AIKEN, S.C. — The Southeast Gassers Association will make history Oct. 19 when the penultimate race of its 11-race schedule will be the first race in the organization’s history to be streamed live via the SPEED SPORT Network.
Race 10 of the SEGA season will be run at Carolina Dragway, giving fans both in the grandstands and viewing live online to see drag racing the way it looked decades ago.
SEGA’s aim is to turn back the clock to 1967, stopping time and technology in their tracks.
To drag racing purists, the year often represents the pinnacle, as well as the end of the original hallowed gasser era of the late 1950s and ‘60s.
As today’s “gasser” craze rapidly spreads around the world, the SEGA holds true to the rules mandated and enforced by owner Quain Stott, who founded the series in 2011.
“We started it because I had raced Pro Mod for 19 years with the best equipment money could buy. Pro Modified, the fastest door slammer cars in the world. Racing was really good to me,” Stott told SPEED SPORT. “I made a lot of good money racing so I wanted to give back to the sport that had been so good to me. The best thing I could do was to preserve the history of the sport.”
Stott said there is one big difference between SEGA and other nostalgia racing series.
“The other nostalgia gasser groups are not presenting drag racing the way it was,” Stott noted. “The most important part to preserving the history is classifying and racing the cars the way they were raced. Ninety-nine percent of the nostalgia groups are bracket racing. Or in some cases classifying the cars by the ET they run. There was no bracket / index racing in the old days.”
“I’m not downing bracket racing I have many friends that do it and I have done it myself years ago, but they did not bracket race in the mid 60s and that is a FACT,” Stott added. “We wanted to race the cars like they raced and make them appear the way they appeared then. Even the decals have to be an old-school design.
“We started it and everybody told us we was stupid and strict rules wouldn’t work, but here we are almost nine years later.”
The 2006 IHRA champion has made it his purpose to bring back the art and skill of drag racing when clutches were smashed and drivers ripped through the gears of ill-handling, full-bodied race cars. Though the SEGA rules are loosely based off the 1967 rule book, they are much more defined and meticulously refined to combat today’s technological advances that infiltrate the modern-racing scene.
SEGA race cars include no electronics, no automatic transmissions and no modern suspensions. The result of these rules and others is a resurgence of the purest form in nostalgia drag racing. This form of organized heads-up, first-to-the-finish line, real class drag racing has brought fans from around the world back to the local grassroots drag strip.
Another throwback to yesteryear, are the flashy backup girls that have become stars of their own. After long smoky burnouts, these girls and go-go boots aid in keeping their drivers in the racing groove for the best chance at victory.
What started as a two-car grudge race in 2011, has resulted in more than 100 pre-1968 scratch-built — and many original, straight-axle, naturally aspirated, gas-burning gassers. Along with the A/Gas, B/Gas and C/Gas classes, SEGA boasts true 1967 Super Stocks and experimental A/FX alcohol burning monsters.
In most cases SEGA race cars are named, just as they were years ago.
As the series heads to Carolina Dragway for its first live-streaming race, Alan Gaulding, who drives “Frequent Flyer,” leads the A/Gas class, while Tim Bailey, aboard Alley Cat II, leads the B/Gas category.
Fans watching at Carolina Dragway or via the live stream will also see C/Gas leader Leslie Horn driving Stud Muffin and Super Stock top dog Robert Peffley wheeling 4-Speed Stampede.
Stott was animated when asked what viewers of the Oct. 19 live-streaming event will see.
“They will feel like they have been taken back in a time tunnel to 1967,” Stott said. “Every car on the race track will fit Southeast Gasser rules and every car on the track will be a four-speed. They will see drag racing where the first one to the finish line wins.”
The only classes that race first-to-the-finish-line now are the professional classes. This is a rare chance to see first-to-the-finish-line racing with the blue collar working man involved.”
Stott said he hopes the new broadcast will introduce the Southeast Gassers to a new audience, while providing a much improved video product for all fans.
“We feel like it will introduce us to a new market. By no stretch of the imagination do we have our market tapped out, but it’s time to be introduced to new fans who might think we are like the others,” Stott noted. “It will help spread the word of what our mission is, and fans who’ve already been following our live Facebook feeds are going to see a much higher quality broadcast that they can watch it on their TVs. Once people see it, they’ll pass the word on. We hope the end result puts more fans in the already packed stands. We want the whole world to see what Southeast Gassers are all about, and let them choose what the best Gasser group in the world is.”
The final SEGA event of the season is Nov. 2 at Shadyside Dragway in Shelby, N.C.
The LIVE Pay Per View is just $19.99, and viewable on the SPEEDSPORT.tv website, on Roku or Amazon Fire. To signup or for more information, visit gassers.speedsport.tv.