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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

‘Blood Did It!

By Dan Himmel

I recall a time, mid-late '80s at the Mile High Nationals. I was at the races with my friend Andy, who is a painter/letterer. I haven't seen Andy in a couple of years. He was fighting leukemia for a while. Last time I saw him, he looked as robust as ever, except he was missing his hair. Shortly after I last saw him, his phone number was disconnected, and I haven't been able to find him since.

Anyway, it was a typically hot late July Sunday, between rounds, and 'Droid, as I called Andy (Android), and another friend, Don, and I were cruising the pits just taking in the sights and absorbing the nitro fumes. As we walked past the "'Goose's" pits, 'Droid noticed that Kenny Youngblood was redoing some of the lettering on McEwen's Corvette FC. ‘Droid stopped, looked at us very directly, and said, "Hey! That's Kenny Youngblood!" Yep! It sure is, I thought.

Before either Don or I could say anything, Andy was lifting the tape that surrounded 'Goose's pit and was striding with much purpose toward 'Blood. When Kenny looked up, Andy said, "F**K these drivers, I want YOUR autograph!" Don and I became courageous then and slipped under the perimeter ourselves. 'Blood smiled, surprised. We listened as 'Droid told 'Blood that he was his hero, and recounted Kenny's achievements. 

Youngblood must have been impressed. He talked with all of us for a while. When we asked him to autograph our McEwen handouts, he signed them with the carpenter's pencil he was using to make preliminary marks on the car. The signatures read "'Blood did it" with his trademark "'Blood drop."

I still haven't found Android, but that handout still hangs, framed, on my wall, as one of the most special memories I have of a drag race. It seems ironic that Tom McEwen's son died of leukemia, while at that time, none of us had any idea that the same disease awaited Andy.

Dan Himmel


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