Vintage Racing headlined the night at Greer Dragway
Dale Wilkerson July 2011
Race fans enjoyed a trip down memory lane last Saturday night at the Greer Dragway as front engine dragsters, nostalgic nitro burning funny cars, and old school gassers joined the regular divisions of racing.
The Gates opened at high-noon and it wasn’t long before the parking and pit areas began to fill up to near capacity. Race teams began to unload their cars to prepare for the busy day of racing. Crews set up tents to provide a little shade. Race fans, many with cameras in hand, began to walk from pit stall to pit stall to get a look at the cars and perhaps talk with some of the drivers to learn about the different types of cars.
Among the cars catching a lot of attention was the 1955 Chevrolet of Easley’s Greg Porter. The car was painted a dark shade of green with ‘old school’ black lettering on the sides including the name of the car; The Nightstalker.
“This car was first raced back in 1965 by Dude Moore. We were able to buy this car from him and it is pretty much period correct,” said Greg Porter. “A lot of race fans, the young fans especially, didn’t have the chance to see cars like this race and there are several racers that are working hard in hopes of getting older cars restored and race ready for next season,” Porter said.
Keeping his car period correct is very important to Greg Porter; he even made sure his old-school ride receives an old school ride to and from the track. His hauler is also a show piece.
“This truck is a ’49 model and it is similar to what many racers used back in the day and I get as many comments about the truck as I do the car!” Porter said with a smile.
Porter faced off with Quain Stott in a pair of match races that brought that had fans flocking to the fence for a better view or rising to their feet in the bleachers. Stott was able to score wins in the races but both drivers enjoyed putting on an old school race for the fans. Porter then battled with The Westside Boys and the ‘Dirty Deuce’ Chevy Nova. Bobby McCallister was able to pick up the win by a bumper.
A pair of Nitro-Funny Cars was also on hand. Greg Jacobsmeyer from St Louis, in a 1970 Dodge Challenger, faced off with the 1969 Dodge Charger of Troy Ray from Knoxville, TN. Ray, a long-time racer compared his trip to Greer to another famous South Carolina raceway after he brushed the outside wall on his first pass in his Charger named ‘Wildside.’
“That pass was a little on the wild side! The car bit hard and hooked on me. I didn’t hit the wall hard and I thought to myself on the return road that I am in South Carolina and I kind-a picked up a Darlington Stripe here at Greer!” Ray said with a chuckle. His Dodge had a few scuff marks on the left side and the exhaust pipes were slightly bent but he was able to continue. Jacobsmeyer, a winner on the IHRA tour this season, won the series of match races.
The front engine cars were also a fan favorite Saturday night as these drivers battled wheel to wheel. “That is our history, that is how the modern rail cars were developed by the drivers and mechanics that built those and continued to improve on them over the years,” said racer and part-time track announcer Hank Guyton.
Guyton picked up a preliminary win as his rail motored down the track the quickest in the Dash for Cash, held each week before the elimination rounds began.
Jeremy Hancock of Commerce, GA scored the win in the Pro Division as CJ Tapp of Greer had a problem as he staged his car. “This Vega was great today, my crew worked hard to get us to the final round. I hated to see CJ have trouble because it was going to be a good race,” said Hancock.
Jim Wood picked up the win in Footbrake driving his 1971 Chevelle-SS over Justin Buchanan. “The old car ran well today and this will give us some momentum heading in to the races at Bristol next weekend,” said Wood.
Kami Holder charged her was past Nate Halsey to score the win in Junior Dragster. Halsey, in his first year, had a huge lead at the start of the race due to the dial-in speeds but Holder was patient as she waited on the green-light before dropping the hammer.
“I had to really concentrate on my light and not think about the other car leaving early. My step-dad works hard to give me a good car and tonight it was great!” said a very excited Kami Holder post race.
The final round in the Teen Championship division came down to Colt Leopard and Katie Pace. Pace, driving an Acura left just a little early which tripped the red-light handing the win to the Ford F-150 of Leopard.
“This is a great division and it is helping us, as young racers, learn the ropes to prepare for future events,” said Leopard.
The Greer Dragway is open each Thursday night from 6:00pm until 10:00pm for test runs and grudge racing. What do you need to make a pass down the track on Thursday nights? You will only need a vehicle and a helmet.
The gates open each Saturday at 12-noon for the weekly racing series with elimination rounds starting at 5:30pm. If it has been a while since your last trip, make plans to attend an upcoming race at the Greer Dragway soon.