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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

David Pace, Texas Fueler

by David Pace

Hi gang. We originally got this note from David Pace as a Guestbook entry. However, I wanted to put it up as a Story of the Day because this is exactly what we would like to get from EVERY racer who visits! This also gives me another great opportunity to thank Robert Post for his kind mention of our modest efforts in his landmark book, High Performance. Thanks, David and Bob! bp

Just found out about your site in the preface to the book, "High Performance." Haven't had a chance for anything other than a (very) quick glance at the lists. Looks like you've taken on an enormous, but admirable task.

I drove the Carroll Brothers' "Texas Whips" KB powered top fueler in 1980 and 1981. The Casarez chassis was actually a 1979 model. I was the last driver they had as they retired (Bones, in 1980, and Curt, in 1981). Kenny Bernstein, Dave Settles, Buddy Cortines, Bob Gibson, Marshall Love, Ben Griffin, Richard Tharp, and a number of others drove for them over the years. We finished #9 in the Winston thing for 1981 after only attending five of the 11 races. Runner up at Indy (red light in final) and runner up at Mile High in Denver. Several track records, low ET and top speed of the meet marks. Our best run in '81 was a 5.62 and best speed was 250.00. National Dragster referred to the car as "the LOUDEST fueler in existence." 

We had countless comments from both racers and fans about how much louder the car was than other fuelers. It did have a distinctive sound due to the tune-up: usually 96-98 percent nitro, 65 to 70 degrees lead in the mag, and a lot of blower with relatively low compression pistons, and a Crane updated copy of the old Ed Pink 620 cam. We also led the pack with the introduction of wheelie bars on a dragster (we took a lot of flak at first, but after a while, everybody else had them). We were one of only a few dragsters using a funny car type setup with a Crowerglide clutch. I was the 11th driver to run 250.

I also drove the late Ed Cluff's "Cluff & Co." A/fueler in 1979, KB powered, with a best ET of 6.81 and best speed of 206. The car was the ex-Carroll Bros. top fuel, blown alcohol, A/fuel Casarez chassis built in about '74, I think. Ed Cluff and Larry Meyer (Meyer & Cluff) were business partners at the time. Larry was a big help with the top fuel car, as was Dale Emery.

In 1977 and 1978, I drove Phillip Morris's Donovan powered AA/DA with a best of 6.82 at 210. It was a gorgeous car with chassis built by George Cathy of Southwest Race Cars in Arlington, TX.

Before that, I ran my own B/dragster locally in Texas and Louisiana, a very low-buck operation: '72 Mark Williams front engined chassis, Hilborn injected small block Chevy. Car weighed 990 pounds soaking wet. Didn't ET to well (mid eights), but speed was consistently in the 164-168 mph range; the NHRA record at the time was 165.

I recently renewed some old acquaintances at Indy, and there's a possibility that I'll be driving a restored famed top fueler from 1969 in nostalgia top fuel.

Please accept my thanks and admiration for this fabulous undertaking of yours.

David Pace
Tatum, Texas
dpace@longview.net

TF 9 - 1982
TF 460 - 1980, 1981
A/F 460 - 1979
AA/DA 460 - 1977, 1978
B/D 460 - 1974, 1975, 1976

 

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