November 30, 2022

Vintage-Nitro

Still car-crazy after all these years

A/G saw Gabriel Burrell's Ford propelled Model A win the final when Ben Christopher was disqualified.

South East Gassers Association 2022 Championship Highlights

Shady Side Dragway was the site of The South East Gassers Association 2022 Championship finals.

(Click on the images to view them at a larger size.)

Everyone knew the rain was coming. You didn’t have to be a weatherman to interpret the dark, overcast skies. To speed things up, qualifying in all categories was limited to one pass. But it wasn’t enough.

Despite threatening skies, over 80 Gassers and Super Stock entries descended on the eighth-mile track in Shelby, North Carolina.

Partway through B/Gas eliminations, a light shower morphed into a heavy downpour. The drenching rain eventually passed through, and the track employed a cluster of heavy equipment in an attempt to return to racing.

After a herculean effort, it appeared the dragstrip was nearly ready for South East Gassers Association 2022 Championship to continue. Before the staging lanes could fill, however, another front came through and washed away the rest of the day’s activities.

South East Gassers Association 2022 Championship Rescheduled for Sunday

Rescheduled for Sunday afternoon, the remainder of the eliminations got underway after a thorough round of track drying. Competitors who worried the rain might have ruined the starting line bite quickly found out the traction was easily as good as it was before the rain. The race resumed under bright sunny skies.

Everyone involved in the South East Gassers Association 2022 Championship points chase hung around to decide things. Regrettably, several formidable competitors weren’t able to attend the rescheduled Sunday event due to work and other obligations. This caused a rash of “competition singles” as SEGA maintained the remaining driver’s qualifying positions.

By the quarter-finals, things were sorted out and competition was fierce in each eliminator.

2022 SEGA Super Stock Championship

In Super Stock, Rick Varner came into the event with a ten-point lead over Ron Allison. Allison’s hopes of overtaking Varner faded in the first round when his Chevy II rolled in the lights and fouled. The loss was particularly galling because Allison’s opponent, Eddie Willis, broke a drive shaft.

It might not have made much difference, because The Dirt Man Varner and his Camaro appeared untouchable. In the final, Varner faced Randy Keifer in the Spine Tingler ’56 Pontiac Wagon. Varner maintained his winning ways, clinching the Super Stock trophy as well as the 2022 SEGA Super Stock Championship.

2022 SEGA C/Gas Championship

Tim Hall and his Scalded Dog Rambler entered the event with a comfortable 35-point lead in the competitive C/Gas chase. By the time he closed out the season he had extended his points total to 365, a whopping fifty points ahead Billy Wilson’s Trouble Maker Studebaker.

Hall’s final round victim was Josh Pruitt in the Young Blood Ford. Aside from winning the 2022 C/Gas Championship, Hall claimed victory in seven of the nine SEGA events for the season.

2022 South East Gassers Association 2022 Championship B/Gas

The closest points chase of the season pitted Colby Welch and Daniel Haynes for the B/Gas Championship. Going into the event, Welsh enjoyed a slim five-point lead over Haynes.

To no one’s great surprise, the two drivers wound up in the final. Welsh was still up by five points. With five points available per round, a win would allow Haynes to tie Welsh. If Welsh captured the win, then the driver of the Moonbeam Ranchero would close out the season ten points to the good.

When the tree counted down, Haynes and the Patriot Falcon leaped out first. That made all the difference, as Haynes turned on the win light, while Welsh lost with a slightly quicker ET.

That left the two drivers tied at 325 points each. SEGA rules state that in a tie, the first driver to earn the points total will be declared the winner. That left Haynes the winner of the event, while Welsh was crowned the 2022 B/Gas Champion.

2022 SEGA A/Gas Championship

In A/Gas, Leslie Horne enjoyed a nearly insumountable twenty-five point lead going into the event. Horne’s ’55 Chevy The Chick Magnet went out in the semi finals, but that was more than enough to earn the A/Gas Championship for the Magnet.

With Horne out, all eyes turned the number two man in points, Gabriel Burrell. Driving his Southern Flyer Model A, Burrell captured the A/Gas event trophy when Ben Christopher was disqualified. While Burrell’s event win with the colorful Model A was popular with the fans, he wound up second to Horne’s Chick Magnet in the 2022 A/Gas Championship points chase.

Tom Bonner