Steve Reasbeck on Drag Racing 1962 to 1965 Mopars
June - July 2010
Again I must apologize for the lateness of this piece. The simple truth is that we have been waiting for the rain to stop here in the East so there is something to write about.
We have had copious amounts of wet weather, and it has effected racing and motorsports of all kinds here. On April 24, we towed to Mason Dixon Dragway in Hagerstown, Md., and sat in the rain. In early May we left to attend the second 422 Motorsports All Star Circuit event in Numidia, Pa, and sat in the rain. On May 13 we were to attend a large Mid Atlantic Mopar event, again in Hagerstown, and it rained again. So, everybody has done more sitting than racing. But, I am sure that will change in the relatively near future.
Coming up next weekend (Friday through Sunday, June 18-20) at Pittsburgh Raceway Park is the Chrysler Classic Series, Curt George Memorial event. It is always a large event, well attended by many MoPars from the mid-Atlantic states, as well as the Midwest. The Chrysler Classic Series is a fabulous series, if you are a MoPar lover, and features just about anything the MoPar guy would want. The Quick 16 features a lot of real quick MoPar powered diggers and doorslammers, such as Scott and Dave Koffell’s Lake Erie Monster B-1 dragster and Jeff Hurst, son of former world champ Fred Hurst, and his digger. Good show.
There are Pro and Super Pro ET, classes for Hemi Super Stocks, and the max wedge classes, which feature some of the finest 62-65 wedge powered cars in the country. Its well worth your time, great family fun. You can check out the web at ccevents.com, if you attend drop over and say hi. I will have an addendum to this piece after the event, and should have some photos to post.
This past Saturday, Tom Taylor, a MoPar racer from Altoona, Pa, and I met with Jim Amos of Bee On Video Productions to hunt up the old Peterson Memorial Dragway near Altoona, Pa., one of our old haunts. Peterson was a 6000 foot long airport built on the site of the famous Altoona Board Track of the 1920s and 1930s, and the drag strip operated from 1966 through 1974. It was an NHRA sanctioned, high caliber track, which featured a lot of the hitters of the day.....Sox & Martin, Jungle Jim, the Ramchargers, and on and on. We found several rolls of original 8mm film, and they will be transposed in a production, incorporating the pieces we shot on Saturday. We were all surprised to see the drag strip still intact, used as the main drag for an industrial park. It looks like you could make a pass today, and we did in my Hemi Durango. Of course, this time, I paid attention to the posted speed limit. Jims site is home to the best Nostalgia drag racing videos around, and are well worth a look. He covers most of the major Nostalgia events and shows on the east coast, and the coverage is terrific. Jim is a true blue Ford guy, but I dont hold that against him. Hes a great guy and produces a great product. His products can be reached at: beeonvideo.homestead.com
Anyway, sometime next week I will add a bit more to this column, giving some pictures and coverage to the Chrysler Classic.
This is a continuation of the first part of this piece, where I was pretty much at a loss for material, due mainly because of the continual waterfall coming from the sky in the northeast over the spring period.
Well, the disappointment came to a screeching halt over the weekend of June 16-20, 2010 at Pittsburgh Raceway Park. The event was the Curt George Memorial, part of the Chrysler Classic series that runs in the Pennsylvania-Ohio-Michigan area. There are five events, all for Chrysler products only. They have classes for virtually every MoPar ever raced or shown, including specific Max Wedge and Hemi classes. This particular event is hosted annually to honor the late Curt George, son of my good friend Bob George of Bob George Racing. Bob builds and is heavily involved in many of the most successful and well known MoPars in the northeast and midwest, and is one of the most well respected people you will ever meet. Curt was just like his dad in demeanor and generosity, and the industrial accident that ended his life in 2004 cheated a lot of folks out of becoming to know a truly outstanding person.
Anyway, we trooped up there on Saturday morning, me and my 65 Hemi car, my eldest son Kyle in his 64 wedge Polara, and Ronnie McClelland’s Buds Auto Sales 66 Hemi Coronet. Ronnies 66 is by far the fastest and quickest of the three, with its 528 inch, state of the art Hemi, but Ronnie was sidelined due to recent surgery. So, Kyle would do double duty, drive his red wedge Polara and then hop in the super quick 66 Dodge of Ronnie so it could race in the Hemi class, one of the major headliners of all CC events.
The weather was hot, hot, and dry, with temps in the 90s and humidity in the 70 percent range. The event was packed, in spectators and with close to 300 race cars on the grounds. My son Kyle had a career weekend.
He took to the Hemi car like a duck to water, running 9.50s and going two rounds in Saturdays Hemi eliminator. Then, he hopped into his red wedge car, went 10.60s with its 500 inch Indy headed wedge, and made the semi finals in Pro ET. Even this bald old guy took his old tech 65 four rounds, having a ball in the process. As far as we considered, Saturday was a good day.
But, Sunday was incredible. It was Fathers Day, and I could not have had a better one. Although I bowed out in the first round of Pro, Kyle continued where he left off, making it down to four cars when he was knocked out. In the Hemi class, he went through round after round in the Hemi SS eliminator, going 9.50s and heading to a showdown with Gary Murphys Kentucky based Challenger. Murphy was the 2009 series Champ, and was showing why. In the final, Kyle cut a .005 light, and ran a hair under with a 9.747 on a 9.75 dial, while Murphy ran a shade less under 9.568 on a 9.57 dial. The Challenger took the win by a .00017 margin!
Over the weekend, Kyle made a total of 36 runs in two days, and got sharper as the weekend went on. For a dad to watch all of this, well, I was at a loss for words.
Next in the hopper is race 3 of the 422 AllStars Nostalgia Super Stock Series at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa on July 2. Then, is the big one, the York US30 Nostalgia Nationals at Beaver Springs Dragway in Beaver Springs, Pa. That event is a biggie....and I will get you full coverage.
Well keep you posted.
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June 14, 2010 part 1. June 30, 2010 part 2.