What turned out to be a blistering cold weekend for the most part, also turned into a great race where records fell and spectators packed the stands. This was Outlaw Street Car Reunion V.
In a world where we have a serious over-saturation of racing, and the quality seems to have diminished, there are some races that stand out above the rest. Outlaw Street Car Reunion V was one of the races that stood out from the rest. It played out more like an 18yr single malt scotch than a fine wine though.
From earlier in the week, the decision was made by Tyler to try and get the race completed within a three day stretch instead of four days. The objective was to get in all wrapped up by the end of the day on Saturday, as rain was expected for Sunday. With the number of cars already on the property by midday Thursday, we all knew this was going to be a hell of a feat.
This was the first year that the Outlaw Street Car Reunion was going to be held at the historic Beech Bend Raceway as well. What that meant is that there was no data to rely on from previous races there. The parking, spectators, media, track prep, everything was going to be a first for Tyler Crossnoe. For years Tyler held OSCR at the infamous dragstrip in Memphis, TN. Bowling Green though, provided for a fresh view on things, and a fresh venue for the racers and fans to enjoy.
Mother Nature seemed to have a very different idea of how this race was supposed to go though. Thursday and Friday night, I think I lost all feeling in my feet and toes due to the cold, while Friday and Saturday during the day I had no problem working on my tan trackside. This didn’t make track prep for Tyler, Kurt, and the rest of the team any easier either. With DA’s reaching -500 ft at times, the air was great for the race cars if they could figure out the track.
Speaking of race cars, let’s discuss some of the on-track action that we bared witness to last weekend. The talk seemed to revolve around the cars that had mishaps, versus the cars that we saw have great side by side racing and record setting performances. There were some cars that did not make it out of the weekend unscathed, and unfortunately some that are going to take a long time to recover, but every driver was able to walk away at the end of the day, and in reality, that’s what matters.
Records, records, records. That is exactly what we are celebrating this week after OSCR. While not every record was set in every class, the amount of records broken, whether class or personal is nothing short of astonishing. Class ET records were broken in Limited Drag Radial by Justin Martin, X275 by Rich and Nick Bruder, Ultra Street by Brian Keep, and Mid-West Pro Mod record was crushed by series regular Eddie Rogers. The Leaf Spring record was also broke yet again by Lyle Barnett. And we saw personal performances like Jimmy Dolan in the Yetti during its first outing of the year. Dave Adkins also set a new record, by lowering his own mark in an LsX powered hotrod.
One of the cars that was most anticipated by the racers, fans, and media to see was Daniel Pharris in his newly acquired Proline Powered Lexus that he purchased from Ekanoo Racing during the off-season. The stunning white Lexus was going to run LDR and we all knew that it was going to be a player right off the bat. Josh Ledford and Shane Tecklenburg were tasked with the work of making it go A to B on tiny tires. Guess it should be no surprise that the Lexus found its way to the winners circle, as well as leaving the race with the second quickest ET in class history. Time will tell if the Lexus will be a completely dominate force within LDR down the road, but for it’s first event on American soil, it certainly got the job done in a dominate fashion.
OSCR was created as a radial race as its primary focus when Tyler first started this, but like any great business person and great race promoter, it becomes all about evolving. This year evolved into something spectacular with the addition on the Mid-West Pro Mod series, headed up by the self-promotion guru Keith Haney. Fans love pro mods and there are a lot of racers that love watching pro mods. Keith’s group of racers certainly did not disappoint either. There were blower huffing school buses, nitrous guzzling Camaros, and earth rotating turbo monsters on property, all vying for that $10k payday. On Saturday, it would come down to last years #2 in points, Jonas Alshire taking on Jerry Hunt. While there seemed to be some starting line confusion and issues, it was Jerry that took home the win and the $10k check.
In Radial vs The World, carnage was the theme of the weekend. We saw heavy hitters like Mark Micke and Dewayne Mills have catastrophic damages at some point during the weekend. It was what some would consider an unlikely pair in the finals on Saturday night though when we saw the little red Corvette, owned by Andrew Alepa and driven by Daniel Pharris take on the nitrous entry of Jeff Naiser from Texas. You wanted a side by side in the finals, this was certainly the match up. Daniel jumped up to the early lead with an .058 light to Jeff’s .073 and that’s was enough to hold off the hard charging Naiser at the top-end. Daniel took the win with a 3.73 at a whopping 214 MPH to Jeff’s 3.74 at only 196 MPH.
Rolling into LDR, where it seemed like 4.teen passes were getting dropped on us quicker than the temps were falling, it was two heavyweights in the ring for the finals. This was a matchup that was anyone’s to take. On one side, there was the Lexus of Daniel Pharris in its first race on American soil, taking on the All-American down south hotrod of Shane Stack. Shane is one of the most formidable drivers in the class, and after defeating the likes of Marcus Wooden, Scott Husted, and Richard Reagan just to get to the finals, you could not have gone wrong picking Shane. It was not to be though, this was Daniel’s race almost from the hit. While Shane did get Daniel on the tree, Shane seem to have some mechanical issues that caused the car to fall well of pace as Daniel ran the second quickest pass in class history, 4.117, to secure a double up at Outlaw Street Car Reunion.
X275 is always a class filled with those ready to show the world what they are made of, and it’s anyone’s race on almost any given weekend. This weekend was absolutely no exception to that. We had John Keesey, the winner of Lights Out in Feb. on the property. Rolling in earlier than usual was the filthy one, Phil Hines. Texas rolled into Bowling Green deep with their contingency of racers that included: Kenny Hubbard, Todd Moyer, Eric Moore, J.D. Campbell, and Shane Heckel. Along with none other than the most feared tandem in X275, the Bruder Brothers were in the house. By the final round though, all of Texas had packed their bags and were headed home. That’s because it came down to Shane Fisher, the KBX machine out of Dewitt, Arkansas facing off against Jimmy White from Memphis, TN. Unfortunately, this was a very undramatic round, as Shane hurt his engine during the semi finals when he defeated Rich Bruder, so all Jimmy had to do was take the tree to wrap up the win in X275.
Jordan Grunwald, who is the brain child of MX235 and looked like a grudge bang roadie last weekend, had a strong showing with his MX235 class. There were some controversies in the off-season about who was going to run what numbers this year and whether it would deter people from coming to play. Well if OSCR is an indication, the class is going to be just fine. Normally we don’t see the #1 and #2 qualifiers actually meet in the final round of radial racing, but that’s exactly what happened when Bad Brad Medlock faced off against the stunning Orange Nova of George Raygoza. George came all the way from Orland, California to play with the big boys in MX235, and it was George that walked away the winner in dominating fashion. George took that Nova to the winner’s circle with a dominating 4.65 ET over Brad’s off the pace 5.11. Hopefully George doesn’t have to use all his winnings just for fuel to get home, but it is certainly great to see the dedication of these drivers to come all the way across the country to compete.
Another class where records were broken was Ultra Street. Though it shouldn’t come as any surprise that it was Brian Keep that broke the previous record held by Alex Hays. This was Brian’s weekend to say the least. Every round he did exactly what he needed to do to win. He didn’t go out and try to break the record each round either. He methodically defeated each opponent, before facing off against Ron Belcher from Lexington, KY in the finals. Ron absolutely handed Brian his ass on a platter at the tree, when he hung a not so stellar .090 light to Brian’s “Hey It’s Green” .219 light. Brian was able to make up the difference and power around at the top end with a 4.72 at 150 to Ron’s 4.94 at 144. Brian managed to set the class record, qualify first, and run the table. An impressive weekend!
Pro Street Motorcycle. You want to talk about sheer insanity, this is the class. I have photographed a lot of different things in drag racing over the years, but these riders are absolutely nuts. Going over 200 mph and dropping ET’s that NHRA Pro Stock bikes could only dream of in the quarter mile. While I will admit, I know none of the drivers in this class, it was one that was almost tough to photograph because I wanted to watch the awesomeness that was turbo bikes going stupid speeds and holding on for dear life. I hope that this class will be back next year again too.
If you are one that loves the N/T scene then OSCR was the place to be. In a joint venture with Payso Productions, Tyler and Jay had some of the baddest small tire cars in the country competing against each other. Only one was left standing at the end of the day Saturday though. And that was the insurance man from Ohio, Bill Lutz. Along with his son Kenny, they mowed down the field like a knife cutting through soft butter. Look for Bill and Kenny to be hurting even more feelings in the N/T world throughout the rest of 2018.
To wrap it up and put a bow around it for all of you, OSCR was a mix of highs and lows. Whether it was temperatures or records. Whether it was oil downs or meetings with the wall. The fact is that Tyler put on an amazing event. One that will stand the test of time, and one that he can be proud of. We look forward to seeing what OSCR VI brings in 2019, and you can bet E3xtreme will be there to bring you the action.