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Old 12-04-2017, 12:59 AM   #41
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Default Re: Interesting or Funny Car Stories

Back in '76, I'd built a new car for my girlfriend to race. She'd done real good the previous season, in her E/SA car, winning several races, at local tracks. But, for the 2nd race of the '76 season, we went to Greenville, MS. It was her 1st time there. So, for her 1st time trial, she did a good smokey burnout, and made a full pass. But, instead of coming back to the pits, she turned left at the end of the track and drove a long ways, away from the track,and almost out of site. I asked one of the boys "Where is she going ?"

I told one of the boys to drive the truck down there & see that she gets back. But, about that time we saw her coming back towards the track. When she got close, she saw that there was no return road, but that to return to the pits you have to drive back down the left side of the track. So, she fell in behind a pair of cars that had just run, & followed them back to the pits.

Turns out that the track was on the air strip of an old military base of some sort. There was no return road. But, there was a road which led to where there had been a bunch of buildings. The slabs were still there, but the buildings were gone. So, she had gone sightseeing down that old road, thinking it was the return road.

We ragged her about it, for a good while after that. I still mention it occasionally. She just said "Yeah, I reckin I'll never live that one down".

And she even reminded me of something else she did, during the '75 season. She'd won 6 of her first 7 races, then lost to a car she had beaten several times. I thought maybe the car had slowed on the big end, for some reason, so I was eager to hear what she had to say. Well, she got out of the car, and sorta sheepishly said "I forgot to release the parking brake".

It still worked. So, she had been using it to keep the car from rolling backwards in the staging lanes. We'd push it forward, then she'd mash the parking brake to hold it there. But, when she strapped in for the run, she forgot the brake was on. The guy that beat her was more surprised than anybody there, I suspect. After that incident, I'd often ask her if she'd released the brake, knowing that she had--just to rub it in & have a little fun.

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Old 12-08-2017, 11:18 AM   #42
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in the 90,s i raced with a drag club from central mass-were all at a 1/8 mile track in maine for a 2 day event-i have a 68 notch back barracuda-400 4-speed-i make it to the final on the first day and i,m racing the track champ ,a girl in a rear engine dragster- some how the shifter mount loosened up from the trans and were trying to repair quickly but cannot pull it off--the girls dad is in the staging lane NOT patiently waiting and making a big deal about me being late-we rush to staging and harsh words come from dad to me-so burnouts are done and we pre-stage.for some unknown reason i pull the shifter out of first to make sure i,m in first-big mistake it won,t go back in gear! i,m trying to get it in gear and the starter walks up to my window and is motioning for me to pull in--I,m trying -then the dad is in the background making rude gestures---finally the stick moves forward and I'm trying to think of how to mess the dragster driver up {cause i have nothing on my mind! ha ha } so i put my left directional on and leave on the green--dragster driver leaves on my directional and bulbs! i win and the dad and the driver will not shake my hand when i went over to them--then i win the next nite too great weekend for me! dave
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:40 PM   #43
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In 1975 I was racing a 16 second Z/S Corvair at my local track, National Trail. They would bracket race the eliminator winners against each other for "King of the Hill". I was paired up with a 9 second Comp car. I had broken the rear end on the previous run but the car would still move. Not wanting to give up until I get a time slip that says "lose" I came up with a fantastic plan that would surely beat this guy. The starter told me I couldn't dial slower than 34 seconds so that's what I dialed. I got a green light and drove down to the finish line and parked and waited. Just before he flew by me at 140 mph I drive across the finish line......... And broke out............ It was probably a good thing that I lost.
Bob Shaw V/SA 515
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:27 PM   #44
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Bob was that the same Corvair that you won the Sportnationals with 74 or 75? Well my next story takes place in the early 70s.We bracket raced at Motion Raceway near Decatur,Il. nearly every Saturday night..Had a friend named Kelvinator who raced a stick shift AMX.Good driver,but not very mechanical.After about the second time run,Kevinators starter took a dump, so he just decided to push start the car,and not shut if off the rest of the night.Well he won his bracket that night going 4 or 5 rounds never shutting the car off between runs.On the way home we would always stop at McDonalds in Decatur.Kelvinator who drove his car to the track, was still just letting his car run with open exhaust ,stopped at the restaurant also to show off his trophy and money.While he was at the counter a friend snuck out and floor boarded the open exhaust 390 a couple of time getting the attention of a police officer who was keeping a eye on us across the street.After he left the parking lot he got a escort out of town ,but no citations were issued.
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:57 PM   #45
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In 1968, while stationed in Colorado Springs, I ran the Corvair in Pure Stock at Continental Divide Raceway.. The first time at the track, I was sitting in the staging lanes, next to a snow fence, waiting to move up. Had the driver door open. At the call to move up, I fired up, put the clutch in and the car rolled backwards click, click, click, bang The door broke a hinge and hit the ground. I crawled out the passenger door, set the door back, crawled back in the passenger door, won the round and eventually the eliminator.
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:25 PM   #46
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Working races at NHRA can have its interesting issues. In 1993 NHRA raised the minimum weight in the Super Street class from 2500 lbs to 2800 lbs. At one of the races that season we were spot checking cars at the scales to see how the weight had been added and if it was legally and safely put in the car. A ’57 Chevy came across the scales and weighed 2820 lbs. When we asked him to open the trunk we found eight 25 lb bags of kitty litter. His explanation was that if he blew an engine he could clean the track. That did not fly with us. We sent him home.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:54 AM   #47
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In the early years at a div race at the NE Motorplex at Scribner the guard rails stopped just past the end of the quarter. They also grew corn in between the race track and the pit area which was ten ft tall in august. I think it was a comp dragster lost it just past the finish line and off into the corn he went, not knowing where it ended up the safety truck had to fallow the trail blazed in the field to find it. The driver was ok. One thing about the tall corn you never had to look far for a port pody. All but gone now that track was for many a Field of Dreams. Tom
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:40 PM   #48
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'88 or '89 I was racing in Maitland and was done for the day. Watched a local guy in his first gen Camaro blow it up and when he towed back to the pits decided to drive 6hrs each way to get a replacement engine from his shop. I volunteered to help his crew chief pull the big block. Everything done, all we needed was a chain, the track had an old tractor with a bucket we could use to lift it. One guy volunteered his 3/8 chain (or was it 5/16"?) Anyway, I said no, I have big chain I tie my mustang down with, I'll go get it. Well, jumped into the back of my 1 ton, grabbed the chains and jumped down and started running back to the other pit. Being that it was about midnight and I had a couple beer and the big track lights were directly in my eyes, I ran full tilt into my trailer fender folding right over and taking the wind out of me. Chest hurt like hell so I slowly carried the chains across the pits. Got there just in time to see the engine 6ft in the air dangling by that tiny chain as the tractor backed up. Of course, chain snapped and down came the engine, destroying the ed hamburg pan/crank trigger/damper/etc/etc. I just turned around and went to my tent. Got up the next morning still in pain, went to the line and as soon as the car shook from the burnout I stopped and waved to the track guys. Monday went to the hospital and found 2 broke ribs and 2 cracked.
For those in the Maritimes, it was Ray Roach's Camaro.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:20 AM   #49
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Here is one that I think is interesting. It was about1990 and I was at this old guys shop (this guy could fix anything from a TV to a Bull Dozer) tinkering with my car. It was a 1964 Ford Custom (a Galaxy without all of the chrome). It had a 289 in it and I was setting the idle mixture and speed. He came over and said he would set my idle speed for me. I said ok I'll watch the tach and tell you when it gets there. He said he didn't need a tach and would set it at 750 rpm. So I started it up and after about a minute he said, ok it's there. I looked at the tach and to my amazement it was right on 750. I asked him how he did it and he showed me. He had taken a piece of soapstone and put a mark on one of the fan blades. He slowed the idle back down and I could see the mark going around, then he sped it back up and at the point where it looked like a white line or circle, that was 750 rpm. Sadly, people like him are about all gone.
Derek Hake 4459 H/SA 69' Roadrunner

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Old 12-13-2017, 07:02 AM   #50
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It was 1975, while racing my '69 Camaro in stock eliminator at Conn. Dragway when my Muncie crash box locked up in high gear going through the traps over 100 mph. Rear tires lock up, sending me on a Joie Chitwood thrill ride on 2 wheels. I remember looking out my driver's window and seeing asphalt what seemed like inches from my face. Thank God there was no guardrails at the end of that track. The car drifted on to the grassy area between the track and the return road and came down upright, spinning around several times coming to a stop facing toward the starting line. My girl friend made it to me running before any emergency vehicle did. Opened my hood and engine compartment was full of torn up sod. Track mgr. drives up with a back hoe and wants to lift the back up of my car with the bucket to move it away from the shut down area. I go off on him to get that tractor away from my pristine Camaro, proceed to hook a tow rope to car and drag it over to the return road tearing up all the grass on the way. Removed driveshaft to get car to roll onto trailer. Go home to find transmission trashed and broken tooth off ring gear in diff. Racing season appeared done until my girl hands me a wad of cash and says fix your car. Same young lady I married 2 years later in '77 and yes it was "Annie".
Joe Huestis
"Annie's Song" U/SA 2724
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