Lakeland Raceway

The Commercial Appeal

Drag Racing’s ‘World Series’
To Keep Shelby Track Moving

Dick Smothers owned Oldsmobile G/S

The National Hot Rod Association will spin its World Championship tires at Shelby County International Raceway this weekend.

“It’s the World Series of drag racing,” says Lelan Stanton, SCIR’s new general manager. “All of the top names in racing will be here.”

The event is NHRA’s tournament of champions, based on a season of races across the nation and Canada where contestants are awarded points toward an entry in the season’s biggest showdown – the World Championship finals at Indianapolis Oct. 18-19.

A handful of NHRA records are expected to fall at SCIR during the two-day activity.

Inaugurated in 1965 as an outgrowth to NHRA’s World Championship series the World Finals annually produces a hotbed of rugged competition that involves more than 10,000 competitors in the preliminaries and about 350 for the main event.

The World Finals will climax the 1969 NHRA World Championship series of 42 events – six in each of the organization’s seven geographical divisions – where participants earn points toward individual divisional titles.

The Memphis alignment includes a big battle in street eliminator between point leader Bo Laws of Orlando, Fla., and Ronnie Stewart. Laws had back-to-back NHRA Winternationals and Springnationals street eliminator victories in 1968.

The Smother Brothers racing team will enter the GS field with their 1969 Oldsmobile, driven by Jim Waibel of Lakeland, Fla. Waibel is tied for first place in his class.

A full field of Super Stocks is expected, including Donnie Brewer of Morrow, Ga., the Barnett brothers’ City Dodge and Bill Tanner’s Lenox Dodge of Atlanta, Ga., and Melvin Yow of Lillington, N.C.

Raceway Schedule

SATURDAY: At 2 p.m., track gates open.
At 3 p.m., record runs, time trials and qualifying begins. At 8:45 p.m., Top Fuel eliminations begin.
SUNDAY: At 10 a.m., gates open at 2:30 p.m., all other eliminators will be run, along with a special Funny Car race.