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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

How to Drive the Ramchargers Funny Car

By Clare Sanders

I was the last full-time driver of the Ramchargers Funny Car. Let me tell you a little about driving that car, then a note on its demise...

Phil Goulet didn't believe in wheelie bars (kind of like Prudhomme last year). He thought they were "sissy" and unnecessary. The car just needed to be balanced right. So... the Demon would ALWAYS carry the front wheels until you shifted into high gear, then the air would "slam" the front wheels to the ground. 
The way to drive that car was to keep your hands OFF of the butterfly until the wheels set down, then "nudge" it back towards the center line. An alternative was to lightly grip the wheel and constantly flip the wheels from straight to the direction you needed, back and forth (Connie Kalitta always did this move). The idea was to not overcorrect.
After I left the Rams (to go to work for Snap-On Tools), a local driver named Dick Rosberg drove the car one time the next spring. Of course, he was not aware of this quirk front-wheels-off-of-the-ground thing, so (I suspect) on his first pass, the wheels came down when he put it in high gear and he crashed the car. Shame... good driver, good car, end of the funny car racing for the Ramchargers.

The funny car racing for the Rams was ending anyway. The bean counters never did understand the value of racing for the Rams, and finally started to put the squeeze to it. I left when I saw that coming.

Jungle Clare

 

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