The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Groucho, Feb 15, 2007.
another Smokey story
Full ground effects articulating skirts, Don Brown was heavily involved in the construction of this car, I am the proud owner of the blue prints that used to build it!!
How about the story of the EPA closing the race track in California because of a crash that broke a frame and spilled Mercury on the track. The Mercury would roll from front to rear of the car, adding traction to the rear under acceleration, and roll to the front on braking to plant the nose.
This isn't about an example of a particular cheating technique - but my favorite racer's comment about the subject.
The story has it that legendary racer Tom (the Mongoose) McEwen was soundly beaten one time at Lions (in his very early years when he raced his mother's Oldsmobile sedan - as a gasser, I believe).
McEwen immediately protested the loss, and sure enough, the guy who beat him was found illegal. Later, someone asked Tom what made him suspect the other fellow had been cheating. He replied "Well, he had to be (illegal). He was able to beat me - and I was cheating!"
I've heard that line from several people over the years.
All of them pissed off because they got beat.
Seems like Cheating is ok when they win,not ok when they lose.
The guys name escapes me too... but the Virginia Historical Society had a "Hot Rodding in Virginia" Exhibit where they displayed the intake with the two extra carbs and they had one of the huge CI flathead blocks that he built.
I knew a guy who raced in a street stock class that required the engine to be in stock location and the battery to be under hood, so you couldn't gain a big advantage with rear weight percentage.
He relocated his engine firewall so that the space between the distributor and the firewall appeared stock. Tech inspectors never noticed, because most others that tried cheating the engines back had big dents in the firewall for clearance.
He also had a "dummy" battery up front. He stole a display model from Sears and mounted it in the front with some hose that looked like cables. The real battery was concealed in the trunk.
Needless to say....he won MORE than his share of races.
A buddy of mine bought the ex Dyno Don Prostock Pinto less less the engine. After putting our own 351 in it we went to fill it up with gas because we could see it was empty. As soon as we poured some in it ran out the filler tube. Turns out the filler tube unscrewed for the race gas to go in and the filler tube only held the gas that was to be teched. Now they require a petcock by the carbs to get a fuel sample
I once filled a factory 58 Vette factory gas tank that set over the rear wheels gas with concrete to make the weight break in F/Gas with a 292 Chevy and ran the motor off a front mounted moon tank feeding Kinsler injection. Technically it was disguised ballast but the weight was legal, sure did hook!
I restored the 1967 Mercury Cougar that was factory sponsored, (built by Bud Moore) Trans AM car that Dan Gurney raced to 2nd place behind the Penske Camaro in 1967. I talked in length to one of the guys that built the car originally. He told me that they acid dipped the car, drilled holes in everything that was covered with the factory interior, etc. Anything to make it lighter.
When the race was over they would bring the car in and instantly change all 4 tires and fill it up with fuel (after race tires were filled with water and had as many wheel weights on 'em as possible, two or three rows of welding), to get the car up to weight. He said that they use to practice carrying the heavier tires so it didn't look like they were heavier than normal.
Dave Friedman in California supplied a bunch of pictures to restore the car. One of them showed a younger skinny guy picking up a tire behind the wall. By the look on his face, they looked very heavy.
He had a bunch of other interesting stories about racing and what they'd try and get away with. He always quoted Junior Johnston 'It aint cheetin' untill you get caught"
He also said as bad as we were cheating, Penske had to be doing it even worse cause they came in first.
Thanks for posting the 73 version. I didn't have a photo of it in my collection but will now.. None of the guys from down my way chopped their cars for Syracuse in '80 which is why none were competitive. In '81 my buddy just up the street , Lou Blaney...Dave's dad finished second behind Treichler on the Mile in a New Breed Lightning Racer built in Struthers, OH.... The year before, he raced Toby's 1975 Syracuse winning car.
I just checked the issue i saw that is (#28) and his name was L.O. Stanley
They also relocated the upper A-arm povots
to improve suspension geometry.
Michael Waltrip's current crew chief used to work at Penske South.
Some things never change.Makes you wonder about all the poles that Ryan Newman won over the last few years,and why that car was usually faster than his team mate's.
You type just fine . I for one know id like to read your stories.
I second that!! Hell if you want type it out as rough as you want send them to me and I will re-type it for you. (Not trying to be condescending I just WANT to hear these stories!!)
i'm amazed that more young teenagers weren't killed in the trunks of drag cars... relatives of mine did very well nationally drag racing in the early 70s. they let my dad tag along with them through the 60s and he got to meet the legends. after he was a young adult, he still went to races. much to his surprise, he saw another relative of ours, of about 14 yrs of age, crawl out of the trunk of their car! helluva ride down the quarter.
Years ago, i had an altered I drag raced, I also sand drag raced it. In the sand, we could use nitrous, on asphalt we couldn't. The nitrous bottle mounted in the rear, and I used a high pressure hose to the front, with an ID of 1", and a shut off valve on each end, the front one reachable inside the car. If you charged the system, purging the line at the front, then closing both valves and removing the bottle, you had enough NO2 to get you through first gear. I owned the track record for several years.
I used to build street stock round track chassis too, it's amazing how much you can "tune" one, and still have it look stock. Did you know it's possible to bend a metric chassis to give over an inch left offset, and still have it look stock?
I remember an interview with Warren Johnson when they asked him about the carboard and duct tape on his intake. Warren told them it was "mental intercourse".
Some short track Street Stock classes specify the fuel cell to be centered,left to right,between the frame rails. Some people fill the left side of the cell with empty 1 gallon cans,then ballast the car to meet the max left side % rules.As the fuel load burns off,the left side % increases,which helps handling.
Some people have used Cadillac spindles,on Chevy Street Stocks,
which give a 1" drop,compared to the legal Chevy spindles.
You can also pie cut the frame rails right before
the front clip,to get a little extra drop.
Formula Ford rules specify an open differential,but didn't
say you couldn't shim the diff up so tight it was locked.
Now they specify a break away torque.
After we won the 2 Liter Can-Am race at Mosport,as we were
pushing the car back to tech inspection,we also loosened the
bolts holding the rear wing.(because it was too high to pass inspection)
Jimmy Johnson's car last year at Daytona,they cheated up the panhard bar,so the axle moved to the right as the suspension was compressed,increasing the left rear % and improving handling.
Rules specify the maximum rake on the panhard bar,they were probably using offset bolts,like they got caught on the trailing arms a couple years earlier.
Gary Nelson used to modify the fuel cans,by adding extra vents,
so the fuel would flow quicker.He also used a hidden fuel reservior,
probably in the frame rail,when he work on Bobby Allison's car.
Gary was also the crew chief when the rear bumper fell off Bobby's car at Daytona.And they had tested the car without the bumper.
One night at Sunset Speedway,they were "tubing" the top 3 finishers in the late model feature.3rd place tests legal,check
the 1st place car,and the tube won't work properly.WTF ?
Check the 2nd place car,he's legal,tube works fine.Check first
place again.Tube doesn't work.I don't know what he did,but the late Don Beiderman had them scratching their heads over that one.
Never did figure out exactly what happened.
I know on some Pro Stock cars,the runner cross section
on the outside is very different from the inside.
Here's a pretty entertaining book on the subject. I think I got it at Barnes & Noble. Alot of creative thinking in the early days of NASCAR.
Roy, this actually was connected side to side (main rail to main rail) so that the mercury was distributed equally when crossing the scales (and therefore meeting minimum right side weight rules) and then went to the left side when the car was on the banking. vic
That book was really vague. In fact it was largely responsible for me starting this thread. I was completely dissappointed. I think NASCAR paid the auther to "soften" it up a bunch. I know there's a lot more than that book had to offer. I demanded my money back at the book store.
On our C/S 69 Cobrajet Mustang we ran in 69 & 70 we used to use the front strut bars to pull one front wheel all the way forward and the other all the way back to get 4 inches extra rollout for the starting lights. NHRA figured it out and started measuring the wheel base on each side. You could cut some awesome lights with it at the time
I don't think this one's been posted. V8 crankshaft built so the stroke on the front throw gives you the correct cu. in. and the other 3 throws stroked. I'm sure it's different now but when I was racing most tracks would P and G #1 cylinder.
Smokey's 68 Camaro Trans Am car was basically a 7/8 scale version of the real car. He layed the windsheild back, shaved the drip rails, and lowered the nose. It even had two floors, the original on the inside to look stock and a smooth one uderneath for aerodynamics, he also boxed the lower control arms for smoother air flow.
The Penske and Donahue Camaros did their fair share of "cheating" also. This info is straight out of Mark Donahue's book "The Unfair Advantage".
The rollcages in the cars were built for structural integrity, safety was secondary. The 67 version was severely acid dipped, and later when it was rebodied as a 69 the vinyl roof was added to hide the waves in the super thin panel. One car had holes cut from the engine compartment, through the doors, and into the quarter panels to get more air to the rear brakes, they were caught when someone spotted oil dripping from the quarters. For the long races the cars ran a vacuum line from the brake booster to the calipers to suck the pistons in when the pads were changed. They could change four tires, fill it with fuel, and change the front brakes in under two minutes, twice as fast as the Mustangs. All of thier Camaros had lowered noses. In 69 they ran a brand new 69 model camaro that weighed around 3000lbs and their old 67 acid dipped car rebodied as a 69 which weighed about 2500lbs. They made the cars so the numbers could be interchanged, teched the heavy car, went back to the pits, changed the numbers and ran it through again. When the acid dipped car won the race, they changed the numbers again. They also made a 20 foot tall fueling rig that would fill a 22 gallon tank in 3.5 seconds, then the rules changed to; no fuel rigs over 12 feet tall. They also massaged the fenders a little to fit the biggest tires. They packed the posi unit so tight with clutches it was pretty much locked.
Thats about all I can think of right now. Great thread by the way.
That's a Smokey Yunick story.
Ya know...there were supposedly a number of fast stock-class drag cars lost to "trailering accidents" over the years. I wonder where those cars REALLY are.
I know that car....
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