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Off The Top Bulb: Derek Clark, Glenn Ferguson Pick Up Wins at American Door Slammer Nationals

Chip Bralley photos

Benson, North Carolina’s GALOT Motorsports Park hosted the Loose Rocker Promotions’ 12th Annual American Door Slammer Nationals on November 16-19, 2023, as the event continues to attract huge racer support, with Saturday’s main event featuring 442 entries. 

[Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in DI #186, the Photo Annual Issue, in Jan/Feb of 2024.]

Things got kicked off on Thursday night with test and tune, as racers readied their equipment for the kickoff of eliminations on Friday, with $10,000 to win up for grabs. It was a challenging opening day of eliminations with parts failure and clean-ups, not to mention a pair of pop-up showers that arrived despite a near-perfect weekend weather forecast. With well over 400 entries on Friday, the decision was made to split the purse after round 3 when the curfew was reached on Friday night.

While Saturday brought great weather, it also produced fresh challenges to overcome. “We were hampered with multiple parts failures and extended delays in the action, but the GALOT staff kept pushing forward as we whittled our way down to 39 entries and once again reached our curfew,” says Anthony Walton, Loose Rocker founder. 

The decision was made to run the remaining 39 entries on Sunday morning and crown Saturday’s $20K main event winner on Sunday. In the end, Derek Clark drove his chop-top Olds Cutlass to victory when he defeated Nick Ross, driving a Chevy Monza. 

For Sunday’s final $20K thriller, veteran racer Glenn Ferguson put on a spectacular driving job on the final day. By the time the semifinals rolled around, Ferguson was still doubled, and since he wasn’t paired with himself, he’d have to hold off Gray Kimble and “Slick” Rick Oxford to claim at least one spot in the finals. 

Not to be denied, Ferguson marched on to victory, and was crowned Sunday’s $20K champion and runner-up! His latest win is added to a decorated career that includes more than 30 IHRA national event trophies and multiple IHRA world championships from decades past, not to mention many track championships along the way. 

“This race has become the largest top-bulb, door-car-only race in the country, and I tip my hat to the entire staff of GALOT Motorsports Park for their tireless efforts to host this event,” commented Walton. 

One final Loose Rocker event at nearby Piedmont Dragway in Julian, North Carolina, capped off the Loose Rocker schedule for 2023, and was completed the following weekend after the GALOT event with the running of the 15th annual Fall Footbrake Frenzy.

This story was originally published on March 15, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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