race reports

Funny Car Chaos

Optimistic Start for 2018 at Mo-Kan

Words: and photos by Todd Silvey

Clay Cunningham was a Chaos entry representing the Alcohol-powered side of the "anything goes fuel rules." It was an interesting opportunity to watch alcohol vs. nitro powered funnies battle it out.


Midwest weather finally cooperated just in time for the new Funny Car Chaos series to hit the track at Mo-Kan Dragway April 27-28. No rules, no limits, run whatcha brung funny car racing intrigued the locals and packed the stands for the first event in the outlaw series for 2018.


Gates opened early with lines out to the highway. Once the racers were in the pits, the announcer started the countdown for Thunder at the Kan. As he counted down to the minute, all cars on the property lit up at the same time, rocking the joint with the rumble of horsepower. That kicked things off and got things rolling for the day.

Ken Singleton served notice he was in it to win it for the Funny Cars, traveling from Chickasha, OK, with a brand-new body on the High Risk Racing funny car and earning the win.


Jessi Michael took the title in Outlaw Nostalgia Shootout, and David Tanner grabbed victory in Dirty South Gassers. Rob Ayres IV won Hot Rod, and Andrew Goss topped the Jr. Dragster Comp category.


“I think it was extremely successful,” Chris Schneider, driver of John Troxel’s Mopar Crazy funny car, said. “It bends the needle for a first event; of course there are always bugs and things to tweak, but Chris (Graves) did a fantastic job. I was highly impressed with the track crew for this little eight-mile track in the middle of nowhere.”

Many nitro legends were on the grounds over the Friday-Saturday event. Roland Leong was working with the John Troxel Challenger with Chris Schneider behind the butterfly wheel. Schneider also helms the Victory Nostalgia Super Stock group.


Friday night qualifying under the stars brought in lots of spectators who were ready to shake off the winter blahs and get back to enjoying some drags in Joplin, MO. They were not disappointed as eight funny cars hit the eighth mile in full-on qualifying runs setting the stage for Saturday’s competition. Singleton qualified number one with his 3.98 ET and then added several more 3-second passes on his way to the winner’s circle Saturday night. In the final, he paired with Fred Farndon who slowed to a 12.276 to finish as runner-up. Singleton’s 3.97, 187.73 mph pass brought the fans to their feet as they cheered him to the finish line.

Fred Farndon scored a 4.18 ET on the Mo-Kan eighth mile during qualifying and made it to the finals with a string of 4.50's to go to the finals in elimination rounds.

There was no shortage of pits thrashing and friendly team parts swapping to keep all funny cars in the game.


Lots of thrashing happened in the pits as the first race of the year brought out some issues. “I was truly impressed by the effort put forth by every team to get the cars ready,” Schneider said. “The Nitro Clown crew really stepped up to help Farndon make it to the final round. They ended up giving a bunch of parts to Farndon to get it put together after he was ready to throw in the towel. It’s great to see that spirit of cooperation from crews, drivers, and the fans at an event like this.”


Fans were thrilled to see Roland Leong, “The Hawaiian” on the grounds signing autographs in the Red Line shirt booth all day. He was doling out tuning assistance to the ‘Mopar Crazy’ team, but offered tips to several of the drivers throughout the day. “We are truly blessed that somebody like Roland will give us the time of day,” Schneider said. “He’s certainly taken us under his wing and knows we need a lot of help. We’re learning as we go and why not learn from the best. It was good to see him there, and Dale Pulde and Ronnie Runyan on the grounds too really made it a great weekend.”

Once word was out that Dale Pulde was cruising the pits, the historical “War Eagle” funny car hero wasn't taking ten steps without autographing something.

Ken Singleton and his "High Risk" Alcohol Funny Car rolled the brand new combination out of the trailer at Mo-Kan's Funny Car Chaos event. He and his team put together a string of 3.90's during the day to win the overall eliminator.

The Dirty South Gassers kept the attention of the fans as much as the Funny Car show. Wheelstanding action dipped into the 5.60-zone with 15 cars in the show.


Dirty South Gassers formed about a year ago as a group of nostalgia racers looking to represent all the gas classes of the 1960s. They were invited to participate in Funny Car Chaos using their own rules and had a great time heads-up match racing in front of the crowds. The field was narrowed down to a final pairing of David Tanner, Neosho, MO, and Keith Fox from Lubbock, TX. Tanner crossed the line first at 6.292, 108.02 mph for the win.


Shane “Smokey” Blanton, Dumas, TX, qualified at the top of the pack for the Outlaw Nostalgia Shootout with a 4.45 ET. Jessi Michael, Pocola, OK, was just behind him all day long and took the title in the final round thanks to Blanton’s red light start. Michael’s 4.67, 136.78 mph pass proved enough for the win.

Victory Nostalgia Super Stock Series were on the grounds with 12 cars. What was a test session before their first points competition event at Gateway Raceway on May 11-12 was a great show for the Mo-Kan Super Stock fans. Here is Dick Monaco’s 1964 Ford Galaxie.


The Funny Car Chaos series moves on to Amarillo (TX) Dragway June 1-2 where they will qualify 24 cars. 



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