Stidham & Wilson Memphis preview

Stidham & Wilson bring back the "Time Machine" "Last Time Around" tour to mark 25th Anniversary MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Six-time NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Jackie Stidham and partner Jerry Wilson have went 'back to the future' by...

Stidham & Wilson bring back the "Time Machine"
"Last Time Around" tour to mark 25th Anniversary

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Six-time NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Jackie Stidham and partner Jerry Wilson have went 'back to the future' by once again flying the "Time Machine" colors on their 2005 Monte Carlo this season. In what may well be Stidham's last season behind the wheel, 2006 marks his 25th year driving, and has been dubbed the "Last Time Around" tour.

After putting the "Time Machine" in the winner's circle at the season opener at No Problem Raceway, Stidham & Wilson head into this weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park hoping to take a step towards their seventh Division 4 Championship.

Stidham, from Chickasha, Okla., is feeling nostalgic with the Time Machine colors back on the car.

"We thought we'd bring it back this year," said Stidham. "This is my 25th year to drive, and it may be my last. The 'Time Machine' is a name my brother Ronnie and I came up with when we started racing. Hopefully we do a lot better than we did 25 years ago, because we struggled the first year just to qualify. So far, it's been a pretty good start."

After 25 years in the class, Stidham has certainly seen his share of up's and down's. After ending the 2004 season with a win at the prestigious Jeg's Sportsman All-Star event, where he ran a career-best 5.55 second e.t., the team was plagued by engine damage to start the 2005 season. After tracing the problem to a bad fuel line, it appears Stidham is back on track after posting a 5.58 en route to winning the season-opener at No Problem Problem Raceway.

"We haven't varied much since we ran those .50's in Chicago," stated Stidham. "We changed some fuel lines the next year and hurt some parts. Now that we found the problem, it goes right down the track. This year I finally have a spare long block, spare rear end, and some other spare parts. After 25 years, we finally got a few spares, so we can run a little harder and not have to go home if we tear anything up."

Co-owner Wilson cites the team may do a little more traveling than normal for the "Last Time Around" tour.

"We'll hit all the Division 4 races, Topeka and Great Bend," commented Wilson. "We're not 100% on the nationals, but if everything goes well we'd like to hit Atlanta and maybe Brainerd along with the usual nationals we go to in Houston, Dallas and Topeka. We also may go to Chicago if we win the All-Star spot. We'll just have to see how it shakes out. We really would like to finish in the Top Ten."

"We're hoping to go out with a bang and win that seventh Division 4 Championship," Stidham added. "If we can find a major sponsor to go with our associate sponsors Ray Fine Yamaha in Chickahsa, Westward Way RV Repair in Gladewater, Texas, Seabreeze Pools in Chickasha, Logue Plumbing & Real Estate in Marlow, Okla., NRC Performance in Duncan, Okla., Grady County DAV Chapter 17 in Chickasha, and some help from Randy & Crystal Haslam. If we can find a major sponsor we may wind the clock back up, but without it, this will be the 'last time around."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars with two more sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing.

-s&m-

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