October 1 & 2, 2016 – Fall Central Illinois Dragway Fall Event, Havana, Illinois

Friday Morning Jess & I headed out to Havana in the middle of predicted heavy rain. This race, had been postponed and rescheduled due to poor weather, and now the forecast was more of the same. We were asked by management if all or any of us would be able to stay over and run on Sunday if Saturday was a “no go”. We had a 10 car field and it was about a 50/50 split on how many could stay. We were in constant contact with the rest of our group, trying to spare those with a long haul, in case of  cancellation. When we arrived, Dave and Jackie Walters were settled in trying to stay dry.  Bill Eveland rolled in between rain drops with his Honest Injun in tow. Bill lives close and since test & tune wasn’t possible he decided to leave the Pontiac for us to babysit and he would return in the morning.

Saturday morning brought more rain. The entire day was on and off falling humidity. By mid afternoon, the race was called and we were once again canvassed for a Sunday race. The Blasey’s, Ken Kapper & Ralph Grote, Tom Cray, and  The “Beach Boys” were all unable to race on Sunday so we called them off as soon as we knew Saturday was cancelled. Later Ken Kapper decided he would still like to come, but broke down on the way and returned home. We were now down to a field of 3 cars. Bryan & June Huffman, Bob Brown and Mike Hoffman were at an all truck race in Cordova, Ill. They called to say they were cancelled for Saturday with no rain date. Bryan & June and Bob made their way to Havana late Saturday to help us out in numbers. Mike Hoffman was unable to race on Sunday so he headed home.

Bill Eveland called a friend, who lives in the area, and extended him an invitation to join us on Sunday. We were now up to a respectable 6 cars.

The weather cleared Saturday evening so we enjoyed our potluck and “bonfire” under the stars. The track was able to dry the racing surface enough to run their Gamblers Jackpot race. Because of the our excellent pit spot, next to the track, we had a bonus of some excellent bracket racing.

Sunday morning Kip Calloway, Bill’s friend, brought his beautiful gold High Life Falcon gasser and we were good to go. Yeah, no rain in sight!!

The track started races at 10:00 AM and we made 5 passes throughout the day.  Unfortunately, attrition started to decrease our numbers. Bryan Huffman’s new yellow alcohol Willys pickup shucked the balancer in the 3rd pass. Bill Evelands Injun sprang a water leak at the top of the 4th pass and was backed out. After the 4th pass, (it was getting late by then), Bob Brown decided to leave. He had a long 7 hour drive back home to Topeka, Kansas. Thanks to Bob and Bryan & June for coming to the rescue, in our Sunday race.

Also after the 4th pass, Kip’s Falcon had a pulley problem and he figured he was out.  Jesse and Dave looked at each other and said “looks like it’s just you and me Buddy”. Fortunately, after a huge oil down delay on the track and some furious wrenching, Kip was back in business. We finished with 3 racers in a grand parade lap. A weekend that looked like a washout (literally) ended up being a great day of racing and a good time was had by all.

Thanks to all the track personnel for all the extra work in making the weekend great.

Respectfully Submitted
Jesse & Bertie James

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