Well it certainly didn't take long for one of the best known grudge and small tire racers in the world to get the attention of everyone on the big stage. In only two rounds of NHRA competition. Stevie managed to walk in and absolutely mic drop it on the rest of the field and all of drag racing for that matter.
It's not usual to see someone do really well early in their career, but at this level, in this short of time is damn near unheard of. Q1 yesterday here at the Gatornationals, Stevie showed that he would be a force when he dropped the hammer to an astonishing 5.84. That left him solidly in the field at #6. Now we all know that Stevie is not content with being #6, even if it is his first every NHRA race in a car they just finished building and only have that one lap in competition on.
Q2 was going to be interesting. As I stood by the wall watching car after car go down and the bump spot for the field get lower and lower. I couldn't believe my eyes when the board showed a 5.88 bump spot. I thought to myself that I am witnessing the quickest field ever in NHRA pro mod. Now Stevie wasn't the only one running stupidly well either. It seems as though a lot of teams stepped up their game in the off season. I am also sure that the increase in blower overdrive doesn't hurt said numbers.
Getting towards the end of Q2 and it seemed like every other car was dipping into the 80's. Stevie was one of the cars to come up late in the session. That's when it happened, he pulled his Bickle built, blown Camaro into the left lane and proceeded to warm up the hides. Creeps into the beams, the lights drop, and BOOM 5.78 at 251.58. I stood there, just stunned at what I had just witnessed, asking myself if that really happened. Did the man we all know as Stevie Fast just come within three numbers of the world record in only his second NHRA competition pass? You are damn right he did.
There were only two cars left that had the chance to steal Stevie's thunder, but it wasn't going to happen on this day. Rickie Smith and Troy Coughlin lined up and neither dipped into the 70's. This meant that when we closed out the pro mod session on Friday, after two rounds of qualifying, that "rookie" Stevie "Fast" Jackson was able to lay down and go to sleep as number one qualifier in the quickest EVER NHRA pro mod field, after making only two NHRA competition passes.
It's not going to be an easy road by any stretch of the imagination though. Stevie has caught the eye of everyone, including the NHRA. Or as he put it "Already in the principles office". Fact is that you are not suppose to be able to do what Stevie did. Fact also is that Stevie is not someone who just got in a car yesterday either. He is a former champion in his own right. He is one of the best drivers I have personally ever witnessed. So none of this comes as a big shock to me. At the same time, he has set the bar as high as possible, and now it's time to make sure he goes rounds. Qualifying number one (if it holds) is nice, but the Wally is what matters.
Congrats to Stevie on shaking up what is already the best heads up class in all of drag racing. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.