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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

The Last Top Gas Title

By Bill Duke

Back in 71, I attended the NHRA Supernationals. It was to be the last event where Top Gas ran. In the finals I believe was a pair off between the Kentucky Moonshiners twin engine car and Jim Bucher's twin engine Chevy. Bucher's car featured these weird, clear plastic valve covers that allowed you to see the rocker arms move. Anyway, the Moonshiners were preparing to push start their dragster when an errant NHRA official inadvertently placed a large trash barrel in the path of the car. The axle hit the barrel and the crew came to a screeching halt. The driver bailed out of the seat and all involved began screaming at the diminutive official. Even those lining the fence began to voice their discontent with the official. The guy panicked and called on his walkie-talkie for security. Meanwhile the announcer is asking for the whereabouts of the Moonshiner car as Bucher is going through his normal protocol of burnout, etc. 

These Moonshiner guys are all about 6 foot, 200 lbs., with the exception of one who is 5 foot, 120 lbs. Yet, he was the most demonstrative in being violent. As the yelling and screaming continues against now two NHRA officials, an Ontario PD cop arrives and advises the crew to calm down. It was at that junction that the senior official informs the Moonshiners that they have been disqualified for UN-sportsman like behavior. A quick call to the tower on what transpired resulted in the announcer stating that Bucher will single as the Moonshiners couldn't fire. Then bam, there goes Bucher flying past and 190. If this had happened at the Moonshiners home track, I think that official would have known what Ned Beatty felt like on the movie Deliverance.

Bill Duke



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