TULSA, Okla. --
The S.W.J.F.A. teams were on their game in the opening qualifying session with several teams posting big numbers right off the trailer. Mike Millsap posted a 7.59 at 170 mph in the "Sachse Rod Shop" dragster to qualifying in the top half of the field in the first session. Ken Hawkins clocked a 5.57 at 171 mph and Brandon Lewis wheeled Charlie Smith's dragster to a nice 7.52 at 170 mph at his hometown race. Richard Brady clicked off a stellar career best 7.31 at 174 mph in the Mallory & Brady machine. Points leader Ricky Marshall posted an impressive 7.24 at 178 mph in his Bob McKray powered dragster but Odie Coker stole the headlines during qualifying with a series record 7.19 at 183 mph to qualifying in the top spot after the first session.
Final Qualifying Order: 1) Odie Coker (Dallas, Texas) - 7.19 @ 183 mph 2) Ricky Marshall (Burleson, Texas) - 7.24 @ 178 mph 3) Richard Brady (Ft. Worth, Texas) - 7.31 @ 174 mph 4) Brandon Lewis (Tulsa, Oklahoma) - 7.50 @ 171 mph 5) Ken Hawkins (Pooleville, Texas) - 7.57 @ 171 mph 6) Mike Millsap (Sachse, Texas) - 7.59 @ 171 mph 7) Brian Briggs (Lake Charles, Louisiana) - 7.63 @ 173 mph 8) Mike Buchanan (Wichita, Kansas) - 7.68 @ 171 mph 9) Ross Laird (Ardmore, Oklahoma) - 7.74 @ 147 mph 10) Ron Muncy (Weatherford, Texas) - 7.78 @ 163 mph 11) Jimmy Scott (Los Angeles, California) - 7.92 @ 166 mph 12) Tera Wendland (Commerce, Texas) - 7.94 @ 159 mph
Richard Brady was looking good after qualifying and rolled out next along side Ross Laird. Laird had a stellar .006 reaction time but his 7.82 at 147 mph wasn't enough for Brady's 7.35 at 170 mph as Brady took the win.
Mike Millsap made a solo pass when his opposition Ken Hawkins was unable to make the call. Millsap clicked off a 7.61 at 170 mph to head into the second round.
Brian Briggs and Jimmy Scott were the next pair through the water, Scott wheeling Buster Johnson's entry in their first race with the series this season. Briggs had this one from start to finish, coupling a starting line advantage with a 7.70 at 172 mph to take out Scott's 7.93 at 164 mph.
In the final pair, Ricky Marshall squared off with hometown race Brandon Lewis. The Lewis machine was hopped up and ready to take out the points leader and off the line Lewis had his hands full as the car made a big move to the wall with the front wheels in the air. Marshall blasted right down the quarter mile to a 7.30 at 176 mph to take the win.
First Round Results: (W) Odie Coker (.080 rt) 7.23 at 181 mph vs. (L) Competition Bye Run (W) Richard Brady (.038 rt) 7.35 @ 170 mph vs. (L) Ross Laird (.006 rt) 7.82 @ 147 mph (W) Mike Millsap (.344 rt) 7.61 @ 170 mph vs. (L) Bye Run (Hawkins Broke) (W) Mike Buchanan (.043 rt) 7.71 @ 171 mph vs. (L) Ron Muncy (.024 rt) 7.80 @ 167 mph (W) Brian Briggs (.007 rt) 7.70 @ 172 mph vs. (L) Jimmy Scott (.073 rt) 7.93 @ 164 mph (W) Ricky Marshall (.080 rt) 7.30 @ 176 mph vs. (L) Brandon Lewis (.116 rt) 10.95 @ 116 mph
Richard Brady and Mike Millsap rolled out as the second round continued. Both drivers were sleepy off the starting line and despite a career best 7.53 at 172 mph for Millsap, he lost to Brady's career best 7.28 at 179 mph as Brady advanced to the semis.
In the final pair, Ricky Marshall squared off with the upset minded Mike Buchanan. Buchanan knew he had to earn a reaction time advantage and pushed it too close, going red by -.022. Despite the loss, Buchanan clicked off a career best 7.67 at 171 mph so it was all smiles in their pits as Marshall posted a strong 7.25 at 179 mph to take the nod.
Second Round Results: (W) Odie Coker (.042 rt) 7.18 @ 180 mph vs. (L) Brian Briggs (.032 rt) 7.67 @ 172 mph (W) Richard Brady (.233 rt) 7.28 @ 174 mph vs. (L) Mike Millsap (.455 rt) 7.53 @ 172 mph (W) Ricky Marshall (.095 rt) 7.25 @ 179 mph vs. (L) Mike Buchanan (-.022 rt) 7.67 @ 171 mph
Odie Coker and Ricky Marshall were out next in a pairing that had everyone's attention. Coker had the performance advantage but Marshall eliminated that on the starting line with a .018 reaction time. Coker had to quickly pedal his car and that was enough to allow Marshall to pull ahead and take the win at the stripe with a 7.32 at 176 mph to Coker's 7.57 at 148 mph.
Semi-Final Round Results: (W) Richard Brady (.007 rt) 7.25 @ 177 mph vs. (L) Competition Bye Run (W) Odie Coker (.132 rt) 7.57 @ 148 mph vs. (L) Ricky Marshall (.018 rt) 7.32 @ 176 mph
The final round was a showdown of two of the hottest cars on the track in Tulsa. Richard Brady coming in running career best numbers round after round while Marshall was steadily clicking off 7.20 zone passes. The teams had done everything they could do, it was all up to the drivers now as the cars crept into the beams to decide a winner under the lights at Tulsa Raceway Park. The ambers flashed and the cars were off the line almost dead even both with great reaction times. At half track the cars were side by side and as they neared the stripe Brady started to pull ahead and lit the win light with a 7.41 at 161 mph to Marshall's close 7.48 at 176 mph.
Final Round Results:
"We finally got it done! There are many people who Al and I would like to recognize for their help in earning this win. We would like to thank Chris Frank at Frankenstein Racing Heads, my engine builder Ray Little, Eathan and Blake Mallory at Mallory Prints, Charlie Stewart Racing, Mike Garvie, Mike Newman, Ronnie Peterson. I'd also like to thank Steve Gassch for driving down from Arkansas to help out this weekend. Without hard work and dedication from these folks our racing program would not be possible. Thank you! " said Brady.
Ricky Marshall made a great effort with a runner-up finish at Tulsa and has a 44 point lead over Ron Muncy. There is still a chance for Muncy to claim the Championship in the end in the highly unlikely event Ricky Marshall has troubles in Denton. Make your plans to attend the First Annual North Star Dragway Fall Nostalgia Nationals on October 13th in Denton, Texas to see it all unfold in person.