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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Top Fuel "Top End Flight"

By Wayne King

The lifting of the front wheels in the lights was very common. This was the reason for the airfoils. The Howard's Cams Twin Bear had that hunk of plywood up there for a good reason. Warren, Coburn, and Holloway had that problem with the little Chevy car. Roger would bolt on an extra 100 lbs. right over the rear end. Once at Fresno, Ted Gotelli saw him bolt on the lead and said, "I have spent thousands of dollars to lighten my car up and Roger bolts on more weight!" The strip that I had the very worst experience on was Santa Maria. The strip had a bump at about the 3/4 mark. If you were hooked up good and hit the bump just right, you would pick up the front end about a foot. 

One time we were running Dean Shaw's 392 in the Doss & Clayton car. We had the front end up; she pitched a rod out, cut the tire, and the tire went flat with the front end up. Went off the track on the left side. The chute came out and saved the car. Remember those eucalyptus trees? How many of us have had the chute save our ass more than once? Gary Cochran, Don Ewald, Foster, Ron O'Donnell, Howard Haight -- I will bet they all say the same. Like an old guy once said, "Those were the days of the he-man drivers." The front engine, 110" wheelbase cars were fun to watch and drive. That's why the newstalgia cars have those big running boards and cowcatchers on the front.

Wayne King
a.k.a. "The Peregrine"


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