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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Toilet Paper and Nitro Fumes

By Terry Cowan

Here's a memory from around 1970 or 1971. We were just running pump gas in the injected 69 Camaro flopper ... funny cars had far surpassed us so we were running A/altered. It was a cold day at the Amarillo, Texas, drag strip. I was sicker than a dog. Had the worst cold or sinus infection I had had in years. My nose was running so bad -- it was a constant stream.

So I just wadded up a couple big long chunks of toilet paper and shoved them up my nose... put on the fire suit and facemask and made the run. Back then, the return road was in front to the stands (real close to the crowd). I didn't have a handkerchief so I would have to either come back in front of the crowd with chunks of toilet paper hanging from my nose or holding my nose! And of course, I didn't want to do either of those options. I was freezing my ass off anyway -- so I just left the facemask and helmet on for warmth all the way back to the pits.

As my crew raised the body, a crowd had already formed around the car. And here I am with toilet paper nose plugs under the facemask (and by now soaking wet, dripping, and hanging down about an inch out of my nose).

I pulled the helmet off and raised the facemask and pulled out the dripping nose plugs in front of a small crowd (mouths agape). And one kid says... Wow Cool -- I bet you have to do that because of the nitro fumes huh?

Uh... yeah, that's it -- nitro fumes... yeah.

Terry Cowan


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