DENTON, Texas --
PHOTO_CAPTION: Photo copyright 2012 Max Cackle Photography
Before the on-track action began, the T.B.F.A. held a group photo on the strip and took a special photo recognizing a special donation from the series to the Shriner's Childrens Burn Center of Houston. Over $1,700 was donated by the series this year and a special thanks goes out to all of the staff, track managers, racers and fans who support the series that make such a thing possible.
After the group photo a quick awards presentation was held in the pit area recognizing the following teams with special awards: "Best Appearing Crew" Steve Matthews, "Best Appearing Car" Brown & McCord, "Rookie of the Year" Steve Dunkin" and the most notable "Sportsman of the Year" went to Dustin and Gary Johnson and the "Fair Warning" blown altered team. Congratulations to those special award winners.
Chris Graves and Eddy Tidwell were out first as Tidwell was making his T.B.F.A. debut in the "Munster Racing" blown front engine dragster from Andrews, Texas. Tidwell posted a clean 4.79 at 145 mph with Graves right along-side with a 4.84 at 141 mph. Steve Dunkin rolled out next along-side Neal Rogers who was also making his first T.B.F.A. appearance in the "Blown Cents" front engine dragster from Luling, Texas. Dunkin posted a 4.81 at 144 mph and Rogers posted a 6.82 after severe tire shake in only his second run in the car this year.
Ted McCord posted a 4.85 at 140 mph in the "Senior Moment" dragster and Dustin Johnson lit the boards with a 4.91 at 141 mph in the "Fair Warning" blown altered from Oklahoma. Chris Stouffer clicked off a 4.82 at 141 mph in the "Defiant" dragster with Frank Sharon in the other lane driving the "Cantankerous" blown altered to a 4.96 at 143 mph. Wes Breiten wheeled the "Bad O'Man" to a 4.82 at 142 mph along side Bill Norman who was making his season debut with the T.B.F.A. with a clean 4.79 at 146 mph. Rick Grindstaff and Steve Matthews closed the show, Grindstaff going under the 4.65 index with a 4.57 while Matthews posted an off pace 5.18 at 141 mph as the teams returned to the pits.
Final Qualifying Order: 1) Bill Norman (Seminole, Texas) - 4.71 @ 146 2) Rick Grindstaff (Dickinson, Texas) - 4.741 @ 150 3) Ted McCord (Claremore, Oklahoma) - 4.742 @ 147 4) Steve Dunkin (Aledo, Texas) - 4.76 @ 146 5) Wes Breiten (Wolfe City, Texas) - 4.77 @ 144 6) Eddy Tidwell (Andrews, Texas) - 4.78 @ 146 7) Chris Stouffer (Cleburne, Texas) - 4.82 @ 141 8) Chris Graves (Carrollton, Texas) - 4.84 @ 141 9) Steve Matthews (Ardmore, Oklahoma) - 4.88 @ 142 10) Dustin Johnson (Davis, Oklahoma) - 4.89 @ 141 11) Frank Sharon (Tolar, Texas) - 4.96 @ 143 12) Neal Rogers (Luling, Texas) - 4.98 @ 138
Rick Grindstaff and Dustin Johnson were out next and this one was interesting as both cars posted 4.9476 elapsed times and Grindstaff's better reaction time of .153 took the win as both drivers were a bit sleepy on the line.
Wes Breiten and Steve Matthews rolled through as eliminations continued, Matthews in a must win situation now as Stouffer had re-claimed the points lead by out qualifying the Matthews Racing
Stouffer and Steve Dunkin were the next pair to come to the line and with the pressure off, Stouffer could now focus on winning the final points race of the season. The dragsters were off the line almost dead even and Stouffer took the stripe with a 4.74 at 143 to Dunkin's close 4.80 at 145 mph.
Bill Norman wheeled the "Fabulous Fat Boys" blown dragster out along-side Neal Rogers. Rogers aimed to try and upset the number one qualifier, in both of these drivers first appearance of the season with the series. Rogers, fielding a brand new car, made his best pass of the weekend with a 5.02 at 146 mph but it was no match for Norman's 4.72 at 141 mph.
In the final pair of the round, Ted McCord lined up with Chris Graves. Despite clicking off his best pass of the event with a 4.77, Graves went red by -.030 and McCord took the win with a 4.76 at 147 mph in a good side by side pairing to close the round. Bill Norman claimed the Fuel Injection Enterprises "Closest To The Index" bonus with his 4.72 pass and Eddy Tidwell claimed the Joe Monden Racecars "First Elimination Alternate" bonus as the teams returned to the pits.
First Round Results: (W) Eddy Tidwell (.013 rt) 4.86 at 131 mph vs. (L) Frank Sharon (.091 rt) 5.31 @ 136 mph (W) Rick Grindstaff (.153 rt) 4.94 @ 156 mph vs. (L) Dustin Johnson (.204 rt) 4.94 @ 141 mph (W) Wes Breiten (.022 rt) 4.73 @ 144 mph vs. (L) Steve Matthews (.035 rt) 5.11 @ 142 mph (W) Chris Stouffer (.046 rt) 4.74 @ 143 mph vs. (L) Steve Dunkin (.048 rt) 4.80 @ 145 mph (W) Bill Norman (.047 rt) 4.72 @ 141 mph vs. (L) Neal Rogers (.211 rt) 5.02 @ 146 mph (W) Ted McCord (.130 rt) 4.76 @ 147 mph vs. (L) Chris Graves (-.030) 4.77 @ 144 mph
As the four quickest winners of the round, Bill Norman, Wes Breiten, Ted McCord and Chris Stouffer advanced to the semi-finals with Wes Breiten and Chris Stouffer out first. Stouffer already had the 2012 Championship locked up and despite not facing that pressure, jumped the tree and went -.134 red as Wes Breiten clicked off a nice 4.73 at 144 mph to take the round win and advance to his first T.B.F.A. final round of the season.
Bill Norman and Ted McCord rolled through the water box next and put on a great side by side race as McCord was .009 on the tree and his 4.76 at 147 mph came up just short of Norman's quicker 4.73 at 146 mph (.007 margin of victory) in the closest race of the event.
(W) Wes Breiten (.023 rt) 4.73 @ 144 mph vs. (L) Chris Stouffer (-.134 rt) 4.76 @ 148 mph
(W) Bill Norman (.036 rt) 4.73 @ 146 mph vs. (L) Ted McCord (.009 rt) 4.76 @ 147 mph
In the final round, after a rain delay and a full afternoon of nostalgia drag racing, it was time to crown an event winner in the Texas Blown Fuel class. Bill Norman and Wes Breiten wheeled their blown racecars to the starting line in a dragster versus altered match-up. Norman left the line with a -.025 reaction time as the win light lit up the scoreboard in Breiten's lane and the cars went side by side down the eighth mile. Norman wasted a 4.67 @ 148 mph as Breiten's 4.70 at 143 mph took the win, the first of the season for team "Bad O'Man" and capped off a successful First Annual Fall Nostalgia Nationals at North Star Dragway. Bill Norman posted a runner-up finish in his first outing with the T.B.F.A. this season and also claimed the Competition Sales of Dallas "Luck of the Draw" bonus.
Final Round Results:
Breiten took home his second T.B.F.A. win as he also won the final points race of the season last year in San Antonio. The "Defiant" team of Carl Meador, Chris Stouffer and the entire crew celebrated their back to back Championships back in the pits after their semi-final exit. After a hard fought battle with Steve Matthews, Chris Stouffer pulled it off at the final points race of the season and a big congratulations goes out to the entire team on becoming the series' first back to back Champions!
"The Texas Blown Fuel Association's 2012 season has drawn to a close and for Team Defiant it has truly been a see-saw year filled with very close racing and unbelievably gratifying challenges. Our blessings are innumerable and all of our praise goes to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We were blessed with an amazing finish to what we hope was an exciting season for everyone involved. Thanks to all the sponsors for your support, said team "Defiant" owner and crew chief Carl Meador.
The Texas Blown Fuel Association would like to thank Good Vibrations, AMS Racing Engines, Joe Monden Racecars, Competition Sales of Dallas and Fuel Injection Enterprises for their support of the series in the 2012 racing season. Thanks also goes out to all the teams, crew members, fans and racetracks that showed their support to the T.B.F.A. We look forward to a safe and relaxing off-season for all our teams and their families and we will have news regarding the 2013 Texas Blown Fuel Racing season coming soon!