2014 Bunker Hill

by Rich Berlisk and Bob Wilkiewicz
Nostalgia Super Stock Inc. Staff

BUNKER HILL, Ind. – In the qualifying, it was a reminder of the risk and in the final race, a black-and-white snapshot.

Bill White in the white 1965 ‘We Haul’ Chevelle slipped past a hole-shooting Joe Zajac in the black 1963 Pontiac ‘Rompin’ Redskin’ to rake in the victory in the final runoff at the Bunker Hill Shootout July 19 for Nostalgia Super Stock Inc.

Zajac, who took top trial honors for the event with a 5.92 in the first qualifier, took a 0.1138 to 0.3210 reaction time advantage but saw it slide away by half track. “I put it in third gear and felt the clutch start to slip,” said Zajac, who had gone 5.96 in the second session to be the most consistent car in the 12-car field on a track hard to get a handle on all evening. Zajac went on to finish with a 6.0811 at 111.44 mph. White, who went by to write 5.6530 at 122.92 over the 1/8-mile on his time ticket for best ET and speed in the NSS portion of the meet.

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The narrow track, built in 1956, proved hard to handle in power producing conditions of moderate ambient temperatures and density altitudes in the 2000 to 2700-foot range all evening. Larry Quinn, 2012 R/U with his 1962 ‘Blast From The Past’ Pontiac, couldn’t grab a firm hold onto the surface, stumbling in the staging lights for no time in the first session and then slipping and sliding to a 6.30 in the second session in the best-two format.

In the second-to-last pair in the second qualifier, Pete Stamm’s 1963 Pontiac Tempest ‘Injunuity’ broke loose at the hit and headed for the right hand guardrail before he got out of it to straighten up and motor out to a 9.36. This compared to his 6.17 run in the first session. “When I saw what happened to Pete, I knew I was in trouble,” said Quinn.

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In the fourth pair of the first session, Wayne Kiemig in the 1965 Mercury ‘Kansas Comet’ had had the first sign of trouble, also stumbling in the staging beams and getting no time before losing second gear and ballooning to 6.73 in his second attempt. But the worst situation of the evening came as White (left lane) and Mike Singleton (right lane) squared off in the final pair of the first qualifier.

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Leaving heads-up, the two were neck-and neck until Singleton went past the 60-foot clock and then immediately went left full rudder, his driver side door facing the starting line and a cloud of dust in his wake. Somehow he kept his 1963 S&S Auto sponsored Dodge in the middle of the track and upright until White rolled by and then came back across the right lane, tagging the steel guard rail with the passenger door. Bouncing off the rail, he went back across the track and tagged the left guard rail with the driver door before finally coming to a stop near the finish line. After medical examination, Singleton was certified not to be physically injured.

There was no sign of engine, transmission or driveline damage and/or fluid loss and the cage remained intact, with the car sustaining primarily sheet metal damage to three sides. It was towed back to the pit and rolled into a trailer. Subsequent review of a video showed at one point during the sequence, the car was on only one wheel (right front) while moving sideways down the track, almost but not quite rolling over.

Other performances included dependable Doug Henderson and reliable John Rousset wheel-to-wheel at 6.45 and 6.44 to two 6.48’s, in their ‘Never Too Late’ 1964 and ‘Hard Days Night’ 1963 Plymouths, respectively. “I slipped a little in the second session,” said Rousset.

In his first event after a three-year absence, Craig Pfohl started his 20th season in his 1967 ‘Lil Boss’ Sox and Martin tribute Plymouth by posting two smooth runs, 6.75 and 6.77. “Just a little nervous before the first one but it (all the the driving stuff) comes back pretty quick, “said Pfohl.

In the ‘Agitator’ 1964 Plymouth, Dale Chenoweth put 6.34 and 6.36 on the board.

Gerry Gostenik and his 1961 Chevrolet bubble top posted a slowing 6.90 in the second session while Tom Cartwright went 7.74 and 7.62 in the 1964 ‘Polara Missile’ Dodge.

Copyright 2014 by Nostalgia Super Stock Inc.

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