Pete Epple Technical Editor
April 1, 2009
Photos By: Jeff Wernes
Alex Vrettos (far lane) and Chris Little (near lane) square off in Saturday's Drag Radial qualifying. Low 7-second cars on D.O.T.-legal radials with no wheelie bars make for an exciting show.

Once a year the bad boys of Outlaw-style drag racing come together for a winner-take-all, heads-up event at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. It's known as Shakedown, and it's one of the hottest events in the Outlaw ranks. For 2008, the event stretched over two days and racers battled for cash, bragging rights, and the chance to set a record on the famous strip.

Shakedown at E-town for 2008 was sponsored by Al-Anabi Racing, presented by Speedtech, and it did not disappoint. The combined $65,000 purse brought out the best in nitrous and blown Pro-Mod, Outlaw 10.5, Heavy Street, Drag Radial, and 8.50 index classes.

The action started Saturday morning with almost 200 racers trying to qualify for Sunday's show. The combination of cool October air and near-perfect track conditions laid the groundwork for the first five-second e.t. in nitrous Pro-Mod, and multiple elapsed time records in Drag Radial.

David Wolfe of Fort Worth, Texas, ran 7.21 at 201 mph to qualify Number One in the D.O.T.-legal tire class. Saturday's Outlaw 10.5 time-trial sessions also played host to a three-round match race between Mustang racing standouts, Tim Lynch and Billy Glidden. Even though Lynch didn't win the impromptu race, he still managed to grab the Number One spot with a 6.54 at 218 mph.

With a slew of Fords spread throughout the classes, it was time for the drivers to climb back into the cars for Sunday eliminations. Round after round of wheelstanding action made for an incredible day of drag racing. At the end of the weekend, the Blue-Oval boys put on a strong showing in Heavy Street and the 8.50 index classes, and took home top honors in both the Outlaw 10.5 and Drag Radial classes. Joe Newsham laid down a 6.81 run at 213 mph, and in the process inched out Ray Johnson's 6.91 at 207 mph in an all-Ford Outlaw 10.5 final. After setting a new elapsed time world record of 7.18 in Drag Radial, Dave Hinzman went on to defeat Glennie Buckler in another all-Ford final. It was a very successful weekend for the Ford driver taking the Number One qualifying spot and the win in two classes.