The Legend of Flaming Frank Pedregon
By Tom West and Ken Logan
Flaming Frank became famous because of the little trick of setting the tires of his Fuel Coupe on fire and smoking them down the strip. From what I have heard, it was primarily because of the Scott Injection. It used to pump a bunch more fuel through the motor than most of the other setups, similar to how current fuel motors are set up. It would blubber fuel out the pipes and into the wheel wells on the coupe while it sat at the starting line. When the flames came up when the car moved, it just lit the fumes, ergo ... flaming tires.
Evidently, CJ and some other track operators offered to pay Frank to show up and burn the tires down the track, which he did. Figured that if he could do it accidentally, he could really create a show by doing it on purpose. He set up a fuel squirter to pump fuel directly into the wheel wells on the car. I am not sure how long this little trick worked for him, but not long. Burned the car to the ground shortly thereafter.
I had the opportunity to race with Frank Pedregon for several years. The truth of the matter is he didn't have a clue what made the tires catch on fire. The only thing that made any sense was that the rubber off the tires was trapped under the coupe body and somehow ignited. But your guess is as good as any. CJ booked Frank to make three exhibition runs and he couldn't make the tires light. Frank was a very talented car builder, tuner, and driver. We were good friends until the he died in a plane crash.