- Published on Monday, 05 August 2013 12:21
At the Pontiac Nationals, we just want to have fun!
NORWALK, Ohio – The Boss Bird Funny Car and heads up racing sizzled the track Saturday, August 3, 2013 at the 22nd Annual Ames Performance Tri Power Pontiac Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
The Boss Bird, a white Trans Am Funny Car from the racing stable of Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick, screamed down the quarter mile with Eric Larson at the wheel, for an elapsed time of 6.424 seconds at 210 mph.
And when Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick lined up at the tree in the Tameless Tiger II, it seemed like every cell phone and camera pointed at the Pontiac racing legend in the GTO with orange and black tiger stripes.
And that kitty's got spunk to go with the GRR-RRR, slamming down an elapsed time of 7.574 seconds at 180 mph. On another pass, the elapsed time dipped to 7.245 seconds at 188 mph. Nice!
Between rounds of Saturday racing, Dale Davis, Toledo, Ohio, paraded around the racing pits in a red convertible, part of the honor of winning the 2012 1-A Auto Chief of the Pontiacs.
At a starting line ceremony, Dale Davis received his custom leather Chief of the Pontiacs jacket. Each year, only one racer claims the title of Chief of the Pontiacs.
On the show car field, a display of famous Pontiac race cars, the Knafel Pontiac World Champion Tin Indians sponsored by 1-A Auto.com, filled in historic details about the role of the Akron, Ohio dealership in Pontiac racing.
For example, Larry “Doc” Dixon's original Tin Indian won 1966 National Hot Rod Association and NASCAR stock eliminator championships.
The original Tin Indian never lost in heads up racing.
Also, the Tonto VI, a silver 1963 Catalina SD, trekked from East Wenatchee, Washington for the show.
In addition, the display included Bill Knafel's red and white Anderson Pontiac car along with Ken Risk's “Black Gold” 1971 T-37, which they painted black with a gleaming gold roof, from Denton, Texas.
When the call resounded for heads up Pontiac racing, the response returned from as far away as Texas, Maryland, Arizona, and Ontario, Canada.
In the final round of the KM Performance MR-1 Heads Up contest, Shawn Dixon, McGregor, Ontario, Canada, pulled out an elapsed time of 8.668 at 157 mph in his 1962 Tempest with a Pontiac 481 engine for the win over Glenn Sedig, Sterling, Ill., at 8.901 seconds at 150 mph in a 1969 GP with a Pontiac 473.
The Butler Performance Frantic Four competitions logged some surprises before a final round solo run. Now there's a clue!
First, the number one qualifier, Bill Mellott, Westerville, Ohio, burned two valves on his final Friday pass, and dropped out of the race.
In the first round of eliminations on Saturday, Rodney Butler, Leoma, Tenn., led the pack of four in his 1963 Tempest with a Pontiac 482 engine with an elapsed time of 6.577 seconds at 202 mph.
But in the final round Mark Kauffman, Glenmont, Ohio, lined up solo in his 2009 GXP with a Pontiac 535 engine because Rodney Butler's car broke.
Mark Kauffman laid down a 7.101-second solo pass at 194 mph.
In Super Duty Promotions Pro, Jason Fleenor, Port Clinton, Ohio, claimed the package by 0.020 second over Tom Ressel, West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Tom Ressel won the starting line in his 1992 Firebird, boosting off the green in 0.028 second compared with 0.057 second for Jason Fleenor in his 1981 Firebird.
At the top end, however, Jason Fleenor added 0.022 second to his dial while Tom Ressel put up 0.071 second extra, with both at 141 mph.
Michael McCarty, Davisburg, Mich., stole the Tin Indian Performance Street win light on a holeshot over Carole Barhorst, Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Michael McCarty and his 1963 LeMans launched in 0.031 second, compared with 0.154 second for Carole Barhorst in a 1974 GTO. But Carole Barhorst landed on the finish line 0.068 seconds off her dial, compared with Michael McCarty at 0.106 second.
In allpontiac.com Super Pro, Erik Wiegand, White Plains, Md., in a 1964 GTO edged out at the tree Lou Greco, Edinburg, Pa., in a black 1970 Judge.
Both landed their rides on the finish line strip on their dials with a six. But Erik Wiegand launched in 0.007 second compared with Lou Greco at 0.037 second.
In the staging lanes, Mike Leech, Howell, Mich., waited for Quick 16 action with his nightshade green 1968 Firebird with an HO stripe and a 540 cu. in. Pontiac motor.
“I've been racing since I was 16, and I'll be 44 tomorrow,” Mike Leech said. “That's 28 years. I bought this car in 1990, when I was in the service. It's my fourth car. I had a GTO that got stolen. My first car was a Dodge Dart. I also raced it first. I took it to the high school drags when I was 16.”
An owner of a water-proofing company, specializing in basements and crawl spaces, Mike Leech said he races Pontiacs because he's “stubborn.”
“I had that GTO stolen,” Mike Leech said, “and I've stuck with them ever since.”
Ed Olson, Woodbury, Minnesota, lined up in allpontiac.com Super Pro in a nightwatch blue 1969 TR6 with a factory 400 block, a 4 1/2-inch stroke crank, and a 91 mm turbo 400.
“I've owned it 40 years,” Ed Olson said. “I bought it right out of high school. I drove it as a street car for a long time. I built it as a drag car, put a V-8 in it 12 years ago.”
An operator of a power plant that makes electricity, Ed Olson said he's cranked the TR6 down to 8.74 seconds and 156 mph.
“That's the best it's done,” Ed Olson said. “I'm working on a new tune up and I don't want to hurt it. I'm sneaking up on it. It'll probably run in the nines today.”
Mike Muckley, a golf course mechanic, describes himself as “a spectator from Parma, Ohio.”
“If I wouldn't be around tomorrow, I would want to be right here today, on the starting line at Summit Motorsports Park. I truly mean that,” Mike Muckley said. “I come to all the events every year. This is my number one entertainment and hobby, from the Season Opener to the Halloween Classic.
“I put myself in every car in my imagination,” Mike Muckley said, adding from time to time he takes his street car, a 2006 Pontiac G-6, down the track on Mickey Thompson $7 Fun Night on Wednesdays.
“I never realized the track could be that smooth,” Mike Muckley said. “I liked it.”
With two Beach Boys concerts to watch on the same weekend, Mike Muckley stopped at the Ames Performance Tri Power Pontiac Nationals for track action first.
Mike Muckley added, “I'm in my zone.”
Other stories about the Pontiac Nationals include:
* Pontiac muscle and style converge!
* Pontiac legacies come in family friendly packages.
Check out the Race Results from the Ames Performance Tri Powered Pontiac Weekend.