Cobra Run & Gun 1997
Location: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
30 July through 1 August 1997, Lexington, Ohio, USA
by Jim Colman
The 1997 Run & Gun, sponsored and promoted by Kit Car Illustrated magazine, drew 67 entrants from across the US and Canada. Cobra replicas dominated the three-day event, held July 30 through August 1st, with nearly 50 Snakes showing up. The event was held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio and at Dragway 42 outside West Salem, Ohio
A few of the many “Snakes” form a snake line of their own while waiting for their turn to let it loose on the drag strip.
Nearly 50 Cobras turned out for the 1997 Run & Gun. Here the drivers are waiting patiently in their respective lanes– representing the different classes of cars–for the drag racing to begin.
Two Cobras run together at the road course. During warmup laps the cars ran together but were not permitted to pass, for safety reasons. During the timed runs, when drivers had the track all to themselves, they had the opportunity to run their cars at speed.
This dazzling GT40 looked a little out of place on the drag strip on day one of the Run & Gun, but the same car wowed the crowd the next day at the Mid-Ohio road course.
Mother nature cooperated with beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the mid-eighties. “Our goal,” .according to Dean Hoskins of D&D Corvette, who assisted in choreographing the event, “was to put on a fun event and not kill anybody.” The folks from D&D succeeded with only one slight accident marring the otherwise terrific event. Stacy Pendergrast of Austin, Texas, usually a hands-down favorite at past events, jammed his Cobra into the retaining tires on the last turn at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during his first timed run. Fortunately Stacy suffered no more than some sore muscle–and perhaps a bruised ego–but his car will require a new front end and a new steering wheel. Stacy says he bent the wheel with his hands when he hit the tires at nearly 70 mph!
Lauri Kallio of MidStates Cobras was a crowd favorite in his baby blue and white striped car that he drove all the way from his hometown of Hooper, Nebraska. Lauri’s car sported the number 80, which also happens to be his age! Great guy!
Run & Gun ’97
Lauri Kallio beside his blue MidStates Cobra replica
The biggest success story comes from Dennis Olthoff of Superformance Replicars (now Olthoff Racing) in Salisbury, North Carolina. It seems that the Superformance car suffered some slight damage to the crankshaft during the drag racing event on Thursday. Dennis says that “we elected to not run the engine anymore so that we would not do any more harm to the block.” Fortunately, Bill Parham of Southern Automotive was on hand with a spare small-block. The Superformance team, along with Bill, spent most of Thursday night in the parking lot of the motel pulling the old engine, swapping heads and intake manifold, dropping in the new block and buttoning up the car just in time to qualify on Friday and win the Street B Road Race and Top Dog Street Class!
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