"Root Beer" Hedge Thunder Valley Preview

THE MISSION CONTINUES: MASTERCAM AA/FD MOTORS TOWARD OK CORRAL AND PREPARES FOR FACTORY SHOOTOUT by Cole Coonce, NR August 18, 1999, Los Angeles, CA--Like CARE packages dropped out of a helicopter into the waiting arms of malnutritioned...

THE MISSION CONTINUES: MASTERCAM AA/FD MOTORS TOWARD OK CORRAL AND PREPARES FOR FACTORY SHOOTOUT

by Cole Coonce, NR

August 18, 1999, Los Angeles, CA--Like CARE packages dropped out of a helicopter into the waiting arms of malnutritioned pygmies, "Root Beer" Hedge and his Mastercam AA/Fuel Dragster continues on a mission to bring nitromethane to the CH3NO2-starved co-ordinates of America.

Fresh off a boisterous jaunt into Boise, Idaho where 20,000 natives convened for three successive nights to get their souls fried and witnessed Mastercam shoe "Wild Bill" Alexander post a AA/FD track record speed of 220.37 mph, Hedge is now guiding his rig towards the Continental Divide (and no doubt trying to dial in Red Sovine songs on an AM radio) en route to the 3rd Annual Heartland Hot Rod Reunion in Noble, Oklahoma. While Sovine warbles "Giddy-Up-Go," Hedge is mulling over his plan for gunning down the competition in a shootout in Thunder Valley.

At Noble (home of Thunder Valley Raceway Park), the stakes will be rather high: After two rounds of qualifying, a special "Winner Take All" Saturday night "Chicago style" Shootout will grace the last man standing with an estimated purse of $3,500. (These funds were generated not by promoters nor sponsors, but by the vox populi, a good number in the form of internet-surfing nitromaniacs that congregate at the Header Flames bulletin board on the Nitronic Research website).

On Sunday, there will be an 8-car AA/FD eliminator as well (also featuring a healthy payout), but the stakes of this race are higher than just the loot itself. This one is about pride: The Mastercam team and its nitro-powered Chrysler has set its sites on the Champion Speed Shop and its Chevy-propelled entry out of South San Francisco, who heretofore have the distinction of Low Elapsed Time of the Planet with its recording of a 5.87 at Bakersfield last March. Indeed, the teams have agreed to pair up in dragster staging lanes during qualifying. It is agreed that the loser of this match race pony up $250 to the Make A Wish Foundation (the beneficiary of the event's profits).

But the Reunion gets even more provocative: This event will see the debut of the Bach & Gould AA/FD, a *FORD* "Cammer"-powered front-motored Top Fuel car! Each leg of Detroit's Big Three will be ably represented in the Top Fuel competition at this event--a phenomenon nearly unheard of since Ford eliminated its factory support out of nitro-powered drag racing in 1970. Everyone in attendance this weekend has somebody to root for...and, uh, maybe root against... This ain't a reunion--it's a showdown.

Mastercam HHRR Notes:

Calling the action over the public address system during the Shootout will be Jon "Thunderlungs" Lundberg. (This alone is worth the price of admission.) His appearance does not signify an un-retirement, as Lundberg is currently focusing on the creation of a Drag Racing and Hot Rodding Archive in Tucson, AZ. (cf. http://www.nitronic.com/archive/)

Among the confirmed entries of AA/FD at the Heartland Hot Rod Reunion:

Beedy & Lutz (injected Chrysler) Bach & Gould (Ford 427) Champion Speed Shop (Chevrolet) Jon Barrett "Flirtin' with Disaster" (Chrysler 392) Troy Green (Donovan Hemi) Claudie "Leg It and Duck" Meadors (small block Chevy) Suhr & Lechtenberg's "Orange Crate" (Donovan) Ty "Thumper" Norton (Donovan) Hedge & Alexander Mastercam (Donovan)

Heartland Hot Rod Reunion Itinerary

Friday, August 20 ALL event happenings are at the host motel, Ramada Inn at Norman, OK 7:00 pm Parade of Cars from the Sooner Fashion Mall to the Host Motel 7:30-9:00 Best BBQ Buffet in the State of Oklahoma 9:00-Reunion and Induction into Hall of Fame Auction of memorabilia for Make A Wish Trophy Show Awards

Saturday August 21

Gates open at 8:00 a.m. Thunder in the Valley starts at 6:00 p.m. Top Fuel Jr. Fuel Outlaw Fuel Altereds Exhibitions

Sunday, August 22

Gates open at 8:00 a.m. Finals in all classes plus Awards for Car Show.

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