Home  Drag Lists  Forum  Blog  Links  Stories  Pictures  RacingJunk  Goyda Collectibles  Movies  Store  Help  More  RSS

 

Back
Home
Up
Next

Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Richard Tharp, Road Warrior

By Steve Gibbs

Richard Tharp shows his ON TRACK driving skills vs Jeb Allen, 1981. Photo by James Morgan
Richard Tharp shows his ON TRACK driving skills vs. Jeb Allen, 1981.
Photo by James Morgan

A Richard Tharp episode that I witnessed will give you an insight as to how he operated.

At the 1970 World Finals in Dallas, I was just a rookie with NHRA serving basically as Jack Hart's "gopher." One night during the event, Tharp invited Jack and his wife Hazel and me out to dinner. As Richard was driving us down some busy Dallas freeway, he casually asked Hart where his invitation to the inaugural Ontario Supernationals was... he had not received it. (That event was an all-invitational deal.) Well, Hart kinda hemmed and hawed, and finally told Tharp that the invitations were based on the number of NHRA races that the person had run, and that since he (Richard) had not been to the required number, that, unfortunately, there would be no invitation.

Without hesitation, Tharp slammed on the brakes -- in real heavy traffic -- put the car in park, threw the keys on the floor, and said he would not move the car until he was invited to Ontario! Hazel was in an absolute panic, and it scared the hell out of me. It took about 10 seconds for Hart to see that Hazel was on the verge of a heart attack, and said to Richard, "Whatever you want... just get us the hell out of here." Tharp got his invitation the next day.

One other freeway trip with Richard in Indianapolis... Just the two of us were out carousing, trying to find an on-ramp to get someplace we probably didn't need to be. He was driving, and again scared the crap out of me. After about 10 minutes of searching for an on-ramp without any luck, Richard found an off-ramp, and simply used it! He made a 180-degree turn at the top of the ramp, and we were home free.

I avoided riding with him after those two trips.

Steve Gibbs
stevengordy@earthlink.net

 

Free Homepage Translation



Home  Drag Lists  Forum  Blog  Links  Stories  Pictures  Racing Junk  Goyda Collectibles  Movies  Store  Help  More  RSS

Drag Photos  Drag Blog  Facebook  Twitter  60s Funny Cars  70s Funny Cars  80s Funny Cars  Gasser Madness  Project 1320  Drag Times

Google

 
Web draglist.com

Copyright 1996-2014 by Bilden Enterprises. All rights reserved.