JACKSON, HALL, STACK AND WHITE WIN SWEET 16 - Before a deliberately sparse crowd of spectators and beneath sunny skies, champions were crowned Apr. 3, in promoter Donald "Duck" Long's Sweet 16 Ver. 4.0 drag radial event at South Georgia Motorsports Park, near Valdosta.

Only 500 spectator tickets are sold each year to Sweet 16 and with only four classes on the schedule it leads to a quick, intimate show with up to eight qualifying rounds and all eliminations completed by late Saturday afternoon.

Multi-time Duck X Productions winner "Stevie Fast" Jackson added another Radials vs. the World title to his racing resume, while Mo Hall followed up his Lights Out victory from February at the same track with another Pro 275 win. In Limited Drag Radial a come-from-behind win in the final capped off Shane Stack's day and Gary White steered the only clutch-equipped ride in the SGMP pits to the X275 win.

IT'S THE STEVIE FAST SHOW -  Jackson's run to the RVW crown at Sweet 16 Apr. 1-3, began with a 3.59-seconds qualifying run that placed him fifth behind top qualifier Daniel Pharris, who ran a record-setting and historic 3.49, as it marked the first official radial tire pass in the 3.40s.

In the first pair out for eliminations Jackson opened with a 3.61 at 206.86-mph solo pass after Casey Bushmeyer's '63 Corvette was shut off on the line due to leakage. That set up a second-round clash of teammates as Jackson's screw-blown 2015 Camaro went up against the nitrous-breathing C7 Corvette of fellow Georgian Marcus Birt.

"We went out and just smoked the engine in the first round; I mean, just burned it up bad. Fire-slotted the block and the heads, a head gasket, and caught the car on fire. We had to change engines real quick after that with not a lot of time," Jackson said.

"And then we had to run our teammate with an engine we hadn't run in a long time. But then we went out there and ran a .57 in the middle of the day, which I thought for conditions was a really good run.

"I said in my top-end interview after the first round that I'm taking this shitty motor out and putting in my real motor. Sometimes you gotta' save your best piece for race day and not use your best piece for showing out and qualifying."

The semi-finals saw Jackson meet up with polesitter Pharris and his Procharger-equipped '69 Camaro, where he left with a .007 reaction time that translated to a .043 holeshot and then a .013 margin of victory an eighth of a mile later as Jackson's 3.58 at 212.36 prevailed over a 3.55 at 210.14 in Pharris' lane.

"Pharris is a really good driver and we respect him and that whole Proline team so much that we knew we had to bring our A game. And when the track's 115 degrees and it's a little greasy you know it's gonna' be a tiptoe dancing match out there. So we rolled the dice as much as we thought we could, made a good run, went 3.58 and thankfully won, Jackson said."

The other semi-final saw third-place qualifier Jason Lee and his Procharger-fed '69 Camaro going up against number-seven starter Brad Edwards, racing with a patched-together, Procharger-boosted 2010 Mustang after its entire roof and rear window blew off in a late-Friday qualifying round.

Lee left first by .009, but lost traction halfway down track and Edwards, who also suffered the same problem, recovered to blast past and post a winning 4.53 at 193.77 mph to reach Jackson in the final.

"You know, me and Brad Edwards have been racing each other since 2006, so for a long time and it kind of felt good. It kind of felt like home again," Jackson said. "But when you're racing against a guy who blew the roof off his car, cut a hole in a trailer and put (the panel) on there and then he makes it to the final, that's when it's really hard to defeat that guy. So I told my guys, I want you all to change every part that we can change in 25 minutes: new blower belt, new ignition box, new coil. I said, put anything on it that's going to break or fall off because this is his day."

Running in the left lane for the final, Jackson left with a .034 reaction, just two-thousandths ahead of Edwards. Edwards car soon went into a significant wheelstand that briefly put him up on just one tire, however, forcing him to lift and watch Jackson take the win and Sweet 16 title with a 3.61-seconds blast at 212.03 mph.

"I've raced Stevie a long time and I knew he was going to come out and make a solid run, but I also knew he wouldn't do anything stupid. You know, the track's been tricky all day, he's a smart racer. I've raced him for about 15 years, so I know what to expect. But I also knew that I had to step on it a little bit. So I was in one of those, you know, damned if you do, damned if you don't situations. So I decided to take a swing at it a little bit," Edwards explained later.

Despite his stellar reaction time in the semis, Jackson said a .007 was cutting things a little too close for his liking.

"I really rolled a bunch of time into the delay box for the final. I had 33-thousandths in the delay box for the final to go .034. You got to ease up. You don't want to turn the red light on and give it away," he said.

"And it doesn't matter how you win them; it just matters that you win them. And our job is to win. There wasn't a tremendous amount of fans here because they sell limited spectator tickets, but the people that were here had a good time. It was amazing celebrating with everybody in the winner's circle.

"And that throne is about coolest thing I've ever seen," he added of the assorted regal swag Long had arranged for each Sweet 16 winner, including the throne, a crown, cape and shoes, all in gold, of course, plus a unique winner's trophy featuring a spinning, bowling ball-sized globe magically rotating upon a clear base. "I'm going to put some casters on that thing. That's my new office chair. Any YouTube video that you see on my channel? That throne's going to be in it."

MO KNOWS - After winning Lights Out earlier this year, Mo Hall and his Fulton Racing Engines-powered '07 Corvette certainly had to be considered among the favorites heading into Sweet 16. The Laytonsville, MD-based pair certainly lived up to the billing with a third-place start and first-place finish Apr. 3, at South Georgia Motorsports Park.

After eight rounds of Pro 275 qualifying over Thursday and Friday, Shawn Ayers, driving a blown '69 Camaro for NFL star Fletcher Cox, secured the number-one position with a record-setting 3.667-seconds run at 203.61 mph, followed by Luis de Leon in a Manny Buginga-owned, Procharger-fed '03 Mustang at 3.68 and 201.40 mph, with Hall going a career-best 3.70 at 199.32 to wrap up third.

In round one of racing, Hall overcame a .014 holeshot by James Miron to advance with a 3.77, then moved on from round two with a 3.78 while Tony Aneian redlighted away his chances. His semi-final match against Ron Green was a traction-challenged affair, but also was over at the start as Green left too early while Hall pedaled his way to a 6.78-seconds run at 151.73 mph.

On the opposite side of the ladder, Adam Preston and his Procharger-boosted '69 Camaro survived from a 12th-place start to get by Brian Anderson and Eric Dillard with a pair of 3.78 runs, then also survived a fight for traction against top qualifier Ayers, winning with a 5.75 at 182.90 in arguably the biggest upset of the day.

In the final, Preston got away first with a significant .067 holeshot, but his 4.02 at 200.80-mph pass in the right lane just wasn't enough to hold of the 3.83 at 198.44-mph combination put together by Hall.

Afterwards, Hall gave all the credit for his second win at SGMP this year to his crew.

"I can't say enough about them. We have Eric Davis here, borrowed him from Jimmy and Cathy Halsey, and Joel Garrison, who's been working with me with me for a couple of years, and Alex Hayes, who's a young guy coming up, just learning this stuff," Hall said.

"And of course we have Brandon Switzer doing our nitrous tune-up. For the final it did exactly what Brandon told me to expect. Hold on, shut up, and don't red light! That guy, if you have a nitrous combination and you don't have his stuff on your car, you literally are just racing to be second. He's just a bad man."

SHANE STACKS UP - Driving the same '86 Monte Carlo he took to high school in Huntsville, AL, some 20-plus years ago, Shane Stack's Sweet 16 weekend began on a positive note, highlighted by a personal-best 3.98 at 192.80 mph in Friday's first Limited Drag Radial qualifying session that also marked his first three-second pass at a Duck X event. It also held up to give him a fifth-place start behind Steve Summers, who posted a record 3.93 at 192.25-mph qualifying run to lead the field into race day.

The rest of qualifying didn't go so well for Stack, though.

"At like 10:30 last night, I didn't think was going to be here," Stack admitted after a raucous victory lane appearance. "We went that 3.98 yesterday morning and then smoked the tires four times in a row. We were like, man, what is wrong with this thing?

"And then we looked at squiggly lines all night and didn't sleep thinking about what to do. And evidently we finally figured it out; we was trying to go a lot faster than we thought we was trying to go. So we turned it down quite a bit and went 3.99 in the first round (of eliminations)."

Stack sent fellow Alabama racer Neil Hawkins packing from that first round, then beat Eddie Harrison before taking on Taylor Lastor and his '98 Mustang out of Cleveland, TX, in the semi-finals.

Lastor left first with a slim .006 holeshot, but Stack's 4.019 was .007 quicker at the eighth mile stripe, adding up to a one-thousandth of a second margin of victory.

"That was my best race in quite a while," Stack said. "I saw him the whole way and really didn't know who won until I saw my win light. I mean, when we were approaching the finish line it was up for grabs. He said he never seen me until we went through the finish line."

That sent Stack to the final, where 10th-place qualifier D.J. McCain was waiting with his 2013 Cobra after beating Justin Martin, upsetting number-two starter Paul Gargus and Brian McGee, who was a no-show with engine trouble for the semis.

When the green light flashed in the LDR final, McCain gained a huge .083 advantage with a .018 light, but Stack stayed with it and powered through for a 4.03 win at 190.35 mph over McCain's 4.13 at 174.55 combo.

"I didn't realize I missed the tree that bad, but I did and he was on the tree and then he out 60-footed me, and man, he was out there a long way. I said to myself there, ain't no way I'm catching him," Stack recalled. "I mean, he was way out there. And then, he started coming back to me really fast and as he started coming back to me, I was like, I believe I got a chance to get him here. And I did."

Stack thanked CTR Race Cars, R&R Machine, Jose at Forced Induction Turbos,  his crew, his stepfather, Big Eddie, and Jake for their help. He also left SGMP impressed by the collection of trophies provided by promoter Donald "Duck" Long to each of the four class winners.

"We got all kinds of stuff," he pointed out. "I don't know if Donald hit up an estate sale for all those thrones, but they're definitely different and cool. So we got chairs, crowns, shoes, sashes, and we even got some cash. Got everything."

A TITANIC VICTORY - Alabama's Gary White and his Florida-based Titan Motorsports teammates are no strangers to the winners circle, but an X275 win at Sweet 16 4.0 marked their first experience with a Duck X Productions victory celebration.  

"It was a lot of fun, a lot of excitement. I like how they do things here," White said.

Ron Rhodes earned the top spot in qualifying with a class record elapsed time of 4.16 seconds at 171.21 mph, with White close behind at 4.18 and a class-leading 179.25 mph, just ahead of a 4.21 by Rob Goss in third.

The opening round of racing, though, saw Goss and his Hemi-powered '09 Challenger lower the ET record to 4.14 seconds in a win over Ken Quartuccio, but he was eliminated by traction trouble against Ryan McCain and his small-block-Chevy-equipped '71 Datsun in round two.

The '94 Toyota Supra in White's hands at Sweet 16 is the same car Titan team co-owner Nero Deliwala used 20-plus years ago as his daily driver on the streets of Orlando. The car is currently powered by a 3.2-liter (approx. 190 c.i.) Toyota 2JZ engine pressurized by a single 88-millimeter Precision Turbos unit. A five-speed manual transmission transfers approximately 2,300 horsepower to an independent rear suspension.

"The clutch locks up, so that's why we mile-an-hour so well," White said. "So it's a really cool deal, a lot of fun to drive."

He continued to have fun with a first-round win over Justin Curry's nitrous-injected '68 Camaro, going a little quicker at 4.17 and 181.01 mph that held up as top speed of the meet for the X275 class.

Next came a 4.18 at 179.37 win over the '89 Mustang of Norman Chang, followed by a 4.40 semi-final advancement over a redlighting McCain in a battle of the Sweet 16 imports. White later explained the transmission "dead headed" on the one-two shift when the gears didn't immediately mesh, costing him elapsed time.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the X275 ladder, Rhodes was a picture of consistency as he went 4.19 to get past Shane Heckel, ran 4.21 in beating Clint Downs, and 4.19 again over Dom DiDonato to advance and meet White in the final.

At the first hint of green against White, Rhodes posted an almost perfect or almost redlighting .001 reaction time, but quickly launched into a big wheelstand that ended with his car nearly taking flight.

"Yeah, we had it tuned up. We knew we had to, you know, to run that Titan car. But we kind of didn't go anywhere that we hadn't been yet, so I'm not really sure why it kinda' went skybound, but it really did," Rhodes said.

"I knew we were out in front of them and I didn't see him, so I'm riding it out as far as I could and I still didn't see him, but I just got to the point where I think it's up in the air and I had to chop the throttle. It actually came down nice and easy, but by then he came right up next to me and drove around."

Despite the attempted takeoff, Rhodes still ran 4.30 at 165.52 mph, but it was no match for the 4.19 at 180.19 that flashed over White as he crossed the finish line.

"I saw out the corner of my eye that Camaro standing on the bumper. And all I could think was, man, please just don't come over in my lane," White said. "But Ron is obviously a great driver because he pedaled it down pretty smooth and he wasn't done yet. He still made it interesting."   

White then thanked Titan team owners Nero and "Bottle" Deliwala, clutch guru Eric Lusinski and car chief Adil Adams for getting him to the Sweet 16 winner's circle.

"We've been racing together for a long time now and we're still having fun," he concluded.

REMEMBERING B-COP - Driving for Manny Buginga last year, Blake Copson was on top of the Duck X world, having won the X275 class in October at No Mercy 11, adding to his Duck X Magic 8 win earlier in the summer at Orlando. Tragically, the 27-year-old's life ended far too soon Mar. 6 this year and the entire Sweet 16 event Apr. 1-3, at South Georgia Motorsports Park was dedicated to his memory.

The Buginga Motorsports '03 Mustang that Copson drove to victory was on the grounds, too, wheeled by Ken Quartuccio, and the pits were filled with racers and fans alike wearing special "BCOP" memorial t-shirts and hoodies to acknowledge and celebrate Copson's life and the impact he'd made in just a short drag radial career.

Prior to second-round eliminations, Copson's car made a slow ceremonial pass down the right lane at SGMP amid silent prayers and thoughts for his family, friends and fellow competitors.

No one at SGMP that day knew Copson any better than Josh Ledford, his tuner, crew chief and closest friend at the track--and the man who flipped the starter's switch that triggered the tree for Copson's last ride.

"Blake was one of the most amazing people I have ever met," Ledford stated. "He called me 'Dad,' but his sister told me that he always said I was the big brother he never had. And that kid really was like family to me. To be honest, I don't even want to be at a race track without him now. I know he wouldn't want me to quit, but it was that boy that kept me motivated.

"Blake was half my age, but he taught me so much, too. He made me a better human being. I don't know exactly what it was, but just his aura changed me, if that makes any sense," Ledford continued. "He wasn't just a client to me; he and his family are a part of my family now and racing will never be the same for me without Blake Copson being here, too."

"So I'm still broken, but I will heal. I have to because I know that's what Blake would want. And as he would say: 'Team Tall Tops for life!' which not many will understand, but the closest of the close will get it for sure."

Another of Copson's closest allies and fans was Duck X owner and promoter Donald Long.

"What we loved about Blake Copson was that he was always smiling and he brought life to the winner's circle," Long said. "You know, he was always smiling and joking around. He just was, you know, he was the character that the sport needed. I just felt like it was a very, very hard blow to drag racing in general. Blake was the up-and-coming talent that we needed."

Echoing Long's impression, Duck X consultant Roger Conley said he'll always remember Copson's sincerity and positive attitude at the track.

"He appreciated everything he had. And for someone that young, I think that's a little bit special in today's world," Conley said. "And he had natural talent as a driver. When he got behind the wheel of a race car he was not very easily rattled. Which again, was very good for his age and for the amount of experience he had."

That Copson was a burgeoning talent was a common theme among drag radial racing veterans.

"To do what he did at No Mercy last year was pretty spectacular," said John Sears, national administrator of the X275 class. "Blake was a real talent and I certainly saw him moving on from what we do here to even bigger and better things, probably in Pro Mod or something similar with NHRA or PDRA or something like that.

"And he was cool under pressure. I remember I asked him about the fierce competition he faced in X275 and he just smiled and said it was some of best racing he'd ever been a part of."

Lee Sebring, lead announcer for Duck X Productions, reminisced about Copson as a young adolescent and marveling at his early success as a teenager behind the wheel of an Outlaw 10.5 car at Cecil County Dragway in Maryland. Then his father, Joe Copson, opted to graduate his son to wheelman of an X275 entry.

"To be honest, we were all nervous because Blake had never actually drove a real race car before, but he hopped in this thing and turned out he was naturally gifted," Sebring recalled. "So it was cool to see the kid actually get into a really fast car. And it was also just awesome to watch him interact with fans, interact with officials and all the friends that he made.

"He obviously had a good car connection with Manny's car, going pretty much undefeated. Just a great natural talent. And of course he'll forever be the Outlaw 10.5 champion because he was the last 10.5 champion, forever in our hearts."

RECORDS ROLL AT SWEET 16 - Drivers in all four classes at Duck X's Sweet 16 event reset elapsed time records to lead qualifying on Friday at South Georgia Motorsports Park. 

Daniel Pharris will start first in Radials vs. the World, Shawn Ayers took the top spot in Pro 275, Steve Summers leads Limited Drag Radial into eliminations, and Ron Rhodes placed first in X275 qualifying.

RADIALS VS THE WORLD - With the first-ever official run in the 3.40s, Daniel Pharris of Sperry, OK, steered his Steve Petty-tuned, Procharger-boosted '69 Camaro to the top of 13 entries in Radials vs. the World with a 3.498-seconds blast at 212.73 mph.

Following Pharris at the top of the list were Largo, FL's Bryan Markiewicz at 3.52 and 211.46 mph in a second Procharger-equipped '69 Camaro, and Jason Lee of Vernon, CA, with a 3.53 at 208.91 in yet another Procharger/'69 Camaro combo.

The first to break the string was Georgia's own Marcus Birt with a 3.56 at 204.01 with his Musi Engines nitrous-fed C7 Corvette, and fan-favorite "Stevie Fast" Jackson with his screw-blown 2015 Camaro rounding out the top five at 3.59 and 214.86 mph.

After suffering eight broken rocker arms, two bent lifters, and three bent valves at the close of a career-best 3.91 at 190.83 mph that placed him ninth on the list, Bobby Dodrill was forced to withdraw his wild, screw-blown Chevy K10 four-wheel-drive truck from competition.

PRO 275 - Twenty-two drivers made qualifying attempts for the Sweet 16 Pro 275 field and it was Mississippi's Shawn Ayers driving NFL star Fletcher Cox's supercharged '69 Camaro who finished on top with a record 3.667-seconds pass at 203.61 mph.

Also in a Procharger '69 Camaro was Fuel Tech's Luis de Leon of Ball Ground, GA, who placed second at 3.68 and 201.40, with Mo Hall and his nitrous-breathing C6 Corvette of Laytonville, MD, third at 3.70 and 199.32 mph.

After placing 19th on the final qualifying list, Texas-based J.D. Campbell and his '"Bad Fish" '68 Cuda were inserted into the end of the 16-car field as a replacement for sixth-place qualifier Roger Holder, who suffered a race-ending airborne accident in Thursday's second qualifying round. Campbell got the nod after the '93 S10 of fellow Texan Flaco Gonzalez withdrew with breakage and 17th-place holder Marty Stinnett tagged the wall with his Fox-body Mustang in his final qualifying attempt.
LIMITED DRAG RADIAL - All three top qualifiers in Limited Drag Radial set personal-best ETs, led by Rockdale, IL's Steve Summers and his twin-turboed '04 Mustang, which captured the top spot over 22 entries with a class record 3.933 seconds at 192.25-mph blast.

Remlap, AL's Paul Gargus was just 5-thousandths behind Summers with another 3.93 at 194.94 in his big-block turbo '69 Camaro, while California's James Lawrence and his '69 Camaro placed third with a 3.95 at 181.76 mph.
X275 - With 26 entries, the largest field at Sweet 16 delivered the first-ever all-sub-4.30 qualified field in X275 class history, led by a record 4.168-seconds run at 171.21 mph by Townsend, DE's Ron Rhodes and his '68 Camaro and anchored by Ken Quartuccio and his Buginga Motorsports '03 Mustang at 4.29 and 166.42 mph.

Alabama racer Gary White drove the unique Titan Motorsports '94 Toyota to a second-place start with a 4.18 at 179.25 mph, followed by Sheridan, WY's Rob Goss at 4.21 and 165.58 mph in his Hemi-powered '09 Challenger.

With the withdrawal of 14th-place Eric Laferriere after breakage in his '97 240SX, Justin Curry and his '68 Camaro (4.30/164.27) were inserted into the bottom of the field as first alternate.


FIRST OFFICIAL 3.40 GOES TO PHARRIS - Just nine passes into a return to racing after taking a couple of years off to focus on family and career, Daniel Pharris proved he's still the man to beat with a record-setting 3.498-seconds pass at 212.73 mph, marking the first-ever official run in the 3.40s on drag radial tires.

It placed Pharris and his Procharger-boosted '69 Camaro on top of a list of 13 Radials vs. the World qualifiers for promoter Donald Long's Sweet 16 event at South Georgia Motorsports Park. Halfway through a planned eight rounds of qualifying, Jason Lee was second at 3.53, Bryan Markiewicz held third with a 3.54, Steve Jackson fourth with the first non-Procharger qualifier at 3.60 in his screw-blown Camaro, and Marcus Birt leading the nitrous brigade with his C7 Corvette in fifth.

"You know it's good to come back with the same team I had before, I call them the dream team, Steve Petty, Tim Davis, Josh Watson, the whole Proline team. I mean, it's like one big family with these guys," Pharris said.

Making his return that much more impressive, Pharris revealed he'd never previously driven a supercharged car before arriving a SGMP for Sweet 16 Ver. 4.0.

"So this is kinda' harsh for me in many ways. The acceleration of these cars up front for the first 300 feet is way different than a turbo car," he explained. "They make a lot more power and it's a different kind of power, a different feel in the seat of the pants. But I like it."

Pharris also said he'd actually made a previous 3.49 pass in testing Monday at the all-concrete facility, but it felt even better to make it official.

"And we're gonna' try to go faster, too," he added. "Frankie Taylor set the world door car record several years ago at I think a .48 with a six or something, so I think we're going to try and beat that.

"Basically we've got three boxes to check: world record, number-one qualifier and win the race. So we've got one checked off and now it's on to the next day."

DODRILL DRAWS CLOSER TO 'DUCK TRUCK' RECORD - With a career-best performance Friday afternoon at South Georgia Motorsports Park, Bobby Dodrill wrestled his supercharged, full-size Chevy 4X4 pick-up to a 3.91-seconds pass at 190.83 mph. It placed him ninth on the list of Radials vs. the World qualifiers for Duck X Productions' Sweet 16 event.

It also marked the quickest four-wheel-drive, eighth-mile performance ever, but that's not quite enough for the Cocoa, FL-based racer.

"I'd been talking a little with Donald ("Duck" Long, promoter of Sweet 16 and two other major drag radial races at SGMP), about who has the fastest truck ever at any of his races. We joked it could be called the 'Duck Truck' record, but right now that's my goal," Dodrill says.

"I don't know if there's any official fastest truck list out there, and I know there are some other pretty fast trucks, but there is some, what can I say, maybe gray area in some of the numbers that have been posted. And I'm going to leave that at that.

"But I do know that when you run a Donald Long event, those numbers are official. They're real numbers, certified records. There's no gray area, there's no discrepancies," he adds. "But I'm still not sure if that 3.91 with a seven puts us at number one or number two on the Duck Truck list, but I do know it's fast for a four-wheel-drive refrigerator!"

It didn't come easy, though.

After struggling literally for decades with racing a truck that's survived at least three serious accidents and too many "incidents" to recall, Dodrill said its improved performance of late can be directly traced to the addition of new technology.

"Ever since we put a torque converter in it, we've never been able to get one capable of working correctly, but that has all changed," he says. "Ron Wolverton at Suncoast Diesel has come on board with us and after he put one of his billet lockups in it, it's made all the difference. We were showing less than four percent slip in fifth gear, which to us is just like winning the lottery."

Dodrill recognizes winning at Sweet 16 remains a distinct longshot, but the improved showing in qualifying has given him renewed enthusiasm and revised goals for the 2021 racing season.

"If we can do it before the summer months hit, when the weather gets bad and the tracks get hot, I believe we can make the truck go quite a lot faster," he suggests. "If we have an opportunity to get on a pretty good racetrack and have some decent air, I really think we have the hardware to go in the 3.70s with it. So really, I think the 3.90 is just the start of things to come."

CONVERTIBLE CONVERSION - The Sweet 16 4.0 was not so kind to Radial vs. The World competitor Brad Edwards. Edwards, who went into the Q-7 session as the No. 7 qualifier, lost the roof on his Mustang, and the incident will likely put him out of the weekend's event.

WHATEVER IT TAKES - One of the more unusual incidents in DuckX history came in round five of Sweet 16 RVW qualifying when the roof and rear window on Brad Edwards' 2010 Mustang suddenly peeled back and exploded in shards just as it passed halfway on the eighth-mile strip at South Georgia Motorsports Park.

"The run was going fine, went out to the crossover at half track, grabbed next gear and everything was good. Then all of a sudden it got really breezy and bright in the race car," Edwards said. "I knew immediately (the roof was gone) because it got very windy. And I was like, come on, you've got to be kidding me. So we made the best of it. My guys buckled down and we got it fixed back up."

It spurred a clever "necessity is the mother of invention" moment for Edwards and his Asheville, NC-based team. Faced with a brand-new, but not so aerodynamic convertible, they opted to fabricate a new rear "window" and roof.

"Our neighbor, Ed Rice, was going to have some damage on his trailer repaired anyway, so we cut the side out of his trailer for a new glass," Edwards explained. "And then we got some stock aluminum from our fab guy, stitched it all together with rivets and then covered it all with tape to keep it aerodynamic.

"We hope to make this the world's fastest trailer," Edwards quipped just before making his final qualifying hit, which ended in a big wheelstand and a shower of sparks when the patched-together Mustang regained its footing.

Regardless, Edwards will get another chance on Saturday, after qualifying seventh to face Jeff Miller and his "Bumblebee" Camaro in the opening round of eliminations.

KABOOM - Limited Drag Radial racer Neil Hawkins experienced an explosive run during Thursday's second qualifying run at the Sweet 16 4.0 event at South Georgia Motorsports Park outside of Valdosta, Ga. The team repaired the car and it was back in action the next morning for the fourth round of qualifying.

STACK STRIKES EARLY WITH 3-SECOND QUALIFIER - Shane Stack is a long-time veteran of Duck X Productions events at South Georgia Motorsports Park, but he'd never made a three-second run down the all-concrete eighth mile there. Until now.

Saturday morning at Sweet 16 Ver. 4.0, in the fourth of potentially nine rounds of qualifying, Stack steered his twin-turbocharged '86 Monte Carlo to a 3.98 pass at 192.80 mph that placed him fourth of 22 Limited Drag Radial entries. He'd previously managed the feat just once before.

"We knew we could do it and everything just came together on that run," Stack said. "I knew it was on a good one as soon as it took off."

Stack credited R&R Machine in his hometown Huntsville, AL, and Forced Induction Turbos for their contributions to the cause.

"Those guys give me so much help and support, so hopefully we can go a few rounds tomorrow and reward them," he concluded.   


LEE PACES EARLY - Jason Lee established his Camaro as the Radial vs. The World car to beat early. After establishing a 3.568 best in the opening session, he returned in Q-2 and laid down the best run of Thursday's three runs with a 3.539, 208.91.

LEE PACES EARLY - Jason Lee established his Camaro as the Radial vs. The World car to beat early. After establishing a 3.568 best in the opening session, he returned in Q-2 and laid down the best run of Thursday's three runs with a 3.539, 208.91.

HOLDER'S WILD RIDE - Drag Radial racer Roger Holder took a wild ride during the Q-3 session of the Sweet 16 4.0 event at South Georgia Motorsports Park. Holder emerged from his car on his own power, and was checked out by onsite medical and released.