Southeast Gassers in Knoxville!

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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. 

WSP_7287We 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.

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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.

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Hitman won the C/Gas class

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Seeing these two run together was a treat. For one thing, the blue car is a ’64 Falcon which I’m admittedly partial to, but there was another reason: these two cousins raced Ford vs. Chevy in honor of their dads, who were brothers.

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SEGA still uses Back Up Girls just like they did in the old days.
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Snake Bite has won the last two years in a row at Knoxville.
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Quain’s ride is the Grand Illusion with a beautiful lace paint job.

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The faded period correct paint gets me every time. I can’t get enough!

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There’s always plenty of tire smoke and wheel-standing action.
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Even the wheelie bars have to be period correct.
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Even in the parking lot, there’s great stuff like this little ’64 Falcon wagon.

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Double XX took home the title for the D/Gas category

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These guys hail from Oliver Springs, TN, my hometown.

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They come up with some great names for their cars.

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ANOTHER ’64 Falcon Wagon. How could you not love a show like this?

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Many of the Back Up Girls dress the part to keep the feel of the ’60s alive.
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The Junk Yard Dog was always good for a wheelie…
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…a long wheelie! He just touched down in this pic.

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Quain’s Back Up Girl, Cynthia Phillips, ran her own car, Flower Power, for the first time in Knoxville. She put on a great show!

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There was a little bit of everything running. It wasn’t all Tri-Five Chevys and Willys.

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One lone Bug ran a few times. Love the name Sour Kraut!

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The announcer said the Moonlighter is what started it all for Quain.

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The Lil’ Red Wagon was one of my wife’s favorite cars.

 

Check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat at southeast_gas. Come by a track the next time they’re running and you’re guaranteed a great time. WSP_7601

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!

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