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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Dark Drag Strips

By Pat Foster

I'm match racing Charlie Allen at Mo-Town Dragway just outside Detroit in '69. This is a Po-dunk joint for sure. We're getting ready to run at about 8:00 PM, when I go up to the tower to speak to the operator. I had not seen any sign of an ambulance on the grounds, so I mentioned this to him. His reply was that it would be here soon, don't worry. Half an hour later it was getting dark and I noticed there was no lighting past about the 1100-ft. mark. Again, I approached the operator. He said we will have cars shine their lights on the strip when you guys race. Also, there will be a flashing red light at the very end on the centerline. If you get into trouble, just head for that light. So far so good. 

We go up for the first run, and again, I don't see an ambulance. He says it's here, down by the lights. We're ready for you -- let's get this deal going! On the run, we get almost to the lights when a top nozzle line comes loose and sprays the windshield big time. No Lexan in those days so the window looks like shattered safety glass. Hard to make out anything at 200 mph, so I just try to go for the red flashing light.

I got her stopped in time and bailed out the side window. As I took off my helmet and stuff I was looking through the windshield of the AMBULANCE, with its red light still flashing on the roof, looking right into the eyes of the two morons that were supposed to save me if anything were to go wrong! They both had big grins on their faces and got out and said "Man, that was great, you gonna do that every run?" They couldn't understand why I was so mad.

‘Sit Low'


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