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Drag races, burn out competition ends Street Meet weekend in Clayton (VIDEO)


CLAYTON — Crowds lined the side of a drag strip on Graves Street as Richard D. Filkins pushed down hard on his accelerator, shooting a steady stream of white smoke from the rear of his vehicle.

Competing in the May Pop Burnout competition, Mr. Filkins admitted he hadn’t thought of fully popping a tire on his raised silver 2000 Jeep before he entered earlier in the week.

“Then I saw the trophy and got giddy,” he said.

Spinning his rear tires against a metal plate as Clayton Fire Department members sprayed down the plate and his car, he got the result he was looking for about two minutes into his run. His back right tire popped, delivering a healthy bang that sent the crowd of more than 200 into raucous applause.

“It scared the crap right out of me,” Mr. Filkins said. His efforts earned him the second-place trophy for the event.

A series of drag race and burnout competitions served as the finale of the Vintage & Classic Street Meet held this weekend in the village. On Saturday, dozens of classic cars of all makes and generations lined the village’s downtown, drawing thousands of people to the village.

“Off season, sometimes there’s not a lot going on, and usually the weather’s really beautiful,” said Linda L. Brown, a member of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, which organized the event. “Everybody likes to come out and look at a nice car or truck or snowmobile. It’s just something for the whole family to enjoy.”

The event is in its 16th year. However, winners of Sunday’s events were presented 15th anniversary trophies, as last year’s competitions were canceled because of inclement weather.

One of the big winners Sunday was Cesar A. Portela, who took home top prize in both the Best Burnout and May Pop categories with his 1997 GMC plow truck, which he entered for the first time this year and decorated with a collection of goose decoys he used for hunting.

“They’re just for show,” he said. “People like the geese.”

People also liked the modifications Mr. Portela made to his truck, which he said had 330,000 miles on it, including special tires that emitted pink smoke during his burnouts, and a second engine in the truck’s bed for additional noise.

A mechanic for the city of Watertown, Mr. Portela was able to work out an unusual method to keep his engine and transmission cool, running a line through a cooler attached to the front of the truck containing 12 bags of ice.

By the end of his burnouts, he said, every bag he placed was nothing more than puddles.

Another highlight Sunday was a specially modified car that lit gas it shot from its rear, sending flames at least 10 feet high into the air.

“Somebody have a hot dog?” said Donald E. Lingenfeller, the chamber’s president and master of ceremonies Sunday.

Video from the day’s events can be seen at

2013 Clayton Vintage & Classic Street Meet
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