Drag racing has been in my blood since the beginning. I like to say our family racing team goes back to 1974, when my dad admitted he first started street racing. Obviously street racing is not safe or cool in any way, but it was the 70s and everyone had muscle cars, so why not?
Growing up, he’d already switched to drag racing legally at local drag strips, and did quite well.
At 8 I began driving what are called Junior Dragsters, which were new at the time. These pint-sized dragsters made just for kids featured a tricked out 5 horse Briggs motor like on a lawn mower. By 13 I was doing 80+ mph every weekend, thanks to my dad selling his own championship-winning car to fund our racing.
I was consistently finishing top 5 in the points year after year, and one year I won five races in a row and swept the championship a couple of races early. Even had a couple haters telling me I cheated and I was cocky. As a 17 year old boy at the time, one of those things might’ve been true.
The last year in Junior dragsters is the year you turn 18, which was convenient because I started college.
After that, I shortly ran a bunch of cars for other people. My dad, my brother, another racer we know.
But racing etiquette says you split the winnings with the car owner. I did not like running someone else’s car. I really wanted my own stuff! I wanted to win my own money and do it my way.
I was fortunate that my dad is the kind of guy to buy and sell lots of cars, so one day he drives home a stock, barely running 69 Barracuda for $2800 he was going to fix up to resell. I offered to take it off his hands as my new ride.
Even though the stock 318ci wasn’t “fast enough” to require a helmet by the rules (it went a blistering 15.2 quarter mile), I got a one anyway (’cause I only got one head) and I went racing.
Car and helmet. Let’s do it.
Then slowly over time I bought other stuff it needed as I needed it (or broke it). Even now it’s still not exactly the way I want it, but it wins me races, it has won me multiple championships (sometimes in the same year), and I love it.
You can have that same story with whatever car you’ve got, and I can show you how.
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