The T-Bone Special
By "Berserko" Bob Doerrer
Photo by Norman "Always In The Right
Spot At The Right Time" Blake
Mike Evegens orders the T-Bone Special when Frank Mancuso crosses the centerline.
Photo by Norman Blake
July 30, 1978 Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ -- It was one of those weird days at Englishtown.
Vinnie Napp had booked in a couple of nitro funny cars, a pair of jets, and two wheelstanders for a mid-summer match race.
After first round, one of the funny car participants (I don't remember who) said he couldn't make the next round. It was the same situation with the jets; one was broken and had to retire. Vinnie got together with Mike Evegens, driver of the "EarthQuake" jet dragster and Frank Mancuso, driver of the "Travel Agent" funny car and they put together a jet vs. funny car match race for the next round.
Not a good idea...
At the green, Mancuso (in the left lane) struck the tires hard and immediately turned right into the path of Evegens jet, which was under full power. As you can see, Evegens had shut down the motor and was on the brakes hard but couldn't avoid hitting Mancuso.
Luckily, there was no fire and both drivers were OK except for broken legs and ankles. Mancuso was treated and transferred to a hospital near his NY home. Evegens spent a week in Freehold Hospital before he was released and I got to know him pretty well as I stopped by to see him every day and sneak in some pizzas and beer.
I don't believe that the insurance companies allow match races like this any more...