Hancock and Griffis were the first pair to
kick off eliminations, with Hancock taking
the win with a 4.247 at 166.08 after Griffis
shook the tires on his Viper. Baker took the
win over Smith, going 4.24 at 156.20 against
Smith’s 4.38 at a faster 165.44 mph.
Housley then got a lucky break when Lee was
forced to back out of the waterbox with valvetrain
problems, since Housley ran an off-the-pace
4.59 at 119.98 mph. Pilcher also got lucky
with a bye victory in the first round against
a broken Cagle, as he also shook the tires
hard out of the gate in his ‘63 ‘Vette.
James Hancock launches
hard at Phenix Motorsports Park.
In round two, Baker’s strong mph was
not enough to beat Housley, who ran a 4.156
at 173.16 to Baker’s 4.207 at 175.01.
Pilcher then earned the win over Hancock with
a 4.157 at 173.81 to Hancock’s 4.329
at 153.53, but narrowly missed lane choice
for the final-round matchup with Housley.
Keith Baker was running
strong, but not quite strong enough to get
past Housley in the semis.
By the final round, the sun had faded as Housley
and Pilcher pulled into the lanes. The track
temperatures had subsided, and the cooler night
air was perfect for posting strong numbers on
the board. Housley and Pilcher staged under the
lights, then cut nearly identical reactions on
the tree. Blue flames lit the trails of the cars
as they rode side by side to the finish, where
Housley barely edged out Pilcher with a 4.124
at 175.70 to a 4.156 at 174.33 mph.