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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

The God of Hellfire Pays a Hospital Visit

by Dawn Mazi

Frank Mazi Opel 1976 by Rich Brady

My dad was in his second season of running his blown Opel, at that time named the "God of Hellfire." It was early in the season and he was making great progress running this temperamental combination, finally breaking into the eight-second zone. While preparing the car for another weekend outing, his longtime friend and crew chief became very ill and was admitted into the hospital. My dad visited him daily, and told him he would do his best to win the race come Saturday night for him. What motivation, as he DID! It was around midnight on Saturday when my folks came barreling down the street and into the driveway. (My sisters and I always knew that the later they came home, the better they did!) 

Track announcer Aaron Polburn (now of IHRA fame) and a host of other friends drove in behind them to continue the celebration. My dad promptly called the hospital to check in with our "Chief," and to report the good news. After getting off of the phone, my dad said that Rich sounded really bummed not to have been there, but still offered congratulations. After a few more rounds of beers, Aaron, my dad, and the rest of the clan devised a plan to "boost" Rich's spirits. The plan was to take the Opel, which was hauled on the back of a ramp truck, and cruise up to the hospital parking lot, directly beneath Rich's room, and give him a "wake-up call." 

Aaron and another friend were armed with walkie-talkies to monitor the main boulevard for Police, since the Police Dept. was only 1/2 mile away. Once the strip was clear, the "Okay" signals were sent, and my mom, who was already in the Opel, fired it up! I was at home at this time, but sitting out in the back yard. The hospital is only a mile or so away, and I was hoping to be able to hear it. Sure enough, I hear about a half a dozen or so "Whoomps" of the throttle being whacked. (I giggled as this was happening because I thought it was so cool that they were pulling this off, and I could actually hear it! Now I realize where I get my love of practical jokes from...LOL.) 

At this point, I don't hear the car anymore...only police sirens. I'm worried that they won't make it home. Three minutes later, here they come back down the street, and into the driveway...laughing and hollering! My dad explained that as soon as the car fired up, he started seeing a few lights turn on in the hospital rooms, then a few more...then Rich's! He knew the mission was complete, and honked the air horn on the truck, and sped away. Our friends who were on the lookout said they watched the cops look for a vehicle parked in the hospital lot, and at the Big Boy restaurant (the local hot rod hangout) across the street. Boy, were they confused! Needless to say, Rich called and thanked my dad, as he did get a "nervous chuckle" from that whole deal, and also said that some of the other patients thought a plane had crashed into the building, due to the excess noise and windows rumbling. 

Dawn Mazi
http://www.mindspring.com/~dawnmazi/

 

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