Ezell, Landry, Knight, & Core Serve Notice at Huntsville Engine "King of the Coast" Series 2008 Kick-Off as Tragedy Hits "KOC" Racers.
  The 2008 Huntsville Engine "King of the Coast" Series Racers traveled to State Capitol Raceway in Baton Rouge, LA for the '08 Series Kick-Off Opener.  The "KOC" Entered its fourth year of racing action with hopes of 2008 being the best year yet. New Additions to the "KOC" were the J-Mark Race Cars Ultimate Dragster Race-Off which will award one lucky racer a J-Mark Slip-Joint Dragster Chassis, Wade's Tire Barn Hard Luck Award and the Firestone Footbrake Run for the Rubber.


Friday's Test-n-Tune Session would be cancelled due to rain and extreme cold temperatures. Saturday morning would bring more cold temps right around freezing but the day's racing action would kick off on schedule with Jr. Dragsters as reigning Points Champs. Blaine Stewart, Destin Bailey & Timmy Fieramusca set out to defend their titles.

35 Jr. Dragster Drivers each received two time trials as first round of eliminations would kick off at 10:30 a.m. as blue skies emerged and temps warmed to the mid 50s with off and on breezes throughout the remainder of the day. During the 2nd session of Time Trials veteran bracket racer and chassis builder Richard Stephens of Gulfport, MS was involved in a bizarre racing accident in which his dragster after leaving the starting line stood nearly completely vertical to the ground. After slamming to the ground Stephens managed to stop his car near the 1/8 mile finish line and was transported to Lady of the Lake

Hospital of Baton Rouge, LA and treated for injuries and released. An MRI was completed on Monday as results are pending. Stephens put it plain and simple. "It rang my bell."  The "KOC" Series Staff wishes Richard a speedy recovery and are look forward to seeing Richard at future "KOC" Events.


Unfortunately Stephens' accident was not the only misfortune of the day.  Benny Smith Jr. of Baton Rouge was involved in a top end accident that nearly collected fellow competitor Daniel Rolison of Saucier, MS. Smith was able to walk away from the accident with no major injuries although his dragster would sustain significant damage.

The Evening's Racing would finish up around 10pm as Wyatt Ezell of Ventress, LA would take the WIN in his E-Z Chassis in Pro Electronics over Tommy Higgins of Bay St. Louis, MS in his Stephens Dragster.  Pro Footbrake young gun and No Problem Raceway Standout Jay Landry of Prairieville, LA would defeat fellow racer and good friend David Toups of Metairie, LA in a close final round.


Sunday's racing action would go down under beautiful clear blue skies with temps in the low 60?s and virtually no wind. Jr. Dragsters were given one time trial before eliminations were to begin as Hunter Knight of Thibodaux, LA and Alex Core of Crowley, LA made their 2nd final round appearance of the weekend.


Electronics and Footbrake racing kicked off around 12 noon with racers getting one shot down the 1/8 mile in form of a Time Trial or Run-for-Money.  After all the dust appeared Wyatt Ezell again illustrated his driving abilities making it to the final round once again in Pro Electronics.  Veteran "KOC" racer David Reynolds of Petal, MS would take down Ezell would leave the start red.  The Pro Footbrake Final would pit Mickey Brown of Folsom, LA and Aaron Hill of Gulfport, MS in a race that was determined at the tree. Saturday Night Winner Jay Landry would go home Semifinalists and would assume the early lead for the "KOC" 2008 Points Championship.


Sadly the misfortune would not stay at the track during the weekend. Jeff Little and Scott Little of Saraland, AL of J-Mark Race Cars were in the mist of traveling home and were involved in a horrific auto accident that would claim the life of 37 Year Old Dr. Juan Camero of Baton Rouge, LA. Camero's vehicle traveling west bound on I-12 near Walker, LA crossed the median and hit head on Little's moterhome and trailer. At impact the crash carried over into the grass and striking a tree. Camero was pronounced dead at the scene. Jeff Little sustained virtually no injuries and Scott Little was transported to the local hospital and treated for minor injuries and released. Little's motorhome was destroyed and trailer received significant damage.


Prayers go out to the Camero Family as they try to come to grips with the loss of their loved one. "The "KOC" Staff, Racers and Fans will keep the Camero Family in mind through their difficult time", stated Gaylon Rolison Promoter of the Huntsville Engine "King of the Coast" Series.  "This accident just goes to prove once again how fragile life is, and makes one think, especially myself, of the glass of life being half full and not half empty. After personally witnessing the aftermath of the wreckage and clearly seeing how Jeff was shaken up; it puts "things" back in prospective for me and for lots of others.". Rolison Added.


Rolison was quick to recognize fellow racers David Reynolds, Daniel Rolison, and Wade White for staying with the Little Family to help secure their racing operation which lasted until 2:30 Monday morning on the side of I-12. "This just shows how close nit the "KOC" Family is". Rolison stated. "On the track we are competitors and promoters, but away from the track we are one family."


The Huntsville Engine "King of the Coast" Series Event 2 is slated for March 29 & 30 at Gulfport Dragway in Gulfport, MS. Friday March 28 the 2007 "KOC" Points Banquet will honor the '07 Points Champs with Awards, Cash and "KOC" Gold Cards.


The Huntsville Engine "King of the Coast" Bracket Series is never short to recognize Series Title Sponsor Huntsville Engine & Performance Center. Associate Sponsors J-Mark Race Cars, BTE, TSR Racing Products, McMurtry's Automotive, Firestone of Biloxi, MS, and Wade's Tire Barn for their support of the grass roots drag racer.


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