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Event Coverage Your First Dragstrip Pass

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by J.Ukrop, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,039

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

  2. As I remember, it was after all 50 years ago! I was driving a 1957 Chevrolet 2dr hardtop, 327 short block with 283 power pack heads and intake, Headman Headers with dump tubes, 3 speed with Hurst shifter and cheater slicks. Didn't have to worry about "amber lights", Fontana hadn't yet installed a christmas tree. Can't remember what I paired up with and can't remember the time or speed. What I do remember was my pulse racing, my forehead and hands sweating and a big shit-eating grin on my face. I loved it! Oh, b.t.w., I lost...
     
  3. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,063

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Like the grump my first pass is emblazened in my head albiet a blurr. Probably knocked down a 14 but I had been street racing for a few months so it was not like I had never hammerd the old tank before.

    '55 Ford Victoria (not a crown), 312 thunderbird that we captured out of a friends mom's wrecked bird. 3 dueces in Weiand, Fenton headers, Fenton shifted 3 speed. 9.00x15 Stones on the back. In time I made that car a 12 second car, took practice and lots of tunning.

    You did mean my first pass that I was driving correct? I do have another first pass but . . .
     
  4. I remember my first pass like it was yesterday. I was terrified, nearly in tears, but would in no way in hell ever let my dad see my how scared I was. I was all of 14 and he was not allowed to drive anymore by mom. He had had a bad wreck a year before and he promised her he would not drive again. The assigned driver failed to show up at a race. He turned to me and said "want to try it out?". I nearly shit my panys, but said hell yeah.

    That first pass was in our Blown 430 CI Lincoln powered gas dragster. I ran a smoking the tires all the way to about a 1000 feet where I backed out of it. I ran 140+ something. Can't remember the ET.
     
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  5. dustdevil
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 814

    dustdevil
    Member
    from illinois

    I was kinda nervous since all my veteran drag racing friends were with me. I had been to the track numerous times and was ready but still had some jitters. I don't know why. I was driving my 71 duster with a 340. Ran a 13.90 spinning the radials through most of first gear. I was stoked. Ha Pretty puny time, but I had a blast. I love the drag strip and always will. Someday I hope to have a fast vehicle to drive. I've driven my friends 11 second cars and they are a blast!! As long as your having fun, thats all that matters.
     
  6. My brother was stationed overseas in 1981 so i took the liberty of "borrowing" his 74 Camaro. It was a 4 speed car with warmed 350 and 4:10s in a 10 bolt. Drove the car there on my truck plates.

    I had no idea what I was doing but rememebred some article in Super Stock that said you don't do a water burnout with street tires (BF Goodrich TA's no less). So I drove straight through the water box and rolled right up even with the tree... ready to go !!!

    The starter (a man of infinite patience) calmly walked over to me and motioned me back. Then tapped on my window and gave me a 3 second overview on how the staging beams work.

    I'm pretty sure I waited about 2 seconds after the green and then launched this thing like it wasn't mine (it wasn't) by side stepping the clutch at about 5k. I drove through the worst wheel hop in history... power shifting like Ronnie Sox (or so I thought) to a blistering 15 sec et. The tire smoke may still be lingering around the starting line to this day

    At the timing tower I was once again greeted by the man of infinite patience who... again... gave me a few seconds of wisdom and a fair warning about repeating the pass in a similar manner. Something about my ass and it getting kicked in the general direction of the exit.

    By the end of the day I had made 8 passes and managed to squeek out a 12.98 which ended my day at the races as I did not have a helmet and they were pretty much sick of me by then. Go figure, we ran out of gas on the way home.

    My brother remained oblivious to this little stunt with his car for many years until I decided enough time had passed and I could tell him without getting killed. To this day the starter takes great pleasure in telling that story of my first pass to anyone who would listen. Especially if I'm around to hear.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  7. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,507

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    My first pass down the strip will be stuck in my mind forever! Not because it was fast, just because it was the first! I was in the '57 Chevy BelAir that I bought from my parents, and it was 1968. 283 power pack, with PG trans, so nothing exotic or fast, but still fun!
     
  8. Smokin' Joe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,000

    Smokin' Joe
    Member

    WOW! What memories THAT brought back! My first pass was in 1975, it was in my '68 Nova SS and it was all of 14.86 but I don't remember the speed.
    Since then, I've "graduated" (over many, many years) to running a best ET in my Top Dragster at 6.89 @ 198. MAN, I just LOVE this sport!!!
     
  9. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,937

    olcurmdgeon
    Member

    I agree with 1971BB427, you always remember your first (oh that's right we're talking about cars). Anyway thanks to my mom for being a packrat when I was young and didn't give a shit, I know that it was July 12, 1964 At Dover Drag Strip in Wingdale, NY. I still have the pit pass, the program with my win listed and the winner's card you got. G/S 1963 Falcon Ranchero, 3 spd, had to run a VW and a Corvair. Totally unimpressive 19 second ET but man at the time, being from a little town in upstate NY, I felt like Rhinebeck's answer to Don Garlits. Top eliminator at the event was the B/GD of the Modifiers of Danbury, CT which ran an 11:18 ET to put the speeds of the day into perspective.
     
  10. There is no way to forget your first time! It was the early 70's at Lakeland dragstrip in Memphis TN. I was only 14 just like "Beep" driving Bobby Davis Sr. (Of sprint car fame)
    70 Ranchero. Smoked the tires hard but ran in the low 14s. Those were the days!!!
     
  11. JMel
    Joined: Jun 18, 2011
    Posts: 199

    JMel

    I have yet to make my first pass. I keep saying that I'm going to do it when I go to the Texas Thaw or Day of the Drags, but I never get around to it. Kind of nervous about making a fool of myself.

    I need to throw seatbelts in my roadster and make a pass at one of these nostalgic drags. Just to see what my car will do. I don't know if i have a 12 second car or a 16 second car. I can only imagine how nervous I'll be on my first pass - and I don't know why, outside of being nervous of embarrassing myself.
     
  12. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,306

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    does running behind the San Diego Stadium in 1967 count ?
    fed.

    :cool:
     
  13. My first car (that actually ran, at this time I had a '66 Nova tudor sedan that I paid $100 for, no engine/trans)was a 1965 Olds Dynamic 88 four door hardtop parts runner that I paid $130.00 for. It had a 2bbl 425/turbo 400 & 2.92:1 peg leg. I removed all the A/C stuff (cause it didn't work) and the inner fender wells, and lightened it up to 4200lbs. I cut the stock muffler and tail pipe off, and welded a single turbo muffler under it. The first time I ever made a pass on my own was in this car @ Brotherhood Raceway on Terminal Island in San Pedro, Ca. in 1979, I was 15 years old, had no drivers licsence, and no insurance (and looking back, a band of guardian angels around me) I drove to the track with 4 fresh L78 x 15 bias plys on (my dad had a solar business back then with a bunch of Chevy vans that we put slot mags, and on/off road tires on), so we had all these L78's laying around and the wheels were 5 on 5 just like the Olds. My first pass was a 16.16 @ 85mph, my worst pass was a 16.42 @ 83.50 and my best pass was 15.67 @ 86. I had lots of practice that day as I made 52! passes, yes you read that right..,52 fricken passes. As I wore the drive tire down to barely any tread, I would just rotate the next one to drive tire status. I distinctly remember hearing "Big Willy Robinson" on the PA system say during one of my many burnouts, "Damn!, I wish I owned the tire store where this dude buys his at!" That was one heck of a racing day, 9am till midnight, drove home with my dial in shoe polished on the windows like a big shot with pockets stuffed full of ET slips, and four bald tires.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  14. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,661

    seatex
    Member

    WOW! Another Lakeland Alumni! We LIVED for Sunday, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!! My first time I was all of 14 on a "hopped up " Honda 100 and had to line up against ZEKE, a rather infamous brother with the Golden Rams cycle club in Memphis who drove a 750 Mach III Kawasaki and shifted with his hand....... we got to the line and I was about to piss myself. we got staged and then I heard his engine shutdown. My light went green and I gave it all I had (haha) I was closing in on the light after about what seemed like 15 minutes when some green jet passed me and almost blew me off the track.
    Yep, 'ol Zeke had finished his nap and blew me in the weeds.
    Now, I'm not gonna tell you that my first pass at 14 was at 140:rolleyes:............probably more like 40 (tops), but damn, it was a BLAST!
     
  15. I made my first pass at Day of The drags 2011. It was a neck-snapping 17 second pass and my reaction time was about 4 minutes. By the end of the day I figured out to leave on the 3rd yellow and I was cutting better lights than most of the people lined up next to me. I even made it to my class finals the first time out! I was hooked.

    The next year and then this year, I rarely stood parked unless I was waiting in the staging lanes. In the true spirit of Crazy Casey I was trying to turn the strip into a circle track!

    And, the EMBARRASSING part of my first pass..... I lined up the rear wheels in the timing lights!!! HAHA.. the guy was knocking on the window, "Hey, back up!"
     
  16. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,926

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    I'm the odd man out. Too many years and too many cars. Either at Carlsbad, Freemont or Sears Point, that much I'm sure. I can still remember my first lay though, 'twas in a hot rod, in case anyone starts a thread.. :)
     
  17. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 772

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Oklahoma

    16 years old. 1962 Chevy more door with a 327 4 speed. Went around 15.3s and don't recall the mph. Was at Keystone raceway park near Pittsburgh. Now known as Pittsburgh Raceway Park.
     
  18. studedudeus
    Joined: Jun 11, 2008
    Posts: 141

    studedudeus
    Member

    May 1982 in Wall, TX. I drove my '55 Chevy Handyman wagon. It had a 235" 6 and 4 speed. And I had a recently acquired set of Casler 7" white wall slicks on it. Ran a pass of 19.95 @ 78 mph. Man, We were racin'.
     
  19. mgbtc
    Joined: Dec 22, 2006
    Posts: 112

    mgbtc
    Member

    Irwindale,Ca. in 1967. We had just got our licenses, my friend and I, and his mom had a brand new 67 Mustang with a 390/auto and I had a 1965 Olds 442. I got asked to leave the first Wednesday night, something about doing burn-outs in the staging lanes. So next week, we went back, I was good, and the Mustang cleaned my clock. I think we ran 15's or so, the Olds was tired. The best et. I ever had was in a 69 Chevelle I had a couple of years later, 10.70 at 122, and that was driving it there and home.
     
  20. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,193

    flamingokid
    Member

    1980.I was sixteen years old and some friends went up to Scribner,Nebraska for a run what you brung meet.My buddy had a 1970 SS Chevelle with a 396, dual quads,and a Muncie rock crusher.The car had 18k on it,he'd inherited it from his dad earlier that year.Some old guy(probably 30)was razzing him about having a garage queen and he decided he wanted me to race it because I was a "no holds barred,all out" kinda guy.He couldn't watch,but I did mop up the track with the old guy in the 'Cuda.Probably the only time that car has ever been raced.
     
  21. NickJT
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 640

    NickJT
    Member
    from S.E. PA

    ahhh yes. First time with me actually driving. Atco NJ. I took an 11 second car deep into the low 14's.
     
  22. My first pass was in the mid 70's at Green Valley in Ft.Worth in a ot car. The car looked like it should of been fast (v8 in small car swap) but I ran a whopping 16 sec time. I remember being so embarrassed at the time.
     
  23. cracker head
    Joined: Oct 7, 2007
    Posts: 968

    cracker head
    Member

    I have drag raced every car I have ever owned. From my 11 second daily driven Mustang to my 20 second 81 Caprice Classic.

    I thought drag racing was the cats ass for 14 years. Then I got a ride in a Bonneville car in 2010. THAT is the end all, be all of racing.

    Try it. I dare you....
     
  24. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,751

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I grew up in a home where hunting-fishing-camping were what spare time consisted of; and I hated it all! I was the tinkerer, the motor head, and since I had no one to show me the ropes, I was on my own. I was not allowed to go to the drag strip. I graduated high school at 17, had worked all through high school at a Standard Chevron Dealer, and bought a brand new 1970, Dodge Dart, Swinger 340, with a Torqueflite and 3.91 Sure grip, Vitamin C Orange with a blacked out hood with twin functional scoops that I paid cash for (my only none Chevrolet car I've ever owned), and there was no way I was going to be denied going to the drag strip. I remember how much nervous tension and energy was in my legs just entering the Seattle International Raceway grounds; both legs were shaking beyond control. It was worse in the staging lanes. As luck would have it, my first trip down the quarter mile was against a Yellow with a Black vinyl top, 1968 Dodge Dart GTS 383 car, with a GIRL at the wheel. I was going to get beat by a GIRL! All I remember is seeing the 68 Dart GTS smoking the tires, seeing it way behind in the rear view mirror, and picking up my very first time slip for a 14.04 E.T.; I don't remember the MPH. The rest of my runs were actually slightly slower the rest of the day. I was hooked. Lots of modifications later, lots of street racing, lots of drag strip time over the next year and a half, and then one day, in the mail, I got an invitation from my Uncle Sam to come play war with him. I let my folks trade the Dart in on a new Buick while I was in Basic Training. It was't until after I got out of the Service, that I got back to drag racing; but then it was with a purpose built Drag Car, a Pro Bracket 56 Chevrolet, followed by a FED, then a RED. Now, after 32 years in healthcare, EIGHT spinal surgeries, and a paid off mortgage, I want to do it all again. I keep saying so anyway. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  25. HAMB Drags a few years back in my freshly built T touring. Ran 14s flat all day long. That was the year with the brand new strip and NO traction! Thanks Carl for all you and your crew have done!
     
  26. The Bomber
    Joined: Dec 10, 2005
    Posts: 496

    The Bomber
    Member
    from mass.

    Hey NickJT, High 5, I like your sense of humor! Haven't a lot of us done the same. I applaud you for admitting it! Next time I go down, I'm taking my sweet time,want to enjoy it! I may even bring some wine and cheese to make the pass.
     
  27. ronnieroadster
    Joined: Sep 9, 2004
    Posts: 714

    ronnieroadster
    Member

    My first Dragstrip pass was in my Deuce roadster at Englishtown New Jersey in the early Eighty's. If memory serves me correctly the Rolling Rods of South Jersey held a Rod run and drag event each summer at E-Town. We trailered the roadster from CT at the time I had a 671 blower on my little flathead Ford V-8 the ET"S were in the 14 second range I learned about going lean in the lights causing an intake manifold backfire. Good times and memory's for sure.
     
  28. HotRodAV8
    Joined: Oct 7, 2002
    Posts: 87

    HotRodAV8
    Member
    from Seattle Wa

    md 1992 high school drags. 1970 Camaro 350 350 2/73gear, took a calendar to measure 60ft time. thought I was the shit running 14.2 @ 96mph... but next weekend going to Ephata for roundy round races got 18mpg. oh to go back and tell myself change that bad gear!
     
  29. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094

    autobilly
    Member

    1986/7. '59 Ford Starmodel Customline sedan. Hot 390 Y, T10, 9inch. Mid 13's. :D
     
  30. dusterdave173
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 226

    dusterdave173
    Member

    Mine first pass was at Shuffletown Drag Strip near Charlotte North Carolina. My Dad worked at a heavy equipment dealer and was a diesel mechanic. They had about 60 guys that worked there. Every evening at quitting time they would leave the lot to and industrial drive two by two and drag race to the end about 1/4 mile. Then we went to Shuffletown, stood right on the starting line as the 55-57 Chevys and everything else reved it up and dropped the clutch! About the 10th pair to go on my first trip to the strip a 55 Chevy blew to pieces! A rod cap hit me in the foot ( no real damage done) until I reached down and picked it up--Lordy! That thing was HOT! After that I was HOOKED, the first Sat after I got my license I took my 65 Mustang 2+2 over there and signed up. I must have really looked like the raw rookie that I was because the old man that swept the starting line leaned in the window and said--Son, when I tap on the roof of your car GO! Forget that tree just wait on me to hit the roof.
    Well.. it worked, I went a few rounds and have been a drag racer ever since!!!
    Working on a new 200 inch FED as we speak.
     

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