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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Wiley Coyote Loses Again

By Jon Lundberg

It was February of 1965, the first AHRA Winter Nationals at Beeline Dragway. The last two cars in Top Fuel were Bob Sullivan and Mike Snively driving the Scotty's car (I believe it was white then). Anyway, the only lights at Beeline were on the starting line and a few feet out, so they used large searchlights to shine down the track. They "shined" about 1000 feet. The two cars leave the line, about mid track Ron Goodsell, who was driving for Sullivan at the time, pulls away from the small block Chevy car and wins. You couldn't see the cars, just the winner picker. The two searchlights rotate up so the drivers can see to return down the drag strip, and soon Snively -- with a huge grin -- returns satisfied with runner-up. No Sullivan. 

We waited ten more slo-o-ow minutes, no Sullivan. Suddenly, everyone does an "Oh Shucks" at the same time and takes off down the drag strip to look for Sully's car. They get about 300 feet, and slowly out of the gloom comes Sullivan's car absolutely smeared with fur and blood. Goodsell's helmet looks more like a bloody fur ball than a skid lid and his driver suit looks like someone dumped a number 10 can of catsup all over it. Goodsell is bad shook. As it turns out, Goodsell had seen the winner picker pole in the half-light down track and pulled the chute on time, but -- still going about 190 -- he T-boned a coyote! Race car - 1, Coyote - zip. One of the more bizarre finishes to a drag race. Welcome to AHRA and the sixties. 'Night gang.

Jon Lundberg

 

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