BONNE TERRE, MO – Big River Sand Drags was certainly the place to be last Saturday night as they hosted the Open 4x4 Nationals, an event established to promote the vehicle classes of the sport. Highlighted were the Open 4x4, Competition Eliminator and Vehicle E.T. classes.
Open 4x4 is a class set up to run modified vehicles on a pro-light system. Information concerning the vehicle’s make up is used during registration to determine what, if any handicap to award the “slower” vehicle. Sounds kind of confusing, right? I guess that’s why some of the best drivers in the fastest 4x4’s compete in Open 4x4.
Competition Eliminator is also designed for the “cream of the crop” with all types of vehicles 5.50 seconds and faster. Vehicle E.T. is your “run what you brung” class for vehicles new and old, of any variation, running 5.51 seconds and slower.
Big River also invited the Pee Wee, Junior and Unlimited ATV classes to participate in this vehicle geared event, which brought out competitors of all ages and speeds to participate. Unlimited is the fastest ATV class of 5.19 seconds and faster.
All in all, it was one heck of a show; jam packed in about six hours of the best racing so far this season. And, to top it off, Jeremy Harlan of French Village, MO went home with a brand new 90cc ATV donated by Bobby Duncan and Duncan’s 4x4 and Complete Car Care. As advertised, the black starter ATV was given away as an attendance prize. Each person paying adult admission received a chance to win.
Special payouts were awarded courtesy of Marler’s Performance Towing. Kevin Bess was also standing by to assist if needed as well as give hats and Frisbees away to the kids. David Mallow of Bonne Terre received the award for “Best Reaction Time in Open 4x4” of a .420 (.400 is perfect) in his jeep “4-Play”. John “The Legend” Dreher received “Best Package in Competition Eliminator”, being a pass containing both a near perfect reaction time while running as close to your dial-in as possible. The Legend ran a 3.668 on a 3.63 dial with a .402 light in “Livin’ in Fast Forward”, the best overall pass of the night. J.R. Dreher landed the Fastest E.T. award with a pass of 3.62 seconds. Scott Wildharbor of Union City, TN received the award for “Furthest Pull” since he drove almost 200 miles to race his VW rail “Live Wire”. Fortunately, Wildharbor was able to show the crowd a few 70 MPH passes before receiving the award for “First Broke”.
BRSD featured a different style of racing when they offered payment of four places plus Top Eliminator in the Open 4x4 and Competition Eliminator classes. A four-car run-off also took place instead of the traditional first and second place run for top. In Open 4x4, it still boiled down to a first/second place battle as Dan Wies of Wentzville, MO in “Hired Gun” claimed top seat after winning over $500 for first place. Chad Meyer of Jerseyville, IL in “Dirtinator” won second while J.R. Dreher of Wentzville in “Livin’ in Fast Forward” settled for third place and David Mallow took home fourth. Competition Eliminator amazed us with John Dreher winning Top Eliminator after settling for second place since Andrew Burcham of Desloge, MO in his 4x4 “Ground Assault” took home over $500 for first. David Mallow made it to the money again as he claimed third place. Vernon Henson, Jr. of Valle Mines, MO in his car “Cowboy Cadillac” gained fourth place honors.
In Vehicle E.T., James Henderson of St. Louis wins first place while Mike Nash of Bonne Terre earns second place and Top Eliminator.
In Pee Wee ATV, we watched Tyler Jasper of Barnhart, MO and Justin Dee of Leadwood, MO battle it out. Jasper took first with Dee coming in second place. In a best 2 of 3, there is no Top Eliminator.
In Junior ATV, Skyler Barker of Waterloo, IL won first place, but it was Courtney Kling of O’Fallon, MO taking second and top.
Lastly, Unlimited ATV brought Allie Glatczak into the winner’s circle as she took first place and top honors over Matt Haynes of Arnold, MO and his second place victory.
*PR Courtesy Jason Harris – BRSD | Photos Courtesy Dan Wies*
Winners (Left to Right): Dave Mallow (with son, Layton), JR Dreher, Dan Wies, Chad Meyer, Andrew Burcham, and Johnny Dreher.
Precision Power Sports
Josh Varner driving Steve Barton's Jeep