LAST MINUTE CHARGE PUTS BODE NO. 1 QUALIFIER IN THROWBACK SHOWDOWN II
When is the last time you've ever heard of Bob Bode overtaking Jeff Diehl in the final day of qualifying to secure the No. 1 seed headed into final eliminations of an NHRA Mello Yello Drag racing Series event?
Welcome to the wonderful world of virtual reality drag racing.
Friday evening, as the polls closed for the Throwback Showdown II, a virtual reality drag race which is decided on a fan vote, Bode's Tom Hoover-themed Showtime entry passed original No. 1 qualifier Jeff Diehl's popular Jungle Jim Liberman-inspired machine.
Diehl appeared to be a lock on the top spot after leading the first two days of voting. Bode made a major run in Day 2 qualifying, effectively passing Diehl in the final three hours.
"Very impressive deal, I must say," Bode admitted. "I was shocked to find out where we ended up. We were traveling to Gainesville with my son for a Junior Dragster race, he's got a lot of friends in the pits, and they spent most of the day campaigning for us. My son is pretty savvy with that kind of stuff."
Bode, who races on a modest budget in the real-life Mello Yello drag racing Series, has embraced the world of virtual reality drag racing.
"It's really neat," Bode said. "It brings in the computer world into our drag racing community. This allows us to reach the younger demographic of drag racing in the place where they hang out."
To win the event, Bode said would be a real highlight of his drag racing career. Bode does have one NHRA national event victory to his credit.
"It would be a huge victory for us," Bode said. "We are taking this very serious, and to go into the final eliminations as the No. 1 qualifier is very special.
"This event takes thinking outside of the box to a whole new level. There's a lot of people who aren't necessarily drag racing fans getting involved. And that is always great for our sport."
The top 15 entries are seeded into final eliminations, while the bottom eight vote-getters will participate in a three-round shootout for the final qualified position.
The ARP Battle to Final Eliminations begins with the first round on January 2, 2017, and ends on January 4 at 8 PM, EST. This competition will be staged for voting on the pages of CompetitionPlus.com.
The Strange Engineering Throwback Showdown II will be contested on the Competition Plus Facebook Page. In order to participate in voting for this event, you must LIKE CompetitionPlus.com Facebook page.
ARP BATTLE TO FINAL ELIMINATIONS PAIRINGS
Dale Creasy Jr. (McEwen '78 English Leather) vs. Terry Haddock (Green Elephant)
Courtney Force (77 Brute Force - Orange) vs. Dave Richards (Richards Family)
Tommy Johnson Jr. (Prudhomme's Army) vs. Tim Gibbons (Gary Burgin's Orange Baron)
Cruz Pedregon (California Charger) vs. Bob Tasca III (Fullerton's Trojan Horse)
The Strange Engineering Throwback Showdown final elimination portion of the event begins on January 8, 2017.
STRANGE ENGINEERING THROWBACK SHOWDOWN II PAIRINGS
#1 - BOB BODE VS. #16. ARP BATTLE TO FINAL ELIMINATIONS WINNER
#2 - JEFF DIEHL (JUNGLE JIM) VS. #15 SHAWN LANGDON (KALITTA BOUNTY HUNTER)
#3 - AUSTIN PROCK (DETROIT TIGER) VS. #14 - MATT HAGAN (WONDERWAGON)
#4 - J.R. TODD (PULDE'S WAR EAGLE) VS. #13 - JIM CAMPBELL (DUNN & REATH)
#5 - TIM WILKERSON (CHI-TOWN HUSTLER) VS. #12 - JACK BECKMAN (PISANO & MATSUBARA)
#6 - DEL WORSHAM (BLUE MAX) VS. #11 - ROBERT HIGHT ('79 BRUTE FORCE)
#7 - JONNIE LINDBERG (HAWAIIAN) VS. #10. BRIAN STEWART (SHIRL GREER'S CHAIN LIGHTNING)
#8 - JOHN FORCE ('76 BRUTE FORCE) VS. #9 - RON CAPPS (MCCULLOCH'S REVELLUTION)
FINAL QUALIFIED ORDER
Bob Bode - 948
Jeff Diehl - 825
Austin Prock -530
J.R. Todd -296
Tim Wilkerson 244
Del Worsham - 202
Jonnie Lindberg 156
John Force - 116
Ron Capps - 115
Brian Stewart 79
Robert Hight - 76
Jack Beckman - 68
Jim Campbell - 62
Matt Hagan - 60
Shawn Langdon 59
Dale Creasy Jr 58
Courtney Force 55
Tommy Johnson Jr 54
Cruz Pedregon 53
Bob Tasca III 49
Tim Gibbons - 42
Gary Richards 28
Terry Haddock 24