Most think that the Outlaw 10.5 class died years ago, but the fact is that it didn't die, it's just been under the radar and you may be surprised to learn that in this writers mind it's making a comeback.
The fact is that when organizations like ORSCA died, FFW died, and NMRA eliminated Pro 5.0 most believed that was the death of Outlaw 10.5 and that style of race car. . It wasn't really the death of 10.5, but it certainly put a nail in the coffin. Then when radial races started to peak everyone's interested, there were plenty of 10.5 cars sitting around just waiting to do something, and this gave them the opportunity to bolt on some different tires and go racing. Some other's went the way of ADRL Pro Mod or just parked them all together.
No longer were we seeing the races where 10.5 was king. What we were seeing is a transformation into a radial tire world. With the emergence of radial tire technology came with it a wave of cars that could put that 10.5 power to the ground on a DOT tire and that is when 10.5 faded away. That could have just been the end of the story, but just as they always say, history has a way of repeating itself.
The east coast and Canada has been and continues to be a mecca for 10.5 cars. Whether it be 1/8th mile or 1/4 mile racing. There is a regular series on the east coast, usually held at Jim Halsey's Cecil County Dragway. There are also other tracks and events that are bringing back 10.5 in some form or another. The 10.5 class is still a staple at Monty Mikho's YellowBullet.com Nationals at Cecil along with the Miller Brothers World Cup event at Maryland. This year, Ozzy and Wade at Orlando Speedway are also featuring a 10.5 class at the Granddaddy event of them all, World Street Nationals. Add that to the series in Canada and there is solid proof that 10.5 is on the come back trail.
Now you may think that I have lost my mind by saying that because of these things 10.5 is on the "comeback trail" and you very well might be right. Bear with me for a few minutes though. Fact is that people are building these cars and tracks are coming back around to having a place for them to race. There isn't the special track prep, and the unknowns as there is in radial. This doesn't mean that radial is going anywhere...yet. What this means is that in it's hay day 10.5 was the class to race and the class that people loved.
Dave Hance of New York Motorsports used to be the one that held the annual Shakedown at Etown race. I remember as a fan waiting to see the cars from that race either online or in print. It was cars like Shredder from Lynch & Petty, and drivers like Mo Hall, Joe Newsham, Triple B Brad Brand, Richard Sexton, and so many others. This was always a full field of cars that would try to get that win. Some would say that was the peak of 10.5 racing. I would agree that was the old peak. What I am saying is that we are ready and willing to see a new peak.
If you look at the quality and performance of the new crop of 10.5 cars at these races you will see some of the finest built machines in the world. Names like Joe Newsham, Mike Decker, Mo Hall, Tim Essick, Scott Kline, and even some of the radial guys are getting in on the fun, like long time 10.5 racer Mark Micke from M&M Transmissions in the Jason Carter owner Malibu.
Fact is that if you want 10.5 to make the comeback that it deserves all you have to do is support it. Could you imagine a time and place where an eight car shootout were to take place. The dream lineup of Lynch, Brand, Hance, Hill, Ulsch, Hall, Newsham, & Decker? I mean really if you think about it, you could easily list 16-20 drivers that were 10.5 superstars and would put butts in the seat at any dragstrip.
10.5 is not dead folks. It never was. Just keep watching and I think you will see that in the near future, in my mind 18-24 months, 10.5 will be right back on the national map. It brings people in and the cars are amazing. I could be wrong, but come back and read this again in early 2018 and tell me if I was.