The First Annual Slingshot Nationals


Jim Post of the Front Engine Dragsters of America dreamed of a drag race that was all front-engined dragsters. It hadn't been done since the '60s. It came together at Ozark International Raceway on October 3 & 4. It came together despite the fact that it threatened to rain out the party, and despite the fact that it was the same weekend as the NHRA Topeka nationals, and despite rumors that it had been called off.

Ozark International Raceway is a 1,000 ft. strip near Springfield, Missouri. I wasn't used to a 1,000 ft. strip so the times and speeds didn't mean much to me. I guess that is lucky, since I forgot to write any of them down. The racing was done "heads up" in various brackets plus Top Fuel. Every car in competition was a front engined dragster or their bodied "Comp" equivalent except for "Dawson's Demon" AA/FA which ran in Top Fuel. It was very competitive, running "Nitro Neal" Basciglia in the Top Fuel final. I looked at it as sort of a "Wild Willie's Revenge" from the '69 Winternationals, when "Wild Willie" Borsch qualified the Winged Express Fuel Altered for Top Fuel and they wouldn't let him compete. Dawson's Demon lost the very close final, but it definitely did compete.

Flatheads were only represented by"Whitey" McDonald. But, I had a good time anyhow. I even had a conversation with Midwestern drag racing legend Stan Lomelino. Stan won many a Top Eliminator honor back when flatheads were the engine to have.

So here are some pictures: