After wrenching through the night in a supermarket parking lot of all places Jojo and company secured the head, buttoned up the Honda and jumped back into the wars. The original plan called for some dyno tuning late Saturday but time ran out. The combination was fine-tuned at the track on Sunday. Jojo said he babied the car and credits its impressive performance to track preparation and his Tanabe suspension, which tag-teamed for a best-ever 1.53-second 60-foot. "I was primed to really run a big number. It's a shame that my race engine got hurt," said Jojo. "I've done a lot of racing this year and it paid off in competition but I have to thank those who helped me get to the track without their help I would have been a spectator."

Once back on the strip, Jojo faced some stiff competition. Tran was the top qualifier for the FWD Quick 8 (10.103@141.28), but John Brown of Boca Raton, Florida, took both the fastest time of the day-a blazing 9.959 seconds-and the top FWD speed of 146.53 mph. Tran's time marked over a half-second improvement from his Quick 8 finish in June. In the end when the chips were done, Jojo's 10.299 at 139.21 was too much and capped off one of the most amazing comebacks we have ever witnessed.

Two other drivers on the move are Kyle Puckettt and Ben Blalock. Pucket, who drives a Navy Blue Nissan 300ZX from SGP Racing, had shown the crowds many mid-11-second runs in practice or qualifying this year. That changed this go-round as Puckett put it all together in competition, winning the Turbo Magazine Quick 8 at 11.130 seconds and placing second at 11.064 seconds in the RWD/AWD Quick 8 to Blalock's Supra. Blalock and the Powerhouse Racing Team from Tyler, Texas have seen their Supras go from low 10s to high nines this year - and one of those Supras is even said to be an air-conditioned street driver. Blalock posted the lowest time in the RWD/AWD Quick 8 at 9.987 seconds, and won that class with a more casual 10.311-second e.t.

On the domestic side of things, Tim Fountain continues to remind import fans that if you have a taste for Detroit displacement and pushrods then you can pretty much milk them to go faster than everyone else. Fountain won the Domestic Quick 8 yet again with a time of 9.644 seconds. He also took the top speed of the day at 154.61 and the lowest time of the Quick 8 at 8.851 seconds. Fountain's weapon of choice? A 1967 Camaro.

But this event wasn't just about racing. The import drag culture in Texas is also about fashion, dancing, music, neon lights, dash-mounted television sets, illegal races on Westheimer, trunk-mounted aquariums and 57 motorcycles parked in front of James Coney Island. As such, a mosh pit formed around the DJ booth in the parking lot, motorcycle competitors and show cars turned out in large numbers and TV cameras captured images of the bikini-clad "Jotech Girls" in addition to those of the drag strip.

Take it or leave it, import drag racing can only continue to grow on a nationwide basis in the year 2000. The young and the young at heart will continue to soup up whatever they can get their hands on. The staff at Turbo would like to congratulate Jojo for his rocking of the cashbox, Jotech and Carboy and all the Texas racers for putting Texas on the import drag racing map in a big way in 1999 and John Brown for entering into the coveted nine-second club. We hope to focus on the Texas scene in 2000, see you then.

POSITION NAME FROM MODE OF TRANSPORT ET MPH
FWD QUICK 8
CHAMP JOJO CALLOS LONG BEACH, CA '94 CIVIC 10.299 139.21
RUNNER UP KEITH BURRIS MESQUITE, TX '90 CIVIC 10.744 132.72
#1 QUALIFIER KENNY TRAN GARLAND, TX '93 CIVIC 10.103 141.28
LOW E.T. JOHN BROWN BOCA RATON, FL '94 CIVIC 9.959 NA
TOP SPEED JOHN BROWN BOCA RATON, FL '94 CIVIC NA 146.53
RWD/AWD QUICK 8