Drive 'Em Like Ya Hate 'Em
Pat Foster's Well-Worn Funny Car Rides
By Pat Foster
Pat Foster abuses the Chicago Patrol Mustang II. Photo by Tom West
The Chicago Patrol car was owned by Bob Chapman of Chapman Automotive in Chicago (Auto Alarm mfg.) His general manager was Dave Arlasky of fuel altered fame with Ron O'Donnell up. When I drove the car Alan Gillis wrenched it. We took the car to Indy one year (?) and had tire shake so bad that I aborted about three or four runs trying to get in the show. Dave went to Alan and asked, "What the hell is going on here?" Alan said, "Trust me, if Patty can't stay with it, nobody can."
Alan told me of Arlasky's concern so I went and talked to Dave, he wanted to know if I was afraid of the car, as everyone else seemed to make full runs. Told him fear wasn't a concern, but I didn't want to abuse the car. With one shot left to qualify and no cure in sight for the shakes, Dave said, "I want this car in the show, period."
Well, we made the run with that bitch shedding parts on the track from half-track on. I drove it right out the back door. Broke one fire bottle off the car and ran over it, never lifting. Shook the fuel tank out of its mounts. Broke the motor plate at both top mounts. Broke the chassis in two places. Cracked the body and generally killed the piece from bumper to bumper. BUT, we made the show.
Towed it back to Chicago and didn't make the repairs in time for Monday's race. Arlasky was pissed... Alan told him that he had told the wrong guy if he thought he might be scared. Dave NEVER tried to suggest how I should drive the car again!
Four cars at Budds Creek... We raced the four cars first round and scared Todd Mack (promoter) to death, so he said, "Let's make the next two rounds a burnout contest, the winner being named by applause from the crowd." Second round, we all did our best to out-do the Chi-Town car but failed (Duh!), so I knew we had to come up with a gimmick for the final.
We all did huge smoky ones and at the big end, still engulfed in smoke from the burnouts, I waited 'til the other cars motors all shut off. Then I turned around, went back to the finish line, and did me another big one back to the starting line. I pitched her sideways a la Joey Chitwood, went out the side window and waved to the crowd, who had gone INSANE! We won the deal and Austin and Colson were pissed! As Roger Penske would say, we had an "Unfair Advantage."
"Sit Low" - Foster