Last Bounty Race of the Year

The 2011 Bounty Race season came to a close this past weekend. I made it to nearly all of this year’s events, but I’ve had so many other things going on that it’s severely cut into my time at I-40 Dragway. For the April race, I had to go to a wedding in Asheville, North Carolina the same day. After finishing the wedding, and cleaning up afterward, we trucked over the mountains and into Crossville to watch and photograph the race. It was a valiant effort by me, and my very understanding wife, whose sister got married earlier in the day.

Byrd Photo

Love this car! It was super quiet and ran 6.30s thanks to a turbo small block. Very sneaky Mustang!

Here’s a link to the complete gallery of photos: http://byrdphoto.smugmug.com/Cars/I-40-Dragway/October-2011-Bounty-Race/19805337_CM72wD#1556909411_5MJm3t4

May and June Bounty Races went off without a hitch, but I had to leave early from the July event to follow through with other plans we’d already made. Didn’t get to go to the August event, because I had to be in a wedding. September race was good…no interruptions. For the final event of the year, I had a huge obstacle in the way, but I went to the track anyway, and spent a few hours shooting photos. Then it was time to go home and help my wife get ready for her first vending experience with her side business, Bite Size Bakery. So, I stayed from 1 to 4:30pm and shot the preliminary test passes, as well as one round of qualifying.

Byrd Photo

Practiced my panning shots, which is something I rarely do at I-40 Dragway. Figured it would be a great way to add a bit of excitement to the index classes. Here's Heath Littrell's Monza motoring down the track.

Byrd Photo

Throughout the 2011 Bounty Race season, Michael McKeehan's Nova has come a long way. It's in the hunt and 2012 will certainly be a good year for this team.

Byrd Photo

Super Johnnie is back in action with his rear-mount turbo Mustang, running in Cheap Street. Very cool combination!

Byrd Photo

Tank Turner's Buick Regal pulls the wheels hard on this time run.

Considering the very cool temperatures (high in the low 50’s), Jim Howe and the I-40 Dragway crew had a wonderful turnout of cars. Plenty of index cars, a handful of Cheap Street cars, 15 Pro Street Bounty cars and two outlaw dragsters. In the one round of qualifying I witnessed, I saw what I would consider the best action all season long. The Valdez boys rolled in a little later than everyone else, but quickly unloaded and pulled into the staging lanes for a test pass. The car launched very hard, immediately going to the wheelie bars, but not so hard that it allowed the rear suspension to unload. On a killer pass, Valdez traveled to at least half track before the front tires touched the surface and held it wide open the rest of the way, running a 4.83. This is the quickest pass all year for the Pro Street class and he did half of it on two wheels!

Byrd Photo

Hey now....this nitrous fed Cheap Street Camaro gets a little too close for comfort during the burnout.

Byrd Photo

This really isn't the best picture in the world, but this is what keeps me excited about drag racing. On this pass, German Valdez carried the wheels to half track and ran the quickest time at the Bounty Race all year.

Byrd Photo

Back on the track after an unfortunate crash, Marcus Wooden's Chevy II pulls the wheels hard on this pass.

Byrd Photo

Any time the weather gets cool, wheelstands seem to be more common at the Bounty Race. This Camaro did a couple of great wheelies, including this one, which led to a wild ride once all four wheels were back on the ground.

During qualifying, there were a few good wheelstands and several wild rides, so it was fun to watch and fun to photograph. Unfortunately, these wild rides would later evolve into a serious crash, involving Randy Petet’s turbocharged Porsche 944. I wasn’t there to witness it, but the big block Chevy-equipped Bounty car spun the tires way down track, and went head on into the Armco barrier. The hit was hard enough to send the car into a violet barrel roll, which completely destroyed the very popular Porsche. Randy was uninjured in the crash, but the car doesn’t look to be salvageable. The car had been around for many years, running in many of the big outlaw races held at Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip. Before the turbo setup, it had a crazy big block with the biggest blower I’ve ever seen. Just for fun, here’s a picture of it when it had the huge supercharger.

Byrd Photo

Randy Petet's Porsche 944 several years ago, when it had the HUGE blower.

Byrd Photo

Randy's doing a burnout before his first qualifying pass of the day. Unfortunately, he would destroy the car in a horrific crash later in the night.

Byrd Photo

Jim and the crew at I-40 Dragway had a great turnout of Pro Street Bounty cars on hand for the final race of 2011.

Byrd Photo

It's a wonder I still have any hearing left with cars like this rattling my unprotected ears.

Byrd Photo

Valdez carried the wheels again on his second pass of the day, but crossed the centerline and nearly collided with Mike Hupp's Procharged Malibu.

Byrd Photo

Another big wheelstand came from Anthony Hopkins' nitrous-fed big block Nova. They seem to have some of the bugs worked out, even though it pumped out some serious smoke on this pass.

Byrd Photo

Bright red is the perfect color for Mike Farley's new Bounty car. He got WAY out of shape on this run, but managed to save it.

Byrd Photo

Last but not least, Jim Howe Jr. made a few test passes in his blown '68 Camaro. Big thanks to Jim and the entire Howe family for putting on the Bounty Race and allowing me to photograph the events.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s