It's been said that you can always tell when you go south of the Mason-Dixon line. The people are more laid back, the food is some awesome down-home grub, and everywhere you turn, the Southern aristocracy that was in the region up to the beginning of the Civil War is all around. When the Fun Ford Weekend parade rolled into Bristol Dragway in scenic Bristol, Tennessee, the Southern hospitality was accented with some high-horsepower Ford racing.
With FFW's bevy of classes on tap, there was something for everyone at Bristol, be it the mid 6-second Pro cars, the sportsman bracket cars, or the car show. Throw in the True Street contingent, and there truly was an answer for every need. The action on the strip was just as hot as the climate, especially in the Pro category. The money round came down to the nitrous-snorting GT500 of Dale Brinsfield and the monster-cube Ford big-block-powered Escort of David Schorr. Brinsfield, who qualified Number One and spent most of the weekend in the mid-6.40-second zone, left first and never looked back, ripping off a 6.45 at 219 mph for the victory.
Conrad Scarry has taken control of the Street Outlaw class, as he put together a solid weekend to take home yet another win. Street Outlaw, which ran the eighth-mile and not the standard quarter-mile, saw three cars compete, in which Frank Mewshaw nailed down the Number One qualifying spot over Scarry with a stout 4.64. On his first-round single, however, Mewshaw broke, as his elapsed time was only an 8.07, and he couldn't come back and face Scarry in the final. Scarry, who blasted to a 4.57 in his opening round victory over John Choate, cruised to an easy win.
Street Renegade had a good-sized field, and racers made their way into the staging lanes for battle, with an eclectic mix of cars duking it out. The final round came down to the nitrous-oxide sniffing Mustang of Don Burton and the supercharged '91 coupe of "Mustang" Mike Modeste. Only four-hundredths of a second separated the two in reaction time, but as the pair traveled down track, nitrous overcame boost, and it was Burton taking the win by a 7.66 to 8.46 count.
The 10.60-second index class called Street Bandit featured a final round between former champion Mac Sibley and perennial hitter Tom Conrad. What was shaping up to be a great final was over as soon as the Tree flashed, as Conrad left too soon and fouled out by 0.040-second. Sibley legged the last pass out to a 10.56 at 125 mph.
The Ultra Stang trophy dash was a battle between S.D. Wheeler and Paul Gamino, both of whom have won in the class this year. Wheeler left nothing for chance on the starting line, as he hit a near-perfect 0.002 reaction time. At the quarter-mile mark, both Wheeler and Gamino went under their respective indexes, but it was Wheeler coming out on top as his 11.55 (11.60 index) was less of an infraction than Gamino's 10.48 (10.65 index).
Tom Conrad lived and died by the red-light sword in Bristol. After giving up the Street Bandit win with a red light in the final, Conrad got one back when Street Stang final round opponent Jim D'Amore III fouled out himself. D'Amore, who missed the Tree by a scant 0.018-second, ran a losing 11.92 to Conrad's winning 12.00 on the class' 11.90-second index.
In Tough Truck, Gamino made up for his losing effort by downing former Tough Truck champ Don Justus in the winner-take-all final. Justus was better on the starting line with an 0.034 reaction time to Gamino's 0.050, but at the stripe, the double-breakout race went in favor of Gamino, who ran under his 13.91 dial with a 13.87, which was less of an offense than Justus' 10.83 (10.88 dial).
Jim Statzak piloted his blue...
Jim Statzak piloted his blue Fox-body coupe to the 12-second win in the Bristol True Street competition. Statzak ran a 12.08, a 12.10, and a 12.07 to secure the top 12-second time with a 12.084 average.
Dale Brinsfield showed everyone...
Dale Brinsfield showed everyone who the boss was in Pro, as he pulled the chutes on his Mustang, and everyone else's hopes of winning. A string of mid 6.40s and a final round victory over David Schorr assured Brinsfield the spoils awarded to the victor.
Not only did the True Street...
Not only did the True Street contestants have to survive a 30-mile cruise and three back-to-back runs, but they also had to brave a rainstorm while on the cruise. Who says you can't drive your nine-second Mustang in the rain?
Jonathan Williams finished...
Jonathan Williams finished in Third Place in True Street, and also nailed down the top 10-second time with his black LX hatchback. After a couple of 11-second passes, Jonathan opened his Pony up and ripped off a 10.52 to finish with a 10.899-second average.
Shelby GT500 versus Porsche....
Shelby GT500 versus Porsche. Bets anyone?
A total of 34 cars made it...
A total of 34 cars made it through the 30-mile cruise and three back-to-back runs in the True Street competition.