My home track, I-40 Dragway is known for its Bounty Race event, which is a monthly heads up race that always brings out a great crowd of racers and spectators to the eighth mile track. The Howe family has owned the track for 20+ years, and Jim Jr. is always creating new events to keep things fresh and exciting from year to year. For 2012, the highlight event for I-40 Dragway was the World Index Challenge, which offered up a $10,000 prize for 6.0 and 7.0 index classes. We’re talking guaranteed money here, so it drew racers from all over the country, and made for a HUGE event!
Though it was a two-day event, I couldn’t make it to the Friday night qualifying session, so I made sure to spend plenty of time at the track on Saturday to make up for it. I photographed index car after index car, in an effort to provide a good coverage on the event, and show the magnitude of this race. Almost all of the local favorites were out of the running early. The Dempsey’s, Mike Farley, the Moses brothers and several other locals got put out early, which was disappointing, but this was truly the tightest competition of the year. Local 7.0 racer, Ricky Millard, made it to the finals, but red-lighted…all other finalists were from out of town.
In addition to the big index race, it was also Bounty Race night, so Jim coordinated it to squeeze both events into one action-packed day of racing. By far, my favorite moment of the night was a race between Todd Lyle’s ’69 Camaro and a car that I had not seen before–a twin turbo ’69 Camaro. First off, Todd did a crazy burnout that probably used half the life of his 10.5W’s. The crowd loved it and so did I. As Todd backed up and purged the nitrous system, the smoke was still lingering, and the turbo Camaro in the far lane started spooling and inching into the beams. Both cars left the line hard, but the twin turbo car spun the tires about 100 feet out. In the heat of battle, the Camaro pilot stayed in the throttle, which sent the car completely sideways and into Todd’s lane. Luckily, Todd had already pulled a couple of car lengths on him, so they narrowly avoided getting together. Just after the near collision, Todd’s car lit the rear tires, and sent him sideways as well, but he recovered quickly and went on to win. The crowd went nuts!
Jim set up a second chance race for the 6.0 and 7.0 guys. Almost everyone entered the second chance deal, as it was free entry, and a chance at $1,500. We left a bit early, but the track crew and racers deserve a lot of recognition for getting both of these events run in a timely manner. I know I had a good time, and I’m sure a lot of other folks can agree. I took more than 500 pictures on Saturday, but I’ll regulate my posting to my absolute favorites of the day. Click HERE to see the entire gallery.
Crazy sky madnesssss!