Page 59 - NM Spring 2018
P. 59

Ben Griffin: Tales from the Unblown Nitro Wars

                                         By Connell R. Miller • Photos courtesy of Ben Griffin
          With the media’s tagging them as   dealership.  Later, he became          When I asked him about this he
        “The Kings of the Sport,” AA/Fuel    proficient with the nuances of       smiled and said, “Yeah, I became
        Dragsters and their plastic cousins,   assembling race engines and built   an injector expert, but was no Gene
        AA/Funny Cars, garnered most of      his own 392, 354 and 426 hemis       Adams!  Gene worked for Hilborn
        the press and what little television   (except for one that he obtained   Fuel Injection and got to spend a lot
        exposure our sport had back in the   from Keith Black in 1972).  Injected   of time on the flow bench.  I had to
        day.  There were always complaints,   nitro engines can be finicky at     find out the hard way, by trial and
        however, that their unblown          times and Griffin prides himself on   error and making many mistakes
        brothers in the A/FD and A/FC        the inordinate amount of time he     over time.”
        classes were unfairly slighted,      spent learning the intricacies of his
        citing that many times they had      fuel injection system to correctly     People remember Ben’s beautiful
        higher car counts and delivered      adjust for the different conditions   and well-prepared Woody Gilmore
        just as much excitement and closer   found at each track.                 and T-Bar’s Henry “Moose”
                                                                                  Schroeder-built dragsters and
        racing – all to the delight of the
        spectators in the stands.
                                             Ben Griffin and the Yancey-Camp-
                                             AEECO A/FD.
          Ben Griffin was one of those
        warriors that campaigned with nitro
        but sans superchargers in both
        classes for his entire racing career.
        Raised in Highland Park, a small
        suburb surrounded by the city of
        Dallas, with a father owning a large
        Ford dealership and monthly racing
        at the nearby Caddo Mills drag strip
        by high school classmates as well
        as two families on his street a few
        blocks away that were building and
        racing cars, it was no wonder these
        influences on Ben developed his
        life-long passion for the sport.

          He stuck with his family’s brand
        for his first drag car, a 1957 Ford.
        It wasn’t long, however, before he
        jumped into his first fuel car, the C/
        FD owned by Johnny Dodson.  His
        list of classes raced over the years
        reads, S/S, C/FD, A/FD, A/FC and

          Ben first picked up his engine
        building skills by working as
        a mechanic at his dad’s Ford

        Spring 2018                               Nitro Madness Magazine                                          59
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