The Southeast Gassers are back in Knoxville! My wife and I went to see them last year, and I couldn’t wait to see them again. I love seeing these guys roll into town because it’s always a great evening of gear-banging, tire-smoking, hardcore gasser action. Quain Stott started the Southeast Gassers Association a few years ago to preserve 1960s drag racing in a time capsule, and he’s done a fabulous job. The rules are very strict and all work to keep the racing as period-correct as possible. The SEGA is the only group in the world to run real, period-correct, race gas-fueled gassers. This isn’t about making old cars go as fast as they can with modern parts; this is about stepping back in time to 1967 and watching a race just as your dad would have back in the day.
We saw 59 cars run in three classes with minimal downtime between runs; they kept the action going! Enjoy some of the pictures from the race.
I was fortunate enough to get a few minutes with Quain to ask him a few questions. Mr. Stott raced professionally for 19 years until he realized that, “it was a money game. The guy with the most money won.” The gasser class stuck around until the 1970s, but the Southeast Gassers stick to vehicles 1967 and earlier with the same restriction on speed parts. Nothing that wouldn’t have been available in 1967 is allowed to go on a SEGA car with the exception of a few safety items. When asked why 1967 was the cutoff year, Stott replied, “1968 was when gassers died. The cars got lower, the tires got wider, and they started running alcohol. ‘Gasser’ means the car runs on GAS…how could you screw that up?” Quain pointed out, “two things etched in stone was the gassers had to run gas and the gassers never bracket raced.”
He’s doing something right as the Southeast Gassers Facebook Page has over 40,000 likes and they’re growing every day. The crowds and racers are growing as well. With 86 cars on the docket, he hopes to top 100 next season.
If you’re interested in attending a race or running with them, head over to their Facebook page or website for a schedule and rules. Stay safe and Happy Wrenching!