- John Smith and the Jungle Jim win the Nitro title!
With all the records broken during the weekend in the Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car class at Maple Grove Raceway, the Mickey Thompson DRO AA/FC Challenge ended with a whimper rather than a bang.
John Smith and the Jungle Jim Vega won the championship Saturday night as part of the Geezers Reunion at The Grove and the Uni-Select Cavalcade of Funny Cars. He didn’t have to make a pass in the final as his opponent, Shawn Bowen, broke after beating Marc White in the semifinals.
Bowen and his ’77 Firebird won the race, but then broke in the shutdown area, causing a 43-minute cleanup. Replacement parts were available, but the crew couldn’t make the repairs in the 90-minute window. More >
With the cooler conditions at Maple Grove Raceway Friday evening for the Geezers Reunion, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the Nitro pilots were licking their chops as they climbed into the Funny Cars.
Indeed, the crowd that came to The Grove for night qualifying for the Uni-Select Cavalcade of Funny Cars run in conjunction with the Mickey Thompson DRO AA/FC Challenge were in for a big treat.
In the first round of qualifying, Mike Lewis came back to his home track in the Brand X Mustang and rewrote the record book. His pass of 5.775 seconds at 247.11 broke the previous mark set in 2011 by John Hale. Hale made a pass of 5.852. More >
The Auto-Plus Cavalcade of Funny Cars features eight of the best Alcohol-powered Nostalgia Funny Cars on the East Coast.
Eight of them will be on hand to complement the eight qualified Nitro Funny Cars during the Saturday night big show at the Geezers Reunion at Maple Grove Raceway.
Things will get underway at 6 p.m. sharp on Saturday. Also on hand will be the Jersey Thunder Jet Dragster and Danny O’Day’s Wheelstander.
Racing this year in the Alcohol class are: More >
Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that “Crazy” Jake Crimmins received his nickname by doing, well, something crazy.
Back in the late 1960s, shortly after leaving the U.S. Navy, Crimmins was racing his B/Altered car and when he arrived at the track one day, he realized that he forgot one key piece of his racing uniform – his shoes.
“You had to wear a firesuit and back then they were those crazy looking silver firesuits,” said Crimmins, who had installed a blown Chevy motor that season. “Back then you wore work boots or something, not special shoes or anything like that.
“One day I forgot my work boots and all I had on were sandals. The announcer in the tower said ‘man that guy is crazy.’ He could see down from the tower into the car and he could see my feet. Every time he announced it from there, he called me ‘Crazy.’
“It was a crazy time back then.”
Crimmins will be back at Maple Grove Raceway on Aug. 2-3 to take part in the Geezers Reunion at The Grove as part of the Auto-Plus Cavalcade of Funny Cars. More >
If you were a regular at Maple Grove Raceway during the 1970s, chances are very good that you saw the Blue Max, driven by Raymond Beadle, go down the track against some of the biggest legends of the day.
Naturally, the restored Blue Max is a natural pick to take part in the Geezers Reunion at The Grove on Aug. 2-3. More >
Photo by Rodger Gorridge
Following an improbable Nostalgia Funny Car victory at the 2012 California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, Calif., Mike Lewis, Henry Gutierrez and Paul Smith are launching a quest to defend their 2012 title starting with an Aug. 2 and 3 appearance at the annual Geezers Reunion at the The Grove at Maple Grove Raceway.
Lewis will be at the wheel of the Texas based “Brand X” 1971 Mustang owned by Gutierrez and tuned by Smith, a legendary car owner, driver and crew chief with 35 years of nitro experience at Maple Grove Raceway.
Lewis will be joined in the two-car “Texas Jungle” team by John “Bodie” Smith who will drive the “Jungle Jim” Vega, also owned by Gutierrez and tuned by Smith, Bodie’s father. More >