Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Here's where we go to kick back after the races with our pals. Pour a tall one, punch a few buttons on the jukebox, and relax...
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:02 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Randal Artz, from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Randal was recommended to me by our friend and former Racer of the Week, David Strine. Thanks, David!

Randal is one of the most popular and respected drag racers in his region and at his home track at Tulsa. His 9.90 Suzuki Bike, the “WILDWEASEL” is a longtime winner and top competitor, and he now has a new, bigger and more powerful bike that he has titled FRANKENWEASEL!

Randal told me he cherishes his friendship with David; exponentially he’s been there thru thick and thin. Always ALWAYS keeping it on the positive side, because Randal has been through some real lows these last few years, and he’s there to pick him up.

Randal said the wildweasel has now been retired and his big brother frankenweasel is nearing completion. Yes it’s a homage to his buddy David, whom he lovingly refers to as “Smalls”! Lol

Frankenweasel is a 1570cc Suzuki! Makes about 250hp! Should run Super Comp 8.90 numbers easily!

When I got an update from Randal a few weeks ago, he said he was maybe a week off from firing it up and do a burnout in the driveway!

Randal said they’ve been in a dry spell awhile but he loves to support a place call the Little Lighthouse in Tulsa. It’s a Christian-based school for special needs kids. He told me it’s really awesome what and how they do for kids. He has given a few checks to them.

Randal finished runner-up 2 times in Tulsa’s Bracket Series before they dropped the motorcycles as a class. He finished 3rd in the PMRA Pro ET class, and so far he’s 3rd in points in the PMRA Super Gas class. He has won one time in Super Gas and he has 3 runner-ups. He is now debuting the new bike FRANKENWEASEL!

14, going on 15 years ago, Randal was a strung-out junkie who was lost in the darkness of meth addiction. One day, a lady and he met on Hwy16 coming out of Fayetteville. Randal hit her going 45 mph on his Harley. His life changed forever. God saw fit to use this accident to get through to him that He loves him. Randal went thru the laying around feeling sorry and just wallowing in pity, to living the dream. This lady turned out to be a substance abuse counselor at the VA hospital in Fayetteville. Coincidence?! HE KNOWS NOT! He pulled up with her help, and he has strived to better himself and others ever since.

Randal’s bikes numbers are 3:16 and 3:17 from John. “For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send the Son to condemn the world but to save……”

Well done, Randal Artz. You stand tall and proud to us. We wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:41 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Don Phillips. Don is a longtime friend and as well as being the admin of the huge Maritime Drag Racing website, he has also handled all of the updates for the Pee Wee Bowen Band’s website.

Don lives in Sydney, Cape Breton Island - a part of Nova Scotia that's been at odds with the Mainland since they were annexed in 1763. He’s a retired Millwright/Stationary Engineer, born on the same day in 1949 as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Don was raised on a farm about 30 miles away and all his toys are stored there plus his brother Spencer and he do all their work in the garage. He worked at the family woodlot and sawmill until he started his apprenticeship for the Millwright trade in 1970 (Stationary Engineering in 1974). Don spent most of his working life in coal mines and boiler rooms and tinkering with cars and trucks. He couldn't leave anything stock at all so everything always got more power. He never really cared how anything looked as long as it was safe and fast and when something broke due to abuse it got beefed up. For a long time he had a reputation for "Overkill Engineering" because he was always making sure broken stuff couldn't break in the same place again… witness all the square feet of steel plate and miles of welding rods the loader on his tractor got over the years.

Like most of us Baby Boomers, Don got hooked on drag racing back in the early 60s and when he was 16 the first actual race he had was in a ’59 Ford ragtop with a 352 when he whipped a 327 1962 Chevy Impala on the "official" street racing stretch of road between their farm and the local fishing village. His first race track only vehicle was a 1965 Chevy II wagon 327/250 they built for H/SA back around 1973. Don retired from drag racing in 1979, then around 2001 he started working at Cape Breton Dragway as Tech Inspector. That was fun until 2009 when he got the itch again and decided to give the Sportsman class a shot in his daily driver Chev truck and actually had some luck. Switching between the truck and his Mom's Cavalier, they got the "Rookie of the Year" award, went rounds, won an event and wound up in 4th place in track points for the year. After that came a VW Golf, then for several years they ran a 1996 Saturn and couldn't seem to do anything wrong with it. They won multiple Gamblers races against dragsters and quick door cars, finished in the top half dozen spots or so in track points every single year, nabbed one Sport Compact championship and one Sportsman class championship at Cape Breton Dragway, top 5 a few times in ADRA points, and a second place in an ADRA inter-track "team race". That little green car wound up with 25 trophies and a pile of cash in the 7 years they ran it but it finally died and got parked when the Ranger came along. Don’s best memory of the Saturn was at Miramichi Dragway in New Brunswick when he faced a Top Sportsman Cougar in a Gamblers Race. He was dialed at 18.10 and the Cougar was dialed at 7.10 and when the announcer said it was the biggest handicap he had ever seen, everyone in the place rushed for the fence. Don red-lit and threw it away but when the Cougar passed him at the finish line Don was at 75 mph and the Cougar was at 186!

They bought the Ranger as a roller in the fall of 2017, then gathered up all the race parts Don had kicking around for up to 30 years or more and they got it on the track late in 2018 with a lot of new car bugs to work out that continued into the first event of 2019. They have OLD and tired 350 Chev power because the "good" short block didn't get finished due to lack of funds. Right now it's got a 1984 GMC 3500 tow truck short block with a zillion miles on it, crank, rods and pistons all original but rings and bearings renewed, angle plug Bowtie heads that came off an 8 second Comp car, big solid lifter Crane cam, a Holley single plane intake, a 750 DP Holley, crank trigger, MSD ignition, TH350 trans, a 4500 API convertor, an 8.8 rear end with 4.30s and 9X30 "NHRA Stocker" slicks. The "good" short block didn't get finished in time for the 2019 season so they stuck the old wrecker's engine in there that was under the bench in the garage for 20 years LOL. In spite of all that they muddled through the season, won a few rounds, got one 3rd place and finished in 7th in track points for Pro ET.

Getting injured back in April put the brakes on all the improvements they had planned, so they did nothing to the truck other than put fuel in it all the 2019 season.The "good" short block will have forged internals around 11.5:1, gears will change from 4.30s to 4.88s and they now have a transbrake and roll cage to add to the "to do list". That all means that Don will finally be able to use the 4000-7500 RPM range the camshaft needs for max power. He decided that their old worn out tow truck engine with cast pistons and cast crank required a 6000 chip in the MSD so it wouldn't go "KABOOM" so that lets them run 8.0s @ 85 MPH in the 1/8 mile

Being on the "disabled list" with his detached bicep also means nothing got done to Don’s daily driver: a1994 Silverado 2500, the garage is a mess, the house needs work, the yard is returning to the wild and worst of all this time of year is not being able to use a snow shovel without a lot of pain. They just had 3 major storms in 10 days and Don’s arm now feels worse than it did when he first hurt it back in April. Surgery is scheduled for Feb 13th and the surgeon says Don should be good as new by May. Now if he can get the gears changed, rollcage in and the transbrake installed they will see if they can get another season out of their old tow truck engine. Don’s even considering changing that MSD chip from 6000 to 6500. The "good" shortblock only needs a steel 3.48 stroke crankshaft now to be finished and they’re hoping for a late 2020 or early 2021 debut for that one.

Don, good luck with your upcoming surgery. You need that arm to do all your stuff with it and it all sounds like fun! Thank you for 10 years of outstanding work on the Pee Wee Bowen Band website. We wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:05 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Riley Kamahele, from Hilo, Hawaii. Riley is a 22-year-old drag racer who started racing when he was 16. His notorious “BoogeyMan” Toyota 1.8 rotary-powered hot rod is his main weapon of choice, but his Dekam Racing fleet of hot rods are always there at his home track in Hilo. Both his Dad and Mom race Dekam Racing cars. Riley is a great guy with awesome hot rodding talent. He built the BoogeyMan himself and he’s won several events at Hilo over the years. He’s been able to get the performance improved from starting out running 12.50s down to 10.90s and more cool stuff is ahead for him.

I asked him how he came up with the name “BoogeyMan” for that car and he had a perfectly logical explanation…When the build was going on, Riley would leave the car at the shop and go home late at night, and when he would return in the morning, new parts were sitting there that he needed and there was no note left or any sign of anybody having been in the shop after he left! His uncle asked him where those parts kept showing up from, and after he and Riley couldn’t say who or how they got there, they decided that the BoogeyMan did it! So that became the legendary name for Riley’s hot rod.

Riley told me that he’s starting work on BoogeyMan II and he said it’s going to be one of the greatest hot rods in Hawaii. I certainly agree with that statement, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new car out there tearing up the track soon!

Riley and Dekam Racing, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:39 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Brayden James Plunkert, from Westminster, Maryland. Brayden was recommended to me by our friend and former Racer of the Week, David Strine, and Brayden’s information was given to me by his Mom, Jessie Plunkert Baginski. Thanks, David and Jessie!

Brayden is a champion young racer, and I felt after receiving his recommendation that I should take a step back from Drag Racing one time and feature this kid. He deserves it.

He has been racing quarter midgets since 2015. He wants to race late models when he gets old enough. The Motors in his race car are Honda & Briggs & Stratton.

Brayden is the 1st place champion in the TNT series in Sr Honda and Sr Animal. His overall points standings are: 3rd place in Sr Animal, 4th place in Light 160, and 5th place in Sr Honda. Jessie told me they are excited to see what 2020 brings for their team.

Brayden and Jessie, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:57 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Ken Beaverson, from Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Ken was recommended to me by our friend and former Racer of the Week, David Strine. Thanks, David!

One of the tracks Ken races at is South Mountain Raceway. He and David have had several races together, with David losing to him, but Ken is a great guy and he is a really good racer and helps Mike Natoli, owner of the track, to help this track stay in business, and is very concerned about his friends and fellow racers.

Ken’s ’67 Camaro and ’70 Nova are both Big Block Chevys. The ’67 Nova is a Small Block Chevy. The ’48 Ford pickup has an LS motor. All are street driven. Ken also runs at some no prep events . All The performance parts are supplied by American Speed Center. Ken buys local brick and mortar . Ken said they race as Area 51 Racing . He started at street racing as a teen in Collinsville,Pa. He’s been married to Kathy for 28 years; they both have a passion for cars and racing.

David said that Ken was more worried about him getting mad at him if he would win when they raced each other then if he was losing or anything of the kind. David told him don't worry about that…the best man wins and the fastest car wins and you know he turned around and beat David twice, the second time by .277.

There are a lot of good friends like that in the Mid-Atlantic Street Outlaws group. Ken and David met at an MASO meeting and when David started going to South Mountain, Mike Natoli wanted him to know that the track needed help drawing other racers so he contacted Ken. Now, David had known pretty much Ken could beat him, but he called him out to race anyway. Ken has a 632 on juice and David’s is a 396 small block on juice and sure enough, they raced with Ken's stipulation that they will remain friends. Ken beat David fair and square both times, and first thing David did was go back to the pit get out of the car and shake his hand, and he would do it again! David said It's not about winning or losing, it's how you win or lose that makes you a good racer and a good man.

These guys exemplify that philosophy, and I couldn’t agree more with it. Ken, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:55 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Mike Racer, from Sikeston, Missouri. I’ve had Mike on the schedule for a feature for quite a while, and we were finally able to get synchronized on a date. It’s great to have Mike onboard with DragList LIVE for this feature.

His rear-engine Corvair Funny Car is a unique and exciting hot rod, unlike anything else that’s out there running, and he has put his life’s work into it. Here’s a guy who has always thunk outside the box, folks. He has given me a lot of great information about himself and his car and I’m proud to relay it to you tonight.

Mike Puzycki was about 9 yrs old when he decided a Rear-Engine Funny Car was what he wanted to do. He figured someone would build one, and he would move there and work for them…but when nobody built one, he realized the burden fell to him. If he didn't do it, the it likely would never happen, so Mike sold everything he owned (the houseboat, the dirt bike, the furniture) to raise 20 thousand dollars to start his own team in 1997.

He told me “All my Friends were getting married and having kids... I started a race team !!”

Originally the car had an ’84 Corvette body and it ran for several years with that configuration, but a crash happened at Lakeland, Florida in 2014 and things changed after that. Mike knew he was in big trouble, he had the fuel off and the chute out as he crossed centerline for first time in his life. A fluid leak from the transmission caused the crash, it was a crew error.  He recorded 106 MPH on 2 wheels and went head-on into the wall... then he climbed the wall and spun out, and caught fire. The EMT guy grabbed him by his firesuit and pulled him out thru smoke and fire. Mike was uninjured, EMT guys are HERO's !!

The chassis is an ICW (Innovative Chassis Works) of Gainesville, FL, and it is the last rear engine funny car ever built (which was 1998) and it takes full advantage of the modern technology, such as: Rack & Pinion steering, a Tripod front end, 30 inch front overhang, 125" wheelbase, increased driver setback due to smaller components, and so forth…

He had the chassis updated to the Eric Medlen rule for 10.1E alcohol funny car chassis.

Mike had the body custom made by Pat Sherr (RIP) and purchased it from Don Hudson when Pat passed away. He had to move all 4 wheel wells to fit the R/E chassis.

The Corvair body was on order for 3 years when Mike crashed in 2014… He called a Team / Sponsor meeting... Do we quit, or do we turn this into a positive and forge ahead ? They forged ahead.

The engine in this fabulous creation is a 496" Big Block Chevy, a 4 bolt bowtie tall deck poured solid, with custom solid aluminum Brodix heads, 13:1 Arias pistons, MSD everything, Enderle fuel injection, a Kryptonite stroker crank, with Aluminum rods. It can run straight alcohol, but Mike usually runs 10% though. It also can run 25% Nitro, but he has to alter the tuneup, and that combination comes with more maintenance. Mike runs an FTI transmission.

In the past, Mike was running with the Southern Slingshots group, and although he was not an actual member, they let Mike’s team run as field filler, when they had a low car count. They are a Front-Engine Dragster Nostalgia group, and they just got a new owner... Mike spoke with him today and... he is a full-fledged member now. They opened up the rules to allow period correct funny cars into the mix. This is great news because Mike puts on a show every time he makes a run, and seeing him run is an unforgettable experience! It will add to the appeal of this group!

Mike’s track in Sikeston, Missouri is an AHRA track, and he helped Dallas write rules for for their new Econo-Comp class, shades of the old Pro-Comp class from years ago. That class brings funny cars back to AHRA, Mike’s included. He told me that this Corvair Funny Car is the primary reason that Larry trusts him with his track, and feels comfortable selling it to him.

Missouri is kinda far from Southern Slingshots, so Mike is hoping they will schedule a race near him, or have him host an event for them.

Mike and his friends are going to host a DRC event for his buddy David Pike Jr, to help people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (like David's daughter).

Mike is a great guy and a great Racer. We wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:04 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Brad Langford, from Carterton, New Zealand. Brad was recommended to me by our friend and world-class drag racing photographer, Stephen Virtue. Thanks, Steve!

Brad is a crane operator and an aluminum fabricator, and he is a member of the Wild Bunch, a group of maniacs in New Zealand who put on a fantastic show with their hot rods. The group is aptly named!

Their racing is unlike any other in that it oozes body-style diversity come race day. From Tri-Five Chevs to Willys coupes, Holden Utes to first-generation Camaros, everybody has a favourite. But, to be honest, there’s not one that’s much cooler than a Ford Pop Ute — with this example being featured tonight.

Owned by the father-and-son combo Peter and Brad, this insane little hot rod Ute is powered by over 1200hp of 353-cube small block, but it’s unique because it utilizes a not-so-common Pontiac tall-deck Rocket block, bowtie splayed valves and symmetrical port heads, and it is stuffed with parts and pieces from all the players in the performance industry. It’s no surprise then that the ‘little small block that could’ is more than capable of long, smoky burnouts and straight as-an-arrow, high-seven-second passes, all with only a wee 8-71 supercharger, spun at a mere four per cent over. The consistency of the Powerglide shifted combo is what makes it killer, and this is what will make the Blue Thunder Racing Team a major player on any race day.

The ‘Blue Thunder’ name has always been there in some form, but new for the 2019 season was the addition of new livery, courtesy of the super impressive talents of Kurt Goodin of KG Artworks. Seriously, if you’re at the racetrack, check out Brad’s super cool Ute and the insane art that adorns its minimal bodywork — you won’t be disappointed.

This is a true family effort, with Brad’s parents Peter and Karen heavily involved along with Brad and his wife Kathleen. And they couldn’t do it without the help of PBS Windows, Lift Tech, General Metal Recyclers, SV Photos, and a bunch of others who have all pitched in.

With an exciting new season of opportunity ahead, Brad and the team have a bunch of dates locked in at Masterton Motorplex. Even though it’s probably one of the smallest cars in the Wild Bunch, with one of the shorter wheelbases, the Blue Thunder crew aren’t fooling anybody and will be a serious threat to go deep on Sunday and it will look damn cool doing it.

Asked about personal questions, the dumbest way he’s injured himself: cutting ply with a jigsaw, caught, jumped up, and cut through his thumb. Name a store where he’d max out his credit card: KG Artworks. The movie title that best describes him: Chopper!

Brad, this is an outstanding race car, and we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:29 pm

My first pick for the Double-Header Racer of the Week is Anthony Layne, from Fulton, Illinois. Andy owns and operates Layne Automotive & Speed in Fulton, and he was recommended to me by our friend Marty Van Huele. Thanks, Marty!

For the first time in four years, Arnie Beswick’s signature Pontiac Tameless Tiger II was in action at the 66th annual World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova International Raceway, thanks to Anthony.

15 years ago, Arnie brought him an axle to have a bearing pressed on. “I hand it back to Arnie and he’s like, 'What do I owe you?'” Layne recalled. “And I go, 'First gear in that hot rod of yours.' … Since then, there’s a couple other things I did. So I said, 'We’re up to fourth gear now Arnie, I want to drive that car.' That was about six years ago and he didn’t forget that.”

The car sat idle until Arnie, now 89, said he needed a mechanic as well as a driver. “I said absolutely,” Layne said. “To drive this car is an honor.”

“I know he does eat and breathe racing,” Arnie said of Anthony. “He’s probably as good of a pick as you could get.” Driving this iconic car requires a fair share of work. And the GTO 90s Pro Mod needed some TLC to get where it is today.

Anthony said it had been sitting for about three years. They had to fix a lot of bugs and stuff to get it going. Now they’ve been to a few events, getting the bugs worked out and it’s running real well.
Two of Layne’s weekend warriors, Marty VanHeule and Bucky Owens, are among those volunteering to help him with the car. Anthony said it takes a team effort at races and in the shop to be successful. Now, the unmistakable vehicle can be a crowd pleaser on the track as well as off once again.

“We’re here to put on a show to replicate Arnie’s driving and his ability to drive,” Anthony said. “In fact, the car is actually in the same shape that it was when he drove.”

Arnie drove by the seat of his pants, and that’s how he wants Anthony to drive the car. And that’s what they’re doing. They’re trying to keep it as authentic as they can.

Anthony Layne is an experienced driver with 30 years of visiting the World Series of Drag Racing under his belt. He drives three other cars. What he has is fast bracket cars, a top dragster, and Super Comp dragsters. His son Colton's Camaro is a 99, and It runs 11.80s in Modified ET Brackets. He built his Top Dragster in 2000. Anthony was “court-appointed” to drag racing after getting in trouble for street racing when he was younger. He used organized drag racing as a positive outlet and it paid off. It’s turned into quite a business for him. He’s won multiple Super Comp Championships, class championships, track championships, and multiple high-dollar bracket races across the Midwest, everywhere.

He can’t deny the sense of history he feels when stepping into the tiger-striped hot rod. The original Tameless Tiger was destroyed in Beswick’s 2003 accident. “You don’t get to race a piece of history like this,” said Anthony. “I remember seeing this car, years ago, go 7.14 at this track at the World Series. And I’d love to see it go 7.14. We’ve got some tuning to do, but we’ll eventually get there. (Arnie) hasn’t taught me all of his tricks yet.”

Anthony said Arnie can still get behind the wheel and instantly connect with the vehicle after warming it up. He can get in that car and tell you what may be bad or not with the clutch, with the shifters, how they pull, he can reach for everything and he knows everything by sight and feel. He hasn’t forgotten anything. That 89-year-old guy turns into a 20-year-old kid when he gets in that car. Or even around it if they’re working on it.

We look forward to seeing Anthony, Arnie and his crew with the Tameless Tiger and Anthony’s great hot rods in the upcoming season! Anthony, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:35 pm

Finishing up the second slot of a Double-Header for this week is Gary Klavon, from Port Byron, Illinois. Gary was recommended to me by his daughter Emily Kristina. Thanks, Emily!

Gary is a legend at Cordova International Raceway and at all tracks in the region. His ’65 Chevelle has been with him for over 45 years, and as Gary told me, it’s outlasted 2 wives and 4 dogs! Gary got his Driver’s License with a ’63 Impala. He started drag racing in 1974 with a ’55 Chevy running a stick shift and he’s been running ever since. Many racers have testified to the fact that nobody slams a stick shift better than Gary does. His many fans include all of the top competitors in the Quad Cities area and beyond. When Gary pulls up to make a run, he has the whole place on its feet to watch a totally classic drag race by one of our masters. I had a great visit with Gary by phone last week and he gave me a lot of great info. There is a book's worth of Gary Klavon stories, but he's modest about his many adventures and accomplishments. It was awesome getting to meet him!

The car has a 358 cubic inch small-block engine, a Doug Nash 5-speed transmission, a Ram adj clutch, his best run in the 8th mile is a 6.50 at 104 mph, and in the quarter-mile he’s run a 10.26 at 130 mph. He came in 8th in points in 2019. He said his crew members are whoever loses the coin toss! He thanks his wife Kris, his daughter Emily, his son-in-law Justin, and his grandson Nick. He told me he runs about 10 races a year.

Gary is a long-time member of the Ozark Mountain Super Shifters group. They currently have 30 members and average 22 cars per race. Super Shifters gather for races in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa to put on exciting drag racing programs for enthusiastic fans. They feature nostalgia-type cars from the 60’s and 70’s as well as late-model pro-stock style cars that run in the 7’s at over 180 MPH. The group was started in 1992 by a group of stick-shift racers in Southwest Missouri. They wanted to continue to race, but knew bracket racing against cars with computer-controlled electronics and automatic transmissions had lost appeal for many drag-racing fans. The Super Shifters premise was simple: race cars with foot-operated clutches, manually shifted transmissions, no power adders or electronics. This is drag racing the way it used to be.

Gary came in second in points with the OMSS in 2018, and for his acceptance speech, he read it from a roll of toilet paper! His dry sense of humor and unique personality has added to his popularity among his fellow competitors. He’s drag racing the way it’s supposed to be!

Gary told me he’s runner-upped at the World Series 4 times but so far he hasn’t won it and that’s his biggest goal. At the 48th World Series of Drag Racing, Gary drove his Chevelle to a runner-up trophy in Super Modified, while his brother Dale went undefeated in Street class with his 1968 Camaro. It was an emotional victory for the Klavon brothers in their winning efforts. Most unusual was the fact that Gary was at a disadvantage in a class that allows electronics, choosing instead to do it the old-fashioned way with a manual transmission car. His driving skills were dead-on throughout the 10 passes he made that day, never skipping a shift with the wheelstanding Chevy. Dale took the victory in Street, a foot brake, non-electronics class that started with 80 cars in round one. Posting consistent 12 second passes despite the changing weather and conditions, it was his first Championship at the legendary Cordova Dragway. It was a family celebration in the winner’s circle and Gary being the good sport that he is, is proud of Dale for that victory.

There are endless stories about Gary’s fantastic performances and the great person that he is. I would suggest going to one of the events he runs at to see the real deal in person and you’ll agree this is one of our sport’s true heroes.

Gary, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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WildcatOne
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:54 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Jeff Doster, from Hampstead, Maryland. Jeff was recommended to me by our friend and former Racer of the Week, David Strine. Thanks, David!

Jeff’s 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner which is called “Black Magic” is an excellent race car. Jeff has owned and driven this car for the last 32 years, taking it out every weekend and racing it. He purchased it in 1988 after 2 years of asking his friend to sell it to him, making him the second owner. It has been a race car ever since the day it came out of the factory, nothing else!

From the time Jeff was 10 years old, his dream was to own a Plymouth Roadrunner. He owned another one before this one, but this particular car is the one that Jeff absolutely had to have. With its 451 stroker engine, it is a top runner in the Mid-Atlantic Street Outlaws group, competing in the regional tracks near where Jeff lives. He has won events at Mason/Dixon and South Mountain, and has entered and gone rounds at some National events, but he told me his main purpose of doing this is to have fun, and maybe win some. He just enjoys going to the track, hanging out with his friends, and doing what he does.

Jeff owns and operates Autos Unlimited, which is in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, about 8 miles from where he lives. Autos Unlimited is an outstanding auto restoration shop. I’ve seen his work, and the cars he has restored are absolutely perfect. He told me his current project among many he’s done is a 1960 Dodge Matador. He started his shop in 1986 with $210 and he now has a very profitable business, working on antique cars from ’47 Plymouths to 50s hot rods and more.

If you go to Jeff Doster’s Facebook page, it links to the Autos Unlimited page, and it shows examples of his talent. The before & after pictures are unbelievable. Jeff has taken total basket cases and turned them into brand-new, showroom-condition cars.

Jeff, you are truly living the American Dream, my friend. We wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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