Race fans light up Western Colorado Dragway
The atmosphere was electric.
Thousands of people showed up Saturday night at Western Colorado Dragway to watch Ed ‘The Outlaw’ Jones and his Jelly Belly 1875 Concord Stagecoach run down the quarter-mile track on the back two wheels, listen to legendary NHRA announcer Bob Frey call some races and watch the YNot Racing team test out a Funny Car on the track.
“These type of nights, the stands are packed, people are lined up along down the side and you got Bob Frey, I mean, Bob Frey, announced my race,” Rifle driver Daryl Dinkel said. “How cool is that! Then you got these Funny Cars and the Super Quick. For a true fan, I don’t think you can ask for a better night and for 10 bucks, that’s a bargain.”
Frey and cameraman Mike Panek stopped by to cover a race at one regional drag track in each of the NHRA’s seven divisions. Western Colorado Dragway was chosen by Division 5 director Rob Park.
The race is scheduled to air on TV with the coverage of the NHRA Lucas Oil Series race in Seattle on Aug. 14. Check local listings for time.
The Stagecoach, which was similar to one in the old Gunsmoke TV shows, runs on a Chevrolet 427 cubic inch engine with 1,000 horsepower. It spit flames out the exhaust and left a ‘Sizzlin’ Cinammon Jelly Belly flavor as it ran down the track on it’s back two wheels.
“It’s neat to see it,” Terry Ruckman said. “I saw him run 32 years ago in Denver. It left a really neat impression on me as a kid, that probably got me started in drag racing.”
Jones has performed exhibition runs at dragways across the world for 35 years. It was his first performance at Western Colorado Dragway in 16 years. The stagecoach ran the quarter-mile at 98.47 mph in 13.05 seconds. He was here last summer, but the event was rained out.
“I had no idea this car would take us the places it has,” Jones said. “We’ve been all over the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.
“I had a dream and my dream came true.”