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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Wally and Jim at the Marco Polo

By Steve Gibbs

Recent talk of the Marco Polo reminded me of a little incident during that time period. In those years of the early 70s, virtually every touring funny car racer spent the autumn months on the west coast, as there were big races almost every week at Lions, OCIR, Irwindale, Fremont, etc. The Marco Polo was definitely the hot spot to camp out. Anyway, during this period, there was some kind of holiday party, or something going on at Pinks -- and almost every name was there ... a real who's who get together. Meanwhile in North Hollywood, Jim Tice of AHRA was paying Wally a visit. No big politics -- just a friendly visit. (Wally and Jim actually got along pretty well.) 

I had volunteered to take Tice to the airport after his visit, and Wally decided he would like to ride along. We had a little extra time, so I suggested we stop by at Pink's for a couple of minutes -- just to stir things up. When Parks and Tice walked in together, I have never seen so many double takes in my life! The sanction wars were pretty intense in those days, and seeing these two men together was a BIG deal! I wish we could have heard the second-guessing and theorizing that went on after we left. I can still see the look on Gene Snow's face ... Too bad we didn't have the computer stuff around then ... the drag racing conspiracy crowd would have had a field day. Those were magical times.



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