Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
September 6, 2013

Drag racing has always been an act of rebellion. The general population doesn't get why someone would invest time and money to see how quickly a car can get from Point A to Point B. Since the beginning, drag racers have always been looked at as a band of outlaws that we're only out to raise a ruckus and cause trouble.

They might be onto something because we do like tearing up some pavement, and make some noise while we're at it. We're not out to cause any harm though. All we want to do is put the person in the other lane on the trailer by getting from point A to point B first. Is that so wrong? Of course it isn't.

These days, drag racing has, for the most part, become an organized sport. Major sanctioning bodies have churched-up the sport to acceptable, and profitable levels. However, you take all the people who still thrive on that outlaw persona, and guess what you have?! You have a race like DuckX Productions' Lights Out 4: Unfinished Business, that's what you have.

At Donald "Duck" Long's events, it's more an event, not just a race. Better yet, it's a show. With $10,000 up for grabs, racers are willing to put it on the parachute mount to get to the next round. There's no lift in these racers so you are guaranteed a show when you go to a Duck race. Although it rained the Friday and Saturday of Lights Out 4, a Duck race usually has other events within the event. There's usually a kids big-wheel race, and you should see some of the hot-rodded trikes just for that. For Lights Out 4, Donald scheduled a bench press competition, but the rain put a damper on those festivities.

Because of Friday and Saturday's rain, everything was focused on racing on Sunday, when the clouds finally allowed the sun to shine through. One round of qualifying went down Thursday night, but classes became an all-run format to make sure everyone had a chance to race. Classes included Radial vs. The World, Outlaw Drag Radial, Outlaw 10.5, X275, Outlaw 275, Ultimate Street, Leaf Spring, and a few index classes. Racers are allowed to enter multiple classes, and many take that opportunity to make as many laps as possible, and increase their chance of winning.

Unfortunately, due to rain most of the day Friday and all day Saturday, in the trailer is where Billy “Ticket Taker” Driscoll’s breathtaking Fox GT spent most of its time. And if anyone needed X275 test time it was Billy. He’s been trying to sort out his combo, attending the event early to get some test hits, but his first-round exit confirmed he still has some work to do. Billy runs a 434ci with Brodix Neal heads and a Precision turbo, but he needs to work on converter slip, and possibly try a different exhaust housing on the big single. If it’s any consolation, this author still maintains the Ticket Taker’s GT is one of the nicest Mustangs at any drag strip he attends, Billy just wishes it was a few tenths quicker through the eighth.

The thing about Duck's races that we're not really used to is the blasphemy that is a horde of BrandX-powered Mustangs. At Ford-only drag races, we take for granted that every Mustang has a Ford engine, but at Duck's races we have to be diligent in our investigative reporting to see what's under the hood. That also means a Mustang is not guaranteed to win each class, but there's no way we can ignore the outlaw racing movement, and Lights Out 4 Unfinished Business was a race we had to attend. Keep reading to see why. 5.0

Horse Sense: Before you read any further, go to YouTube.com and search for Jere Etheridge. We never were able to get a good shot of Jere's big-block Ford Mustang, but you'll see all you need to know on YouTube.

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We were also able to catch up with our ol’ buddy Bart Tobener at Lights Out 4. Bart’s new car runs a single-turbo Four-Valve 5.4, and he hopes to diversify the car to the point where he can run multiple races near his Winder, Georgia, hometown. Unfortunately, Bart also found the road tough going in X275 without any test time, but we’re sure he’ll get the car going rounds soon enough.