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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

How to Become a Funny Car Match Racer

by David Ray
Thanks to Bill Duke

I have a question: let's say that this was 1971, and I was Joe Blow gasser racer who wanted to begin match racing a funny. What would I have had to accomplish in order to get the thing booked in to match race other cars? Considering that I would be an unknown, would I have had to compete in open events and make a name for myself, or least prove that the car could run? Would you have sent a press kit to local tracks or ...? 

Bill Duke

Tough question. If I try to reduce it to a single event (instance not race), it would be the fire burnout at US 30. Mike Burkhart got me in a Wednesday night show in late May '70 because Fred Goeske had burned a car. I did the burnout thing, and ran respectable. I was asked to fill in at the next Coke race. Was runner up to Chadwick, and got put on the circuit permanently. I was lucky to know someone. You have to be pushy and don't take no for an answer. There was no shortage of places to run. Just get the material to booking agents. We didn't really have press kits then. But that would have been a good idea.

My father taught me about looking for a job, start early in the day before problems beset the boss man, because then you just become another problem. Keep bugging the guy you want to work for, every other day or so, soon he will tell you to get the hell out, or hire you, so you will just quit bothering him! At least he knows you can show up regularly. That is somewhat a simplistic view, but persistence will never fail you. 

Dave Ray


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