Funny Car Chaos Post Event

August 30th, 2023

   Story courtesy of:  MIR


MECHANICSVILLE, MARYLAND – (August 30th 2023) – Funny Car Chaos (FCC) made its East Coast Debut at Maryland International Raceway (MIR) August 25th and 26th. FCC also brought the return of the Legends at Budds Creek event. Forty Funny Car’s would pre-enter to the event with more than thirty arriving to MIR and putting on a show to remember!

Funny Car

A combination of Nitro and Alcohol cars would line up ready to hit the track for the first time on Friday night. The sun would set, the lights would come on, and the 8pm qualifying stage would be set. Melinda King, of Norfolk, VA, with her Alcohol-fueled 2020 Camaro Funny Car would take the top spot at a 3.845 at 199.55 MPH setting the Funny Car 1/8th mile track record. King’s time on top of Qualifying would last until Saturday afternoon when the Nitro huffing 2003 Firebird piloted by James Gifford, from Taflon, PA, would rocket to the top of leaderboard at a 3.768 at 208.23 MPH to reset the track record. While no one would top Gifford in Qualifying, all eyes would be on DJ Cox, from Whiteford, MD, with his Alcohol Funny Car. While he would struggle in the first two qualifying attempts, he would move up to the number two spot at a 3.768 at 206.13 MPH. The top placing Nostalgia Nitro car would be Jon Wall, Halifax, MA, in his 1978 Ford Mustang running a 4.053 at 159.83 MPH which would be good for the number four spot. The top placing Nostalgia Alcohol car would be George Reidnauer with the 1974 Chevrolet Vega going a 4.111 at 181.08 MPH.

Eliminations would bring fantastic side by side action with each pass just as exciting as the next. The finals would set a stage with drama and upsets as each pairing would be just as great as the next. The D Field would be the first set up. Delbert White with the Carolina Outlaw 1999 Firebird from Jamesville, NC, and Drew Sweetman with the Frantic Ford 1977 Mustang from Elkton, MD. White saved his best pass of the weekend for the final going a 4/598 at 150.40 MPH but would still come up short to Sweetman who ran a 4.527 at 160.84 MPH to take the win.
The C Field would see Cody Helger with the Dazed and Confused 1969 Camaro from Little Compton, RI, and Chris Massarella with the Total Insanity 1976 Monza from Lake Hiawatha, NJ line up next to each other. Massarella would leave the line first and Helger would be able to drive around him to take the win. Massarella would leave with a .092 reaction time (R/T) going a 4.373 at 165.82 MPH. Helger would be a .132 R/T but a quicker 4.284 ET at 164.97 MPH to be able to hoist the trophy in the winners circle.

The B Field final would set up a race to be remembered with Gary “Little Bear” Pritchett, Avon, IN, and Wayne Hoffman, New Preston CT. Pritchett was handling driving duties for the iconic Bunny and the Boys 2000 Avenger the same weekend as the Tribute for the former car owner and late Bunny Burkett and Bear Pritchett. Hofmann would put on a clinic hitting the tree in the final with a .019 R/T, to give himself a shot at pulling off a holeshot win. Pritchett would be much later with a .119 R/T, but would put up a jaw dropping 3.964 at 184.40 MPH to take the win compared to the 4.192 at 169.23 MPH.

The A Field final would see the #1 and #2 qualifiers with Gifford and Cox, Nitrous VS Alcohol, PA VS MD, etc. Gifford would kick Cox over to the right lane where Cox has struggled on two of his three qualifying attempts. Cox would leave the line first with a .063 R/T and Gifford would start the race behind with a .110 R/T. Cox would take the stripe on a holeshot running a 3.741 at 207.62 MPH and Gifford would go up in smoke at the finish line mustering a 3.708 at 202.12 MPH.

Funny Car A Field Funny Car B Field
Drew Sweetman Cody Helger
Funny Car C Field Funny Car D Field
Gary “Little Bear” Pritchett DJ Cox


Burnouts for Bunny and Bear Tribute

The Burnouts for Bunny and Bear would see ¼ mile record holder for a Nitro Altered Dan Pettinato from Fountain Inn, SC, take the number one qualifying spot running a 3.899 at 193.79 MPH. Only two other drivers would make it to the three second zone, K

urt Duckworth, Weirton, WV, with his Altered ran a 3.953 at 183.05 MPH, and Bruce Mullins, Fredricksburg, VA, with his 2021 Top Alcohol Dragster ran a 3.959 at 184.27 MPH.

Once the two rounds of qualifying was complete, the field would be split into two. Kurt Duckworth would see Dan Pettinato in North Vs South all Altered final. Duckworth would take the win over Pettinato going a 3.959 at 182.82 MPH over Pettinato’s 4.423 at 161.61 MPH. The B Field would see the front engine dragster of Bruce Hacker of Seagrove, NC, take the win over Ray Urban.

Tribute A Field Tribute B Field
Kurt Duckworth Bruce Hacker

Nostalgia ET Classes

In the Nostalgia AA class, Michael Leizear Jr, of Waldorf, MD, would take on Jake Milstead, of Mechanicsville, MD, in the final. Leizear would take the win after Milstead would be -.003 on the tree. In the Nostalgia BB class, David Whitlock, of Mechanicsville, VA, would take the win over Pat Brewer, of Lebanon, PA, who had issues leaving having a .454 R/T compared to Whitlock’s .027. In the runoff for the $1,000 bonus between Leizear and Whitlock, Whitlock would take the win.

Nostalgia AA Nostalgia BB Nostalgia Runoff
Michael Leizear Jr David Whitlock David Whitlock