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Shrader Delivers October Surprise, Wins Big Dog Shootout

With Jason Harris sewing up his first-ever Big Dog Shootout title after 13 years of trying, everyone knew going into the October event that anything could happen. Two-time champ Brian Shrader had been sneaking up on his combo of new Gene Fulton power but ruined a motor at the September event. With all this in perspective, 11 cars showed up for the event and, after some unfortunate breakage, eight cars made ready for first round qualifying that was super close and showed the interest is back for the series that made the name “Big Dog Shootout” known all over the country.

When qualifying was over, Brian Shrader was No. 1 at 3.933 with Jason Harris close at 3.936. Next was the Brett Nesbitt Camaro at 3.969. Fourth was Cam Clark with his new powerplant just acquired from the Travis Harvey/Vaughn Myles team at 3.984. Note here that Nesbitt became the eighth and final name on the big board recognizing the accomplishment of running a 3-second time in Big Dog competition. Congratulations to Nesbitt and his team. The No. 5 spot went to last month’s runner-up, Matt Giangrande in the Mitchell/Giangrande ’17 Camaro with his teammate, Robbie Keziah at No. 6. No. 7 went to the blower combo in the Nova driven by Mike Graham and No. 8 to Bubba Turner at a 4.061 at 183.67 mph. Turner was sporting new sponsorship from Mark Neville, owner of Nevco products, and we all welcome him to our family.

After the chip draw, pairings resulted in the first race of the first round being quite possibly the closest race of the season and pitted the two-time points champ against the soon-to-be-crowned 2020 champ. That is Jason Harris was to line up against Brian Shrader. The race did not disappoint. With Shrader leaving on a .044 light to Jason’s .049 we could only watch the scoreboard as Shrader ran a 3.929, a holeshot win over Harris’ 3.925. We said it did not disappoint. Next Mike Graham put a .019 light on Nesbitt to advance while Clark ran a single as Giangrande developed an unfortunate oil leak. Giangrande’s teammate, Keziah, ran a 3.99 over Turner.

The semis went as follows: Keziah used a 3.984 to defeat Graham and Shrader used a 3.934 to defeat a very close Cam Clark’s 3.986.  The finals resulted in Shrader setting a new track et record at 3.914 over a very close Robbie Keziah who ran a 3.97. In winning this month’s event, Shrader moves to second in points with Travis Harvey still in third and Keziah moving to fourth. The final event will recognize Brian Shrader’s #1 qualifying effort, setting a new ET record and winning the event. Piedmont Dragway, the “DoorSlammer Capital of the World” would like to thank present sponsor Super Clean products, which unfortunately was used twice on this evening, and sponsors of Low Qualifier Award Lee’s Collison and Mark Micke’s M&M Transmissions. Looking through the field the M&M combo is THE transmission to have and we all hope Mark can visit with us soon.

The other eliminators, with their points, were won by former Big Dog competitor, RB Smith, in Outlaw Door Slammer, presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts, and also gave RB the points lead. In Performance Tees 6.0 category, Ray Anderson defeated Rickey Clark’s Vega, putting Ray second in points behind Todd Comer and right in front of Charles Wright. Kyle Shipmon won the 7.49 Rico’s Real Street eliminator presented by Deep Creek Motors and to no one’s surprise, is leading the points over Jeff Dalrymple.

Piedmont’s November event will be contested on November 7, a Saturday, and looks to be the best race of the year with new cars being finished, as we speak. Hope to see you all there.

This story was originally published on October 10, 2020. Drag Illustrated

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