ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. --
The popular Northeast street-legal classic has changed its name to The Shakedown Nationals as it prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary Friday-Sunday, October 12-14 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
But the renowned and respected Lynch's Outlaw 10.5 entry and endorsement means the quality of racing hasn't changed at all.
Lynch made his mark stunning the 2004 Englishtown crowd as the first to cover the Raceway Park quarter-mile in less than seven seconds. Each year he added to his Shakedown legacy.
In 2007, he ignited a pre-race buzz with a Saturday afternoon warm-up pass of 6.57 seconds at 232 miles an hour. The following year he rewrote the E.T. record at 6.49 seconds. The 2009 Shakedown dealt Lynch a second straight semifinal finish as his car broke against eventual winner Tommy Deez Fernick -- particularly surprising, for he was the Outlaw 10.5 class' No. 1 qualifier with a 6.400-second blast that no one touched for the rest of the weekend.
Then in 2010, the engine-builder from Woodstock, Ga., established himself as the undisputed Superman of outlaw-style doorslammer drag racing in 2010, winning his third Shakedown trophy in four final-round appearances. was quickest and fastest of the meet with a 6.263-second elapsed time and 232.51-mph speed.
So news that Lynch was sidelined at last year's Shakedown because of an accident at a previous event was frustrating for Lynch but fortunate for Larry Wood, who had taken a back seat while Lynch and the "Gil Mobley Militia" of Richie Sexton and Chuck Ulsch drew perennial raves with their gaudy numbers.
"It definitely wasn't nearly as exciting watching last year," Lynch said, although he did admit, "I always liked to watch it, even when I was racing in it."
He promised to bring his turbocharged magic back to Raceway Park for this 10th anniversary.
"That's a milestone," he said. "I missed the very first one because I didn't know about it. And I made every one, except last year's. It'd be great to win at the 10th anniversary. If you're going to make one race all year, this is THE one.
"The Shakedown is always our favorite race. It's a great racetrack. And Dave is a heck of a promoter," Lynch said, referring to New York Motorsports owner Dave Hance, founder and promoter of The Shakedown Nationals. "He always treats you right. As long as we have a car, we'll be there."
So will Hance, who said he plans to race once again, this time in the Pro Modified class.
Hance has seen the Northeast's premiere street-legal doorslammer drag race evolve from a 12-car debut into the ultimate outlaw drag racing heads-up doorslammer event in the world.
Calling it a "prolific evolution," Hance, of Lawrence, N.Y., said he marvels at just how much this event has grown since 2003, when just a dozen racers showed up and the purse was $1,500.
"It has grown to more than 250 top-notch race teams attempting to qualify for nine heads-up drag race classes," Hance said. "Many of the world's greatest door-car drag racing moments have taken place at the Shakedown Nationals. Multiple performance barriers have fallen during this great event. Fans and racers alike have come to expect records to fall every year in virtually every class. And The Shakedown Nationals has a very special element: since Year 2 of this event, it has retained 90 percent of its racers, fans, and marketing partners/sponsors. As a group we all have grown collectively."
So have the purses. The Pro Modified winner will earn $20,000, the Outlaw 10.5 winner will receive $10,000, and winners of the Top Sportsman, Limited Street, Heavy Street, X-275, 8.50 Index, Pro Import, and Pro Street Bike classes will pocket $5,000 each.
Tickets are available each day of the event at the Raceway Park box office.