Eddie Hill wins hometown race
Reprinted from the Oct. 1, 1965 issue of National DRAGSTER
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (Sept. 26) -- After several postponements due to an extra wet season that delayed putting down a new cap, the Regional meet finally got under way for Division 4 at Wichita Falls Dragway. To say it got under way might be an understatement as the largest class in number of entries was AA/Fuel Dragster. How about that!
Several thousands or so fans were on hand to witness the largest fuel and points meet ever held in the Wichita Falls area. Top Fuel qualifying got under way as soon as the gates opened. Making the low eight cut was Eddie Hill with the low qualifying time of 6.24 seconds followed by Hunt-Ellis. Bobby Langley, California Woody, Dan Rightsell, Benny Osborn, John Wiebe, and Rutledge-Walker-Musch.
The asphalt was a little cool most of the day and a slight film was on the surface, left by a recent rain. This kept the times in the low eights but it didn't keep the eliminations from being fast and furious.
First up for number one round of Top Fuel was Bobby Rutledge in "Havoc" to have a go at Jerry Ellis in the Hunt-Ellis fueler. It was a good start but the blown Chrysler Woody car of H-E just had too much as Jerry cruised through with an 6.20 at 192.70.
Next out of the chute was Eddie Hill in his "Texan Two" and Dan Rightsell in the "Texas Longhorn." Hill's car had just been awarded the Best Appearing Car of the meet. Now was the time to see if it was all show and no go.
At the green it was Hill out of the hole first putting daylight between him and Rightsell and staving off a fast close to take the win with an 8.10 at 184. Dan set the Low E.T. of the Meet at an 8.06 and strong 193.54 but "Hole Shot Hill" got out of the gate first and got the win.
The Beard himself, Bobby Langley got the nod to pull to the line against Benny "Two Motors" Osborn. If anyone gives Langley a run for making the most smoke it has to be Benny. In a race like this both cars are out of sight in the smoke two car lengths off the line. Langley had a small lead and looked like he was on his way to the win but Osborn pulled strong on the other end to trip the eyes with an 8.15 at 185.94.
Rounding out the first round of Top Fuel was the "Agent" of John Wiebe out of Newton, Kansas, and all the way from the Bay Area in California was the "California Woody" of Babler and Clark. Another hole shot was in store as Wiebe cut it close and put the West Coast rail on the trailer with a run of 8.61 to a better 8.46.
Second round of Top Fuel put Eddie Hill against Benny Osborn. Both cars had been getting stronger with every run and the e.t.'s were just .05 apart. But it was "Hole Shot Hill" again laying down a bunch of rubber to pull into a commanding lead and take the win. Hill had a shutting off 8.18 and 161.00.
The "Agent" of John Wiebe would draw the double tough Jerry Ellis in the Vance Hunt machine to close out the second round. And close things out it did as Ellis roared through for the win but blew an engine just before the traps. His efforts got him an 8.19 at a slowing down 161.57 and a trip to the trailer for the day.
That left Hill to do a solo for the Top Fuel scratch. Not satisfied with taking home the $750 for TFE, Hill made a banzai run for the Top Speed of the Meet and get it he did with a strong 196.50.
A pat on the back goes out to Jim Tibbitts who promoed this meet and came up with a terrific show, and to Dangerous Dave McClelland who waded through the Louisiana swamps just to come to do the announcing chores which he did quite well.