This was the first year back at Cordova Race Way after a failed attempt to move the fabled event to Memphis in 2016. The move turned out to be a disaster as the race was not supported by the racers or spectators.
The 2017 event held at its birthplace of Cordova International Raceway was a huge success. The stands were packed and the pits were full with racers and spectators the entire weekend. The weather was perfect on Friday with a few sprinkles on Saturday but not enough to dampen the spirits of the fans or the on track action.
The NGRA had an awesome turn out with all of the following drivers and teams in attendance:
1–Bryan Huffman–33 Willys Truck
2–Jesse James–40 Willys Coupe
3–Bill Eveland–55 Pontiac
4–Kip Galloway –61 Falcon
5–Joe Kaufman–51 Henry J
6–Ted Beach–37 Chevy Coupe
7–Brandon Beach–58 Chevy
8–Joe Beach–56 Chevy
9–Steve Rice–48 Studebaker Coupe
10–Gary Blasey–40 Chevy Coupe
11–Jim Walker–41 Willys Coupe
12–Ken Kapper–52 Henry J
13–Bill Wamboldt–55 Chevy
14–Wayne Blank–57 Chevy
The even number made for some great match racing on Friday afternoon and evening. The group made a total of three passes in front of a strong Friday crowd.
Saturday was full of meet and greet activities in the pits with young and old drag fans. Ken Kapper claimed he had 100 kids sit in the driver seat over the weekend. Saturday night was the big show filled with Top Fuel Harleys, Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars, Pro Mods, Nostalgia Super Stock and of course Gassers. The group made two passes in front of what was close to a capacity crowd. Crowd favorites were monster John Force Memorial side by side Burnouts out of Joe Kaufman and Ken Kapper as well as tail dragging wheelies from Brandon Beach who also cracked the 9 second barrier with a 9.9x’s pass. Overall everyone put on a fantastic show for the crowd and were well received.
On a side note: Happy Birthday to Ken Kapper and Happy Anniversary to Jess and Berti