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Images: Bob Reed and John Charbonneau 

The Good Vibrations Motorsports Funny Car Nationals at Keystone Raceway Park brought out over a dozen of the best nostalgia Funny Cars on the East Coast. Every team wanting to win the race. A race that has become one of the “Must Do” event for the Nostalgia Funny Cars. With great weather, the fans came out to see some “Ground Pounding” and they got their share.

After two round of Chicago Style qualifiers, the quickest two came back to settle who had the baldest car on the grounds. During the two qualifying rounds, the top spots switched until the last qualifying run for the session. The rules are simple. The index for the quick class is 6.90. Run as close to that number as you can. Go quicker, the run is not counted.

Early leaders were Krista Massarella in the Temporary Insanity Monza out of New Jersey with a 7.004 and Wade King in his crowd favorite “Big Girl” Chevy’s 7.002. But by the end of the first round of qualifying, eventual winner, Russell moved to #1 with a 6.959.

The second session mixed things up with Cody Helger in the “Dazed and Confused” car made a move for the top spot with a 6.982 but the biggest run was at the end of the staging lanes waiting for their chance.

Chris Massarella, who runs a two car team with his wife Krista, laid a near dead on 6.903 on the last run of the round in the Total Insanity Monza to claim #1 and grab the Peak Performance Closest to 6.90 award.

“Krista and I basically run the cars by ourselves.” Massarella said after qualifying. “So, I always have her run first, get back up to the line, and I run last.”

At the end of a great day of “Plastic Fantastic” racing at the New Alexandria PA. facility, it came down to Massarella and Russell. The finals were over at the tree with Massarella leaving .0098 too soon putting Russell in the winner’s circle with a shutting off 7.15 run. Massarella, already out of contention for the win, still legged it out for the fans running a 6.988 in a losing effort.

 “I knew I had to on my game against Jami on the tree in the finals,” Massarella said, “And just pushed it a little too hard.”

 “We started working toward this a few weeks ago at Toronto Motorsports Park for their Nitro Nationals,” Russell said after the win. “We loaded a tune up in the car Saturday night knowing we had a 6.90 index at the Funny Car Nationals and went a 6.949 and a 6.951 back to back with an .014 and .029 light out there.

“We felt like we had a little positive momentum,” Russell adds, “And as good a chance as anyone heading into the event if I could keep that up. We had Krista 1st round and went a 6.95 first pair down the track and that kind of set the tone for the event. Fortunately, that was good enough to keep us locked in the final because we got a little greedy 2nd round trying to pick up some and broke out.

“Chris came out of nowhere with that 6.903 to get in the final. As much as a surprise as that was, anyone who knows that team knows they can step up when it counts and do more often than not. “We’re real good friends with them but he’s the last guy out here you want to have in the final with momentum on his side. I’m not going to lie, if Chris went another 6.90 I’m not sure we would have gotten there and I felt like my shot was really to hammer the tree and see if I could control the race at the other end.

“We were both ready for it, I went .005 (my best light of the season) and he went .009 red. I saw the scoreboard around 900′ and realized the situation and lifted. I hate that it went that way, I’d rather have raced it to the stripe, but luck was on our side, and we picked up our 2nd Funny Car Nationals win.

“Huge thank you to Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit, Good Vibrations Motorsports, Peak, and Greg Miller/Keystone Raceway Park for keeping this event alive and giving us a great place to race. It takes a village to get this program up and down the road; from my parents and my wife (and her family) and the sacrifices they make so we can do this, to our partners at CenPeCo Lubricants, Carl Skillman, Steve Miller, Jeremy Trudell, the Massarella’s, Hico Fabrication. So many people have pitched in one way or another and we couldn’t come out and do this without each and every one of them!”

Runner up Massarella adds, “This race is one of our favorite and biggest events of the year. One of the few events we run both cars at. The event has been very good to us. We’ve had a car in the finals 5 out the last 6 years there.”

Other awards from Peak Performance went to:


Wade King’s Big Girl ’55 Chevy


Willie Johnson

No Money, No Funny Nova


Jon Walls’ Fireball Monza out of Weymouth MA.

For more of John and Bob’s images from the event, go to: