The day got under way with the WHBQ Disk Jockeys having a
non-sense race. The official starter for this race was the lovely Miss Mary
Margaret Smith. Oh! by the way, she is Miss Tennessee Universe. As the race
got under way, a cool head by the name of John Froland swept through a field
of four other Jocks, to take top honors. His competition was composed of
tricycles and wagons, but he was riding a two horse-power mini bike. His
reward was a kiss from the WHBQ Drag Festival Queen.
Next from smokesville,
came the first round eliminations of the AA/ Fuelers. First, it was Bill
Mullins going against Mike Heims. When the green lights came on, both
machines moved out of the hole together as it appeared to be a close race.
But when the smoke cleared it showed Bill Mullins the winner with an 8.05 et
at 185.94 mph. Next on the line it was Ronnie Hampshire here from the west
coast going against the Maynard A/Fueler, who with a lot of luck, hoped to
bluff his way through the competition and take home the money. With
Hampshire doing a giant wheelie coming out of the hole, slamming down and
breaking. It looked as if he might know what he was doing. He registered a
9.10 at 154 mph. Upon returning to the pits, Hampshire let it be known he
would repair his car and make a couple by runs to try and capture a new
strip record and grab that two hundred dollars for a two hundred mile an
hour ride. The final battle of the first round was to be between Billy
Balkcomb's Chevy powered AA/Fueler and Raymond Godman's Chrysler powered
machine driven by Sonny Atkinson. As the two cars pulled to the line, the
Balkcomb car appeared to be leaking oil very heavily. It was shut off, moved
back to the pits, and trailered. Godman's Tennessee Bo Weevil made a solo
and grabbed the high speed of the day. He turned a very impressive 7.84 at
After the cars were cool enough, we ran the second round of the
match race. The Kingfish again got a half second spot and proved too much
for the Gene McClanahan A/Fueler, as the dragster pulled a five foot wheelie
out of the hole and forfeited all hopes of winning the match) The Kingfish
traveled the distance in 9.61 seconds at 155.37 mph. Next came the second
round of the AA/Fuel run offs. Bill Mullins made a solo, and Godman ran the
Maynard A/Fueler. Maynard fell to defeat as Bo Weevil driver Sonny Atkinson
backed out of it on the big end to save the engine for his next and final
round. Then came Ron Hampshire to make a final try for the two hundred mile
an hour money. When he pulled to the line this time, he had the top, label,
and everything in the fuel tank. He came out of the hole this time with all
four on the ground. I have heard of lightin' em up. But never like Mr.
Hampshire did here today. Not only was there a tremendous amount of smoke
coming from under those huge slicks, but there was also a long red flame The
engine blew before the car got through the mile per hour traps. But he set a
new Lakeland record for the low e.t., and one of the quickest I have ever
seen. He turned a blistering 7.29 et.
This left two cars still in the
running. As soon as they were cooled, Bill Mullins and the Be Weevil were
pushed off. As soon as both cars were staged and ready, they were given the
green light. Both cars shot out of the hole together. But Mullins ran out of
smoke too quick, and saw the Bo Weevil cross the finish line in front.
Atkinson drove the car to an 8.20 et at 188.29.