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!