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
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.