The inaugural Small Tire Ganstas took over Yello Belly Drag Strip Easter weekend for a successful no-prep event. Organized by Tom Gunner, also known as “Street Outlaws,” Jimmy Dale and his right-hand man, Michael Poland, awarded $65,900 in prize money across thirteen classes.
“Small Tire Gangstas happened because Michael Poland pushed me to do it,” said Gunner, explaining that promoting the event was a way to raise money for his own racing efforts.
Small Tire Gangstas kicked off on Friday at one of the oldest raceways in America and perhaps the most infamous outlaw drag strip, operating continuously since 1955 and still owned by the Wright family. Gunner brought out his home track staff from Wichita Raceway Park, who also brought their equipment, to conduct the on-track business.
Bill Hoskinson, also known as the “Old Man” on his Youtube channel “The Old Man’s Garage,” made the trip from Hebron, Ohio, to win the Cheap Street Class on Friday, scoring $3,400. The index for the class that night, which was a 6.95, was drawn at the driver’s meeting.
Hoskinson’s win came with a story, however. With his permission, Gunner jumped in Hoskinson’s car after the “Old Man” went to bed. Gunner won round two, and then Hoskinson’s finished his pursuit in the class, which ended up in the winner’s circle. Hoskinson’s victory in Cheap Street qualified him for the class at the upcoming Stampede of Speed at the Texas Motorplex.
A 7.95 index was drawn for Street Cahhh, which Agustin Granados from Split Performance picked up the win and $3,600. Cash M Days was a split win between Ryan Mitchell, Kyle Buckmaster, Brent Albury, Mike Fisher and Chad Pickering. The King Cuhh class, named for the slang and accents that can be found in Texas, was won by Dustin Vasquez. The Stick Shift class rules required cars to have an H-pattern. It was won by a Honda Civic named El Tapatio, piloted by Milton Becerra.
Tess Wood, also known as “Miss Midnight Maveric,” relied on her racing experience at Small Tire Gangstas. As a matter of fact, Gunner invited Wood to drive his ’93 Mustang, fondly known as “Big Magic.” Wood pulled off a win in Outlaw Daily and pocketed $5,700.
Some of Friday night’s events were finished on Saturday because of Christmas tree malfunctions. “It’s part of the adversity you’re subject to when you throw a race at an old track,” said Gunner. However, the big win went to Michael Hollis, also known as “Student Driver,” who claimed $15,250 in Junior Varsity. The class index was set at 5.30, and the rules also required a 28-inch tall tire.
Saturday’s events included wins from Brandon Sandlian in Run What You Brung, Jeff Oliver in Foot Brake, and Stefan Slitz of the Stefco Camp in True Street. Jason Cantù secured wins in both Tailgate and Anything On 28. The Hard Tire win went to Kyle Swanson, and Cody Hoffman claimed the victory in Full Size Truck at a 6.50 index.
Gunner noted that the Small Tire Gangstas event wouldn’t have been possible without his team and the “Jimmy Dale” fans.
“I contribute a lot of my success to not only the people I surround myself with but to the people who choose to watch and subscribe to the Jimmy Dale Youtube channel, buy my merch, put air in the tires and help at the racetrack,” he said.
Furthermore, Gunner thanks his partners, like Isky Racing Cams, who will be working with the winners of JV and Anything On 28. Nitrous Express, who assisted Gunner in the graphics department, is also working with all the class winners to ensure they have what they need for the racing season.
Garage Built Racing, Folsom Insurance, Big Hals BBQ, Accelerated Racing Solutions, Split Performance, Rise Local, Crazy Horse Carpentry, Jason Brown, RedTide Canopies, Street Racing Channel, Ashburn Fisher, Circle D Specialties, Godsy Garage, Texas Racing Channel, Loyalty Contracting & Restoration, Low Dollar Motorsports and On Tilt Racing also made Small Tire Gangstas a success.
Photo courtesy of Jack Barclay