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Old 08-15-2009, 01:25 AM   #1
seesko
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Default 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Anyone here present that summer night in 1971 at Wichita International Raceway?
I was waiting to make my first trip down the drag strip in my new 66 Mustang. I had befriended a guy with a red 69 Boss 429. He was giving me the lowdown on staging and and the Christmas tree. I was 17 and ready to go drag racing.
As I was waiting a really nice '57 Chevy named Poppycock was making a run. About 2/3's thru his run the car rolled. I was stunned. All the emergency vehicles got down there. The driver was able to walk to the ambulance. I had heard later he died on the way to the hospital. I've forgotten his name thru the years.
Needless to say, I didn't race that night. Itwas a sobering introduction to drag racing. I raced plenty of times through the years. Met the guy with the 429 13 years later through a mutual friend. Even got to go for a ride in the Boss. That crap about them not being fast was just that, Crap.
What a memory.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:42 AM   #2
jrsiron
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

I was there. I think his name was Bob Castle.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

damn....
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:48 PM   #4
seesko
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

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Originally Posted by jrsiron View Post
I was there. I think his name was Bob Castle.
That was it!! I had heard his name that night but couldn't remember it. That was a sad night . I don't think it was required, at that time, to wear a helmet for cars that ran slower than a certain ET. After that it was. Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:19 PM   #5
RICKY MCGREGOR
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

I can still remember it.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
Tom davison
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Does anyone in Wichita remember a young local guy who raced an altered, I think. He had grey hair barely in his twenties, supposedly from driving this hairy altered. I believe he also died in a racing accident back in the 60's.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
speedtool
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

This was before I was driving.
Where is Jim Marlett?
He might remember this stuff!
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:37 PM   #8
lippy
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Remember the old Coca-Cola funnycar circuit that came through there? We were there with John Collins (ex Mongoose duster) and ran 229 there one night. I think 1st round was the Houston oiler car or something. One run I went down to the finish line and snuck over beside the track off the return road. I crouched down at the finish line and John went by me with flames over the roof. remember the piss poor, (if at all) lights in the shutoff area? When they came down the return road and picked me up on the way back to the pits I asked him...Did you see me at the finish line? he said..yeah, did you see me flip you off when I went by? I said, I thought you had a booger. Man that track was junk!
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:44 PM   #9
seesko
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

The shut down area was pretty scary. Espeially on a bike at 110. Sure a lot of great racing there. I always loved the all H-D drags. Some Harley guy would run make a 13 or 14 second run and they'd go nuts.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seesko View Post
Anyone here present that summer night in 1971 at Wichita International Raceway?
I was waiting to make my first trip down the drag strip in my new 66 Mustang. I had befriended a guy with a red 69 Boss 429. He was giving me the lowdown on staging and and the Christmas tree. I was 17 and ready to go drag racing.
As I was waiting a really nice '57 Chevy named Poppycock was making a run. About 2/3's thru his run the car rolled. I was stunned. All the emergency vehicles got down there. The driver was able to walk to the ambulance. I had heard later he died on the way to the hospital. I've forgotten his name thru the years.
Needless to say, I didn't race that night. Itwas a sobering introduction to drag racing. I raced plenty of times through the years. Met the guy with the 429 13 years later through a mutual friend. Even got to go for a ride in the Boss. That crap about them not being fast was just that, Crap.
What a memory.
The Boss was plenty fast. Ford underated the HP for some unknown reason.
I wasn't there for that crash but I remember folks talking about it in my circles and I was living @ the lake of the ozarks at the time. Man that was a lifetime ago wasn't it?
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:22 AM   #11
seesko
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

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The Boss was plenty fast. Ford underated the HP for some unknown reason.
I wasn't there for that crash but I remember folks talking about it in my circles and I was living @ the lake of the ozarks at the time. Man that was a lifetime ago wasn't it?
It's hard to believe how much water goes under the bridge sometimes.
The Boss 302's were rated low too. Insurance reasons I think.
I think that 429 was running in the 10's back then.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

The drivers name was Bob Cassil, not castle. Bob is a legend here in Newton. He was one of the first people to find the problems that plagued the fuel injection system on the 57 chevy! His 2 sons didn't fall far from the tree. Bill is the older son, and manages a drag strip in Iowa call the Tri-Cities raceway. Tracy has a 66 Nova that races in NHRA Stock class. Al though he doesn't drive it, it is currently a record holder in his class (H/Stock i think) The drivers first name is Tim, out of Salina. The Poppycock sat in our local salvage yard for years, Bare shell and 1 door, until it was crushed.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Was the guy with Boss 429 out of Newton. There was one here that was red in color. and ran like a raped ape!!! This guy was so picky about this car, he wrote down everything he did to it. From oil changes, to tire inflation!
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom davison View Post
Does anyone in Wichita remember a young local guy who raced an altered, I think. He had grey hair barely in his twenties, supposedly from driving this hairy altered. I believe he also died in a racing accident back in the 60's.
I remember my grandfather talking about that guy. His name was Gary Decker and his dad owned a construction company in Wichita. One of my grandfathers favorite stories about him took place at Great Bend, KS. They were there racing and he had engine problems. That night, Gary, pulled the motor out of his car and tore it apart in his hotel room at the Holiday Inn. The manager came back to the room and went crazy. Gary's dad replied "bill me for it, we have an engine to rebuild." You are correct that he died in an accident, but it wasn't a racing accident. His dad bought him a small Pontiac in early 60's with a 4-cylinder in it, he and his dad pulled the 4-clyinder out of it and dropped a v-8 in its place. Later on he was driving the car fast down Kellogg and lost control and hit a bridge. It killed him almost instantly. My grandfather remembers it pretty well.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:45 PM   #15
Butch M
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

I remember that 57 well
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #16
1968FED
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

I was there, 15 years old, my Dad had taken to the races that night. I still remember watching the 57 go by on the wrecker or trailer after the accident.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Wow,I have thought of that car a million times.I stared at it every time I came into Newton. I raced almost every saturday night at Wichita back then but was not there the night he crashed. Just came across this thread and it brings back so many memories. Another guy I knew from here in Emporia, Kansas was killed at Wichita also.His name was Morris Bitler.He had a speed shop here in Emporia for years.When he was staging one of his front brakes froze up.He backed up a few times till it freed up.He should have put it away but he was the kind of guy who once gets excited theres no turning back. Through the traps the brake locked again and that was it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:17 PM   #18
UNCLECHET
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

I know a bunch of people that knew him. It's certainly still talked about and I've never heard anyone say anything bad about him. There was a 57 Chevy at the Chill car show that I think might have been his somewhere along the way. That was the story I got. Somewhere I've got a pic of it. I'll see if I can post it up.

As far as the All Harley Drags I remember Pete Hill running a blown knuckle getting in the 8's, or Marion Owens too. 10s street bike times. I also saw Dave Campos summersault his twin engine drag bike at the big end. They hauled him to the hospital but he came back later to watch. I think he had a broken arm.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:17 AM   #19
UNCLECHET
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Well, I'm having some trouble finding the pix. And by the way I was talking late 70s to mid 80s for the Top Fuel Harley ETs. And I've drank a bunch of beer since then. They might have been faster. I just know it was awesome. Pete Hill machined the cylinders of his bike out of a railroad car axle.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:28 AM   #20
UNCLECHET
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Default Re: 57 Chev Poppycock crash at Wichita in 71.

Here ya' go.
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