Page 73 - Nitro Madness Magazine Fall 2017
P. 73

On display were various genuine artifacts from private collections such as trophy’s, jackets, magazine articles, photos, car-club plates.
            His conquest of nurturing Drag       starting line! As “Big Daddy” Don    click on December 2, 1972.
            Racing’s paradise concluded one      Garlits stood on the throttle in his
            decade after it commenced.           “Swamp Rat 13” digger, a massive       Hart’s aggressive management
                                                 clutch explosion sliced the car      expertise as a seasoned event
              CJ Pappy Hart was the perfect      in two in a walloping ball of fire!   promoter eventually discouraged
            successor to the throne. His legacy   Splintering shrapnel discharged     the Lions Club Board of Directors
            preceded him as the pioneer          in every direction, amputating       and the LAHC with compounding
            architect of the 1320 and the        part of his right foot, striking a fan   negative community criticism.
            world’s first organized Drag Race!   in the upper torso and knocking      Pappy made continuous efforts
            Towards the end of the “Golden       out the timing lights! This tragic   to pamper the surrounding
            Era of Drag Racing” Lions was        misfortune was the beginning         community to no avail. CJ was
            once again faced with declining      of the end for the idolized sling-   motivated to pass the facility on to
            numbers. Pappy successfully          shot dragster. Pappy once again      Lions last manager, Steve Evans!
            promoted several Top Fuel, Top       had to dust off his trusty flags so
            Gas, Fuel Altered and Funny Car      the renowned track starter Larry       Being an ostentatious track
            events, match races and bracket      Sutton could kick-off the final      announcer and event promoter,
            races.                               round of Funny Car. Sutton started   Evans felt the track needed a
                                                 working there in 1956 at the young   major transformation and deserted
              On March 8, 1970 one of the        age of 13, handing out time slips.   Pappy’s fostered ideology. He
            most memorable days in Drag          In the summer of 1959 he started     wasted no time in rehabilitating
            Racing history literally stopped     flipping the switch and never        the track and brought in an NHRA
            the clocks at 5:25PM on the Lions    missed a day right up to his last    sponsored event (the “Grand

            Fall 2017                                 Nitro Madness Magazine                                          73
   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78