Mike Herring (near lane) scored...
Mike Herring (near lane) scored the pole (6.475/214.89 mph) along with his second FFW Mr. Gasket Pro win for 2005. In the process he took home the king's ransom of $20,000 posted by AMP Performance.
Long-time Pro campaigner Doug...
Long-time Pro campaigner Doug Mangrum (near lane) snagged the second qualifying spot with a 6.476/214.79 effort from his ProCharged Pony, but mechanical problems kept him from doing any damage in eliminations.
Things got ugly for Chuck...
Things got ugly for Chuck Simons during qualifying when his Cougar went out of control at the end of a qualifying pass, spinning backward and flying through the air. Eventually the car landed on all four wheels, with the only damage being to the paint and the wheelie bars, which banged against the wall.
The Southeast is known as a hotbed of ultra-quick, 10-wide Outlaw machines. This wild style of drag racing is played out almost every weekend on quarter-mile and eighth-mile strips from Florida to the Carolinas. This region of the country is also home to plenty of fast street-legal Stangs, as well as hordes of Mountain Motor Pro Stocks. Combine these machines and you get a wild weekend of Fordnatics shooting it out for dragstrip supremacy.
More specifically, in April 2005 this madness amounted to three days of action in the quaint hamlet of Commerce, Georgia, as the town was invaded by the Fun Ford Weekend series.
The Atlanta FFW event has been a hit for more than a decade, but recently it has become one of the largest and most competitive races on the schedule. This year's stop was alive with many of the top shootout drivers, who shared the track with more than 110 cars in True Street. Plus, there was a special prize of $20,000 to win in Mr. Gasket Pro, courtesy of AMP Performance.
Racing kicked off on Friday with an all-day test and tune followed by one round of Showdown qualifying. Fans were treated to six-second, 215-mph Pro machines; seven-second Outlaw and Renegade runners; and Drag Radial, Bandit, and Warrior racers going for the bumper.
On Saturday we followed the seemingly endless line of 110-plus Tremec/MM&FF True Street cars as they rumbled onto the high-ways of Georgia for the required 30-mile trek. Once back at the track, they cooled down for a bit before the back-to-back racing began. Despite the street-legal requirements and the lack of tuning after the road tour, no less than four racers were clocked in the 9s, while one, Nick Yarber, ran in the 8s on each of the three passes. His winning average was a blistering 8.62.
With 20 grand up for grabs in Mr. Gasket Pro, 15 big-tire machines rolled to the line packing nitrous, mountainous cubes, and plenty of boost. The racing was intense, with the first three cars running in the 6.40s and a total of 11 drivers in the 6s. Nighttime qualifying was awesome, as Mike Herring, using nitrous and a Fulton big-block, set the pace at 6.475 with a speed of 214.89 mph. Herring made his mark early in the session and only Doug Mangrum came close, riding his tail with a strong 6.476/214.79 from his ProCharged machine.
In eliminations there were many strong runs, but by Sunday afternoon the last men standing were pole sitter Herring and number-three qualifier Richard Pendland.
In the final, Herring grabbed the holeshot and then blasted to a 6.543 to hold off Pendland who ran a near-identical, but slower, 6.548. The margin of victory was 0.030 second, or about 3 feet. For winning from the the top spot, Herring grabbed the $1,000 posted by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires Pro Challenge Lottery.
Amazingly, Simons came back...
Amazingly, Simons came back to run eliminations, where he knocked out the number-four qualifier, defending IHRA Pro Stock champion John Nobile (6.53 to 6.57), in round one before losing to Tony Gillig in round two.
Mike Herring dials in the...
Mike Herring dials in the clutch on his RJ Race Cars Mustang. The red rocket is powered by a 698-inch Fulton motor that gets three stages of nitrous and is backed by a four-speed Lenco.
Using 815 inches of Ford hemi,...
Using 815 inches of Ford hemi, Robert Patrick (far lane) ran 6.45 at 217 mph to defeat the popular Joe DaSilva who ran an 7.73 in round one.
Dan Saitz (near lane) and...
Dan Saitz (near lane) and Ben Hopko qualified Eighth and Ninth, respectively, running 6.62/214 mph and 6.63/216 mph. During their first-round match, Hopko took the win with a 6.67 to Saitz's off-pace 9.95.
The '03 FFW Pro champion Tony...
The '03 FFW Pro champion Tony Gillig qualified in the fifth spot with a 6.53 pass. He defeated Randy Eakins in round one and Chuck Samuel in round two before losing to eventual winner Mike Herring in the semis.
Chuck Samuel and Kevin Marsh...
Chuck Samuel and Kevin Marsh debuted their new big-inch, nitrous-equipped ZX3 in Atlanta. The naturally aspirated machine ran a best lap of 6.57 at 218 mph.
Brit Floyd (near lane) put...
Brit Floyd (near lane) put up a good fight in the opening round of Pro running a 6.65, but it wasn't enough to hold off Richard Penland who ran a quicker 6.60.
Bill Glidden stole the ProCharger...
Bill Glidden stole the ProCharger Outlaw show in qualifying with a blistering 7.06 at 194 mph.
Like Herring, Bill Glidden also won from the pole, taking home the winner's purse and the $1,000 Aeromotive Lottery Challenge money in ProCharger Street Outlaw. Glidden ran a string of 7.0- and 7-teen elapsed times before nailing a 7.10 in the final to beat Jimmy Keen.
While the racing was hot in the top two showdown classes, the sizzle ran all the way through the remaining categories. In Renegade, Dan Schoneck brought out a new ride and set the class record at 7.81/171.23, but inconsistency knocked him from eliminations. Meanwhile, brothers James and Jimmy Black of South Carolina battled in the final frame. James used his starting line prowess to stage quickly and take a big holeshot. The starting line lead was just what he needed to hold off the quicker Jimmy for the win (8.37 to 8.29).
Matt Jones continued his dominance in Edelbrock Street Bandit, winning for the third time this year. Jones has been on his game, setting a championship-winning pace. Using his new Liberty transmission, John Scaro showed his hand in Warrior, beating hot shoes Darrell Peterson and Jeremy Martorella. The popular Gary "G-Man" Youngblood was not to be denied at his home track, taking top honors in Mod Motor, which made car owner Chip Havemann very happy.
Ah, yes, Atlanta was indeed hot and so we've included a few extra pages and tons of photo coverage for you to enjoy. In addition, we have listed the Top 25 in Tremec True Street and all the event's race winners.
FFW ATLANTA DRAGWAY, 2005
|FFW TRUE STREET RESULTS |
|Driver # ||Driver ||Average|| |
|1 ||Nick Yarber ||8.625 ||Winner/Top 8 Sec |
|2 ||Tony Gonyon ||9.343 ||Runner Up/Top 9 Sec |
|3 ||Owen Spry ||9.433 |
|4 ||Chris Escobar ||9.703 |
|5 ||Dewayne Stiles ||9.763 |
|6 ||Danny Williams ||10.253 ||Top 10 Sec |
|7 ||John Prince Jr. ||10.515 |
|8 ||Kyle Yentzer ||10.639 |
|9 ||Larry Keys ||10.784 |
|10 ||Harley Chapman ||11.097 ||Top 11 Sec |
|11 ||Jud Stansell ||11.142 |
|12 ||John White ||11.149 |
|13 ||Adam Herringtine ||11.223 |
|14 ||David Bradford ||11.300 |
|15 ||Marc Misschman ||11.378 |
|16 ||Stephen Posenau ||11.595 |
|17 ||Michael Linch ||11.761 |
|18 ||Josh Ross ||11.820 |
|19 ||Lee Fulmer ||11.976 |
|20 ||Dean Lazzaro ||12.012 ||Top 12 Sec |
|21 ||Darryl Buckner ||12.047 |
|22 ||Gary Sanders ||12.050 |
|23 ||Jason Rowland ||12.094 |
|24 ||Nathan Green ||12.100 |
|25 ||David Chambers ||12.104 |
Atlanta FFW Winners
Mr. Gasket Pro
Blow-By Racing Street Warrior
Ford Racing Performance Parts Open Comp
JDM Engineering Tough Truck
JBA Cat4Ward Headers Focus Frenzy
|BRACKET CLASSES RESULTS |
|Saturday ||Sunday |
|Fast Ford |
|E. L. Smith ||Will McKay |
|Quick Ford |
|James Gagnon ||Jacob Ruttledge |
|Street Ford |
|John Lashley ||Mardy Kennedy |
Jeff Tyson (near lane) qualified...
Jeff Tyson (near lane) qualified Second in Outlaw but fell to Keen (7.64 to 8.15) in round one.
One of the hottest cars on...
One of the hottest cars on the Atlanta tarmac was the purple and yellow Outlaw GT of Randy Leavy. Leavy qualified Third with a 7.46, but failed to make the call for eliminations.
Glidden didn't let off, clocking...
Glidden didn't let off, clocking a 7.06 in round one to defeat Tony Watkins, and then a 7.13 (shown) to defeat Travis Franklin. He then ran 7.10 to take the class win over Jimmy Keen who shut off early.
Brothers James (near lane)...
Brothers James (near lane) and Jimmy Black did battle in the Borla Renegade final. After heating the tires and rolling in quick, James ripped the Tree with a 0.050 light, while Jimmy was late with a 0.213 reaction. The quicker light enabled James' 8.372 to hold off the 8.293-second charge of his brother for the victory.
Dan Schoneck hit the track...
Dan Schoneck hit the track with this nasty '04 Cobra in Renegade. He nailed the top spot in qualifying with a 7.81, but he lost in the semis to James Black (8.40 to 8.47).
Matt Jones of Austin, Texas,...
Matt Jones of Austin, Texas, has been dominating the Edelbrock Bandit class in 2005. His Kuntz & Co.-powered, Skinny Kid- built Mustang (near lane) has found the winner's circle in each of the first three FFW events. In Atlanta, Jones took the pole with an 8.56, before running 8.58 and 8.59 to capture the win.
With the top four cars in...
With the top four cars in Atlanta running between 9.60 and 9.80s, the Blow-By Racing Warrior class was competitive. But none were tougher than pole sitter John Scaro of Woodstock, Georgia, who outlasted the field, running 9.70, 9.62, 9.62 and 9.65 in the final against former champ Jeremy Martorella.
The Street Warrior pilots...
The Street Warrior pilots put on quite a show. Here Darrell Peterson racks up some frequent-flier miles with his 9.6-second Pony.
Robert Mollet took the fourth...
Robert Mollet took the fourth qualifying spot with a 9.88 at 135 mph. Mollet fouled in the second round against eventual winner John Scaro.
John Hewlett (near lane) busted...
John Hewlett (near lane) busted off an 8.38 to take the Drag Radial pole. He then marched on to run 8.33 and finally 8.57 to beat Chris Tuten (far lane) in the final.
Rodney Ward (far lane) captured...
Rodney Ward (far lane) captured the Ford Racing Performance Parts Open Comp title in Atlanta. He ran 11.83 (11.72 dial) to reel in Chip Leetch, who was dialed 11.89 but ran only 12.06.
Gary "G-Man" Youngblood (near...
Gary "G-Man" Youngblood (near lane) took his second Steeda/SHM Mod Motor win of the season with a victory in Atlanta over Barry Burich.
Youngblood (left) is seen...
Youngblood (left) is seen with car owner Chip Havemann. The winning Mod Motor car is for sale, but that could change if Youngblood keeps up his winning ways.
In SCT Street Stang, a class...
In SCT Street Stang, a class with a 12.50 breakout rule, Darrell Lucas nailed the top qualifier spot with a 12.55. He then made it to the final where he defeated Mark Anderson, who broke out with a 12.49 to Lucas' 12.54.
Crown City, Ohio's Mark Adkins...
Crown City, Ohio's Mark Adkins (near lane) did a nice job in JBA Focus Frenzy, defeating top qualifier Owen Spry in the final.
Sixteen competitors showed...
Sixteen competitors showed up in Atlanta to compete in JDM Engineering Tough Truck. Jim D'Amore nailed the pole position running 10.89, but Micah Monteleone in his '00 Ranger took the class win over Lacey Gassaway in the final.
MM&FF/Tremec True Street action...
MM&FF/Tremec True Street action was ripe with over 110 cars in competition. Leading the way was Nick Yarber and his bright-red, nitrous-gulping GT, which tackled the field running a three-run average of 8.625 seconds.
Kelly Sparks did a nice job...
Kelly Sparks did a nice job behind the wheel of her modified five-speed-equipped Mach 1.
Super Stock racer Stephen...
Super Stock racer Stephen Johnson (far lane) parked his 427-equipped Fairlane and slipped behind the wheel of his Mustang for some True Street action in Atlanta.
Off-track antics were a bit...
Off-track antics were a bit wild. Mr. Twinkie drew a crowd while enjoying some type of beverage from a funnel.
The man of the hour was Jeremy...
The man of the hour was Jeremy Abraham B.S., D.C., seen with his lovely girlfriend. The reason? Abraham gave this author a neck adjustment that freed up a neck-kink problem, thus relieving me of pain and headaches.