Top Eliminators at Tri State Dragway

Kahoka, Mo. early ‘60s: Bud, Don, & John from Chicagoland made a home for themselves at Tri State Dragway. The mighty ‘Guzler’ Fuel dragster was a winner at most mid-western tracks in the early 1960s, but the group really dominated Top Eliminator action at Kahoka. The local fans loved them!

When a group of young men from Kahoka, Mo. decided to create a drag strip on the Clark County Fairgrounds parking lot in 1960, we did so because we wanted a solid place to race our cars and see who was best. There were several original challengers for Top Eliminator, and many more that joined the weekly contests during the years the 1/8 mile track operated.

Jerry Childers got the ball rolling with a ’28 Ford sedan (The Bold Venture).Seeing the light, we spent the winter of ’59-’60 building a 32 Ford three window coupe for one of my Pontiac motors. Not to be out done, Kent Martin, whose family owned the local Buick dealership just ½ mile east of the dragway; put together a ’32 Ford Coupe with Buick power.

By the time Tri-State Dragway opened in June 1960, there were seven coupes and sedans ready for all-out battle. My Pontiac powered B/A was fast at local quarter mile tracks like Cordova, Des Moines, & Alton, so we were ready. When the last run was history, we held the first Top Eliminator trophy from Tri-State Dragway, with Childers’ ‘Bold Venture’ finishing second.  But the contests had barely started; every event featured Top Eliminator, consisting of the quickest 8 vehicles from qualifying, regardless of class.