SCHROEDER WINS "OUTLAW" ULTRA QUICK 8 RACEWAY PARK '03 SEASON FINALE!
The First Ever Shakedown
By Diana Thomas Courtesy Of Drag Racing Underground
Sunday November 23rd was the final day of historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park's 2003 season. Despite the fact that it was near the end of November and the start of December, the weather couldn't have been more pleasant and race friendly. Cool temperatures made for ideal traction and action on the E-Town racing surface. |
The season went out with a bang as notorious all glorious Ultra Quick 8 racer "Cycle" Dave Hance and the Raceway Park staff put together a last minute "Outlaw" style Ultra Quick 8 bon voyage event to usher us out of '03. An eclectic field of cars showed up to do battle in this first-ever UQ8 "Outlaw" battle royale.
1. Leo Barnaby, 7.294, 191.73;
2. John Schroeder, 7.329, 188.38;
3. Brian Ferrari, 7.339, 184.52;
4. Dave Hance, 7.479 186.15;
5. Chuck Ulsch, 7.482, 189.10;
6. Mitch George, 7.549, 183.24;
7. Dwayne Gutridge, 8.052, 181.03;
8. Marty Kendall, 8.056, 170.67.
Event "promoter" Dave Hance out of Lawrence NY had his hands full as he squared off with Dayton Maryland's heads-up threat Chuck Ulsch. Hance was behind the wheel of his slick 'n' quick '98 turbo Ford Mustang while Ulsh was piloting his evil looking '69 Camaro. The Christmas tree reflexes of Dave Hance proved to be just a wee-bit too enthusiastic as he activated the dreaded red bulb.
Chuck Ulsch left the line with a strong wheels-up launch and never looked back as he recorded a winning 7.25/193 mph lap. Ulsch's run was extra spectacular in that it proved to be the quickest and fastest pass of the event. Although Hance red lit, he still put some foot into it and recorded a 7.41/188 mph effort. Stamford, CT racer John Schroeder was back in action with his '02 Neverlift/Musi prepared Chevy Camaro. Opposing Schroeder was Toms River, NJ entry "Big Daddy" Dwayne Gutridge in his '89 Mustang. While both racers proved to be very close in their reaction times, "Big Daddy" Dwayne got out of shape around the eighth mile mark and wound up trailing John Schroeder in his lane.
Schroeder kept a steady course and managed a quick 7.31/187 mph first round victory. 2000 Ultra Quick 8 champion Mitch George got a solo pass as 2001-2002 UQ8 champ Brian Ferrari experienced some mechanical gremlins in his '66 "Mean 'N' Green" Chevelle that kept him from making the call. Mitch George aimed his red '95 Camaro towards the finish line recording a winning 7.63/180 mph charge. Marty Kendall out of Pearl River NY made some of the wildest and most volatile looking passes this reporter has ever seen during the qualifying sessions with his red with green flames blown '70 Nova. Kendall's Nova was acting like a nitro Harley during qualifying as it would blast down the E-Town 1320 with the front wheels off the ground for great lengths. Unfortunately for Kendall he had technical problems that kept him from making the first round call. Kendall's misfortune gave 2003 Ultra Quick 8 champion Leo "Neverlift" Barnaby a solo win.
Night fell and a staging battle that reminded me of the E-Town starting line burn downs we're used to seeing from Pat Musi and Vinny Budano ensued between Chuck Ulsch and Leo Barnaby. Ulsch and Barnaby were trying each others wits to see who would pull in to activate the second yellow bulb. Finally Leo Barnaby did and when the tree went green it was Barnaby who scored an impressive .017 light and got the holeshot advantage over Ulsch. Barnaby got the win with an off-pace 8.19/153mph over Ulsch's even more off off-pace 11.68/74mph.
Leo Barnaby got the win but looked like he hurt parts as smoke came from his '90 Camaro on the big end. Barnaby of the famed Neverlift Motorsports chassis shop appeared to be destined for the final round. John Schroeder in his blue '02 Camaro faced off with Mitch George in his red '95 Camaro. Although Mitch George got the advantage on the tree, the race was all John Schroeder. Putting a fast 'n' furious 7.30/188mph up on the big board earned Schroeder the win ticket. Mitch George trailed with a respectable 7.55/183 mph finish.
Unfortunately Leo Barnaby did indeed experience gremlins that would make it impossible for him to make a final round. John Schroeder was then deemed the winner of the event. So as it ended up, it would be a big win for the Schroeder camp.
Congratulations to John Schroeder and his team for winning the first-ever "Outlaw" Ultra Quick 8 battle. What's in store for the Ultra Quick 8 in '04? Well, keep your eyes here on Raceway News and www.dragracingunderground.com for developments.
Thanks to all the racers, fans and sponsors who helped make the last day of Raceway Park's '03 season one of the best grass roots days of drag racing I've ever personally witnessed. And next season we'll all be following the signs to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park once again for the best in heads-up racing with heart!
"Cycle " Dave Hance would like to thank the sponsors that made this day possible—Brian & Butch Ferrari, Ferrari & Sons Auto Body; Leo Barnaby, Neverlift Motorsports; John Schroeder, Liberty Auto Body; Dave Erb; Jobe S., Jr., Turbo People; David Hance, County Auto Repair; Fred Brown, FB Transmissions; Henry Jackson, Henry Jackson Racing Engines; Wayne Keegan, Competitive Wiring. Thanks to their generosity the winner received $1,000 while the runner up received $500. Special thanks to Dan/NESCAR for race day operations and strong arm Mike DeMartino for collections.
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