Jason Harris, Wine Racing Team Win September Big Dog Shootout
With what could almost be a bracket car, Jason Harris hurt a lot of feelings in winning the September edition of Piedmont Dragway’s Big Dog Shootout presented by Super Clean. This is all true however, there are new cars coming and the first one to appear almost spoiled the Harris’ team’s party. Let’s look at how it all came down, beginning with qualifying.
With $100 from both M&M Transmissions and Lee’s Collision, the No. 1 qualifier had even more to shoot for. First round of qualifying held few surprises with familiar names in the top spots. That is, all except one name familiar to fans and racers from past seasons when he was an event winner on multiple occasions. That driver is Matt Giangrande, back in a car he originally owned, sold and is now owned by partner Barry Mitchell. With a brand-new Fulton powerplant, backed up by a brand-new Mark Micke transmission, Giangrande and Mitchell only wanted to make some laps in the new combo. No surprise here as Giangrande skillfully went 4.11 at 178 in round one with others including Cam Clark at 4.08, Danny Perry at 4.09, Brian Shrader at 4.11, Travis Harvey at 4.08 and Mike Graham at 4.08. Oh yes, Jason Harris at 3.99 at 183, in the heat.
Continuing to perform like a bracket racer, Harris went 3.966 at 185 in Q2, with Giangrande improving to a 4.062. Others included Bubba Turner getting in the show at a 4.13.
After opening ceremonies that included the now-famous chip draw, the Wine team proceeded to run a 3.975 to defeat Cam Clark. First-round results gave us the following in the semis with Giangrande using a 4.09 to defeat a crossed up Travis Harvey while Harris ran a 5.953 at 185 to defeat Robbie Keziah.
The finals was a good one as Giangrande left on Harris, resulting in a 3.96 at 184 to defeat the Giangrande/Mitchell team in their debut after they ran a 4.04 at 181. Neither car required much attention between rounds and were both on a rail during eliminations. The win gave the Harris/Wine team the points title and someone got a real gem as the powerplant from this car has been sold. It’s awaiting a new billet 782 being prepared by Billy Albert.
A total of eleven cars were on the property to try to qualify for the highly competitive eight-car field with the Giangrande entry the only new one, so far. Others to come by the end of the season include the much-anticipated entry of Chris Rini, with power by Charlie Buck and owned by Bryant Mariner. Also to come are the cars of Tim Lawrence, Andy Beal and Charles Terrell.
The weather in August resulted in the whole month being an off month for the Big Dog cars, so an event will be schedule for October with the finals in November. Stay tuned.
As has been the case this season, the staff and management would like to thank the fans for staying true to the track, known as the “DoorSlammer Capital of the World” where the Big Dog is presented by Super Clean, with #1 qualifier receiving $100 from both M&M Transmissions and Lee’s Collision.
Also in competition were the O’Reilly Outlaw Door Slammers with Brian Crumpler driving a 5-year father-and-son project to what will definitely be the first of many wins. The car uses power by the Bobby Warren family and is a beauty. The Performance Tees 6.00 class was won by Todd Comer in his roadster. And finally the 7.49 Deep Creek Motors/Rico’s Real Street was won by former drag boat racer Brian Welch in his first drag race on pavement.
Story and photos by Greg Burrow