentucky!

We are currently running Nostalgia Gas. Pro Comp I & II are in the lanes and the 1/8th mile Street Rod/Hot Rod Shootout has a whopping 16 cars entered this weekend – the largest turnout ever here at Becch Bend. We will run Top Fuel and Funny Car just after twelve noon.

I’ll try to get the Street Rod Shootout sheets and results up ASAP as well as the other sheets. So far the internet is coorpoerating here today which is a good sign! Stay tuned throughout the day friends!

Good evening from Kentucky! Bowling Green and Beech Bend Raceway to be exact. With clear sunny skies and very little oil, the sportsman racers had a ball out here today with some classes getting as many as four runs down the dragstrip! We had over a thousand cars in the show & shine and the vendor midway was buzzin’ too! It was indeed a beautiful day here at the 3rd Nostalgia Nationals.

The nitro cars got in their opening runs this afternoon in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. It was mostly a get acquainted session today. Two of the five Funny Cars entered were shut off behind the starting line (Troy Ray and Troy Martin). Martin’s car developed a large fuel leak and Ray’s ’69 Charger was making its maiden voyage today while having what appeared to be transmission issues.  The other side by side pair was Shawn Bowen in the “Violator” ’77 Firebird against Danny Miller’s “Rear Gears” ’70 Maverick. The Maverick, driven by “Rapid Randy” Baker, lost traction, veering into Bowen’s lane coming very close to a collision. Thankfully both cars coasted to the finish line unscathed. The other Funny Car to run today was Justin Grant’s Stardust ‘Cuda. Justin was licensing a new driver and made a smooth and steady half track run. Tomorrow, Mike Lewis of Don Schumacher Racing will take over the driving chores of the Stardust.

In Top Fuel, defending event champion Howard Haight stormed to the head of the class with a 6.637 @ 179.16 while Odie Coker checked in second with a 6.753 @ 201.76 – the session’s only other 6 second run. Lincoln Hassel, running his first Goodguys event in years, put a charge into the crowd running an  “in the marbles” 7.040 @ 185.08 in Bob Bradley’s small block Chevy powered entry. Tom Steed, driving the “Mr Boston” top fueler from Massachusetts could not find reverse on the burnout and idled down track. David Pace and the Back Yard Guys are indeed onsite but they lost oil pressure during a warm up and will wait until tomorrow to make their run.

All fuel cars will step it way up tomorrow to be sure. The second and final nitro qualifying run is at high noon with first round eliminations at 3:30pm (all times tentative).

Ballwin, Missouri’s Butch Hill, driving his purple flamed ’53 Studebaker grabbed the pole in B/GAS with an 8.560 @ 162.53, while last month’s Blue Suede Cruise winner Don Slout qualified on top with a 7.040 @ 189.68 in Pro Comp I presented by Freedom Racing Engines.  The only female in the Pro Comp II field led the way showing the fella’s how it’s done! Michelle Lewis, driving her original ’69 Woody Gilmore dragster ran a near perfect 7.506 @ 169.49 on the 7.500 class index! Well done Michelle!

We’ll be back tomorrow with more action from the 3rd Nostalgia Nationals presented by Snap-On! Below are today’s qualifying sheets.

For the qualifying sheets listed below, simply click to enlarge.


-Shawn Bowen (near lane) and Randy Baker

-Troy Martin's gorgeous 'Chi Town Hustler"

-Justin Grant's "Stardust"

-Howard Haight

-Odie Coker

-Mark Pappas (near lane) and Mark Ispen. Nostalgia Pro Stock

-Michelle Smith, Pro Comp II #1 qualifier! Go girl!

-Butch Hill, B/GAS #1 qualifier

-John Grimwald, Nostalgia Super Stock

-Rich Berlisk, Nostalgia Super Stock

-Ron Doran, Geezer Gassers

Good morning from historic Beech Bend Raceway Park! It’s a glorious crystal clear morning here as racing has commenced in the sportsman classes. With a sunny forecast for the weekend it promises to be full hot & heavy action. Hot Rod Eliminator, The Geezer Gassers as well as the  Nostalgia Super Stockers have already made runs. Nostalgia Comp and Nostalgia Gas are currently in the lanes.

There’s no doubt Beech Bend Raceway is one of the quaintest, most nostalgic facilities in the land but along with that comes low bandwidth issues! We’re gonna have to post this evenings final qualifying results and highlight photos from the hotel in town so check back around 9pm central time for all the days professional and sportsman qualifying results. Keep in mind we only post qualifying results from the classes that run set fields. The all-run classes like Nostalgia Comp, Nostalgia Gas and others will not have qualifying orders to post since they are all-run categories. Sometime we get questions about those.

In other news, I escaped unharmed from the press room here atop the drag tower this morning after discovering a hornets’ nest inside the light fixture. About 30 angry and confused large multi colored flying beasts came charging out of the fixture and they meant business! Track owner Dallas Jones came up with a can of WD-40 and diffused the situation. “WD-40 will kill anything but a broken heart,” Jones quipped.  Gotta love Dallas and his southern charm:-)

-John Drummond

Bowling Green, Kentucky – The Goodguys 3rd Nostalgia Nationals, which blasts off this Friday at Dallas Jones’s Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green Kentucky will serve up a heavy dose of drag strip yesteryear giving both fans and participants one last chance to revel in nitro fumes and tire smoke before winter sets in.

The Nostalgia Nationals is two events in one with a full scale vintage drag race as well as a rod & custom show & shine for vehicles 1972 & earlier, sprawling throughout the scenic grounds of the historic facility on the outskirts of Bowling Green. Manufacturer’s exhibits, an auto parts swap meet and cars for sale corral will also be featured. NHRA Funny Car stars Cruz and Tony Pedregon will serve as event grand marshals. The Pedregon’s will be on hand all day Sunday the 17th to sign autographs, mingle with fans and fire up their late father “Flamin’ Frank’s” Fiat bodied nostalgia dragster. It promises to be a full weekend for any gear head!

Full fields of nostalgia top fuel dragsters and nostalgia funny cars are expected. In top fuel, defending event champions Michael Sexton (2008) and Howard Haight (2009) will look to repeat their success on Beech Bends sticky track surface. Their plight won’t be as easy with the likes of Bob Bradley and his small block Chevy car, Charlie Smith, Tim Steed and the “Mr Boston”, Joe Krupinski, David Pace in the “Backyard Guys” special and others lining up to do battle.

In Nostalgia Funny Car, some of the best retro floppers in the Midwest are expected to do battle including Shawn Bowen’s Michigan based “Violator” ’77 Firebird (winner of the Goodguys Blue Suede Cruise in August), Justin Grant’s “Stardust” hemi ‘Cuda (to be driven by Don Schumacher Racing VP Mike Lewis), Troy Martin’s “Chi Town Hustler”,  Danny Miller’s “Rear Gears” ’70 Maverick, Troy Ray’s “Wildfire” Mini Satellite and others.

Three exhibition classes are on the docket including the popular new Nostalgia Pro Stock class as well as the always entertaining Geezer Gasser’s and Nostalgia Super Stockers. In Nostalgia Pro Stock, Mark Pappas will bring out his spot-on recreation of the 1981 Reher Morrison Pro Stock Camaro driven to the 1981 NHRA World Championship. In Nostalgia Super Stock, over 42 entries have streamed in for the last Goodguys race of the year!

Out in the rod & custom show & shine, spread throughout the scenic Beech Bend– acres of classic cars and hot rods will be on display. A midway full of vendor exhibits will offer the latest products and tech support while a vintage auto parts swap meet and car corral will offer cars and parts for sale.

The weekend comes to a climactic close on Sunday, October 17th  with the event awards ceremony as well as the final drag strip elimination runs. Final eliminations begin at 10am in all classes. The car show awards ceremony takes place on the drag strip starting line at 2:22pm showcasing the event’s top 100 cars.

Event hours are Friday and Saturday 8am to 5pm and Sunday 8am to 3pm. General admission is $20 per day. Kids 7-12 $6. Kids 6 and under are FREE. A three day weekend pass is available for $55. Tickets are available at the event gates or online at www.nostalgianats.com. For additional event information, contact the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association at (925) 838-9876

Make sure and check in here at the blog throughout the weekend as we’ll be updating it daily with qualifying and elimination results!

-Michael Sexton Nostalgia Top Fuel

-Howard Haight - Nostalgia Top Fuel

-Justin Grant's "Stardust" 'Cuda will be driven by Mike Lewis

-Troy Martin's Chi Town Hustler

-Geeser Gassers!

-Over 40 Nostalgia Super Stockers are signed up for the 3rd Nostalgia Nats!

-Mark Pappas' Reher & Morrison Nostalgia Pro Stock Camaro

-Snap-on racing's Cruz Pedgregon

-Tony Pedregon


Green, Bowen take home first Goodguys Event Wins at 9th Blue Suede Cruise

Norwalk, OH – Nostalgia fuel drag racers Troy Green (top fuel) and Shawn Bowen (funny car) had themselves a day to remember during final eliminations of the Goodguys 9th Blue Suede Cruise at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH as both young guns took home their first ever Goodguys event wins and set track records in the process. The entire weekend was memorable with the sights and sounds of thousands of hot rods coming together with vintage dragsters here at America’s Race Track. Throw in cameo appearances by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and his flame belching “Swamp Rat” 1968 era dragster and you have a complete picture of what the Blue Suede Cruise is all about.

Top Fuel racing here was fierce from Sunday’s opening bell. Green, driving a sleek new dragster owned by Frank and Debra Ousley (with a tune up from Texas based legend Dale Emery),  set an all time track record here for a front engined Top Fuel dragster, posting a 5.775 @ 248.11 mph blast in a first round win over Tony Bartone . The previous record for a front engine top fuel dragster in these parts was 5.94 set back in 2001. Continuing his quest for victory, Green dispatched Ernest McClain’s Chevy fueler with a 5.932 @ 231.99mph in the semis. His final round competition proved to be none other than two-time Goodguys event champion and #1 qualifier “Radar” Roger Lechtenberg in the menacing “Orange Crate” machine. In the race of the weekend, Green parlayed a .092 reaction time advantage into a 5.823 @ 254.76mph win over Lechtenberg who charged to a 5.800 @ 258.47 – the fastest top fuel speed recorded at a Goodguys event in the Eastern Time zone. The final margin of victory was just two ten thousandths of a second, leaving the crowd pounding on the bleachers in excitement.

In Nostalgia Funny Car Action, Grand Blanc, Michigan’s Shawn Bowen and his “Violator” ’77 Firebird sent a shot across the bow to the rest of the nation’s vintage floppers that he and his team mean business. Bowen, a former NHRA Division III National Champion and 3-time NHRA national event winner in Alcohol Dragster ran Low ET of the meet right off the trailer going 5.929 @ 242.50 on Friday afternoon. In the opening round of Sunday’s eliminations, Bowen cruised to an easy 5.983 @ 242.23mph victory over John Hale in the “Nitro Boss” ’69 Mustang from Dallas, Texas. On the other side of the ladder, two-time Blue Suede Cruise winner Steve Nichols and his ’70 Camaro racked up a first round 6.007 @ 226.70mph win over Steve Timosyk’s period perfect ’69 Camaro. In the final, Bowen wasted no time getting to the lead rocketing to a piston smoking 6.034 @ 230.65mph win – his first-ever Goodguys event win. He credited his father Mike for building a winning car and his brother Scott for providing the tune up. His wife Nicole and their two sons Austin and Dylan were also on hand for the big win.

Williamsport, Pennsylvania’s Don Slout, winner of the Hot Rod Nationals in Indianapolis earlier this year made it back to back event wins in the Freedom Racing Engine’s sponsored Pro Comp I division. Slout squared off against last year’s Blue Suede Cruise winner mark Vaught in the final and got the win when Vaught had staging issues. In the 7.50-index Pro Comp II division, it was Wood Haven, Michigan’s Brandon Anderson getting his first Goodguys win behind the wheel of his ’23 T.

The exhibition cars were out in force at the 9th Blue Suede Cruise. Headlining the program was the Goodguys-debut of Nostalgia Pro Stock. The eight and nine second period correct doorslammers brought back fond memories for fans and put on a memorable show. After two all-run rounds on Sunday, the two quickest cars came back for the Chicago style final round. Kenosha, Wisconsin’s Mark Ispen got the win in his ’79 AMC. The popular Geezer Gassers and Nostalgia Super Stockers rounded out the exhibition playbill.

Other event winners included Bob Sarkisian (B/GAS), Al Goodman (Nostalgia Comp), Ben Browder (Nostalgia Gas), Larry Stroscher (Hot Rod Eliminator), Keith Palcisko (1/8th mile Hot Rod Shootout) and Larry Fike (1/8th mile Street Rod Shootout).

Next up on the Goodguys Vintage Drag Racing event schedule is the 3rd Nostalgia Nationals, October 15-17 at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky. For more visit www.ggvintagedragracing.com

Final Round Results
Goodguys 9th Blue Suede Cruise, Summit Motorsports Park
Norwalk, OH

Top Fuel:
Winner: Troy Green, Purcell, OK 5.823 @ 254.76
Runner Up: Roger Lechtenberg, Cedar Falls, IA 5.800 @ 258.47

Funny Car:
Winner:  Shawn Bowen, Grand Blanc, MI ’77 Firebird 6.034 @ 230.65mph
Runner Up: . Steve Nichols, Newark, DE ’70 Camaro,  6.439 @ 176.44mph

Pro Comp I Presented by Freedom Racing Engines:
Winner:  Don Slout, Williamsport, PA ’48 Fiat 7.668 @ 174.59
Runner Up: Mark Vaught, Crawfordsville, IN 32.54 @ 36.24

Pro Comp II:
Winner:  Brandon Anderson, Woodhaven, MI 7.585 @ 175.05
Runner Up: Pat Malloy, Buchanan, VA 7.525 @ 173.52

Winner:  Bob Sarkisian, Pinckney, MI ’48 Anglia 8.521 @ 154.86
Runner Up:  Rob Davis, Lawrenceberg, IN ’67 Nova 8.497  @ 158.95 (*foul)

Nostalgia Comp:
Winner:  Al Goodman, Novelty, OH ’23 T 8.319 @ 156.50
Runner Up:  Don Nave, S. Whitley, IN  8.456 @ 155.54

Nostalgia Gas:
Winner:  Ben Browder, Fairborn, OH ’55 T Bird 9.527 @ 132.36
Runner Up:  Sue Campbell, Ramtoul, IL ’41 Willys 9.080 @ 148.80

Hot Rod Eliminator:
Winner:  Larry Strosher, Curtice, OH ’64 Chevy II 11.330 @ 108.39
Runner Up:  Barb Hillyer, Plainfield, IN ’64 Falcon 11.709 @ 112.21

Nostalgia Pro Stock:
Winner: Mark Ispen, Kenosha, WI ’79 AMC 9.711 @ 142.19
Runner Up: Mark Pappas, Park Ridge, IL ’81 Camaro 9.167 @ 156.57

1/8th Mile Street Rod Shootout:
Winner:  Larry Fike, Shelby, OH, ’66 Chevy II 8.055 @ 86.32
Runner Up: Randy Archer, Berlin Heights, OH, ’66 Plymouth 8.162 @ 85.62

1/8th Mile Hot Rod Shootout:
Winner:  Keith Palciscko, Columbia Station, OH ’33 Willys 6.028 @ 113.75
Runner Up: Gary Ippolito, Bay Village, OH ’39 Ford 8.035 @ 89.59

Pro Round by Round Results:
Top Fuel Rd 1:
Howard Haight 6.222 @ 205.10mph def Jeff Miller 6.802 @ 201.10
Ernest McClain 6.066 @ 228.31mph def. Michael Sexton 6.846 @ 197.57mph
Roger Lechtenberg 6.132 @ 181.35mph (was unopposed)
Troy Green 5.775 @ 248.11mph def Tony Bartone 8.735 @ 97.94
 Semi Finals:
Troy Green 5.932 @ 231.99mph def. Ernest McClain 9.061 @ 57.40mph
Roger Lechtenberg 5.900 @ 249.07mph def. Howard Haight 5.993 @ 253.47mph
Troy Green 5.823 @ 254.76 def. Roger Lechtenberg 5.800 @ 258.47

Funny Car Rd 1:
Shawn Bowen, ’77 Firebird  5.983 @ 242.23mph def. John Hale, ’69 Mustang 6.275 @ 229.00mph
Steve Nichols ’70 Camaro 6.007 @ 226.70mph def Steve Timosk ’69 Camaro 7.952 @ 140.09mph
Shawn Bowen, ’77 Firebird 6.034 @ 230.65mph def. Steve Nichols, ’70 Camaro 6.439 @ 176.44mph

Top Fuel winner Troy Green

Funny Car winner Shawn Bowen

Top Fuel Final

Funny Car Final

Nostalgia Pro Stock Final

Freedom Racing Engines Pro Comp I Final

Pro Comp II Final

B/GAS Final

Nostalgia Gas Final

Nostalgia Comp Final

Hot Rod Eliminator Final

Good Sunday morning from Summit Motorpsorts Park here in Norwalk, Ohio! It’s a clear morning and we’re set for a great day of racing. Hot Rod Eliminator has just begun their first round of eliminations. Opening ceremonies will commence at 9:45am then we’ll head into the first round of top fuel.

With today’s great racing conditions, you should be here watching if you live anywhere within 200 miles of Summit Motorsports Park. The track is tight and the cars are loaded for bear. We should see some stout numbers out here today. Don Garlits will do his final exhibition cackle/burnout to start the top fuel eliminations which will be followed by Funny Car.

We’ll have final round results posted this evening so make sure and check back then. Here’s a few more photos of yesterday’s action. See ya later on today!

Steve Timosyk's immaculate '69 Camaro Funny Car. A tribute to Mike Burkhart

John Hale's "Nitro Boss" AA/FC from Dallas, Texas

Troy Green was Saturday's quickest Top Fuel dragster @ 5.974/229.86

Howard Haight in the "Nitrodiction" Top Fueler

Dan Timosyk -'71 Vega vs Sal Petrulis - '72 Dodge Colt in Nost. Pro Stock