In football, it's called the home field advantage...on the MontgomeryMotorsports Park strip, it was called a win for Jerry Rhodes of Gadsden,Alabama as he took the Aeromotive Nitro Coupe Challenge event at MMPSeptember 15-16.
Qualifying numbers and setups went out the window as the weather did aswitcheroo, leaving Aeromotive Nitro Coupe racers on Sunday with coolertemperatures and lower humidity than Saturday's qualifying sessions.
Consistency was the name of Rhodes' game on race day as he turned in 1/8mile times of 4.161 in the first round, 4.183 in the semis and 4.194 at170.84 miles per hour in the finals against Tennessee racer Jeff Balton.Balton ran a 4.69 at 117.23 mph in the finals as he failed to find thehandle on the MMP track.
Rockmart, Georgia racer Jimmy Blackman and his Southern Truck Partssponsored Firebird took the win in a tough Outlaw 10.5 field during theO'Reilly Super Chevy Show. Blackman roared to a 4.694 at 161.31 milesper hour in the finals to defeat Covington, Georgia racer DavidSheppard, who treed Blackman with a .004 light but couldn't matchBlackman's ET and speed.
O'Reilly Super Chevy fans got a thrill as Jessie Harris and her Queen ofDiamonds nailed another 300-mile per hour pass down the MMP strip. BobHall lived up to his "King of the Wheelstanders" title with fourblistering 1/4 mile runs on two wheels steering with the rear brakes ofhis Chevy Astrovan "Airborne Express."
The sportsman racer of the event had to be Allen Reno of Gardendale,Alabama. Reno won the Jeg's Bracket Two Battle, raced at 1/8 mile, andwas runner-up in the 1/4 mile DOT Street Wars. Reno faced former worldFootbrake champion Jared Pennington of Fultondale, AL in the finals ofBracket two and won with a sterling .014 reaction time and an 8.133 runon an 8.10 dial.
In the DOT Street Fight finals, Reno fell to Alexander City, Alabamaracer Gary Tapley, who won with a near perfect quarter mile of 12.921 onhis 12.92 dial. The Aeromotive Jr. Dragster Challenge title went toChase Mullinax of Buford, Georgia in a tough final over Brandon Thompsonof Douglasville, GA. Brandon ended the final on the starting line byturning on the reds.
In the ProCharger Bracket One Brawl, Douglasville, Georgia racer GaryThompson was the last man standing as he did in hometown hero ColeCousins of Millbrook in the finals. Thompson ran a n awesome 5.053 onhis 5.05 dial with a perfect .000 light. Cousins was also dead on his6.60 dial with a 6.605 and an .011 light, but his sterling .016 packagelost to Thompson's other-worldly .003 package.
The TREMEC True Street Challenge presented by Mr. Gasket was just thatas Phil Cooper's '66 Chevy II came out on top after a tough trip overlocal roads and three back to back passes. Runner-up honors went to aVolvo driven by Jerry Henslee.