Pro Extreme Eliminator superstar Bubba Stanton produced a string of runs which resulted in dropped jaws worldwide while winning the fourth Larry Jeffers Race Cars PX event of the season at Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, Texas, an all-concrete eighth-mile facility owned by Pro Extreme racers Clyde and Amanda Scott and operated by fellow PX champions Gaylen and Celeste Smith.
Stanton, a two-time World Champion in the category (2006 in the ADRL and 2014 in the PDRA), remains one of the quickest and fastest drivers in outlaw Pro Modified eliminator history with eighth-mile career-bests of 3.51 seconds and 218.54 mph. However, the Larry Jeffers Series at the Xtreme Raceway Park is one of the last places on the planet which offers a true “no rules” Pro Extreme program on a regular basis. The LJRC program runs monthly, (April through October), at the IHRA-sanctioned track and the sizeable payout still attracts the legends of the class, including Stanton and arch rival Frankie “Mad Man” Taylor.
While Stanton travels over five hundred miles from his home in Potts Camp, Mississippi, to each LJRC event at XRP, (located twenty miles south of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex), to face mostly Texas-based teams, he has claimed multiple victories over the past several seasons and set the PX track record at 3.54/215.72. The very fact the PX category continues, (despite collapsing under its own weight in virtually every association in which it was a staple), forces any team to travel to where their cars can compete.
For the fourth event of the 2023 LJRC series, (the first and third of which were rained out), Stanton loaded up his bright red Jerry Bickel Race Cars ’69 Camaro and headed for what would be another gunfight among the best of the last of the “outlaws” in Pro Modified. Using a Joe Hornick-built 525 cubic inch Hemi and a screw compressor with no restrictions, Stanton is accustomed to battling multiple racers under 3.6 seconds just to lead the eight-car qualified field. However, the corrected altitude for the first qualifying run on Friday evening was a horrible 3510 feet at a track which sits at a natural 459 feet above sea level.
Right out of the trailer, Stanton thrilled his many fans. As opponent Charles Letteer’s “Angry Bird” screw-blown Hemi-powered ’97 Trans Am ran 4.04 at 188.92 on the blazing hot surface, Bubba Stanton clocked a 3.58 at 213.47. Three pairs later, crowd favorite Frankie Taylor clocked a 3.582 at 210.28!
Two hours later, the corrected elevation dropped to 3000 feet, and Stanton found himself paired with “Mad Man” Frankie in Friday night’s second qualifying session. While Frankie overpowered the track, Stanton shot to the finish line and again clocked 3.58, this time at 213.68 mph, to remain the qualifying leader.
The third and final qualifying session at the LJRC series events is always run at 6:30 PM on Saturday evening. However, with the air temperature at 97 degrees and the elevation at 3977 feet, Stanton gambled nobody would eclipse his 3.58 best and stayed in the pit area. Stanton called it correctly. Only a handful of racers even got down the track with the only three-second pass clocked by Gaylen Smith’s “Texas Bounty Hunter” ’69 Camaro SS.
When eliminations for the eight-car PX field began two hours later, the atmospheric conditions were still horrific in 3632 feet of air. As low qualifier, Stanton faced bump spot owner Letteer, whose Firebird managed to clock three straight runs within sixteen thousandths of a second, including a pass during the blazing final qualifying session. Incredibly, Letteer picked up a full tenth of a second for the opening match of the race at 3.93/187 and tied it to an astounding 0.000 Reaction Time but still trailed behind yet another one of Stanton’s 3.58 passes at 213.47.
In the second round, Stanton took on another veteran of 3.5-second doorslammer racing, Tennessean John Sullivan and his screw-blown ’63 Corvette, which got into the field as an alternate but still advanced to the semi-finals. Despite a 0.016 RT from the red Stingray, Stanton improved on his first round 0.024 RT to a stellar 0.005 and, as Sullivan shook the tires, clocked…you guessed it…a 3.58 at 213.98.
For the event title in the Xtreme Outlaw Ironman Pro Mod Racing Series, Stanton would take on the third qualifier who also happened to be the defending series point champion. Doug Reisterer, the Victoria, Texas, legend whose Reher-Morrison Chevy Camaro was dominant almost twenty years ago in ADRL competition, still owns the state of Texas when it comes to lightweight, unblown nitrous oxide-injected machinery. Reisterer’s carbureted monster qualified with a 3.63/206.90, clocked a 3.65/205 in the opening round and then stopped Frankie Taylor in the semi-finals with a run which made Doug the eleventh quickest and fastest unblown doorslammer driver on the planet, a 3.61/207.09 which stopped Taylor’s shut-off 3.68 at only 193 mph.
Reisterer also entered the race leading the 2023 point standings. However, by the time the final round was staged, the conditions dropped under 3000 feet for the first time all weekend. Stanton took a miniscule four thousandths of a second advantage off the line but Reisterer’s bid to dip into the 3.50s with a nitrous car fell to tire shake while Stanton scored the victory was a slight improvement to a 3.57 at 214.29.
While the XRP series itself is one of the most entertaining in the current mix of NHRA, PDRA, NMCA, NEOPMA, WCPMA, MWDRS, ADRL and other versions of heads-up passenger car racing which have sprouted from the original Pro Modified Eliminator, nobody can dispute Bubba Stanton’s unprecedented string of eighth-mile shockers as possibly one of the greatest ever. From XRP’s own AccuTime electronic archives, (clocked to the ten-thousandth of a second), here are the five consecutive runs recorded within fifteen thousandths of a second over two days by the Mississippi Marvel:
Q1: 3.5807 at 213.47
Q2: 3.5808 at 213.68
E1: 3.5859 at 213.47
E2: 3.5850 at 213.98
E3: 3.5709 at 214.29