Ron Tuttle's up next with a Competition Orange Cyclone, powered by the 370hp 429 Cobra Jet. It's got the Top Loader four-speed and 3.50:1 Traction-Lok gears. It qualified with a 14.37 e.t.
Ron's paired up with Paul and Tami Panczuk's '69 Hurst/Olds, a 455-powered supercar with 380 hp on tap, easy-to-launch Turbo 400 automatic transmission, and 3.23:1 Posi-traction gears. Paul qualified the Olds with a 14.36.
Round One: this one's over as soon as it starts-dual redlights. The race goes to the driver who fouled the least, in this case, Ron, his .448 reaction time versus .327 for the Olds. This is when a low reaction time can bite you in the posterior. Even so, they stay in the gas and make it a race. The Cyclone outruns the Hurst/Olds, 14.19 at 98.14 mph to 14.38 at 96.11 mph.
Round Two: Ron eases up and leaves on a .872 tree. Paul cuts down the tree with a blazing .509 and hustles through the first 60 feet with a 2.15 to put the Hurst/Olds out front by a half second. Everything's going Paul's way. Ron plays hard to catch up. It's a clean, close race that ends with the Hurst/Olds barely holding off the hard-charging Merc. The e.t.'s: Olds, 14.27 at 96.13 mph; Merc, 14.35 at 98.31 mph. Tie-breaker, here we come.
Round Three: A better reaction time would have won Round Two for Ron. He knows this and tries to squeeze the light, only to draw the dreaded red eye. Too bad, because Ron had him covered. The foul gives game, set, and match to the Hurst/Olds.