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Wrapping It Up in the Sunshine State: Super Chevy Gainesville

Florida Brings It On

Tony Kelly Jan 19, 2005

It came down to one run for Randy Adler and his Nitro Coupe to clinch the championship for 2004. He made it and it was official; Adler's and his Team are the new Champs. Despite the long season, the chase by the other Nitro teams, and the luck of racing, Randy and his gang hung in there and wrested the crown from Gary Irving, who made it tough, and from two-time champ Dan Nickelson. Not bad for a team that started in Nitro Coupes just this year!

We'll be looking at some new wrinkles for our race program in 2005. There will be a 16-car Top Sportsman field at every event, and all GM brands of car will be eligible to compete in all brackets. Full details are elsewhere on our web pages. We're looking forward to our new season, the 25th anniversary tour by the way, and we're thankful for the success of this one, and know we owe it to the fans, the racers, the show car entrants, and the manufacturers.


Newly crowned Nitro Coupe Champ Randy Adler celebrates with lots of smoke, nitro, and horsepower.

A moment or two between races with the Nitro Coupe drivers and teams gathered around Race Director Bill Gustin (in the blue/white shirt on the right) waiting his turn to impart a few words of wisdom.

It might be all there: the Gainesville swap had some treasures for would-be builders.

Here's a couple of cars from the car corral that maybe you could drive home...

...although the one with all the graphics might arouse the neighborhood a bit.

Believe it or not this is the interior of a '61 Impala. It's owned by Jerry Smith of Starke, FL, and as you see has been subjected to extensive customizing.

Much more recognizable is Glenn Pieschke's near-perfect '62 Bel Air, with those cool open header caps. The Estero, FL, resident took home the Best Big Car award from A&M Soffseal.

You want purple? We got it! Steve Wagner from St. Cloud, FL, stands out from the crowd in his '68 Camaro, and often runs away from the crowd with e.t.'s in the 10s. He didn't run from the Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award he won though.

We first saw this '62 Chevy II when owner W.D. McGalliard of Roanoke, VA, fired it up and drove it over to the show. We weren't sure whether it was going to race or show but it was destined to win something. What it did win was Outstanding Modified, which it certainly deserved.

Derek Putnam and friends, from Gainesville, take a minute to show off the Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award given to Derek for his clean and fast '70 Nova.

If this isn't the Best Nova in the Show, we don't know what is. Well it is and it is a '65 that belongs to Brian Moss of St. Cloud, FL.

We can always gather a crowd when handing out Top Ten Drag Car awards and taking photos. In this case the crowd is surrounding John Rollins of Micanopy, FL, and his '72 Nova. We're not even sure they all know John but they did get their picture taken.

Can't argue with the choice of Haines City Florida's Bruce Mathews '72 Chevy pickup as Best Truck of the Show. Wonder if that young man with Bruce gets to shine the tires? Lots of rubber to work on.

Best In Show, presented by Tremec Transmissions, went to Wanda Cross of Jackson, OH, for her superb '67 Corvette.

The Kirker's came down from Sanborn, NY, with their splendid '66 Chevelle and took the Best Chevelle Gold Class and Best Engine Gold Class.

The '36 Chevy sedan belonging to Larry Stake of Gallahan, FL, took home the Best Early Chevrolet award.

The business end of Al Hanna's and Fran Peppler's Jet Funny Cars. This is about as close as we ever want to get when the fire is lit.

Not all the race action is the Nitro Coupes, Jets and wheelstanders.

Most of what goes on from early morning...

...until sometimes late at night

...involves hard racing in cars

...such as these.

Red has to grab you. It got enough attention for Terry Hansard of Cumming, GA, that his '67 Camaro took the honors for Best Achievement Street.

Of course on the other hand, it doesn't have to be red if it's a great car. Dave Eckstein of Heathrow, FL, did his homework on this fine '69 Camaro, and took an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.


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