Page 48 - NM Spring 2018
P. 48

NMM - What is the normal nitro     nostalgia, off-the-beaten-path       in the finals.  A win for him would
        percentage that you run?             dragstrips anywhere are my           have clinched the 2001 Hot Rod
                                             favorite places for a great match    World Championship on that day.
          Jim - Regarding our fuel, people   race.                                He did go on to win the IHRA Hot
        often come up to us and say, “Man,                                        Rod World Championship later that
        how much nitro do you run in that      Jim - We’ve run a lot of large and   year.  My biggest disappointment?
        thing?”  Here’s the deal:  We are    small tracks and to test we usually   I was born ten years too late
        a ‘60s “match bash” car.  We don’t   go to a track near Joplin, Missouri   to enjoy drag racing’s heyday
        know how much percentage it will     called Mo-Kan Dragway, a very old    (laughs).
        take to win today, but we know how   school track but exceptionally well
        much we’re going to bring…we are     run and so sticky your backup girl     Jim - I bought an aluminum-
        a nitro car!                         better have her high-heel tennis     front max wedge four-speed ‘64
                                             shoes double laced!                  Plymouth, and the highlight of
          Steve - We usually run about 46%                                        the two years I ran that car came
        nitro.                                 NMM - Care to share what your      at a big Super Stock race at the
                                             least favorite ones might be?
          NMM - Tell us about the racing,                                         Wichita track.  That evening the
        car show or “cackling” events that     Jim - the least favorite tracks for   final eight cars and drivers were
        you do with your cars.               any real deal nostalgia racer are    called to the line where they had
                                             the huge newer tracks with tech      us draw from a hat who we were
          Jim - We don’t do any car shows                                         to run.  Well, to my right were S/S
        or cackling type of events like most   personnel that don’t have a clue and   heroes Gas Ronda and Les Ritchie.
        other cars similar to ours.  I’ve    about twenty people in the stands    I remember thinking, crap! I hope
        worked on and been around nitro      because the race wasn’t properly     I don’t draw either of them!  Well,
        cars since I was eighteen and have   promoted.                            I drew Les and he and Gas had
        a great respect for those types of     Steve - My least favorite tracks   their new lightweight 427 cammer
        motors.  They’re not really a hobby   are the antiseptic, lack of intimacy   Mustangs there.  Les caught me
        or fun level toy at this stage.  Even   and all too impersonal national   at about eight-hundred feet but it
        when we do a startup in the pits     event tracks that seat 40,000        was the best loss I ever suffered – if
        it’s best if no one is standing right   people.                           you’re gonna lose, lose to the best!
        around the front of the car.  At a
        recent match race in Missouri,         NMM - Why don’t you                  NMM - How do you like the
        when we hit the starter button it    share with us any big thrills or     current nostalgia racing and how
        suddenly separated the new three-    disappointments you’ve had in        would you improve it?
        hundred-dollar starter motor into    racing?                                Jim - If you look at where the
        four pieces.                                                              nostalgia races are drawing huge
                                               Steve - We never raced for
          Steve - We do the match race       points, just entered any given       crowds and hundreds of cars
        deal every summer.  It’s usually a   weekend to see if we could spoil     you’ll see the greatest activity
        best of three against Ed Miller and   someone’s day.  Our big win at      is in the east, the south and the
        his 1970 Pro Stock Hemi Duster re-   the IHRA Hot Rod (10.90) class       southeast.  The Meltdown Drags
        creation or Jim’s “Big Iron” A/FX.    Divisional at Virginia Motorsports   in Byron, Illinois is probably the
        We also have been a regular at the   Park, Labor Day weekend 2001         best managed large event in the
        “East Coast Hall of Fame” car show   with the Charger was our best        country at present.  The staff are
        in Henderson, North Carolina over    win, and we did it with only a trans   people that “get it” and the stands
        the last twelve years.               brake, no electronics.  We tuned     are packed.
                                             the car to run 10.90 straight up.      Here in the Midwest now,
          NMM - What are your favorite
        tracks?                              We beat the number two car in the    probably 3 out of 10 nostalgia
                                             nation in the semi-finals and then   races are done correctly, with
          Steve - The smallest, oldest       went on to beat the number one car                   Continued on page 51

        48                                        Nitro Madness Magazine                                 Spring 2018
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