race reports

12th Annual World Fuel Altered Nationals at Eddyville, Iowa


Words and photos by Dennis Mothershed

Roger “Radar” Lechtenberg (near lane) and Marc White in the A final.


The 12th running of the wild, fire breathing, ground shaking, supercharged Nitro Fuel Altereds was held Aug. 18-19 at Eddyville Raceway Park. The stands were packed, t-shirts purchased, hero cards handed out, autographs given, ear plugs installed and the sweet smell of nitromethane filled the air.


Twenty-one cars showed up to race at the event. There were eight states represented. The most cars arrived from Illinois and Missouri. One team traveled all the way from North Carolina. Iowa had three cars present along with teams from Kansas, Nebraska, Indiana and Colorado.


There were six Chrysler Hemi cars, one Chrysler Wedge, five small block Chevys, nine big block Chevys and one lonely Ford power plant. On the Nitro side, only seven cars were running the sweet-smelling fuel with the balance of fourteen all running Alky.


The fastest running cars with Nitro-fed Hemi’s were the stars of the event. Two-time champion, “Nitro Madness” with Roger “Radar” Lechtenberg at the controls, was the number-one qualifier by Saturday afternoon. He set the mark at 3.8645 ET and 190.84 MPH. Close behind him was Marc White in the “Crop Duster” Austin roadster with a 3.9153 at 190.36 MPH.


The qualifying field is divided into two eight-car fields. The quicker eight cars go into the “A” field and the second eight cars go into the “B” field. This left a total of five cars that did not qualify and hoped to be used in the first round as a substitute in case some other car could not make the first-round call. But the call never came, as all sixteen cars made the very first round.

Scott Dominguez


The first round of the “A” field pitted two-time champ Radar in the “Nitro Madness” car of Scott & Peggy Gaulter against the returning 2016 champion Scott Dominguez’s Chevy-powered “Slow Poke”. Roger put Scott onto the trailer with his 3.88 ET to the “Slow Poke’s” 4.37 ET.


The Booze Brothers’ purple Model “T” team of John McDonald and Craig Donnelly from Missouri lined up with fellow Missouri racers Dale Wilkins & Howard Knowles in their Model “T” altered. It was a big red bulb for the Booze Brothers with the -.0346 red light and that sent driver Howard Knowles to the next round.

On the other side of the ladder, Marc White in Deb and Frank Ousley’s “Crop Duster”, set low ET and top MPH of the round with a 3.85 at 197 MPH to a losing 4.11 at 172 MPH for the only Mopar Wedge motor in John & Linda Umlauf’s “Wicked Wedge” running 94% Nitro.


Past champion Anthony Whitfield had his mouse motored small block Chevy running well as the number-four qualifier running on 92% Nitro, but could not get it fired in the staging area. This gave Iowa racer Jeff Krug a free round. But, Jeff still ran the best reaction time of the round with a .0108 RT with a stout 4.32 ET @ 158 MPH.


Round Two of the “A” field pitted White against two-time attendee Krug. It being only his second time at the event and his first time in the “A” field, Krug knew the only chance he had was to cut a good light and give it his best try. His reaction time of .0153 was not good enough as White blasted pass him on the big end with a blistering 3.84 at 190 MPH to Krug’s 4.40/161.


Next up was two-time champ Lechtenberg against the Missouri team of Dale “Lurch” Wilkens and Howard & Melody Knowles, both running 90% plus Nitromethane. Howard blew the tires off running a 7.43 ET while Radar motored by him with a 3.84 ET at 190 MPH.


Final Round pitted the two fastest cars of the event against each other, “Nitro Madness” vs “Crop Duster”, with hired guns behind the wheels. Marc White and Roger Lechtenberg are both very experienced drivers and both have equally great crews, car owners, experience, and best of the best cars.


It was the best match up in the twelve-year history of the event. Fans were on their feet as both did lengthy burnouts, crews wiped the tires, and the cars pulled to the starting line. Nitro fumes filled the air as the thump of the Hemi motors were felt in everyone’s bones. As the lights came down, Roger’s fastest reaction time of .0920 and a 3.8892 ET at 188 MPH were no match for the 3.7419/200 MPH blast from Marc White.

A new champion was crowned as Deb & Frank Ousley along with pilot Marc White and their team all stood in the winner’s circle of the World Fuel Altered Nationals.

It is a family affair for the Freak Show Racing “Thunderstruck” car from Nebraska. Father, Marty, tunes while daughter, Shelby, does the driving and her sister Carly helps back up the car. Both girls are in college and still enjoy racing.


The Fuel Altered “B” class was dominated by a young second generation Nitro racer. Joey Haas in his “Nimrod” black coupe motored past seven other experienced racers to win the rewards of the race.

Past Fuel Altered champion Bill Seals in his “Sudden Debt” had his problems with crossing the centerline and red lighting on his second qualifying attempt put him into the “B” field and he went out the very first round.

The crowd always enjoys the back-up girls (aka BUGS) that Mike Allison brings with his “Hot Rod From Hell” Fiat. This year Sue Tucker helped Mike back into his burnout tracks with class. On his last qualifying pass Allison made a full track burnout and the crowd went wild!


Fellow Missouri racer and past WFAN champion, Mike Allison in his “Hot Rod From Hell” Fiat lost to a new team of Jim, John and Skeeter Hidy in the first round. Allison ran a 4.79 ET to Hidy’s 4.55 ET. Allison has attended all 12 WFAN events. Mike always seems to bring the best back up girls with him and his track long burn outs bring the fans to their feet.

Bill Naves from North Carolina made the long trip to Iowa in his black and white cop car 911 coupe complete with siren, red and blue lights. On the second qualifying pass on Saturday, Bill needed the track’s 911 crew to pull him out of the corn at the top end of the track. He found out that pulling the chutes too late has a price at Eddyville. No damage was done to the car.


Naves qualified at the top of the “B” field with a 4.30 ET at 164 MPH. He ran a stellar low ET of that round and the top MPH. His 4.34 ET at 162 MPH run in the first round was not good for his car as he can normally run 4.0”s all day. He decided that ignition problems might cost him a motor, so he decided to pull from the race. Hopefully, he will be back next year.


His competition, Paul Applebaum, substituted for him in the next round by request of track owner Gerald Kramer. Paul’s 4.72 at 138 lost to Naves, but ran the next round so event runner-up, Jim Hidy, would not have to do a single pass by himself -- Track owner’s choice.

The Hidy family from Iowa was there for the first time with a new chassis that belonged to Iowa NHRA champion racer Vern Moats. With a new model “T” body installed on the chassis the night before the race, head tuner Skeeter (aka Gerald) Hidy gave his son Jim a chance to advance to the final round against Joey Haas.

Dave Gallegos in “Nitro Clown”

Aaron Johnson in “Defcon 1”


On the other side of the ladder, newcomer but nitro experienced, Dave Gallegos of Kansas ran his “Nitro Clown” on 10% nitro against Aaron Johnson in Eric Gallay’s “Defcon 1”. The “Defcon 1” ran a 4.65 ET to the “Nitro Clown’s” 4.70.

In the next round, Johnson was racing event winner, Joey Haas, in his “Nimrod” coupe and lost with a .0026 red light. Joey Haas won the final round against Jim Hidy. Haas’s 4.52 ET @151 MPH defeated Hidy’s 5.57 ET @ 97 MPH. The Hidy crew had just replaced the coil and magneto minutes before the final round, but still were experiencing ignition problems.


It was an exciting race with a great collection of America’s finest fuel outlaw altered racers. Do not miss the 2018 event. 




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