oped during this timeframe . “ Everybody at the racetrack calls me ‘ Biggie ’ because for years I ran small-blocks in my car with a clutch and a dang Lenco running Top Sportsman and I was outrunning a bunch of them big-block cars , so everybody started nicknaming me ‘ Biggie ,’” Hall explains .
Hall wasn ’ t just outrunning the big-inch nitrous cars . He was setting small-block records . One of his records came at another IHRA race at Darlington . Hall couldn ’ t get off the starting line in the first three of four qualifying sessions . Another guy with a nickname – the Iceman – saved the day .
“ Shannon Jenkins came over and helped me on my car and determined it was the tires ,” Hall recalls . “ Well , they were running my class and I said , ‘ Man , I ain ’ t got another set of tires .’ Shannon said , ‘ There ’ s a set in my trailer on the wall . Go get them .’ We go get his tires , throw them on my car at the last minute , get up there just in time to make the run , and I went 6.89 straight down Broadway , and the crowd went crazy .
“ My wife got down there and she said , ‘ You know what you run ?’ I said , ‘ Probably about
7.10 , 7.11 .’ She goes , ‘ 6.89 .’ I was like , ‘ Ain ’ t no way .’ That was cool back in the day . It ain ’ t nothing now , but back then it was .”
HALL ISN ’ T SO concerned with setting records these days – in his own car , anyway . He ’ s focused on finding continued success in PDRA Top Sportsman , where he holds the distinction of being the first-ever winner in the series . He won the 2014 PDRA Spring Open at Rockingham Dragway , beating Chip Forman , the late Ronnie Davis , and eventual world champion Dan Ferguson on his way to the final round , where he beat William Brown III . It was far from Hall ’ s first race win , but it didn ’ t come off that way in the winner ’ s circle interview .
“ I choked at the mic and everybody gives me crap about that too ,” Hall laughs . “[ Then- PDRA race director ] Bob Harris walked up to me , he said , ‘ Is this the first time you ever won a race ?’ and I said , ‘ Yep , first time I ever won a race .’ I meant first PDRA race , but I wasn ’ t thinking . Heck , it was the first PDRA race .”
At the time , Top Sportsman was one 16-car field . If you weren ’ t quick enough to make that field , you were heading home . The PDRA sportsman classes have since evolved to include an “ Elite ” field for the 16 quickest cars , plus a second field of 32 or even 48 cars , depending on how many cars try to qualify . Before PDRA added the second field , Hall admits he took a break from PDRA competition because he couldn ’ t compete with the increasingly quick cars that were trying to qualify .
“ There for a while , everybody kind of got scared because they wouldn ’ t qualify , and they didn ’ t have this option to do the second 32- car field ,” Hall says . “ All my friends that do what I do , they like that [ second field ]. And Top Dragster ’ s really fast because a bunch of them dang ProCharger boys done showed up out there . You better be ready to haul the mail to get into Elite in that .”
Hall is perfectly content running his nitrous-assisted ’ 63 Corvette and his ’ 21 American dragster in the secondary fields in Top Sportsman and Top Dragster , respectively . The Elite fields frequently require 3-second passes to qualify , and Hall just isn ’ t interested
HALL SAYS FULTON STILL HANDLES MOST OF THE CYLINDER HEAD WORK , BUT CUTTING HEADS IS ONE OF HALL ’ S MANY DAY-TO-DAY TASKS AT THE ENGINE SHOP .
108 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 177