Words and photos by Ian Tocher

hile most of the drag racing world focused its attention over the Labor Day weekend on the 50th annual U.S. Nationals, the Outlaw Racing Street Car Association (ORSCA) staged the Mac Tools Outlaw Nationals Sept. 4-5, at Brainerd Optimist Dragway. The Brainerd show wasn’t initially part of the ORSCA points-paying schedule, but two rainouts earlier this season at Macon, GA, prompted the Atlanta-based organization to hold its eighth of 10 races for 2004 at the north-Georgia eighth-miler. And though the scale of the event was nowhere near Indy’s Big Go, the on-track action measured up in every respect.

“This is getting to be like Pro Stock,” Outlaw 10.5 star Marcus Birt said during Sunday’s action. “You can’t take anyone for granted; you’ve always got to be ready. Any one of these cars could win today.”

Still, one car did prove dominant, as Terry Robbins’ 2002 Camaro set a new track record for the class in qualifying, then advanced to win its first event title since debuting at Emerald Coast Dragway in the third race of the season. And with no deals arranged beforehand, the full $10,000-to-win purse went back home to North Carolina with Robbins.

On this pass, Terry Robbins obliterated the Brainerd Outlaw 10.5 e.t. record with a 4.686-secs pass at exactly 153 mph.

Robbins’ qualifying heroics came during Saturday night’s final qualifying session, just after Steve Kirk lowered the track record to 4.703 seconds, edging out the 4.704 Mike Hill established earlier this year. Immediately following Kirk in the right lane, Robbins blasted through the top-end lights in 4.686 secs and 153.00 mph.

“It all just came together, the track, the air, and the car just went straight on down there,” Robbins’ father and chassis tuner Farrell Robbins said. “We’d been having trouble just getting it to go straight, but we made a change in the length of the (four-link) bars and that fixed it.”

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