From this point on it was weekend after weekend of drag races. Every weekend
my Dad would be in Lubbock or Amarillo, Texas, or Roswell or Albuquerque, New Mexico at the drags. Many times I
would go with him. This was such a charge for a kid, being in the pits, or hanging out at the finish line, where
he would pick me up and let me ride back to the pits with him. I will never forget the sheer sound of power echoing
inside the shell of this "grocery wagon's" body.
As I stated this car was planned from the beginning. It was intended to be in the L/SA class, whereas most cars
that were in this class landed there by accident. The trophies started piling up. Every single time this car raced
it came away with First Place In Class, except once, when he blew a 95¢ radiator cap and had to shut down.
During final elimination's he would always find himself pitted against a guy named "Red" Nevins, who
worked at a Pontiac Dealership. They would always fight it out, and "Red" had the edge on him, time after
I will never forget the excitement when my Dad finally beat him. But the biggest smile, the greatest source of
pride, the "pay off" came on March 30, 1969, in Amarillo, Texas. On that day my Dad set an NHRA World Record
for the L/SA Class.........mission accomplished.
Racing, especially in those days, was expensive and cost prohibitive. My Dad gave it up on a regular basis, but
not his love of cars and power. He always had an awesome car. I would love to possess the knowledge he had of engines,
but I am content with what he did pass on.
Ten years later, they opened up a 1/8th mile drag strip in Clovis, NM, to help curb some of the street racing that
was going on. I took my motorcycle there to give it a try. It wasn't even set up for motorcycles, we all had to
tape up our front wheels to trip the lights. I took my air cleaners and mufflers off on an otherwise stock Yamaha
650. This bike generally wasn't known for speed. The things my Dad told me stuck with me, "Don't watch the
green go on, watch the yellow go out, don't spin your tires or pop wheelies, keep the rev constant and slip it
off the line".
My Dad and a friend came to watch me race that day. He told me "If you win once, it's luck, twice is skill".
I eliminated 21 motorcycles that day for a first place win. Some of them I wasn't "supposed" to beat.
Kawasaki 500's and 750's, other bikes of bigger displacements. The guys from the local Yamaha shop, where I bought
the bike, were coming over asking me what I did, and were talking maybe they wanted to sponsor me. My bike wasn't
"supposed" to run that good. But as others impressively smoked their tires and popped their wheelies
I was cruising down the track creating a gap that they could not make up. They didn't even have a trophy for motorcycles
I was awarded a plastic-like trophy with a car on the top. Didn't matter I was a happy camper, as was my Dad. But
not as happy as I was 2 weeks later, when I did the same thing.
It was then that my Dad realized that maybe some of the "ol block" had chipped off on me, and I realized
that the vehicle IS important, but it's the driver that is critical.
I love you Dad..........thanks.