A temperature of 56 degrees and a barometric pressure of 30.22 hg offset the 85% humidity and, in the final hour of racing, the corrected elevation dropped from 346 feet to 61 feet above sea level while the track temperature never dropped below 79 degrees!

Dudley, who had redlighted the May 11 title away to four-time SCSS winner Dave Odenahl, was the class of the field. The Waterloo, IL, racer's 337-cubic inch small block-powered '71 Chevelle made only one pass during qualifying and, at 10.04/132, was never threatened. Rob Nolan's awesome turbocharged V-6 '87 Regal did its best to hold off a host of challengers for a final-round berth, however. After an initial 11.37/121 effort which shattered his own one week-old 11.47/120 6-cylinder SCSS series records, Nolan returned with an even better 11.30 at 121.99 mph. Mike Faller's Springfield, Illinois-based '98 Z28 suffered fuel delivery problems and the June 15th SCSS winner failed to unseat the V6.

Nolan, who had been runner-up to Faller in the June 15th finale, knew his chances were slim against the Chevelle in the championship bout and, as he later recalled, "I knew my only hope was a holeshot, so what was I gonna do?" Dudley, who twenty years ago was a star in AMA Motocross racing at the old St. Louis International Raceway MX course, still had concerns, stating, "I knew the only way I could lose was to leave early, so I was not going to redlight this time!"

Nolan pushed the 'Tree and drew a redlight by a mere sixteen thousandths of a second. Dudley waited until almost a half-second after the green light came on and then thundered to a 10.13 at over 131 mph for the victory.

The atmospheric conditions allowed not only Nolan's new V6 marks, but several other amazing efforts. Chris Williams' Collinsville, Illinois-based supercharged black 1998 Grand Prix obliterated Jon Bizzell's two-week old 12.74-second Front-Wheel-Drive e.t. record with an astonishing 12.62 at over 106 mph. Justin Bondurant's '04 Neon SRT had the fastest FWD speed of the meet at 13.13/108.41 mph. Bill Simpson's amazing yellow '91 Toyota
MR2 from Belleville, IL, again earned the four-cylinder honors for the event, this time rocketing to a best of 12.59 at 113.72 mph. Only a tenth of a second behind Simpson's "Mister Two" was Pat Trusty's Swansea, Illinois-based '98 Eclipse GSX, which hit a best of 12.68/107.81. The 12.26-second "bump spot" for the sixteen quickest qualifiers was the third best of the season.

The "Unluckiest Competitor" Award certainly would have gone to Mike Angello, whose popular powder blue '78 Ford Fairmont wagon had recently run as quick as 11.08. Angello suffered transmission problems on his first attempt and then ran into fuel delivery problems on his second run. After making repairs, Angello eventually blasted to a 10.65 at 122.62 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the run came only a few minutes after the 9:30 p.m. deadline for SCSS qualifying!

Laurence Bass, whose supercharged '88 Mustang earned its fifteenth qualifier decal at the event, also made his best run after qualifying had ended, hitting an 11.17 at over 128 mph!

With less than a half-dozen events remaining in the 2004 SCSS Series, Dudley's win has made the Manufacturers Championship as tight as possible; Fords and Chevrolets are now tied at 9.5 wins each!

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