VOLUME XXI, NUMBER 2 - FEBRUARY, 2019
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Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor, Jok Nicholson
Motorcycle Editor, Tom McCarthy
Nostalgia Editor, Brian Losness
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
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Poet Laureate, Bob Fisher
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50 Years of the Gatornationals Part 3: 1981-85
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
COO Kay Burk
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Contact: Casey Araiza
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ET DRAG RACING
Words and photos by Tom McCarthy
On Sunday, February 17, Lights Out 10 wrapped up and another page in the history of Duck-X Productions was completed. This Duck Tale was a record-setting one, as so many of Donald Long’s races are.
The event started off on a sour note with weather putting the squash on test & tune for Tuesday and Wednesday. By Thursday the racers, who began filling up the pits at South Georgia Motorsports Park on the previous SUNDAY, well, by mid-week they were rabid to get at that race track. And attack they did with everything the Wade Rich-prepped race could hold.
Mikey Smith, of Muscle Shoals, AL, racing in Small Block No/Time, while testing Thursday night suffered a big Nitrous Pop that gave him quite a start. “It was a little lean in the mine-shaft air,” he said. “It caught me off-guard and Ka-Boom! No real damage, but, yeah, it gets your attention.”
The talk of the track was two-fold and while one record number was expected, the other was a total surprise. With mine-shaft are in abundance, frequently over 700’ below sea-level, the powerful Radial Vs the World cars came storming out of the pit area and all eyes were on the scoreboards every pass, with fans and racers alike gawking to see who could churn out the first 6.50’s pass by an RvW car.
Tim Slavens, of Marshfield, MO, started the jaw dropping with a 3.621 during qualifying, signifying he was the man to beat but that was short lived. Kevin Rivenbark (above) of Clinton, NC, then stepped up with a 3.61, good enough for a new RvW Low ET world record mark. But the next record was the real important revelation.
Duck-X productions, in 2018 held the first ever Radial Vs the World “Sweet-16” event and they had 38 RvW cars enter for a 32-car field racing for $101,000 cash. At Lights Out X, 76, that’s right seventy-six RvW cars were entered into competition to vie for a $50,000 purse and bragging rights of epic proportions. No one and I mean no one saw this coming, not this big a field of entries. A huge vote of confidence by the racers in support of Donald Long’s efforts in promoting Radial Tire racing. With so many RvW cars entered into the competition, one has to wonder the obvious question here: how many of these monster cars will show up for the running of Sweet 16 2.0 on March 23, 2019?
The new ET record for RvW and the new entry record for the class were not the only records to fall at LO-X. On Thursday night, the place was packed and the tower announced a new attendance mark was reached for a Thursday, night, and that was crushed by the attendance mark of Saturday’s gate exceeding 15,200 spectators. It was a mad house by all accounts.
It was easy to see why this was the case. It was just constant fun, highlighted by great racing from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. most every night -- with one night dragging on till 2:46 a.m. just to Get-R-Done! Front man Brian Lohnes was the marathon man on the microphone with veteran Lee Sebring doing the double teaming on the action along with colorful commentary by Willie Dog, the voice of No Time drag racing. The bottom line is they kept the fans laughing and entertained at all times.
In fact, even during the dreaded down-time, while track scraping and grooming operations were delaying the racing action, the usual T-Shirt toss was augmented by throwing fresh boxes of Girl Scout Cookies into the stands, which was enough to send fans scrambling to get the goodies. If you think fans are sometimes aggressive for a free T-shirt, you should see them diving for the GS Cookies! Fun my friends, that’s why after 10 years people are still flocking to Duck-X Production shows. The record setting racing, record attendance, the fun factor, is all part of the equation that spells success for Donald Duck Long.
Keith “You Know My Name” Haney won a match race against rival Stevie “Fast” Jackson on Friday night, much to the delight of a packed house.
As for the on-track action, because there were 76 cars entered, Duck decided to split them into two separate rounds of racing, with the 32 quickest comprising the primary qualified field and the next 32 cars on a separate impromptu ladder for a second-chance race.
While Rivenbark had the quickest car in qualifying, during the main action it was 30-year-old Alex Laughlin of Bluff Dale, TX, who fought his way through the toughest field ever of RvW cars to win the event. He matched up against Daniel Pharris in the money round and Alex took out the veteran Pharris on a holeshot that was just awe inspiring to see. Pharris came out swinging for the fence with a .015 reaction time to the tree – but Alex was already gone with a .004 RT. Alex Laughlin’s 3.694, was a tad slower than the 3.69 of Pharris, but this race was decided on the starting line and that was that.
In the second-chance RvW race, Brian Chin (right) took out Greg Hinschell.
X-275 was won by Manny Buginga over Charlie Hull.
In Ultra Street Joel Greathouse defeated Brian Keep
Limited Drag Radial was won by Shane Stack over Chad Henderson; it was Dr. Dan Boyks over Gregory Powrie in Pro 275 cars; DXP-235 was won by Danny Nicely over Jason Anderson. In Outlaw 632 Jim Aldous got the better of Dillon Voss, and in Small Block No/Time racing Bowser took the money round over Stone Wall Jackson.
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