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Steve Reasbeck reports on Drag Racing 1962 to 1965 Mopars

Steve Reasbeck on Drag Racing 1962 to 1965 Mopars

August 2010

Well, the season is continuing, and we have been blessed to be more active than we have for sometime. I am so grateful for this year, once it decided to stop raining it has been absolutely tremendous. Physically, I am feeling better than I have for some time, and I am grateful for that, as well.

At the conclusion of my last report, I was mentioning that we, and especially my son, have been having a pretty good time so far this year. We’d had a pretty successful outing at the Pittsburgh Chrysler Classic. As the season has continued, we’ve continued to taste some success. It’s been fun!

Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., was the next stop after the Chrysler Classic, where one of their headline events for their Geezers at the Grove Nostalgia extravaganza was the 422 Nostalgia Super Stock All Stars, a program that we support as often as we can. Run by ex Pro Stock racer Rich LaMont and Dink Bishop, it is a program that is very successful and popular in the northeast part of the country. It is somewhat a bracket race...with some twists. You can pick any dial you want, but the last digit must be a zero. In other words, if you run 11.02-11.03, you must dial an 11.00 or an 11.10...you choose. Another twist is that once you pick your dial (index), you own it. No adjustments during eliminations. For us, it is perfect. I can use all of the old, obsolete Hemi parts from the sixties that I have around...and be competitive. The motor I have now is small by today’s standards...426 inches, TRW pistons, old Chrysler NASCAR rods, old Comp Cams roller, and a crossram with two 660 center squirter Holleys that had been laying around for years. SS racing for ham and eggers, like us.

1964 Dodge
Kyle in the lanes prior to the final at Maple Grove

The cars must be full sized mid-sixties cars...no “pony cars”, no small blocks. No single four barrels...no small blocks. The only exceptions are the factory “package” Super Stock cars of the late sixties, that is, Cobra Jet Mustangs, 1968 Hemi Cudas and Darts, and the AMX SS packages. No electronics, no trans brakes, no two steps. The rules can be found at www.422allstars.com.

Anyway, knowing the toughness of success on this circuit, the caravan rolled into Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. on July 3. I did not make the trip, as some health problems did came up, but Kyle and Ronnie did...Ronnie with his Hemi 1966 Coronet and Kyle with his venerable 1964 Polara. While I was watching 4th of July fireworks at a location near our Pennsylvania home, I received a call that evening that any father would be pleased to receive. Kyle had driven his Polara to the win, beating Chet Cook’s big block Impala in the final. Kyle’s Bob George prepped Indy headed wedge engine ran between 10.51 and 10.54 all night, and Kyle did a good enough job to pull it off. Ronnie had gone out the third round, so he had a very good evening as well...Losing to Dave Stubbs’ absolutely gorgeous (no kidding) 1962 413 Dodge. The Semi finals were pretty much a MoPar affair...with Kyle stopping Bob Forte’s Jersey Duke 1964 Plymouth, and Chet Cook’s Chev beating Stubb’s 413.

Dave Stubbs’ 1962 Dodge
Kyle in the lanes prior to the final at Maple Grove
1964 Dodge in Victory Lane
Kyle in the lanes prior to the final at Maple Grove

So, with the glow of victory still on us from Maple Grove, the next weekend was the “big one” in the east...the Nostalgia Nationals at Beaver Springs...held in conjunction with the York US30 Reunion at York Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania. We had another decent outing...but didn’t bring home the gold. But, we did bring back many more memories, which I am sure all of us will cherish for the rest of our lives. For myself, one of the greatest memories was sitting around the pool at the Quality Inn on Saturday night with a dozen or so other old time racers...swapping stories and memories. It was priceless!! One thing I did notice, though, the older we get, the better we were.

Race day at the Beaver was hot, as it usually is that time of year, and crowded. The crowds drawn to this event are unbelievable. Ronnie and I each bowed out the first round, and Kyle lasted to the third. I lost to my friend Jody Alberts and his wheelstanding 427 Ford Fairlane, Kyle lost to John Warehime, last year’s champ with his big block Chevelle. Warehime went on to win this year’s edition, as well...one tough customer, as well as being one great guy.

1964 Dodge on quarter mile

One thing I had noticed...and I want to make note of this...is that battery voltage can have a very, very, pronounced effect on performance, especially using the MSD system. Since early this year, my Hemi had lost some performance, losing about two-three tenths, and four or five mph. It’s been driving us crazy, and like most, we were looking in the wrong places. The system I use is two 12 volt batteries, and I use an out of the box Chrysler alternator wired directly through a voltage regulator. The system works great, considering that when you make a pass you are running the fuel pump, the electric water pump and fan, the ignition, and, in my case, a small utility fan to cool the old driver off.

1965 Dodge of Steve Reasbeck on quarter mile

When throwing a battery charger on the batteries prior to the first round, which is something we always do as a precaution, Kyle noticed the positive post in one of the batteries was loose, and the battery may have been shorting out. As a precaution, we removed it and went on one good battery, plus the charging system.

The results were incredible. I lost in the first round...I had picked my index at 11.20...the car picked right up and ran 11.06, way, way under and close to what it runs normally. It has since run a series of 10.80-10.90’s, the mph is back up, and it is right back where it should be. It just goes to show, that every little detail must be checked and rechecked. But, this one had gotten around me, big time.

Well, next on the list is the Flashback Friday at Beaver Springs on August 13, followed by a 422 All Stars event also at BSD the next day. Two straight days of NSS racing...you can’t beat it. After that, a rescheduled 422 event at Mason Dixon in Hagerstown, Md., the Chrysler Classic in Norwalk, Ohio, and a final 422 event back at Maple Grove. It may take me all winter to recover, but it is so worth it.

1964 Dodge Bounty Hunters on quarter mile

I post again soon,
God Bless,
Steve R. —Contact Steve

Contact Steve at
Reasbeck Racing
Johnstown, Pa.

August 8, 2010

View Steves Other Columns: April 2009  May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October - November - December 2009 January - February 2010, March -May 2010 - June - July 2010
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