The 2019 Good Vibrations Motorsports Outlaw Fuel Altered Association presented by Lone Star Forklift thundered into Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, Texas for the final points race of the season. It was a pressure filled evening of racing for the Championship contenders who were led by Mary Reep and Jody Austin. Bobby Marriott and Jimmy Jones were in the hunt as well, but with fourteen fuel altered on the property the competition was stiff and every run would prove vital in the points battle.
Marriott and Jones had a combined nine OFAA series Championships, while Reep and Austin combined for zero. Mary Reep hoped to become the first female champion in history, while also becoming the first team to feature a husband and wife championship winning combo if she could join her husband Larry who won in 2001. Austin has a lengthy history in the sport of drag racing, dating back to front motor Top Fuel racing with his dad Raymond. A title run here would be a big feather in the cap in his second full season of racing in the OFAA series. Austin and Reep met in the final round of the previous event just two weeks ago in San Antonio, with Reep taking an impressive hole shot win.
The heat was on both on and off the track as unusually warm mid 90 degree weather still lingered in the lone star state. Let the wheels turn and the nitro burn, it’s time to go fuel altered racing in Texas! After two rounds of qualifying, Clint Cross led the field with a 4.00 followed by Mark Hunter, Jody Austin and Jimmy Jones. Points leader Mary Reep struggled to a 4.38 which qualified her eleventh. With the field and ladder pairings set, teams returned to the pits to service for eliminations.
- FINAL QUALIFYING ORDER -
1. Clint Cross – 4.00
2. Mark Hunter – 4.01
3. Jody Austin – 4.05
4. Jimmy Jones – 4.06
5. Donny McSwain – 4.08
6. John Broussard – 4.13
7. Aaron Morrow – 4.18
8. Bobby Marriott – 4.21
9. Mark Billington – 4.32
10. Donnie Massey – 4.35
11. Mary Reep – 4.38
12. George Gallimore – 4.49
13. Raymond Dawson – 4.51
14. Dustin Bradford – 9.18
The two quickest winners would advance to the final round as Mary Reep was first out in eliminations taking on Clint Cross. A win here for Reep would do big things for her title hopes. Unfortunately, Reep dipped below the elapsed time cap with a 3.79 at 192 resulting in a first round loss to Cross’ 3.93 at 188 mph. The door was officially open for Austin, who was coming up later in the round, and Marriott who was up next. Marriott’s “Shockwave” nitro burner came to life alongside defending series Champion John Broussard’s “Purple Haze” from Louisiana. Marriott ended his chances with a -.071 red light while Broussard clicked off a strong 3.85 at 185 mph to set the pace.
Mark Hunter’s “Jailbreak” fueler was up next paired with fellow nitro burner Donnie Massey in “Showtime” and Hunter posted a clean 4.07 at 133 mph to take the round win, but his elapsed time was not in the discussion for a ticket to the final round. Jimmy Jones had seen both Reep and Marriott suffer first round loses and his alcohol burning “Texas Tremor” pulled to the line with Raymond Austin’s “Magic Dragon” in the other lane driven by Mark Billington. Jones had this one from start to finish and his 3.92 at 189 mph temporarily held a ticket to the final round with two pairs remaining, things are getting interesting! Could Jones hold his spot in the final, then win the race and come from fourth to first by the end of the night?
Donny McSwain’s “Wild One” and Jody Austin’s “Bushwhacker” fired up next in a pivotal round and jaws hit the ground when Austin’s entry blazed the tires at sixty feet while McSwain ripped off a very nice 3.87 at 188 mph to bump Jones from the final round with one pair remaining. WOW! The mathematicians in the house could rest their calculators at this point. Reep, Austin and Marriott were out and Jones was not advancing to the final, thus his points earning window was closed. Add, subtract, divide, multiply, whatever you want to do, you’ll find Mary Reep on top of the charts regardless of the final round outcome! Congratulations to team “Grim Reeper” who had officially clinched the 2019 Good Vibrations Motorsports Championship presented by Lone Star Forklift!
Meanwhile, one pair remained in first round eliminations as Raymond Dawson and Aaron Morrow were given the signal to fire. It was a picture perfect big power header flaming run for Morrow, but under the cap he went with a 3.77 at 195, giving the win to Dawson’s off pace 4.60 at 117 mph. John Broussard and Donny McSwain were final round bound in Ferris, Texas to put a cap on a thrilling season finale at Xtreme Raceway Park. The celebration was on in the “Grim Reeper” pits and only one race remained in the 2019 season.
- FIRST ROUND ELIMINATIONS -
(W) Clint Cross (.132) 3.93 @ 188 vs. (L) Mary Reep (.031) 3.79 @ 192
(W) John Broussard (.041) 3.85 @ 185 vs. (L) Bobby Marriott (-.071) 4.11 @ 172
(W) Mark Hunter (.129) 4.07 @ 133 vs. (L) Donnie Massey (.206) 4.27 @ 162
(W) Jimmy Jones (.085) 3.92 @ 189 vs. (L) Mark Billington (.122) 6.48 @ 74
(W) Donny McSwain (.122) 3.87 @ 188 vs. (L) Jody Austin (.150) 9.31 @ 39
(W) Raymond Dawson (.119) 4.60 @ 117 vs. (L) Aaron Morrow (.115) 3.77 @ 195
A quick turnaround for the “Purple Haze” and “Wild One” teams brought the cars back to the line for the final, final of the season. Broussard’s car struggled to keep fire and shut-off after the burnout, meanwhile McSwain sat at idle waiting patiently while his opponent’s crew franticly got the car re-fired successfully and sent Broussard into the stage position. The ambers dropped and silence again from Broussard, while McSwain blasted right down the groove to a 4.09 at 177 mph to notch a big win for the team in this final event of the season. Congratulations to McSwain and crew chief Kenny Trumble and the team who ended the season on a high note and will hope to carry that momentum into 2020.
- FINAL ROUND ELIMINATIONS -
(W) Donny McSwain (.095) 4.09 @ 177 vs. (L) John Broussard (No Time – Broke)
It was a busy season in the Outlaw Fuel Altered Association’s twenty third consecutive year of racing. Moving into 2020, some changes will go into effect starting with the resignation of series President Bobby Marriott who formed the series in 1996 and with his wife Nancy by his side single handedly ‘made it happen’ for all of those twenty three years. In his place, Chris & Tera Graves will step into the management role. Chris Graves has been the series photographer and media director since before he had a driver’s license and after seventeen years with the series will take over the reins moving into the 2020 season. Marriott will still be a full time series competitor moving forward and the OFAA rules committee has voted in some exciting changes to the format. Congratulations to Mary Reep and the entire “Grim Reeper” racing team from Austin, Texas on a stellar 2019 effort and well deserved Championship. Thank you to OFAA sponsors Good Vibrations Motorsports, Lone Star Forklift and Wizard’s Warehouse. Thank you to all the tracks, racers and fans for your support of the longest running fuel altered series in the history of the world. We’ll see you again in 2020!
- FINAL TOP 10 POINTS STANDINGS –
1. Mary Reep – 226
2. Jody Austin – 220
3. Bobby Marriott – 212
4. Jimmy Jones – 200
5. Mark Billington – 195
6. Mark Hunter – 180
7. Aaron Morrow – 187
8. Clint Cross – 149
9. Donny McSwain – 129
10. John Broussard - 119