The August 2018 Big Dog Shootout at historic Piedmont Dragway was to provide many twists and turns to the end of this season that has seen three different winners. One of those drivers had a chance to make history by being the only driver in the series to accomplish the “triple”, or three in a row. With Cam Clark winning two events in the same day during the July event, a series of events would have to all come together, but it could be done. As we know, the young driver from Reidsville, NC, now shares the honor of two in a row with Chris Rini, a feat accomplished in 2012.
Qualifying was important as there were 13 drivers with cars to take a time, so you had to make the field and it was Brett Nesbitt serving notice that he was a player as he was No. 1 with a 4.038, with Clark second at a 4.054. This was followed by Brian Shrader with a 4.068 and Jason Harris in fourth with a 4.073. Defending season champion Tim Lawrence was fifth at a 4.083 and Travis Harvey had Jack Gaddy’s Camaro in at a 4.088 for sixth. Rounding out the field in seventh was Danny Perry with a 4.126 and Justin Wall last with a 4.172. Five cars did not make the show with those being Tommy Payne, Shannon Wilson, Bubba Turner, Ron Whitlock, and Scott Lang.
In the first round of eliminations, Lawrence used top mph of the event, 180.28, to defeat Harris, Harvey defeated Payne with a 4.088, Clark put down a 4.046 and a .029 light to defeat Perry and Nesbitt used a 4.039 to defeat Justin Wall.
The semis had Clark with the best light of the event, a .018, and a 4.052 to defeat Harvey and Nesbitt used a holeshot .039 to defeat Lawrence’ .073 light but quicker ET.
With the stage set for young Mr. Clark to become the first Big Dog competitor to win three in a row, he and Nesbitt staged for an inconclusive lap with Clark breaking and Nesbitt idling through the eighth-mile to win his first for the 2018 season. The prizes for the night included the coveted “Dog”, a nice winner’s check and an additional sum, contributed by all eight qualifiers.
In the Dash for Cash, Bubba Turner made a 4.037 lap, while Shannon Wilson got crossed up and Justin Wall put down a 4.039, a career-best performance.
Other winners for the evening included 6.0 winner Mike Sigmon using a string of near-perfect 6.0’s to win over Jason Marshall. Sigmon’s former Bill Jenkins SRD Monza was unstoppable all evening. Outlaw Door Slammer winner was Robert Richardson over Marty Wright, and Jeff Dalrymple ran a 7.518 on a 7.49 dial to defeat Kyle Shipmon.
Don’t forget in September, these same drivers will be competing for the first-ever “Wally” and a “Dog”. With this being the absolute first time in the 21-year history of the Big Dog Shootout for a driver to possibly win this coveted NHRA trophy, the competition is sure to be intense.
For more info and schedule, be sure to check out the Piedmont website: www.piedmontdragway.com.
Story and photos by Greg Burrow