Stevie “Fast” Jackson predicted it and as he is often apt to do, the dynamic star backed it up.
This time, though, he had company.
Jackson and Marcus Birt put a pair of incredible numbers on the scoreboard during the Radial vs. the World final round at the Shakedown in Virginia. Birt went red to hand the victory to Jackson – continuing his remarkable season – but there was plenty of magic after that.
Jackson and Birt delivered the quickest side-by-side pass in RvW history, with both running in the 3.50s. Birt actually went a quicker 3.588 at 205.19 in his nitrous-powered Corvette, while Jackson went 3.594 at 210.67 in his screw-blown Camaro. It was the first side-by-side 3.50s run in class history, putting one killer bow on a thriller of a weekend at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Just like Jackson predicted.
“I told everyone on the starting line, that no matter who won, you better have your cameras out because this was going to be one for the ages,” Jackson said. “I am super proud of Marcus and all his guys. They worked hard all weekend and that car is a bad, bad hotrod. It’s going to win a lot of races and I’m proud to be part of their program.”
While Jackson praised Birt, “The Axeman” returned the favor on a former counterpart turned teammate.
Jackson came on board as the tuner earlier this year and it’s been one triumph after another. Birt managed to check off a number of historic boxes at Virginia Motorsports this weekend, making the quickest nitrous run in history, followed by the quickest RvW run in history with his 3.575 on Friday.
The red light in the final against Jackson stung, but another record had Birt beaming about what had transpired – even if it all hasn’t sunk in yet.”
“It definitely hasn’t hit me yet,” Birt said. “It was a good deal. I’m glad it was Stevie and me in the final. I knew what he was going to try to run, and I knew what we were going to run, but I didn’t want to go red. I knew Stevie would stand on it, but it was great. Everything was perfect to me.”
Jackson was an impressive .026 on the starting in the final round, but his weekend had some early adversity.
According to the NHRA Pro Mod points leader, he had a U-joint fail on Friday, exploding the driveshaft and driveshaft tunnel.
Jackson and his team – a group that includes tuner Billy Stocklin, Phil Shuler, Jack Barbee, Robert Johnson, Robbie Lowry, Jeffery Barker, Drew McClure, Mike Hawkins, Austin, E Ray Bryant and Matt Walden – patched it up and built a driveshaft tunnel out of a Peterbilt exhaust stack, “a little duct tape and bailing wire.”
From there, “The Shadow 2.0” was on a mission, becoming the first blown RvW car to reach the 3.50s. Jackson praised the stellar racing surface, while the team made the most of their opportunities.
“My team never ever quits. Billy Stocklin did an amazing job tuning the Shadow this weekend,” Jackson said. “When you roll into the beams and Billy Stocklin is standing behind your car, you have an advantage over everyone else. This is fact.”
Birt said the same about Jackson. His group, which also includes Eddie Wilson and Craig Amerson, has taken things to a stratospheric level with Jackson, and Birt has enjoyed every minute of it.
“They’re a whole different breed of guys when it comes to this stuff,” Birt said. “It’s just their work ethic. They work all the time and their work ethic is off the charts. It makes everything so smooth. We’ve got two badass hot rods right now that’s for sure. It’s badass to get one record, let alone do it three times in a weekend. It’s unreal. It’s just the cream of the crop working with these guys.”
Jackson switches back to the NHRA Pro Mod car this weekend in St. Louis to try and strengthen his points lead, while Birt returns next month at Donald Long’s “No Mercy” race in Valdosta.
His Pat Musi Racing Engine is still in pristine shape after the record-setting weekend, which means only thing will be on his mind heading to South Georgia Motorsports Park in October.
“We’re just going to try to pick up where we left off,” Birt said.