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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Early Impressions from Richmond

By Ron Dilley

Inside the Nitro Fish driver's compartment by Ron Dilley

This is a big one (loud groan from the people who frequent this place), so I'll BS a little while it downloads (another massive groan reverberates). Day one of the Moto1.Net National Hot Rod Association presented by Chevrolet, Budweiser, Summitracing.com, Trak Auto Parts, in conjunction with Bill's Barbecue, Jeg's, and the Dinwiddie County Sheriff Patrol (you go, Barney) Nationals. Heading out to the track, the weather looked OK; 13 miles later I thought it would be OK to turn the wipers on. By the time I arrived at VMP, the rain had quit so I promptly drove into a field (free parking) and with eyes wide, prayed I'd truck on through this ominous mud bog my Ford just wouldn't miss. 

I only went on a Thursday just to see what the pros do on an off day at the track. It was really laid back, flashbacks of an era long, long ago. Very few pit ropes, Del wiring a chassis, Scelzi riding a small motor bike. Jim Epler applying decals on a new black body as other crewmembers cut, grind & drill. Jim Dunn overseeing his race car while Hofmann unenthusiastically signs a few caps.

Said 'Hi' to the Ace as he unpacked the rental car trunk. Then saw the newest inductee of the Motorsports Hall of Fame and decided to tour his display trailer. Very impressive to say the least, his Snake's Final Strike helmet & driving suit was on display as were various old trophies, engine parts. The tour ladies gave me the first class treatment (coulda been due to a slow day) and as I was turning on my flash the one lady volunteered to snap the Snake uniform with me in the pic. That's one shot that'll be cropped if posted! She did great; I just don't have that Damn Kid pose perfected. The last stop on the tour was the doorway to the bar. No more details for those attending later events, but this is a must see just for the one bar detail of 'The Snake'.

Satisfied the pros could make do without any of my tune-up tips for the moment, I headed towards the sportsman pits. There was a red fat fendered Willys with flames! But that's another post. And a Jeep sporting an altered-type shovel nose, and a four cylinder dragster with slicks narrower than the front tires on my lawn tractor. Then there was a Kaiser; not sure if this is a type of car or air compressor, maybe both.

Not many alcohol cars at all, but the War Horse was there in all its photographic beauty parked in the gravel while a large chuck of pit pavement was barren. And the Chicken Chokers are present, cool ritual. Well, after five hours of this I finally maxed the boredom scale. Time to mosey on home, have some film developed and weather permitting, visit a completely different atmosphere tomorrow -- I hear the keys to the zoo jingling already.

Ron Dilley

 

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