Boy did I love the Beach!
Roller starters. My primary job when I started going out with my dad's
race cars was to hold one of the front wheels when the car was on the
rollers. The rollers would start building RPM. When they were turning fast
enough, the driver would let out the clutch and the car would try to go
backwards for a second. Then he'd prime the injector and "Nirvana"
-- the monster would come to life! As soon as the motor lit, the car would
try to leap off the rollers. Fortunately, it didn't take much effort to keep
it in place. I had the best view in the house and as far as I was concerned,
I had the best job of all, outside of driving of course.
What memories! Standing at the fence in the finish line lights, right
next to the track. What a view! The fog rolling in almost like clockwork
before the start of second round. John Bateman's Atlas Oil Tool Special; Pat
Foster in Woody's rear engine dragster with what looked like funny car front
wheels and tires; Hippo and Poindexter; Dunn and Reath; Charlie Marquez
"Here Come Da Judge," Wiebe vs. Prudhomme, front engine vs. rear
engine, Donovan 417 vs. KB cast iron elephant; 6.17 to 6.17 -- AWESOME!
My first sighting of what was to us digger guys the new mortal
enemy...the purse stealing Funny Cars! Ed Lenarth in the Holy Toledo Jeep,
Warren Gunther's Durachrome Bug; Gene Conway; the Beach City (Barbecue)
Corvette, the LA Hooker.
OCIR was the most modern facility around, Irwindale was a hot, miserable
rock pit but a great track and a lot of fun to race there, Bakersfield was
Bakersfield; but there was nothing like Lion's Drag Strip! That was drag
Bob Van Luven