Photography by Allison Cipra
If there’s one thing you can count on in South Georgia, it’s the heat. Well, that and race promoter Donald Long of Duck X Productions paying big money to the racers who compete at his No Mercy, Lights Out, and Sweet Sixteen events each year. With $50,000 on the line in Radial Vs. The World at No Mercy 9, the 32-car field was populated by some of the best racers on the planet, all chasing that big payday. But the other classes each had their own heroes throughout the course of the weekend. Allison Cipra was on scene for Front Street and captured some of the action-packed details.
The biggest payday of all came for Texas racer Jeff Naiser, who captured the huge Radial Vs. The World win over Alex Laughlin in an action-packed final round. Naiser, whose nitrous combination has been coming around over the last several events, was on point all weekend long as he knocked off David Wolfe, Tim Kincaid, Taylor Lastor, Paolo Giust, and Laughlin on his way to the big prize. Every single one of those names is well-known in this world as a heavy hitter, so Naiser’s victory was quite satisfying, especially when you factor in that he’s only been competing in this style of racing for a year. Even more impressive? His reaction times in eliminations: .014, .015, .059, .010, and .017. The outlier of .059 came on the third-round single when Lastor didn’t make the call. And his elapsed times were also deadly-consistent: 3.86, 3.82, 3.84, 3.85, and a monster 3.79 in the final against Laughlin’s 3.80. Jeff Naiser is the type of racer that nobody in RvW wants to face, in any round.
One racer in particular who made the trek to South Georgia Motorsports Park did so by way of a big boat. Jeremy “Jet” Martin’s Holden Commodore is one of the quickest cars in Australia; he decided to try his hand at the racing action here in the USA against the best of the best. He’s clipped off a couple of personal-best passes with Josh Ledford sorting out the tuning details, and at No Mercy, Jet made it down to the gang of eight before falling to eventual runner-up Alex Laughlin.
It’s a career goal to capture the win at one of DXP’s races, and perhaps no racer has worked harder to make that happen—nor spent more money in the process—than X275 winner Rob Goss, who landed in the winner’s circle after more than five years of trying. Goss, who knows no obstacle too great, has broken countless engines and engine components, revamped the entire car from top to bottom more than once, and finally settled on the right combination in his Bischoff Engine Service-powered GenIII Hemi in the ProCharger-boosted Challenger. In fact, as the trendsetter for the Mopar crowd, Goss’ racing efforts have been instrumental in the development of hardcore engine components for this combination. You might recall from our NMCA World Finals coverage that Goss took home the win there in the Street Outlaw class, and he continued his roll in Georgia in X275 for his first-ever DXP win. Tom Marshall, John Cipolla, Lights Out 9 winner John Keesey, Kenny Hubbard, and Shane Fisher were all crushed under the wheels of the Goss juggernaut.
Earlier this year at the Outlaw Street Car Reunion, Justin Martin set the Limited Drag Radial class record with a strong 4.111 pass, and here at No Mercy he re-set his own record by dropping a 4.09 on the field to take the top qualifier spot. But his weekend wasn’t all roses; heading into the event he didn’t even have a complete engine, but thanks to engine builder Pete Harrell of Harrell Engine & Dyno the team was able to screw the bullet together at the track. Even better? Once he re-set the record, he went on to win the whole event after eliminating strong challenger Daniel Pharris in the final round. This is one of my top 3 cars in all of drag racing right now, and it’s awesome to see Justin doing so well. I had the opportunity to meet him earlier this year, and he’s about as humble as any racer I’ve ever met, deferring the credit for his success to his team and its efforts.
Even since Phill Bohley picked this car up from Ray Johnson, he’s been on top of the No Time wars. He took home the 315 No Time win over Tim Meissner. Of course, since there are no round results for No Time classes, we have no idea how fast his car is. We can guess that it runs solidly in the 3-second zone, though, based on how similar cars have run in other classes.
Rodney Ragen’s KBX-tuned Mustang is a true work of art; we’ll have a solid behind-the-scenes photo gallery on it coming in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned here to Front Street for that. More importantly for Rodney, he outlasted the entire Ultra Street field, besting KBX teammate Joel Greathouse in the final when Greathouse went .002 red on the starting line.
The stands were packed all weekend, and there was plenty of cash money to be won for the savvy entrepreneur.
The threat of rain forced the Duck X team to stomp on the accelerator pedal, cutting qualifying early to head into eliminations, then dodging raindrops at times during the weekend and beating them right before the finals—they eventually managed to get the event completed just ahead of a downpour on Sunday. All in all, it was a weekend full of thrills, spills, amazing performances, and even a turtle on the track.