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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

The Chicken Choker Chronicles: Get Well, Tim!

By Len Cottrell

Tim Slagle gets big speed at Maple Grove in 2001. Photo by Ron Dilley
Tim Slagle gets big speed at Maple Grove in 2001. Photo by Ron Dilley

Tim Slagle was having severe lower back problems at the Orlando race earlier this year, so after the race he checked into the hospital where they were able to administer temporary relief. In the hospital, Tim and I discussed his opinion of his ability to compete at the GatorNationals. He unselfishly agreed that the team would have better chance of winning the race with a healthy driver that weekend. After going through a list of nine candidates, we had Dave DeAngelis, a "young lion" from NJ who has demonstrated excellent driving skills last season in Division 1, drive for us at the Gators. Dave did a great job for us. Check out these Mac Tools GatorNationals pieces. There is a small article under "notes" and there are two photos, one of Dave DeAngelis and one of Bob Frey next to the car.

http://www.dragracecanada.com/nhra/events/2002/03/notes.asp

http://www.dragracecanada.com/nhra/events/2002/03/photos.asp

Tim was taken back to the hospital in Gainesville on race day and has been there ever since. The neurologists have run extensive tests and have found that his back and neck problems are infections that have attached themselves to the lower back and to his spinal cord in the neck area. The specialists consulted on whether or not to operate. The options were that if they do not operate, they would attempt to control the infection with high-powered antibiotics, administered by an IV for approximately two months to stabilize the infection. Secondly, they could attempt surgery on his spinal area, but that could be a very high-risk operation. The wisdom when I spoke to Tim and his brother Carl (who has been with him for most of the time) was to try medication first. We can hope that this will be effective! The doctors advised Tim that he would not be driving a race car for the remainder of this season. The most important thing was to get Tim home and healthy! We recently did get Tim home to a hospital in Virginia and he is undergoing more tests.

If anyone wants to send Tim a note, his email address is Tafc1177@aol.com

Bob Frey did a great article on Tim and on alcohol veteran Billy Williams, who is also in the hospital after crashing his TAFC. Get well, Billy! Here is the article:

http://www.dragracecentral.com/drcstory.asp?id={adedc53d-48c3-4e4b-96ad-bf02dfceb641}#indextop

While Tim gets back to full health, who will be our long term replacement driver? The answer is: Fran Monaghan, Jr. After reviewing a lengthy list of candidates, "Franny" was selected to replace Tim Slagle for the remainder of the 2002 season. Most will recognize Fran as the six-year veteran driver of the "Para Chem"-sponsored Top Alcohol Funny Car he campaigned from 1995 through the Keystone Nationals in 2000. The likable 29 year old driver from Willow Grove, PA (north Philly), sat out the 2001 season, but is ready to compete again in the Top Alcohol class. He will takeover driving responsibilities at the upcoming Atlanta Southern Nationals in three weeks.

Follow up on Timís status: I spoke to him Sunday at the hospital. He is slowly improving and hopes to be transferred to an intermediate nursing facility later on this week.

Len Cottrell
len.cottrell@lmco.com

 

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