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Danny's Corner

Potato Pickin' -- Drag Racing Style

By Danny White

Everyone who has been around drag racers knows that you give them an inch and they will take a mile. Plus we racers never do anything in moderation -- it has to be overboard. My friend Jeff Duncan was telling me this story of a well-intended contest at an annual car show. The car show is held each year in Sulphur Springs, Texas, in conjunction with the town Dairy Festival. To give you an example how big dairy farming is in Sulphur Springs, they have a dairy museum -- no kidding. But back to my story. The contest held at the cow show was a potato relay. The intent of the potato relay contest was to see who could pick the potatoes the fastest over a set course against the clock. The driver would drive the car while the passenger would use a pick to stab the potatoes and pick them up.

The contest went on for a couple of years without a hitch with just street cars taking part in the contest. But as time went by some drag racers started entering the contest with their street-based race cars. Rather quickly, the laid back potato relay became a wild, no holds barred event. There would be Pro Mod style burnouts prior to the actual relay and endless dry hops like the days of the Super Stock rosin burnouts. My buddy Jeff even used nitrous on his 68 Chevelle and purged the system to drive the crowd wild. He won the relay a couple of years in a row doing this.

But like drag racing classes that are no holds barred, you reach a point where overkill steps in. In the potato relay it was when local drag racer Eugene Edwards, a real nice guy, entered his 55 T-Bird. Edwards' T-Bird was a full chassis, all fiberglass car with a Doug Nash five speed! Eugene also took the passenger door off the car to allow the passenger to stab the potatoes. Needless to say, Eugene slaughtered the rest of the field with his trick nine-second capable vehicle. That was the last time the potato relay was held at Sulphur Springs. The potato relay was another victim of drag racer overkill all in the quest for a win, even though it was not on a drag strip!

Danny White


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