This section of the Standard 1320 is dedicated to preserve the many stories from the Drag News years.
Drag News was a weekly publication from 1955 to 1976
~
Stories contained in this section were contributed by the Racers, Car Builders & Race Fans.
Many stories came from the members of the Standard 1320 eGroup
All stories printed by permission

 

 

From The Horse's Mouth...The Real Story About Building the GBP Dragster

 

First met Stuckey when he came to town with Bob Sullivan's car. I was pretty impressed with that act. I think now that he claimed more
responsibility for that car than he actually had. He claimed to be a very good body man and if he had a good chassis, he could make a neat
looking car. I wanted to build my car at the time but didn't have any money for pipe, so we made a deal that he would buy tubing for two
cars in exchange for my doing a frame and front end. I didn't mount the engine or rear end and he went home. I started building my car,
ZPF, and got Wayne Ewing to build the body. That was right after he helped me with the Magwinder. Stuckey got back to town a few months
later with a completed car and ran Half Moon Bay. Impressed everyone up North and started me in the fuel dragster business. I'd only built
gas dragsters and roadsters to this point. Got calls from Gotelli and Masters and Richter right away, I'm now in the fuel dragster business.
Owning to the fact that Stuckey had a sign on the car that said "Chassis by Fuller" and talked me up pretty good. He was a hell of a salesman. Car was sold to Cash Auto Parts to help pay hospital bills. Bay area guys had a benefit race for him. He went home to recoup for awhile. By the time he came out again, Louie Senter had the car. Stuckey planned on running the car with Louie and I didn't hear any of that story except Stuckey said, those guys down there didn't know what they were doing. By this time ZPF has won Bakersfield and I had quite a few fuel cars running. Stuckey was still going being my best salesman and I was planning on building him another car to be my representative. Prudhomme and I were having trouble with Zueschel's ego and had broken up the ZPF partnership. I was going to put 2 unblown fuel Chevys side by side in the car and had figured out a really slick driveline where I wouldn't have to alter the looks of the car. Chet Herbert said he would sponsor the engines so I bought 2 sets of heads and started on the driveline. Sent the heads over to Dick Harryman to get ported. He got them all done very quickly and sold them to someone when he ran short of money. Hardly pissed me off at all. By this time Louie had sold the car to Greer and Stuckey was going to run it for them. Back under the heading of "loose lips sink ships" Stuckey was still out at the shop telling me all his plans. Keith and (I think) Dan Broussard came and took me to lunch, said they were leary of Stuckey and what could I tell them about him. What I said was "I thought he was my factory rep" Keith said if he was, he wasn't a good one and told me a few disparaging things Stuckey had said. Keith didn't want to do any chassis work and still thought chassis were some mysterious thing. I was looking for a place to park Prudhomme so I could get him back after I got my car done. He was back hanging around with Ivo and that was not to my advantage at the time. Stuckey had told me he was going to let Keith build the engine but was going to slip in his own cam, time it and not let Keith know what it was. He thought he was the only one in the country that could make the chassis work by changing the timing, in this case it was 8 degrees retarded. When I mentioned this to Keith, he got as pissed off as I had ever seen him so we made a deal to do the chassis work for nothing if he would give Prudhomme a ride. I was sharing a shop with Wayne Ewing when they brought the car out. I started on the chassis work and they made a deal with Wayne for the body. What was different about my car was the mid section and motor mounts. Keith wanted a standard Donovan rear end so he could use the billet axels. I cut the top rail out from the front motor mount to the rear end upright. The original way was the Donovan engine plate with the ears out the side so to pull the engine, you had to take off the clutch can, clutch flywheel, enging plate, then you could remove the motor. My way was to make an aluminum engine plate that was a body former-firewall and rear engine mount. It hung over the top framerails and was easy to take out with 4 small bolts. I put a new toprail engine plate upright, rearend mounts, and motormounts. The chassis went next door to Wayne. By this time, Ansen and Pink decided to buy the ZPF car and I decided to move North because of a lot of promises from Jim McClennan. Just eat a piece of pie in the sky and things will be wonderful. This is the time for the story of Stuckey tracing my flamecut patterns and going into business with Ivo happened that I've told too many times and I'm not going to do it here. I had moved North by the time Wayne got the body done. I drove down to help put the car together and we took it out to Pomona for the first time. The only two parts left on the car that Stuckey had anything to do with were the streamline tubing draglink and steering wheel. The draglink broke first time out because Stuckey had made it out of two short pieces of tubing welded in the middle and you will notice in the picture of the first time out the black tape on the draglink where it broke. Made him a new round tubing draglink but I could never get him to take the ugly steering wheel off as that was Pruhommes favorite thing in dragracing. Probably still is. Stuckeys last comment to Black as he is driving out of town was "you have really screwed up and nobody will ever hear of this car again".

And that is more than enough of this story. Make a copy and pass it on so I don't have to tell it again.

FULLER
 
 
 
 
 
The Classic Shot
By accident this morning I found this long forgotten shot that embodies many of the classic elements we all hold so near and dear. (Probably Fontana) on a cool if not downright cold night, lining up in that piece of the lane that worked so good last time, but still not too close to the "Moody" pole over there on the left. And, after one last
look at the oil pressure, if you bothered, you'd see a few drops of condensation gathering on the injector just south of the throttle shaft. And, yes the shutoff was every bit that dark and you wondered had we forgotten to remove the pin from the chute release? Again. I am ashamed to tell you I don't know who took this classic shot. He (or she) ought to be recognized for a classic piece of work.
 
For those who never had or haven't yet had the chance to make a pass in one of these old boats, this is about what it looked like and it was/is a kick. It's a shame we couldn't have frozen this stuff for later consumption when we were old enough to appreciate it for what it was.
 
The Beach, Fontana, Carlsbad and Ramona had each a little more ambiance after dark........
 
Hanna
 
Money Can Buy You.... Posted on 11/22/00
 
Wenderski was the "Classic" example of, If I spend enough money, I should win every time school. Very competitive person, in all things, not just racing. John had NO mechanical skills what so ever. That type of driver can get in BIG trouble very quickly, if his hot rod is not sound. At The Pond one Sunday, the clutch started coming apart at about half-track, by the time he got to the lights (under power) the motor was to high C and there was a black cloud pouring out of the cockpit, sparks and shit flying everywhere. In the pit area, a hundred voices in unison were saying, lift John, lift. Not a chance! When we got down there to pick him up, the bellhousing was back from the motor about four inches, the hi-gear shaft was GONE, as was most of the clutch. John was covered head to toe with black clutch dust, all he said to Ronnie was "What's wrong with this thing, it just quit pulling" - He had no Idea, he had almost sawed her in half!

The next thing he said was "What do you mean, we can`t fix it, with the money I pay you guys, you Better fix it! What a beauty!
 

Foster
 
 
 
 
Driving with No Shoes...Posted on 11/22/00
 
Thanks Pete. By the way, someone named Pelligrini keeps showing up in here.
I knew someone by that name once. He drove dragsters, and would even drive without shoes if the car was built for a little guy with small mousey feet. Here's a picture of the first day "Shoeless Ron" drove this particular car.
 
 
Ron "Big Yohns" Johnson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Harry Hibler and the Pond . . . Posted on 12/06/00
Tom Jobe is correct on the Harry Hibler I.D. at "The Pond", the white pants inside the black boots were unmistakable. Also his comment re/James`n Them putting you in the box was true. I guess, on the trailer, would be proper for those days.

I think I`ve told this before, but so what, at least it`s about The Golden Years. As Tom said, Harry ran a tight ship, to be able to get his show off before the church ladies called the police at exactly 3pm. To this end, he mostly hung out between the "Hot Pits" and the edge of the strip. Well, one Sunday, there was some problem with the finish line lights, so our hero goes out to re-align the cells on the centerline of the track. Missed communications between Harry and the starter (Jimmy Scott) caused Jimmy to send the final pair of top fuel cars. Not to worry, they were only John Wenderski with a 3/4 arm in his "Z" powered Black Beauty and The Mood in in his like powered ZFM car. These hot rods were not weak sucks and had a habit of boiling the hides to well past half track. Both were also using 16-20 ft. ring slot chutes. Harry is
crouched down IN the lights, looks up, sees his life pass before his eyes, stays right there as those two wild men fight it out for the win.

lt ended as if George Lucas were filming it with stunt doubles and a huge budget, cut, print.

Bet you money, Harry`s white pants were "spotted" to say the least.
"Sit Low" --- Foster
 
Pond Pcx Courtesy of Dan Kaplan
 
More Pond Stories....Posted on 12/06/00
 
 
Don Ewald's pictures and Pat Foster's great stories bring back more memories about the San Fernando drag strip. All of the pictures you will ever see are taken from the right side of the track because on the left side is one of those big "flood control" channels and down in the shut off area there was only a chain link fence separating the strip from this big concrete walled drainage ditch.
 
Okay, one Sunday afternoon Frank Pedregon Sr. is there racing somebody, just after the lights something goes wrong with Frank's car and it veers left, hits the chain link fence and disappears! Harry Hibler with all of the rest of us right behind him, run over and look down in the ditch, Frank has gone underneath the fence and is sprawled out on the ground next to his car 10 feet? down on the floor of this ditch, it is looking very grim! The ambulance guys just about break their necks getting under the fence and down to Frank, just as they get to him he jumps up and starts laughing, everyone but the ambulance guys fell over laughing, Pedregon's sense of humor is legendary, although the ambulance guys would probably disagree.
 
tom jobe..... The Surfers
 
 
 
Even More Pond Stories....Posted on 12/08/00
WE HAD JUST WON TOP GAS THE PREVIOUS NIGHT AT LIONS. JOHN RASMUSSEN AND I WERE LAYING ON THE BEACH DOWN AT HERMOSA. IT WAS ABOUT TEN THIRTY AM..... RAS LOOKED OVER AT ME AND SAID ...DO YOU WANT TO GO TO THE POND AND TAKE THEIR 150 !!!!!! MEANING THEY WERE PAYING 150 FOR TOP GAS !! WE HAD JUST WON 500 THE NIGHT BEFORE ..I LOOKED AT MY WATCH AND SAID WE BETTER HAUL ASS BECAUSE
QUALIFICATIONS ENDED AT NOON .!!!!!!!! WELL WE RAN BACK TO THE HOUSE ,WHICH WAS ONLY I BLOCK FROM THE BEACH . BACKED THE CHRYSLER HEMI POWERED P U TO THE TRAILER WHICH WAS STILL ON THE TRAILER FROM SAT NIGHT....WE ARRIVED WITH ONLY MIN.TO SPARE. I DIDNT HAVE TIME TO CHANGE OUT OF MY SWIMMING TRUNKS, I JUST PULLED ON MY JACKET, HELMET AND GLOVES AND WENT TO THE STARTING LINE WITH MY TRUNKS AND FLIP FLOP SHOES QUALIFIED WITH LOW ET AND TOP SPEED ON GAS !!!!!
 
CAME BACK PUT IT BACK IN LINE FOR ELIMINATIONS GOT BACK IN THE CAR STILL WITH MY TRUNKS AND FLIP FLOPS ON !!!!!!!!!! RACED ONE CAR FOR THE 150 BUCKS, PUT THE CAR BACK ON THE TRAILER, COLLECTED THE MONEY AND WAS BACK ON THE BEACH BY 230 P M
 
IF THATS NOT FUN I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BILLY "The Kid" SCOTT
 
 
 
 
Traveling Down Dusty Rhodes ...........Posted on 3/9/00
 
In 64'-65' (?) Dusty Rhodes had a very nice Fuller full bodied Top Fuel car. I have heard Kent refer to the car a few times on 1320.
 
Dusty had a fire ,and got his feet burned to about medium rare (pink in the center) He called me from the burn center and asked if I could help him, by driving his Hot Rod till he was able. I should have got the clue as to what was to come, from the origin of that first call. He told me his guys would prepare the car per his wishes - All I had to do was arrive and drive.Sounds good so far.We were to race at Riverside Raceway (Hot Rod Mag. meet - I think?)

After a couple of attempts to qualify, it became apparent to me his guys were`nt gonna make it happen and I told them so.They called Rusty and asked him what they could do.His answer was to engage Ed.Pink`s help if possible.Sure boys-come on over, Pink said, with dollar signs dancing in his head.I failed to mention the car had a Tork-Master in it. Fuller can attest to the fact that a T-M deal was a difficult tune- up at best.After selling Dusty`s guys all the latest bolt - on tricks, we had still failed to qualify after two more tries and several junk pistons.

Well, once again I`m there on a percentage deal and my kids are home hungry.

Stand back - I`ll get this bitch in the show, boys, I said.So I give it the old ten,ten and ten deal,OK maybe 15,10 and 20 ,for you kids out there that's - 10% more nitro- 10 degrees more lead in the mag and take 10 lbs. off the front end. Can`t remember any numbers,but we put it in the show second, behind maybe Tim and John. Oh Yeah! I forgot to say, it also nipped a couple (all eight) and blew their BRAND NEW Pink blower thru the big O in the Champion Spark Plug sign on the bridge over the end of the track ! Couldn't race (out of parts) but his guys were pumped!

They got their revenge a few weeks later at the 'Beach'. Rusty is still M.I.A. so the boys prep the car again for the 'Beach'. They are real proud of their prep and tell me: Don`t worry about anything - We`ve checked and repaired everything in the car.

First run, I get her down thru there to about the 1100 ft. mark and it goes dead-ass sideways with the tires locked - up solid - got it stopped without tipping her over and jumped out-FAST ! The rear housing was smok`in ! New Quiz - What had the boys forgot on their non-existent check list? Bingo ! 90wt. gear oil.

Next week-end.back to the 'Beach'. First run - they forgot to let the air down in the tires,so blazed the hoops and shut off.

Second run - Now it`s dark, leaves hard gets out there about 300 ft. and I can`t see ANYTHING ! Shut her off in the middle of the track and get out. Threw my helmet and shit in the tow car and returned to the pits.They asked "What Happened? That baby was on one!" I said two words "Could`nt see."They said "What?" As I got my stuff out of the tow car I noticed for the first time, It looks like my goggles had been spray painted with white Krylon, also the bill and front of the helmet.I showed that to the guys and they all got funny looks on their faces and started checking out the toes of their sneakers.Then they told me Dusty had been working with the folks at Sperex Corp. on a trick coating for the chambers,valves,top of pistons etc.

Well, so much for 60`s technology! Ahhh ! The life and times of a hired gun! Now you understand why I sign-off with:

Sit Low --- Patty
 
 
"Thumbs" on Packing the Chute to High. . . .Posted on 3/9/00
 
THIS WAS THE 2ND WEEK-END OUT. WE RUN 8.65 ET AT 189.MPH.
WHAT WAS FUNNY, WE HAD THE CHUTE MOUNTED TOO HIGH ON THE CAR. SO AT THAT SPEED, WHEN I PULLED THE CHUTE, THE FRONT WHEELS CAME UP ABOUT 6 FEET INTO THE AIR, I JUST ABOUT SHIT WHEN THIS HAPPEN, THIS WAS MY THE 4TH RUN IN A TOP FUEL CAR.

WALT
 
 
 
 
 
ADVENTURES OF TV TOM: Racing Lefty's Twin Chevy. . . Posted on 3/9/00

If it was Long Beach, I had a better chance of losing than winning.

Anywhere else I won most of the time. This went for all the BIG GUYS. Cyr and Hopper, the Sidewinder, Lefty, all the high gear cars. But Long Beach was so slippery that I couldn't get off the line like a jackrabbit as I usually did.

Most of them ran FASTER, (not necessarily always) but he who got there first won!!!!!!!!!!! It was funny, because Mickey Thompson always said I was getting popcorn times at the other tracks. He never explained the me why I kept beating them in hand to hand combat though. I could see that in a way though, when I was the quickest gasser at 9.5 and on down through time to a 9.16 and had a hard time getting out of the 10's at the dew covered Long Beach. Where as the high cars would not bog down, like other tracks. What's that to say for them? Those weak dog Chrysler cars. When it came to a racers track, my
FIRE BREATHING BUICK did the job.
 
 
 
Like winning the First Smokers March meet for the gas side of the Fuel and Gas Championships."
 
TV Tom...
 
 
Push Starting the Heidelburg Speed Shop Modified Roadster....Posted on 12/06/00
 
I saw them trying to push start that car for two hours, at the Colton track....Seems it had the model A type rearend, and due to a large amount of
beer drinking, the night before, the ring gear was on the wrong side of the pinion....Woulda fired in reverse !!!!!
John Bradley
AKA "Mr Flathead "
 
 
Patty Foster & Jungle Jim - Posted on 3/9/00
 
At Atco N.J. in about 72' (O.K. Lee?) We were to race Jungle in a match race deal - first round 8pm sharp!
Well it`s 7.45 and no Jungle(Hard to believe,Huh!) The track lines up a local leaker and says to me - run this Bozo first round and maybe he`ll show by the second round.

We pull up and I`m dressed and just getting in, everyone in the joint stands up and begins chanting, JUNGLE! JUNGLE! JUNGLE! All eyes are towards the Hi-Way that goes by the track.

The starter starts yelling at my guys - Get him the car, get him in the car!
I look where everyone else is looking and here comes Jungle,strapped in ,motor lit and sending flames above the roof, driving that bitch from where they unloaded it out by the Hi-Way,past the gates and ticket booth thru the parking lot and one end of the pits right onto the starting line and then through the water for a huge smoky burn out. And the crowd went wild! I had time for one squeaky little chirp behind the line,they booed us - then we blaze 'em against J.J. and again the crowd goes INSANE.

Tough gig running the Jungle Man in his part of the country or anywhere else for that matter.

Jim was the King - Hard ass racer and a great showman! R.I.P. my man.
Well here come the tears, night-night.

....Foster
 
 
ADVENTURES OF TV TOM: Cutting Edge Technology, Sidewinder Dragsters & Jack Chrisman ~ (1961)
 
Yes Fuller was on the cutting edge. But you know what they say about pioneers, they get arrows in their ass. Before the dragster builders were using heliarc, I remember going over to Kent's shop one day and he told me, magnesium wasn't flammable at all. He was busy welding the Magwinder together with a gas torch. Then on another trip back there ( we were very good friends and he was one of my stops on my almost daily "milk run" to see what was goingg on ) I found him grinding away on all the welds. He had found out that although it would gas weld, the down side of it was that it would cause the welds to be very inferior and had to be ground out and redone with a heliarc. It would have been easier to start over, but the magnesium tube was frightfully expensive and at that time, as we all know, money was at a premium.
 
Another piece of trivia about the sidewinders. There were three, that I know, of in So Cal. The original Mallard gas burner, and a fuel burner that didn't enjoy the success of the gas car, as well as the Magwinder who also didn't get the success of original.
 
But another pioneer Jack Chrisman, a really good guy with a great personality that I really felt a loss for when he passed away, did some serious test piloting of dragsters. At one time he had a rear housing tear loose from the frame rails and spin around with the rotating U joint hitting him between the legs doing him no kind of good. They then came up with a support under the front of the third member to keep this from happening. Another time when driving the Mallard sidewinder, the push bar on the dragster broke. This caused the push cars bumper to catch the rear tires and catapult over the dragster landing on top of it. On its way over, the underside of the push car caught Jack at the back of the hear and scalped him from the rear forward. This left him with his pelt flopped over his face and a push car on top of him. AND I SAID THIS GUY HAD A GREAT PERSONALITY. He was a hard core good guy.
And then----------well we'll save that for another time.
 
TV Tom...
 
 
 
Racin' at the Beach...Posted on 12/08/00
 
ABSOLUTELY THE MEANEST CAR I HAVE DRIVEN AND I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO DRIVE MANY GOOD CARS.WAS TERRY GALLS TOP FUELER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THAT WAS ONE CACKLING DUDE !!!! IT WAS AT LIONS AT ONE OF THEIR 2 DAY DEALS WHERE YOU RAN THE FIRST ROUND ON FRI NIGHT. WELL WE DREW ART MALONE FIRST ROUND, TERRY HOPPED IT UP IF THAT WAS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THAT SUCKER WAS ON KILL EVERY PASS I MADE IN IT!! I WASN'T WORRIED ABOUT MALONE I THOUGHT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT US .
ANY WAY I BROUGHT THIS BABY TO THE STARTING LINE AND LET ME TELL YOU IT WAS HITTING SO HARD NOBODY WOULD EVEN GET NEAR IT !!!!!!!AS I WAS APPROACHING THE STARTING LINE INOTICED THRU THE FLAMES THAT IT DIDNT' HAVE OIL PRESSURE I MOTIONED TO GALL TO LET HIM KNOW ALL HE DID WAS POINT TO THE BIG END PLUG HIS EARS AND SMILE !!!!

WELL WE STAGED AND I COULD BARELY SEE THE TREE IT WAS HITTING SO HARD THE GROUND WAS SHAKING I NEVER SAW MALONE IN FACT FROM ABOUT 1000FT I COULDN'T SEE ANY THING BUT I DROVE HER OUT THE BACK DOOR. BURNED ALL 8 PISTONS, SPLIT THE BLOCK WALL TO WALL ON BOTH SIDES COVERED ME WITH 10 QTS OF HOT PENNZOIL, COUPLED WITH THE TUFF BLOCK HE RAN TO TRY AND HELP HOLD IT TOGETHER MADE IT SO SLIPPERY I COULDN'T EVEN GET OUT OF THE CAR. WHEN THE PUSH CAR CAME UP, THEY WERE HONKING THE HORN AND WHOOPING AND
HOLLERING, GALL JUMPED OUT AND WAS YELLING "WE BEAT MALONE!! WE BEAT MALONE !!!!" I SAID, HEY TERRY, CHECK OUT YOUR MOTOR !!!!
 
HE SAID "F----- THE MOTOR. WE BEAT MALONE !!!!, WE BEAT MALONE."
 
WHAT A RACER, MY KIND A GUY

BILLY SCOTT
 
 
EMERGENCY... Posted on 3/9/00
 
Adam`s deal reminds me of a call I received at 'The Pond' one Sunday. I'm strapped in, pushing down to fire, make the turn around and the starter Jimmy Scott (Yeah- that Jimmy Scott) gives me the shut it off signal, I look at Rocky, he shrugs and nods OK -shut it off. Jimmy leans in to me and says"there`s an emergency call for you in the tower, sorry but they said it was a real emergency. I jump out, run to the tower, climb the stairs to the top (Horrible things are racing thru my mind) answer the phone, heart pounding and my then wife says "Well I hope you`re having a great time playing big time racer cause I'm home with these kids and MY CAR WON`T START".
Just one of the reasons she`s one of my ex-wives !
Ain`t it great - Foster
 
 
Steve Gibbs' tale (Tail) about Big Gene's Dog Named "Duke"
 
I remember Big Gene's dog real well, a little remembrance of "Duke". It was at Seattle, twenty-some years ago, and I was checking out of the Doubletree Hotel. Also at the desk was NHRA's Division 3 Director, Bob Daniels, who was just raisin' hell with the clerk.....something about lost underwear. I didn't think too much about it, as Daniels was pretty famous for grouchiness in those days. When I got to the track Daniels was still ranting about the hotel, and how all of his skivvies were missing.

Well, they were not missing at all. It seems that the Frakes and Funk gang had "claimed" Bob's laundry at the hotel, and had put it to better use. Those were the
days when we used to parade the TF cars in pre-race ceremonies, so when the Frakes and Funk car rolls up to the starting line....there on the wing sits "Duke" wearing a pair of Daniels' freshly laundered Fruit of the Looms....with a Division 3 patch sewed on the ass. I think they wiped tires with the other ones.....
 
... Hook
 
 
Steve Gibbs: The "All-time Oil Down"
 
Here's a little horror story for anyone trying to keep a track in shape. God knows I have cleaned up a few oildowns in my day, and helped to make the NHRA Safety Safari pretty good at this specialized janitorial work....but this one was definitely out of our league.
 
Back in the days before the EPA was all powerful, I put in a couple of years managing Irwindale Raceway, and was always doing things to try and control the dust in the parking lot. A small local firm was in the business of re-refining oil, and every now and then had a batch that was unusable, so I made a deal with the guy to spray it on the dirt roads in the parking lots. Maybe once every two months, or so, the guy would come out with 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of the stuff. It wasn't paving, but it sure helped.
 
In mid-year, 1968, I left Irwindale to move on to Fremont, but I saw to it that the arrangement continued with Mel Reck, who took over my spot. One day Mel got a call from the oil man (who always checked ahead of time to see if the gates were open) to let him know the driver was on his way with a couple thousand gallons. Mel said "fine - put it down beyond where the last load was sprayed". A little later the truck came into the facility, he waved to Mel as he went past the office trailer, and about a half hour later waved as he left. A couple of hours later Mel went to the starting line to hook up the clocks for the night's grudge races, and damn near passed out when he saw two giant streams of oil, the full length of both lanes! Not only did he have to cancel the race for that night...but almost for the rest of the month. It took half the steam cleaning units in the area to finally get the track back to where it could be raced on, and I'm not sure it ever was quite the same. The un-named truck driver was obviously real dumb....or a really pissed off drag racer getting even. I think that was the end of the free oil for the parking lot.
 
...Hook
 
PUSH STARTS.... Posted on 11/22/00
 
All this push starting, turn around stuff reminded me of a really funny story.

Jimmy Albert, Rocky Childs partner in the Addict car always held Zueschel in high regard and emulated him in all respects, except for girth. We`re at Lions one night and Davey does one of his patented throttle whacks with Ed Pink in the other lane. Dave would stand beside the motor, with his hand on the injector shaft and when he was sure Pink or Black or whoever was looking, he`d grab a handfull of throttle and just smile over at `em. One of the few times we made it to the final round, Jimmy tries the deal against Waterman, I think. He whacks that bitch, backfires the blower, OFF the manifold, the concussion knocks him over backwards and the stand-off tube that holds the no longer exsisting oil pressure gauge is pissing a steady stream of 70wt. on his head. I didn`t know whether to laugh or cry, while I was deciding, I left the mag switch on and just let her die a slow death. What a pitiful sight, he NEVER whacked her again, left that to the real tuners.
 
- Foster
 
 
PUSH STARTS: The Winged Express....Posted on 11/22/00
I have a story of Willie in the Winged Express at Irvindale, we were running for $1,000 32 car fuel Altered show. Pushed Willie down and it fired like always except it lose fire going to the line about 20 feet from the starting line! Oh my God help us is all I could say. And the Stands went silence, and one of the pit crew Don Johnson (build like Mike) grabbed the back of the car and start pushing it and Willie popped the clutch and refired it and me and everyone else in the place went NUTS.
 
WE spend the $1,000, BUT I STILL HAVE THE TROPHY
 
Mousie
 
 
 
PUSH STARTS: The Surfers....Posted on 11/22/00
 
Okay, I'm not sure if I ever forwarded this to the group before but here goes. This is from Tom Jobe. Not exactly a push start story but it's a "push" story. Riverside 1965.
The Riverside drags were held on the back straight of the "road course", the strip went backwards to the normal direction of the track. Many of the teams used the "road course" pit lane over on the other side of "turn nine" to work on their cars. You would pull off to one side and work on your car, then push down the middle of the pit lane to go back to the starting line. - Adam Sorokin

OK..., it was a nice warm sunny day, we finish working on our car, and start to push down the lane. Sorokin is in the dragster, Skinner is driving the 55 Chevy push car and I'm riding "shotgun", when this very lovely young lady, who is obviously getting a good start on her summer tan, walks across the lane in front of us. All three of us are staring at this wonderful sight while the dragster runs into the back of Ed Pinks brand new "high buck" Dodge station wagon. When the dragster hits, it knocks Skinner forward and he hits the gas on the push car and squashes the dragster further into Ed's new wagon. Our "wadded up" dragster now has the front wheels almost back up
on top of the blower when it finally stops. We are still looking at this young lady as it all "crushes" to a stop, she looks back over her shoulder and smiles, and continues on her way. Pink was working on his dragster at the time and saw this whole deal go down, and to Pinky's eternal credit, he didn't say a word to us, he just shook his head and looked at the ground. He knew his car had just been trashed by something as natural as gravity.., young boys and young girls... He knew we didn't have two nickels to rub together and didn't even ask us pay for the damage that surely was worth more than everything the three of us owned. Fortunately we didn't hit his race car or anybody, the only damage was to his wagon and our dragster.
 
tom jobe..."Surfers"...
 
PUSH STARTS: El Mirage....Posted on 11/22/00
 
I have push started and been push started in quite a few cars, but my best memory was pushing Tom Beatty's lakester at El Mirage in about 1956. Tom had a '40 Ford panel delivery with a full race FH that turned 93 mph in the 1/4. This truck would later have a blown Olds in it. Anyway I pushed him off, the blown flathead sputtered and caught and he moved away from me like he was shot out of a cannon. I high tailed it down the side of the course to the timing traps about a mile and a quarter away to find Tom coming back the other way at about 40mph. He had gone 193mph on that run which was top time that day. I came back behind him and tried to synchronize the speed of the truck to the lakester and bumped it hard, causing the end of the tail to bend slightly up. Tom wasn't upset by this. He said one time someone hit him with about a 15 mph speed difference and bent it up real good. The wind came up shortly after and things pretty much ground to a halt.
 
Dave Williams
 
 
PUSH STARTS: Indy....Posted on 11/22/00
 
Push starting at Indy was a thrill. You would start at the head of the staging lanes and push around a curve towards the starting line while other cars were staging. We ran an un blown Chry on 90 percent with 50 in the mag. It would start ok, it wasn't running as fast as it should. I got mad and put 98 in the tank and 60 in the mag and hoped it would start before we ran over someone. It started, sounded like a killer but didn't run any faster. I love the sound when the driver hit the switch and the thing would come to life, start to cackle and pull away. Then he would hit throttle and it would sound like 8 explosions all at once.

Push starting around the pits to warm up was also a thrill.
 
Frank Genco
 
 
 
First 7 Second Run - Tommy Ivo....Posted on 11/22/00
 
 
 
We were standing on the edge of the track at around the 3/4 mark ... Very much a history making run in more reasons then one, as it was also` probably the first 'real' sucessfull use of slipping the clutch in a fuel car (smokeless). I wrote about seeing this run on Header Flames last summer, but wasn't fully sure of what I had seen ... then I got Bob Post's book and that run was covered in it.

I remember the run vividly because there were three of us standing there and we were betting each other on what would let loose first, the engine, or the clutch, ( Ivo was slipping a two disc). We thought he had bogged at first because there was no smoke off the line, then the tires started to haze just a little and he was makin' tracks ...
By the time he got to were we were he was totally hooking up ... You could feel the power in the bottom of your feet - it went up your through your legs and came out your
face ... ... Most impressive run I ever saw ... (or felt!)

... Fred ... bikesters.com
 
 
 
From the Starting Line...Posted on 11/22/00
 
In '65, at the Dixie Drag Festival, held on an inactive WW2 airport, at Valkaria, Florida, Swingle showed up with a new Garlits car, running the the "brand new" 426 "late model" motor. Oddest thing of all was the car had QUARTER ECLIPTIC leaf spring rear suspension, ala the A/GS cars of that day!
Each time Connie would bring the R's higher, let the clutch out and the car would bog terribly, then kill the tires. Last couple runs he made you could tell he was pissed, as he brought the rev's up to F/Gas level, slid his foot off the clutch and got the same result... bad bog, then mayhem. Last run he free-revved the motor so hard that the starting line guys hauled ass, thinking the throttle linkage had broken at W-O-T and the thing was getting ready to saw itself in half in their midst!
 
I assume this was before fuel guys discovered the '26 liked a BUNCH of spark lead more than the 392's. Garlits was still using the 392, but would replace it with a late-model motor later that season.
 
-Jim Hill
 
Late Night Stories on the 1320 eGroup....Posted on 11/22/00
 
Patty
Okay one story and you youngsters have to go to bed. This was not at night and it was close to home, Half Moon Bay. We were booked in for three run deal, 1st run went smooth, by the second run the fog started coming in, but we still got that run off. When it came time for the third run, the fog was so bad you could not see past the tree. Romeo and I was well aware of the fact that we would not get our $$$ if we did not make the three runs. So I tell Don Smith and Jim that when I get to the tree I will be able to see that much farther. HA...HA NOT... When I got to the hot dog stand it was like I was in a closet. Luckily I had sent a buddy down to the 1st light with my truck to park by the edge of the strip with the headlights on bright. When it got dark I counted one thousand 1, one thousand 2, one thousand 3 and pulled the chutes. When I got out at the end I always rolled the chutes up on the left side then walked around the front to get right side. Guess what, I went down in the ditch. The nose was hanging over about two feet. I climbed out and pushed the car back a few feet. So it looked good. Now... go to sleep.

"JetCarBob"
 
Patty
Okay one more. We did run some of those strips in the south east before you youngsters got out of Calif with your FUNNY cars. Jacksonville FL old airstrip, made Bakersfield or Fresno look like Long Beach. This place was so WIDE. No guard rails or points for you to focus on. I lined the car up on the starting line two of my three runs and missed the clocks. Went on the outside of them. And a Jet Car goes straight? Had to take another truck way down to the big end, and I actually had to drive for the headlights. Now go to sleep.

"JetCarBob"
 
 
Dark Tracks....Posted on 11/22/00
 
Well I guess it's time for me to tell my dark track story. It was at the now defunct Fremont Dragstrip, and it was in the late 80s on a Wednesday night, it was late fall and it gets dark early out here, about 6pm or so. Well Fremont was not all that dark - until after the lights then they had all of 325 watt bulbs, or so it seems. I made my run (even then a blown alcohol Chevy in a (front motor car) my first blue car it went 7.37 @189. All was well, the chutes were out and it's real quiet, all I heard is the rocks falling off the tires and the whine of the rear end---and a car doing a burnout..... "oh shit" don't they see that I'm not off the track ...sooooo I unbuckle the belts and stand on the rear end and decide that I'll just push the car off the rest of the track. I step out on the wheel and I do a triple back flip with a half twist gainer and end up in the bushes and weeds. Of course I get up real quick and look to see if any one noticed what just happen as the car rolls off to the left in the dirt. I realize that the car was going 30 miles an hour, not 5 mph. Well by now my crew is coming down the return road as I can see the headlights of my 54 Chevy bobbing up and down, quickly I trot over to the car and try and act natural .As I was taking my helmet off, some one asked where all the weeds came from..........."Oh' I tripped!!

Brendan Murry
 
 
The world`s 'coolest' guy....Posted on 11/22/00
 
Here`s a story, that when I tell it to friends today, I always preface it with, here`s a story about the world`s 'coolest' guy.

In about 69' we're in Tucson for a two day show - 8 fuel cars, 8 funny cars. After the Saturday deal about 10-12 of us go out on the town for some fun (We hope). I don't remember who all was with us, but it included the "Greek", "Maddog", "Tharp", "Austin Coil", "Charlie Thurwanger", John 'Tarzan' Austin, and several other 'Players'.
We end up in some joint,where there are many lovely young hispanic ladies.This seemed like a dream come true for this group of hooligans. With the language barrier and several boyfriend types close by, we were striking out big-time. Now and then one of the ladies would dance-but no conversation, if you can`t talk, it`s difficult to put a
'deal' together.

We did get a couple of them to sit at the table with us and one of the Jet Car guys (J.D. Zink) proceeded to show all us Hero Drivers just how easy it could be.
He's talking to a real sweetheart up close and personal. She`s doing most of the talking and he just nods and smiles and acts like he understands every word she says.(NOT) While gazing in her eyes, he takes out a cigar, puts it in his mouth, dips his index finger in his drink of choice (151 Rum) passes his finger by a candle on the table and lights his smoke with his finger, takes a drag, then calmly blows out the flame on his finger, all this without losing eye contact once, not even for a second.

Let me tell 'ya pal, "macho" works in a Latin enviorment ! We all sat there,jaws agape and watched J.D. walk out of there with the sweetest of the sweet.

No moral - Just "The Worlds Coolest Guy".

Patty