Page 60 - NM Spring 2018
P. 60

funny cars he raced.  As far as the   208 mph in the Carroll Bros. A/FD   early and stay to the end.  They
        differences between them and any     in 1974.”                            knew the cars and drivers and
        preference for one over the other                                         would stand and cheer for their
        he replied, “I liked them almost       Unlike many of the Texas racers,   favorites.  The track announcers
        equally.  The A/FD had better        Ben toured and raced all over the    like Big Mike Burkhart were
        vision and lighter steering, but the   country.  When we talked about it   good too since they knew most of
                                             some cool stories came out:  “I’ve
        A/FC had better spectator and        raced from California to New         us personally and could give the
        sponsor recognition and made         Jersey and from Corpus Christi       crowd extra insight into the drivers,
        money match racing.  My favorite,    to Wisconsin at tracks like Caddo    owners and crew members as
        though, would probably be the        Mills, Long Beach, Green Valley,     personalities instead of just blandly
        Yancey-Camp- AEECO A/FD in           Irwindale, Beech Bend, Pomona,       repeating our names whenever we
        which I won the NHRA Nationals       and even to England with the 1965    came up to run.”
        and World Finals in 1970.”
                                             U.S. Drag Team.                        He then thought of another old
          Asked about some of his wins, he     “Starting out close to home,       famous racetrack and a race there
        replied:  “The three-in-a-row wins   though, the one I enjoyed most       he couldn’t miss.  “I also got to run
        in the A/Fuel Dragster class at the   was Green Valley Raceway in         at ‘The Last Drag Race.’  I read in
        NHRA U.S. Nationals at Indy in       Smithfield, Texas, near Ft. Worth.    Drag News about Lions Drag Strip
        1968-’69-’70.  Winning Comp at the   Best I can figure, I drove at least   in Long Beach, California closing
        NHRA Nationals and World Finals      eight different fuel dragsters and/  and I had never run a race there…
        in 1970.  The IHRA Longhorn          or funny cars there in a twenty year   the most famous drag strip of all.
        Nationals at Dallas International    span.  I could tow there from my
        Motor Speedway.  The IHRA World      house in Dallas in 45 minutes, tech    “I called all my pit crew and my
        Finals in A/FC.  IHRA Comp in,       in and be unloaded and ready to run   standby guys and nobody could
        uh..1973, I think.  I also set both   in short order.                     go with me on that weekend. But
        ends of a new NHRA National                                               I was determined, so I called my
        Record in A/FD class in 1979: 6.63     “It seems most of the spectators   friend Ray Zeller in Los Angeles to
        and 204.08 mph.  Incidentally, my    were the same people we saw there    see if he could help or if he knew
        best times in the A/FC were 7.63     every week.  They would fill the     anybody who could.  Ray was the
        and 178 mph in A/FC and 6.61 at      stands                               engine balancing guru in LA.  I
                                                                                  knew the two of us could handle it.
                                                                                  He said yes so I got my Mustang A/
                                                                                  FC ready to go.  I only was able to
                                                                                  make one qualifying run and didn’t
                                                                                  make the show.  But I was there, got
                                                                                  the T-shirt and today can say that I
                                                                                  ran at one of the most famous drag
                                                                                  races and race tracks in the world!

                                                                                    “Another special event I was
                                                                                  fortunate to participate in was a trip
                                                                                  to England as part of the 1965 U.S.
                                                                                  Drag Team.  I was on the crew of
                                                                                  ‘Bones’ and Curt Carroll’s dragster,
                                                                                  but when Merek Chertkow, driver
                                                                                  of Dean Moon’s fuel dragster, was
                                                                                  hurt in a wreck while driving on
                                                                                  the unfamiliar (to Americans) left

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        60                                        Nitro Madness Magazine                                 Spring 2018
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