Over 100 Photos as the Southeast Gassers Battle at Brainerd

By jroberts

Old drag cars are cool, and a group based out of the Carolinas is sweeping the nation as one of the premier nostalgia drag racing groups. The group is called the Southeast Gassers Association, led by Quain Stott, a world champion Pro Mod racer who has poured his heart and soul into making this group an accurate representation of the heyday of drag racing. And while his extremely strict rules can cause some confrontation among other nostalgia groups, the folks who are serious about real heads up drag racing will adhere to Quain’s rule package if they want to join the up-and-coming organization.

The idea is to rewind the clock to 1967 in regard to the cars’ appearance, while also keeping things safe for the drivers. All cars are required to have a straight front axle and a manual transmission, along with a lengthy list of requirements for each classification. As of now, the Southeast Gassers features A/Gas, C/Gas and D/Gas, which are separated by cubic inch-to-weight ratio, just like the old days. A/Gas must weigh 6 pounds per cubic inch, C/Gas weighs in at 8 pounds per cubic inch and D/Gas weighs in at 10 pounds per cubic inch. These weight requirements offer an equal playing field, and other rules in the extensive package offer door-to-door racing, with lots of RPM, big wheelstands, and unpredictable action.

The most recent Southeast Gassers Association race was held at historic Brainerd Motorsports Park in Ringgold, Georgia. Formerly known as Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip, the track has been in existence since 1957, and moved to its current location in 1963. The track now runs eighth-mile racing on a weekly basis, and it’s a perfect venue for the Southeast Gassers to do battle. With 50 period-correct gassers on hand, the crowd of thousands were treated to two rounds of qualifying and then four rounds of eliminations to crown a champion in the three classes.

It came down to Todd Oden’s 1958 Chevy from Alabama, taking out Josh Pruitt in the D/Gas finals. Next was Michigan’s Rusty Sampsel in the “Bad Banana” 1955 Chevy, outgunning Dean Harris and the “Gray Ghost” Chevy II in the C/Gas finals. In the final race of the night, it came down to Jimmy Finley’s Mustang fastback, and Donovan Stott’s “White Trash” Anglia. Donovan cut a .007 light and made a killer pass to narrowly beat the Mustang from South Carolina.

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