RIVENBARK ESTABLISHES NEW RADIAL TIRE RACING RECORD
Heading into the fourth and final round of qualifying for Radials vs. the World at Lights Out 10, four drivers had already run in the 3.60s, led by Tim Slavens at a then-record 3.62 at 217.74 mph.
But when the fourth-and-final qualifying session wrapped up it was class newcomer Kevin Rivenbark on top with a new record 3.61 seconds in his ProCharger-boosted, Pro Mod-style '69 Camaro, with Slavens and six more entries lined up behind him in the vaunted 3.60 range. Incrementals on Rivenbark's pole-sitting pass included an impressive .919 to 60 feet, 2.410 to half-track, and 3.613 at 205.01 mph at the eighth-mile stripe.
"I can't even fathom it all right now; it really hasn't sunk in," admitted Rivenbark, who earlier in the week made his career-first test passes on radial tires in a test session at Orlando led by crew chief Steve Petty. A veteran Pro Mod racer and the 2016 PDRA Pro Boost champion, the record-setting run at SGMP came with just his ninth pass on radial tires.
"I mean, this is a big deal. This is a team that's already proven, but the combination of us together, plus a new deal with ProCharger that made this happen at the first event together is just awesome. But they all make my job easy. I feel very confident that the car is going to go A to B every time, so they're the ones who give me confidence and make me look good.
"I also have to thank Mr. Earl Wells at GALOT Motorsports. He's been so important to my racing career and I really wouldn't be in this position now if it wasn't for his support."
The record setting continued within the rest of the field, too, as all 32 qualifiers posted 3.80s or better ETs for the first time in 10 years of Duck X Productions history at South Georgia Motorsports Park. Significantly, more than three-quarters of the field posted personal bests, anchored by Jason Hoard of St. Charles, MO, with a personal-best 3.88 at 199.76 mph in his twin-turbo '68 Camaro, creating a spread of .275 from first to 32nd.
Additionally, Connecticut's Ken Quartuccio and his C7 Corvette ran 3.75 at 210.44 mph to place 16th, making the top half of the Lights Out 10 field quicker than last year's inaugural Sweet 16 field with its 3.76 bump spot held by Ty Tutterow.
The overall strength of the field was not lost on Rivenbark.
"I think there are several teams here that are capable of taking a run at us. It's just a question of getting the combination together and tomorrow I don't think there's even one out there that you'd want to take lightly," he said.
The Radial vs. The World record has been rest three times over the course of qualifying.