Some of the fastest Fuel Altered drag racers took over Eddyville Raceway Park for the 17th annual Quick Performance World Fuel Altered Nationals. Billed as the “biggest Fuel Altered race in the world,” the event didn’t disappoint, even though qualifying was rained out Friday. It was full of super-charged nitro racers battling it out for the coveted championships.
In the “A Field,” Mark Hunter of Tyler, Texas, was second off the starting line with a 0.164 reaction time but first to the finish line stripe. He drove “Jailbreak” around Neal Hinman after his car lost traction. Hunter clocked a 3.938-second run at 172.81 MPH.
It was Hunter’s first appearance at the World Fuel Altered Nationals, making the 15-hour trip from Texas. Nonetheless, he proved what perseverance means after battling a few unexpected problems during the event.
“We got ready to warm the car up Saturday morning, and it wouldn’t start,” Hunter explained. The “Jailbreak” pilot and his crew got the battery changed, but another curveball came when Hunter pulled up for the first round qualifying. “It spun at almost the hit of the throttle, and I pedaled it. It jumped off the ground, and I pedaled it again, jumped off the ground again. I eased into it again, and it went down the track.”
Hunter was able to calm the car down for round two of qualifying and worked his way through the field to score his first-ever World Fuel Altered Nationals win. “We took care of business. It was a great weekend,” Hunter said.
Hunter continued to say they’ll be back next year and had a great weekend overall. “The facility was amazing. Special thanks to all the crew and workers in Eddyville for the awesome job they did,” he said. “We were very happy with our trip and everything.”
The Texas native also credited his team for their success. “Special shoutout to our crew for the race car and all the help they did. None of this would be possible without their help,” said Hunter.
In the “B Field,” John Umlauf took home top honors. He entered the weekend as the defending “A Field” champion but was placed in the “B Field” after his qualifying runs. Umlauf had the starting line advantage with a 0.050 reaction time. Umlauf had to pedal his Fuel Altered, named “Mass Chaos,” about halfway down the track. However, he kept the lead against Billy Seals and pulled off a 4.449-second pass at 133.02 MPH.
Many well-known Fuel Altered cars appeared at the Quick Performance World Fuel Altered Nationals. WFAN regular Anthony Whitfield brought out “Mighty Mouse.” Defending “B Field” winner Kurt Duckworth also entered his super-charged nitro burner and 2020 “A Field” winner Jody Austin also made the trip to Eddyville Raceway Park.
Hunter plans to round out his season by heading to Admore, Oklahoma, for the fourth stop on the Outlaw Fuel Altered’s schedule. Then to Ennis, Texas, for the Outlaw Fuel Altered race at Funny Car Chaos in October.
Photos courtesy Gregg Teel