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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Jim Nicoll, Mad Dog, and the Wet Chutes

By Big Gene Townley

I believe around 67 or 68 I ran into Jim Nicoll and he asked me if I wanted to go on the road with him and Don Cook for a while. I was not doing anything real important at the time so I said, "Let's go." We ran at Phoenix, Albuquerque, and on Labor Day, we went to Green Valley. We got everything ready, and then we got in line. Before we got to run, it started raining. We threw a tarp over the motor and everything else just got wet. AHRA finally pulled the plug on the first day of qualifying and we pushed the car back to the trailer. Nicoll told me he was going with Mad Dog and for me to meet them later at the motel. 

I told Jim I was going to take the chutes out and dry them before I left. He said, "Those are Simpson's new chutes. Don't worry about them because they'll open." I said, "No problem -- I am not doing anything and I have the time." Jim said. "Leave the goddamn chutes alone and I don't want to hear any more about it!" The next morning when we got to the track I asked him if I could dry the chutes. He said, "Forget about the chutes, and I don't want to hear any more."

We went up to the lanes. I put him in the car, pushed him off, and he staged and made a pretty good run. Then, no chutes and into the net junked car. We got the car off the track and Mad Dog was next. He made a pretty good run, but no chutes and into the net junked car. Me and Nicoll were on the return road when Cook hit the net. I turned to Jim and said. "Well, did you learn anything today?" He said, "Yes, the damn track is too short." I said, "No, I mean about wet chutes." He said, "The wet chutes didn't have anything to do with it." I watched the race, then caught a ride to the airport and went back to California.

Big Gene

 

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