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DGM 7620
September 18, 2008 at 10:08:30 AM
Joined: 07/18/2007
Posts: 377
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Posted By: jimmessmer on September 17 2008 at 09:32:16 PM

O.K. How about 1971? This is the year NCRA was born. After seeing the big red white & blue logo & seeing some of the races on the schedule, we really were big time! Thought we'd be nationwide someday. Almost made it, I guess the zenith for NCRA was late 70's, early 80's, goin to knoxville & all that. I do agree we lost something when the 100" cars went away. They were special, they were OURS!

Yeah I know NCRA is still going strong & I hope it keeps growing, but they don't even come to OKC anymore. Man in 71' when they ran the pavement at Shreveport that was big time, thought we were going big like USAC. Aaron madden won the only NCRA race on asphalt!

By June of 71' Howerton had already won 6 A features, & I'm sure the other guys were glad to see him go to USAC. It was a big deal for us around here, thought for sure he would be at the Speedway in a year or two. Man things changed fast about that time & Jack never got that big chance. But Opp did the hair-cut & went Indy racing and made us all proud!

Emmett started driving Doc Garretts car in OKC & the Zink car in Tulsa & NCRA. I believe Jim Morrison was building the engines for Docs car & they sounded way different. When Emmett came out to wheel pack, that thing sounded like a freight train! Speaking of funny sounding, it was about this time or maybe 72' when first Jerry Wilson & grady Wade, then later Leep in the Cates car tried out that 180 degree crankshaft that fired 2 cylinders at once! Talk about a whole different sound. Wonder why nobody kept that thing goin?

Aaron came out of retirement in 71' drove that beautiful # 1 Walker car, white with blue stripes. It was just sexy! I also believe it was that year Terry Linville turned over in hot laps at Enid & lost his arm. I was there for that & it was pretty ugly.

This was also the year Reynolds drove Suchys car & our regular Saturday deal was Enid. Think we won 3 or 4 that year up there. There was a little Tastee Freeze on hwy 74 just north of crescent we would stop at & reynolds would get us all an ice cream cone. Good times! We would put everything in the back of that green econoline van Pat had, & all of us kids would ride on a tire on the way up. Big fun. More later.



Jim, Do you remember the Blue with White #1 Walker car that Aaron had that the torsion tubes were under the front seat and the arms ran back to the axle? The car that your talking about was a convential Walker car and it was very pretty, didn't it have a tall intake with Webers!!

I think your right about Terry he was a good up and coming driver, If I remember right he did race after that.

Speaking of Enid didn't your Dad drive the #8 at winter national there one time seems like I remember him in a uniform and if I remember right he won like the C-FEA started on back of B-FEA and ran 1st or 2nd and made the A-FEA.

I always thought it was funny when the sprint car guys came up with inboard brakes and made such a big deal out of it HUH, I remember the #8 was one of the 1st cars with an inboard brake 10-12 yrs ahead of there time.

I liked David & Ronnie Brotherton when David started driving the Southwest Automotive Car he was always tough to beat.

Another note about Thad at Tulsa running those ribs R/O on those was about 78-80 inches, about everybody and I mean 99.9% had a 92-96 inch LR on the RF. Look at some of those old mid 70's pic's at Tulsa it will tell the story.

Remember walking into pit gate at Lawton and Gilbert Hudson and Dale Looper's dad were going at it over a parking spot, old man Looper was pretty good size and Gilbert smaller his exact words were my favorite 3 things are Race'in,F**K'in&Fight'in right before in popped him in the jaw, they pounded on one another pretty good nobody seemed real interested in breaking it up, Finally of all people AJ broke it up, Gilbert got his spot!!!

You might remember this, the old man on top of Doug Johnson at Tulsa and Dave Grubb was choking Pat down when John McDade hit Grubb right across the collar bone with a 15/16 wrench, that Grubb sounded like a coyote howling!!!

Remember Perry Bodine and the corvair powered modified he ran he actually won an A-FEA. with it.

Wonder what ever happened to Don Engel? When he and Cleveland were together they were always fast.

 



DGM 7620
September 18, 2008 at 02:34:49 PM
Joined: 07/18/2007
Posts: 377
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Posted By: jdsprint71 on September 18 2008 at 09:49:19 AM

I always wondered if NCRA had kept the promoters banded together like they were in the 70's and early 80's if the NCRA would have expanded and grown, they sure had a great head start on everyone else some 8 yrs. on the WoO , always thought Emmitt H. sorta took the idea of NCRA and expanded it with his series the ASCS and look at it now , Regions all over the country and a Nat. tour next year. Just a shame the promoters of this area took the me/I approach instead of all staying focused on the same page, I am sure everyone has an opinion on the why's and if's but sure would have been nice to have seen it really grow and expand.

David, Was it tough working for an owner like Bill Beaman back then, I mean you hear it all the time today about the owners in WoO and such spending lots of money and wanting instant success and having no patience, was it that way with your deal back then?, wondered about Stephens with Ofixico and even Zink with the 52 car if they applied the pressure for those who drove for them?, Heck today you can be hired and fired in such a short time ,before you can even get any continuity going, just not much loyalty and patients in people these days anymore , especially when it comes to spending money and not showing any success.



JD, There have never been better owners then Mr. Bill & Lela Beamon, Yes there was pressure but not like you would think for the money they spent. They treated you like family I felt like I was there son I had my own room to stay in Lela washed and ironed my clothes and you were alway invited on Holidays. Jon Wethern was there driver for years in micro's and mini's before they moved to dirt cars and he just lost is job because he couldn't run her flat footed at OKC, we were fast and won every where but there, MP just got stubborn about something Mr. Bill wanted to do and flat just quit, that caused an issue between MP and myself but the way I looked at it Mr. Bill was paying the bills so he could do what he wanted. On myself I knew by the midway point of '86 that sooner or later my history with CARBONE was going to create a problem, Mr. Bill and Carbone went way back in there drag racing days so Carbone built Mr. Bills engines. I had survived punching out Mr. Bill's best friend at Tulsa the 3rd night I worked for him, so it was going to take alot for us to split up, well that happened after the Knoxville Nats in '88 that I've already posted about and when I left Bill & Lela begged me to stay, we all cried like babies I cared for them alot.

Funny thing about those days we won alot of races in that #97 with the old mans camshafts & heads and Carbone never realized it for a long time in early '87 I brought the car over to the shop to work on it as Bill & Lela were out of town, well I took the worst motor we had and changed the cam & heads with a set the old man gave me and we won 13 races with that engine after that. Of course I had to tell Mr. Bill after we had won at OKC the first night we ran it, well he wasn't totally happy but after MP won Tulsa the next night he never said another word until it was time to freshen it up and I had to put all the old parts back on. Carbone was no idiot he knew that I had changed something because that thing never ran that fast before.He kept trying to get Mr. Bill to bring it back to freshen it up for 2 monthes but Mr. Bill just stalled him off.

I know there was plenty of pressure at OFIXCO especially after Shane started driving for the old man it was a blast and MP was driving for Tony Bruce and us when Shane wasn't around and Bob had the Nance/Shaver program going good plus a couple other teams so yes we cranked the heat up and it was a great rivilary.

Loyld K. tried to hire me at Hutch in '85 but I wouldn't have left where I was for a million dollars!!!!



jimmessmer
September 18, 2008 at 02:52:51 PM
Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 161
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I think if NCRA had kept the original concept, they would have thrived. The whole idea was to give all the regional tracks 1 or 2 big shows a year, where everybody didn't schedule on top of each other. Also very simple rules, no this or that tire or this or that head, we just showed up & reced.

In 78' 79' at most NCRA races there were 75-80 cars trying to make the show. Now if we have a 30 car field everybody thinks they've seen something. A few years at Hutch I'm sure there were over 100 cars, of course back then the Hutch nationals really was called " The Indy 500 for Supers."

Yeah David, my dad drove on & off in the 60's & 70's. Guess the really old ones I remember were the old # 9 red & white Ford coupe he drove for Pat around 1960. Around 62' I guess they had a big old Buick Special, blue car # 27. Still got a picture of that one, dad was wearing white jeans a gray sweater & the ol bubble helmet.

In 72' Pat let him take the car to lawton on an off night, he was doin o.k., then he got run into. Can't remember the guys name, just remember he only had 1 leg. So yeah he drove the Enid race & did pretty damn good. Wish he would have drove more but he liked working on them better I guess. I remember him coming back from Chevrolet & bitching because a BRAND NEW Z-28 block & heads was $ 500.00 WOW!!

After 74' we used several drivers at Tulsa, David brotherton just didn't feel comfortable there, which is odd because the very first race ever at the big track we took # 8 up & finished 2nd in the heat & 2nd or 3rd in the A & left with @ $800.00 which was a big payday back then. I think Hutch in 74' really bothered David, he kinda "bounced" right out of the middle of that deal.

Gene Daniels backed it into the wall one night, after Walker put a rear clip on it, David said the car handeled better than ever at OKC. I think sometimes after a hard hit it relieves the frame when you cut it. When Mike dumped # 11 this year, when Ernie cut the frame, that thing sprang about 10". You just never know man.



jdsprint71
September 18, 2008 at 05:16:26 PM
Joined: 05/02/2005
Posts: 1336
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Curious to ask David , did you all have a spare car/frame in case if needed?, I guess not being from up around Tulsa and hearing stories , never heard Carbone stuff was not all what it should have been, heck I thought since Stephens used the guy , he must be the best in the business, but that is not always the case .

I remember standing by Ken Wright (Had a Cowboy Hat on then too) and remembering him talk to Bob Ewell at the Tulsa Fairgrounds , trying to convince Bob to let him build him a motor to run at Tulsa , Bob just did not feel comfortable or whatever but never did let Wright build a motor for him , Bob would just do his own and eventually got it right and did well. But Wright did build some excellent motors for Aaron Lemmons and some others in the Modifeds (2 Bar.) and then the 2 Bar. sprints too.

I agree work together and simple rules for NCRA and well none of that happened and your correct , tracks and fans see a 30 car field today and that is something, I remember Johnnie Stinnett at Lawton saying at an NCRA there back in the late 70's and some 60 plus cars were on hand , if we make the A Feature tonight we will be happy and he did not make it that night but at least he did not have a long drive home to think about it.



DGM 7620
September 18, 2008 at 06:34:33 PM
Joined: 07/18/2007
Posts: 377
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Posted By: jdsprint71 on September 18 2008 at 05:16:26 PM

Curious to ask David , did you all have a spare car/frame in case if needed?, I guess not being from up around Tulsa and hearing stories , never heard Carbone stuff was not all what it should have been, heck I thought since Stephens used the guy , he must be the best in the business, but that is not always the case .

I remember standing by Ken Wright (Had a Cowboy Hat on then too) and remembering him talk to Bob Ewell at the Tulsa Fairgrounds , trying to convince Bob to let him build him a motor to run at Tulsa , Bob just did not feel comfortable or whatever but never did let Wright build a motor for him , Bob would just do his own and eventually got it right and did well. But Wright did build some excellent motors for Aaron Lemmons and some others in the Modifeds (2 Bar.) and then the 2 Bar. sprints too.

I agree work together and simple rules for NCRA and well none of that happened and your correct , tracks and fans see a 30 car field today and that is something, I remember Johnnie Stinnett at Lawton saying at an NCRA there back in the late 70's and some 60 plus cars were on hand , if we make the A Feature tonight we will be happy and he did not make it that night but at least he did not have a long drive home to think about it.



JD, Stone didn't run Carbone motors after the first year or two at OFIXCO, he ran Russell Bakers, Rolan Nix & mainly Shavers, I also think Pete used Shavers. Carbone could build a good engine it's just my $10,000.00 might not by the same as your $10,000.00 in the big Tulsa track days MP and I would take that #10 Hill&Kearney car and run up front about any night and had a shot at winning if we didn't break a motor, we were twisting the piss out of those little 302's so we broke plenty but Steve & Stone could not stand getting out ran by us of course Stone and MP had history from early 81 SPDY and NCRA days, any way they jacked with us plenty so there got to be quite a storm going on between both teams. MP was running Och's #1 in NCRA and we ran the #10 at OKC & Tulsa, we kept the car at B&T's for a while then eventually at the old mans shop, something was happening everynight we were always arguing and going to kick the other ass!! But you have to remember there was only 5-6 of us there was 15-20 in there group well one night it broke out Bub was trying to stretch Carbones tongue out had it between 2 fingers Jack Davis took out about 6-7 of there guys with a 4-way lug wrench throwing it about knee high into there crowd Hill & I were wrestling with 3-4 of there guys when Phil Davis & that COP came over and broke it up, Steve told us you come back were going to tear it down, well we went back the next week and ran 3rd Stone ran 5th so we pulled a head forward and let there tech guy ck bore & stroke and it was ok, so then they wanted to look at the heads well it had Brownfields on it which weren't quite as good as Brodix, anyway the couldn't find anything wrong with the motor. It was a long year and left bad feeling between alot of us.

When Howard the Duck drove for us he wasn't very happy with our motors at first we were just transisitioning over to the 350 injected motors so we were a little behind but gradually we started to get better in a big way because of Bob Ewell as he turned us on to Aviad pans & pumps, well HtD was big Carbone man so over the winter of '83 we took some motors over to Carbones to Dyno them well everthing we had was junk so I called the old man and his answer was load our shit up and bring it home well I argued that we needed to fix them he said Grace those junk motors won 13 features at OKC and Lawton so they can't be that bad,well Iloaded up and went home knowing our shit stunk. I worried for 2 wks HtD was unhappy so I went to Steve and bought a fresh used motor from him $10,000.00 that I had saved for years so I slipped the motor home and into the shop and one night I put it in the big problem was it was dry sump and all the old mans motors were wet well next morning he kicked my butt man Pat was pissed I have never had an ass chewing like that in my life (ask Janelle) we were grounded didn't race for 2 wks but when we did go back to track this motor which made 56HP more then the old mans wouldn't pull a wagon across the street!!!!! Well we worked on it and finally made it a descent piece. So no doubt this didn't set very well with me or the old man.Over the next couple/three years I had plenty of time to get even and I did. Which finally led to the Beamon story.



jdsprint71
September 19, 2008 at 09:21:04 AM
Joined: 05/02/2005
Posts: 1336
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That is interesting that Stone did not run Carbone stuff when he first drove for Ofixico , I thought the only one whoever ran Russell Baker motors in Openwheel were Terry Uheling in the 88 Super Mod and I know Bert Woodring and Larry Neighbors tried his stuff several times back in the 80's , but always heard he was more of a Late Model Motor guy , Kind of like Draime Engines were. That is pretty interesting to find that out.

Alwasy thought Stephens was Carbone all the way.

Also pretty interesting about MP and Stoney having issues/rivalry back then, growing up in Lawton did not get to see the weekly stuff up northeast alot and only went to the NCRA shows and I guess never really seen them have any problems during those races, but it is the same everywhere with weekly competition , you just have the competitive nature and well issues with tempermant will come up sooner or later when you race.

Got a question for you and Jim , you said earlier in this thread that you could get a $2,500 dollar motor and go win with it at an NCRA or weekly show back in the 70's, did either one of you feel that you were getting out dollared or behind in Technology back then with those motors or did you not worry about it and just take what you had and raced it. I guess what i am trying to say is was there the "Haves" and "Have Nots" back then.

Seems today that is more of a problem , guess costs is the main issue and Motors are more exotic and Tires are bigger and softer and so on.

Is there an answer for today's racing to keep it somewhat affordable for the working class guy to have a car and be able to be somewhat competitive. Is it Crate Motors , 305's with a list of rules like Smiley's and NCRA is coming up with to do in 09?

Is it a bit to soon to say that the Rules for OKC , Dallas and Lawton are starting to run there course , seems Car counts in both Sprint classes have had a steadily decline in the past 3 or so yrs. , It seems that when you start a class they run there 5 to 7 yr. course and then things get changed in the rules , like the Champ Dirt Cars ran for about 6 yrs. in the early 80's and then the late 80's Super Mods (2 Bar.) came back and V8 Modifieds (2 Bar.) for about 5 yrs. and then the early 90's brought the Super Sprints in (Champ Sprints came in 01) are on there current stint with this rules package.

Not that there is any correct answer, Just curious on your thoughts?



DGM 7620
September 19, 2008 at 01:47:31 PM
Joined: 07/18/2007
Posts: 377
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Posted By: jdsprint71 on September 19 2008 at 09:21:04 AM

That is interesting that Stone did not run Carbone stuff when he first drove for Ofixico , I thought the only one whoever ran Russell Baker motors in Openwheel were Terry Uheling in the 88 Super Mod and I know Bert Woodring and Larry Neighbors tried his stuff several times back in the 80's , but always heard he was more of a Late Model Motor guy , Kind of like Draime Engines were. That is pretty interesting to find that out.

Alwasy thought Stephens was Carbone all the way.

Also pretty interesting about MP and Stoney having issues/rivalry back then, growing up in Lawton did not get to see the weekly stuff up northeast alot and only went to the NCRA shows and I guess never really seen them have any problems during those races, but it is the same everywhere with weekly competition , you just have the competitive nature and well issues with tempermant will come up sooner or later when you race.

Got a question for you and Jim , you said earlier in this thread that you could get a $2,500 dollar motor and go win with it at an NCRA or weekly show back in the 70's, did either one of you feel that you were getting out dollared or behind in Technology back then with those motors or did you not worry about it and just take what you had and raced it. I guess what i am trying to say is was there the "Haves" and "Have Nots" back then.

Seems today that is more of a problem , guess costs is the main issue and Motors are more exotic and Tires are bigger and softer and so on.

Is there an answer for today's racing to keep it somewhat affordable for the working class guy to have a car and be able to be somewhat competitive. Is it Crate Motors , 305's with a list of rules like Smiley's and NCRA is coming up with to do in 09?

Is it a bit to soon to say that the Rules for OKC , Dallas and Lawton are starting to run there course , seems Car counts in both Sprint classes have had a steadily decline in the past 3 or so yrs. , It seems that when you start a class they run there 5 to 7 yr. course and then things get changed in the rules , like the Champ Dirt Cars ran for about 6 yrs. in the early 80's and then the late 80's Super Mods (2 Bar.) came back and V8 Modifieds (2 Bar.) for about 5 yrs. and then the early 90's brought the Super Sprints in (Champ Sprints came in 01) are on there current stint with this rules package.

Not that there is any correct answer, Just curious on your thoughts?



JD, I never thought I ever got out dollared until later years probably in the '90's but early on you just didn't order up a set of Brodix CNC Heads, yes you could order heads from several porter's but even then a motor with pink rods and a TRW piston was still competitive, we actually just bought Z-28 short blks blue printed them stuck an RK-38 Engle cam in it then we used a lot of Pauls PORTED or Valley Racing PORTED heads, I know the old man used Little Joe Mondello PORTED heads bolt on your aluminium intake and go race. I bought a real nice Edelbrock Intake with 2" spacer and 780 Holley from Steve Scott that I believe either Johnny or Louis had reworked for $150.00 it was a nice piece, We used it on the #01 & #10 cars. Chassis wise tech. was kind of what ever you wanted to do your self, Jim will tell if you raced on friday and you didn't like it we just cut it up and rebuilt it. I can remember going to Brotherton shop and setting the frt end up on Bobs alignment rack if we wanted more camber he would just bend the axle and when we started playing with caster stagger we just heated the axle up red and Bob twisted it with a big pipe wrench. I have walked into DE's shop and seen him and Ernie cutting pipe out and moving it around to try something differant, we all did that. Yes there has always been the HAVE & HAVE NOTS it's just a bigger desparity now days. When PS first came out those of us who couldn't afford it built them out of Buick or Olds boxs right out of the salvage.

As far as rules go I feel that alot of issues last couple of years probably aren't so much in specs as it has been in the way the track has ran there operation. Jim & I have both been officals at one time, I'm appalled at some of the calls we have now and some of the track condition we race under week after week, I've personally been in this business since 1972 as a partcipent and a spectator long before that 1960. Your always gonna have something going on with the rules, it happened with Bud, ORA, Perry Bodine, Larry Hill, Bud again, Bruce and now Lanny but integraty of officals making calls on procedures, inconsistant calls on the rules pretaining to spec's, inconsistant scoring and the most horridious track conditions week after week that I have ever seen in my 48 years as a spectator and participant!!! You can't lead a unit from the front of the grandstands drinking a beer, It does not surprise me that car counts are down in all classes and that racers are so disgruntled, the people that they should look up to, The Officals, to run the show have NO LEADERSHIP!!! You have to be die-hard to show up and spectate or partcipate under these conditions and we're down to about 60-70 owners total on a given night.



jdsprint71
September 19, 2008 at 03:59:33 PM
Joined: 05/02/2005
Posts: 1336
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I guess technology and experience is able to be bought with money more today to help someone getting started in this sport were as back then it was learn by trial and error as you go , I remember Ewell when he was with Barnett at Dallas trying differnt things with pieces like T arms angle bends and Rad. Rods pick up points on his chassis.

Your right on the running of the track and track conditions , it surprises me that it has been run the way it has been the last several years, lack of interest or been at it to long and in a rut or ?, not sure what the answer is, but his other tracks were prepped with pride and were immaculate to start the night and stayed smooth all the time when I watched and participated in the 70's and 80's and into the 90's as well. I have my own opinion and take on why the lack of interest and preperation of his race tracks are because of one race and it happens now at the first of the year in Tulsa , OK. and it makes him as well as others a LOT of Money and well you don't have to get after it as much the rest of the year when the BIG amount of cash is made at the first of the year and I will say this that it has only been since around 1996 or 1997 that operations and noticeable things at his weekly tracks have changed because the first 10 yrs. of the event it was still growing and getting to what it is now , granted with the money he has made BIG improvements at all the tracks he owns, like making the pit area on the back stretch at the bowl and new fencing and really cleaning up the looks of both Dallas and Lawton and the concrete wall at Lawton to replace the pipe fence and the grandstands at both places have metal and not wood and better restrooms and so on, I always thought Lawton could have been a place that you could of hosted a couple of Multi Day Large Openwheel events each year and did well on them , seems every WoO driver or CRA driver that went to the place back 20 something years ago liked it and wanted to come back, that right there told me that place was exciting to watch a race on and when the drivers like it you would most likely think the fans would too. Heck I maybe way off base with these assumptions but looking back at timelines and remmbering how it was before that event got BIG and well just makes me wonder if it is not a Big contributer to how things are run and done at his tracks today.



jimmessmer
September 19, 2008 at 04:01:10 PM
Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 161
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Well I may piss a few people off but, not the first time!

Out dollared, maybe. I mean we had old stuff & like david said, Z-28 blocks. I remember my dad spending hours & hours polishing heads & intake runners. When you're running against John Zink who just happened to have won 2 Indy 500's, it's a little intimidating at first. the thing we had then, that we don't have now is the freedom to think & work out-side the box.

Pretty simple 305 CID limit, after that you pretty much do your own deal. Everybody had their own ideas & would try just about anything. If it worked it was YOURS, everybody else couldn't go buy it off the shelf. When we got the Walker car from Aaron it was a bare frame & a lot of boxes of parts. We put it together our way, with a few personal twists & it worked. We ran that car for 4.5 years & were pretty successful.

I mean when Ofixco & Hillenburg & those guys came along, sure they out-spent us, but I wouldn't say they always out-thought us. In 78' I went to work for Larry Hill when D.E. was driving the Stapp car. In June at the big Tulsa track we set a new 20 lap record & Suggs said after the race, if he knew he was setting a record he would have gave the boys something to shoot for! Hill didn't have the most money but he spent it right & we worked our butts off.

D.E. quit the Hill ride & at the 78' Winternationals I got to work my first race with MP. Luckily we won it & the next year was awesome, but it just clicked, we had the right deal.

Honestly, I think until about 89' or so the driver made a HUGE difference. Tell me Leep or Frankie Lies or Walt couldn't carry a car. Those guys could take an ill handling 5th place car & whip it into submission & win the race. Now with all these cookie cutter cars glued to the track, you just can't do it. Some of the best racing I ever saw was the year Bruce & Mike battled on the 1/2 mile. Those guys DROVE those cars. I was working in turn 3 then & I promise you they both used their right rears to glance off the guardrail & turn those cars!!

I think maybe less rules & more consistent rule enforcing may help. I just hate the crate engine deal because again, it takes away for the ingeniuty of each car/crew. Just my opinion, less tire & un-hook the cars. This hooked up it is just so hard on everything. Also like david said, I think years ago we pretty much had a consistent track to work with. basic set-up & go. Any more who knows what we're gonna get. The field is so close & competitive right now if you miss your set up by 1 turn, you're out to lunch.

I'm kinda interested in the NCRA 305 deal. Maybe it will be the cheap way out. I just know we can't keep goin the way we are. I mean we work hard on our deal but we if have a major engine problem we are done until we can save & wheel & deal. And thats too bad. it shouldn't be this hard. The last 4 weeks of the season we had no B features. not enough cars. We raced probably 14-15 times this year & all year we Bought 1, maybe 2 new tires.

Kinda pisses you off when these kids walk in with a helmet bag, don't know a torsion bar from a titty bar & they out-run you because they have a bigger credit card!!

Just my opinion! Jim



DGM 7620
September 19, 2008 at 05:35:27 PM
Joined: 07/18/2007
Posts: 377
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Posted By: jimmessmer on September 19 2008 at 04:01:10 PM

Well I may piss a few people off but, not the first time!

Out dollared, maybe. I mean we had old stuff & like david said, Z-28 blocks. I remember my dad spending hours & hours polishing heads & intake runners. When you're running against John Zink who just happened to have won 2 Indy 500's, it's a little intimidating at first. the thing we had then, that we don't have now is the freedom to think & work out-side the box.

Pretty simple 305 CID limit, after that you pretty much do your own deal. Everybody had their own ideas & would try just about anything. If it worked it was YOURS, everybody else couldn't go buy it off the shelf. When we got the Walker car from Aaron it was a bare frame & a lot of boxes of parts. We put it together our way, with a few personal twists & it worked. We ran that car for 4.5 years & were pretty successful.

I mean when Ofixco & Hillenburg & those guys came along, sure they out-spent us, but I wouldn't say they always out-thought us. In 78' I went to work for Larry Hill when D.E. was driving the Stapp car. In June at the big Tulsa track we set a new 20 lap record & Suggs said after the race, if he knew he was setting a record he would have gave the boys something to shoot for! Hill didn't have the most money but he spent it right & we worked our butts off.

D.E. quit the Hill ride & at the 78' Winternationals I got to work my first race with MP. Luckily we won it & the next year was awesome, but it just clicked, we had the right deal.

Honestly, I think until about 89' or so the driver made a HUGE difference. Tell me Leep or Frankie Lies or Walt couldn't carry a car. Those guys could take an ill handling 5th place car & whip it into submission & win the race. Now with all these cookie cutter cars glued to the track, you just can't do it. Some of the best racing I ever saw was the year Bruce & Mike battled on the 1/2 mile. Those guys DROVE those cars. I was working in turn 3 then & I promise you they both used their right rears to glance off the guardrail & turn those cars!!

I think maybe less rules & more consistent rule enforcing may help. I just hate the crate engine deal because again, it takes away for the ingeniuty of each car/crew. Just my opinion, less tire & un-hook the cars. This hooked up it is just so hard on everything. Also like david said, I think years ago we pretty much had a consistent track to work with. basic set-up & go. Any more who knows what we're gonna get. The field is so close & competitive right now if you miss your set up by 1 turn, you're out to lunch.

I'm kinda interested in the NCRA 305 deal. Maybe it will be the cheap way out. I just know we can't keep goin the way we are. I mean we work hard on our deal but we if have a major engine problem we are done until we can save & wheel & deal. And thats too bad. it shouldn't be this hard. The last 4 weeks of the season we had no B features. not enough cars. We raced probably 14-15 times this year & all year we Bought 1, maybe 2 new tires.

Kinda pisses you off when these kids walk in with a helmet bag, don't know a torsion bar from a titty bar & they out-run you because they have a bigger credit card!!

Just my opinion! Jim



I'm going to touch on a couple of your quotes:

Your right about Hill, my stint with him came after yours and he didn't have alot of extra money then but he spent it right and we worked our butts off to. Back in those days harder work in the right direction gave you more gains because as Jim says if it worked it was your idea and you couldn't buy it.

The comment about freedom to work outside the box is also very true. I remember polishing the inside of the block, the crank counter weights, rod beams etc. we drilled the gas ports in the pistons we put our own screw in studs in. We just did alot more of our own work you just didn't go buy it.

Now days anybody can buy it, so you would think there would be more people more apt to try it, easier for the guys with money to get it doesn't mean there going to beat you unless they hire somebody who knows whats happening and I don't fault any new people for coming in and doing that. The average new tradition comes in and on there own have to race under the conditions (track,scoring,officiating,etc) that we've had last couple of years, there not going to put up with it, they don't have the endurance for it, there like some of the guys we had back in the old days come in flash a little cash gone tomorrow.

If you look at the start of this season we had 28-30 SS & 25-30 LS over the season with all of the rough tracks and the officiating it's left us with the die-hards. You can blame it on the price of gas or the economy if you want but you can look at other tracks in the area that have good LEADERSHIP and yes they might be down 5% in car count over last season but not 30-40% or more per class.

Does anybody know what happened to Troy Matchen or Joe Jon Moxley?

How bout Wild Bill Parker?



jdsprint71
September 22, 2008 at 10:10:03 AM
Joined: 05/02/2005
Posts: 1336
Reply

I see both of your points on track operations and conditions and they need to get better, but Jim you say the crate motor thing would not be good , other than ingenuity reasons , why the dislike for them so much?



jimmessmer
September 22, 2008 at 02:10:43 PM
Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 161
Reply

Maybe hate was a bit strong. I'm sure in a limited sprint or maybe 305 deal it might be a savoir. My understanding of "crate" engine is a sealed unit with NO adjustnents or maintainence. After years of trial & error, especially at one particular track, getting your gearing, fuel etc, together with cam choice valve lash; a sealed engine would defeat the purpose.

Possibly given a 2 or 3 year advance it could work, after the guys used up their current stuff. If I were told tommorrow we were doing a new spec engine next year, we're done! All our eggs are in one basket & we would have to go back to 2 barrell, which makes no finincal sense or start all over.

If indeed SS is the premier class at SFS, that should remain somewhat "open". A limited class would probably do well with a spec motor. Again though you're back to if everyone has the same deal then the "haves" with new tires , new shocks etc. will still be hard to beat. I mean look at NASCAR; since going to their SPEC car, sorry but I think they have some pretty boring races.

The single biggest factor, in my mind, is to find a way to get the driver back into the equation. When the tracks tacky & there is NO passing in 3 heat races, that is a major problem. Why bother buring up tires & fuel for a heat race. Just line em up & go!

Wish there was an easy answer here, but I don't see it. After what I heard happened at ADA this weekend, probably the officials could step it up a notch. Thats a really hard gig too though. I did the track official deal for 14 years & its TOUGH! Nobody wants to be nice or play fair!!

I do remember in the late 80's when we put the 'Supers" back together to run the quarter mile, we made them run a Carb restrictor plate. The best I remember the first 11 races, we had 11 different A feature winners. Just something to think about. jim



jdsprint71
September 22, 2008 at 03:37:36 PM
Joined: 05/02/2005
Posts: 1336
Reply

Seen one Crate Sprint class on the east coast they run at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey, the motor came from Jasper Engines and it is sealed and wired all but the valve covers which you can change your valve lash and also check your spring pressures if you want to possibly prevent problems from a broken or weak spring.

Your right the haves can go get new rubber and shocks and all that but I can afford a $200 tire more than a $20,000 motor and that restrictor plate idea is something I forgot about in the late 80's on the quarter mile, that might be a good thing to try again, but you still get the "haves" running out and getting on the dyno and spending hundreds of dollars a day trying to find the way to get more out of the motor with a restrictor plate and it would happen now than versus then (late 80's) .

Your right Jim NO Easy Answer , guess you just do the best you can with what you have.



sprintcar21n
MyWebsite
September 24, 2008 at 02:56:12 AM
Joined: 08/17/2005
Posts: 50
Reply

Racing has always had the haves and have nots, no matter what you do. I have thought for years the answer was to unhook the cars. Now how do you do that and make it easy to police? Tires. Make a spec RR that is as hard as the Kansas clay in August. Another thing is to limit the angle you can run your wing. Get away from the sliders on the wings and before you know it, it's up to the driver again. Not hard to do and the best part is it would be so eazy to police. Build the biggest, baddest most expensive motor in the state and it wont give you any advantage over the other guys. You could also go to smaller wings.


The older I get the faster I use to be

jdsprint71
September 24, 2008 at 08:01:41 AM
Joined: 05/02/2005
Posts: 1336
Reply

I remember talking to a guy at the Kansas Auction they have in Wichita every January about 5 yrs. ago and he said out in New Mexico they ran a Open Sprint class and only had one rule a 13" wide RR that was hard as a rock, He was telling us that is the only rule needed for a Sprint Car Class.

We already run the small wing here, but my thought is better yet just take the Wings off , but that won't happen around here.



Racing From The Past
MyWebsite
September 24, 2008 at 02:24:24 PM
Joined: 12/04/2004
Posts: 2297
Reply

Might explain Jay Woodside's walk??

"Entering 1962 things were looking bright for Jay’s career. But as often happened in early day racing, Jay was involved in a horrendous crash during the Jayhawk Nationals in Topeka, Kansas. While racing for second spot on the last lap, he got together with another car, flipped violently and made contact with numerous cars. This put him in the hospital with life threatening injuries and many broken bones. These injuries kept him in the hospital for a full year so he didn’t return to full time racing until July 1963. The leg and hip injuries he sustained still bother him today. If there was a bright spot to this crash, it had to be that it happened while he was in the U.S. Army. He was court-martialed, but since he had disclosed that he was a professional race driver when going into the service, he was given a medical discharge."

http://winfield.50megs.com/88Woodside.htm


Warren Vincent
Cans 4 Kansas Honor Flights

jimmessmer
September 24, 2008 at 04:25:14 PM
Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 161
Reply

A man after my own heart!!

I've been on this soap-box for so long my feet hurt. In a perfect world, wings would be on airplanes only. A few years back when Emmett tried the "Bandit" deal, smaller wings, no wickerbill etc; I went to the first race at Devils Bowl & thought it was very good. We all know how that worked out!

I'm all about saving money, but it still goes hand in hand with track prep. If we actually did un-hook the the cars & had a junk track, then we just burn off $400 in tires every night. I mean, I Know we can NEVER make a profit doing this, but a break even night now & then would be great. Sure tires are cheaper than engines but still; oh hell I guess I'm just old & remember when tires would last a long time.

I also thought it was great when the drivers steered the car with the throttle, I guess they still kinda do, it takes a pretty big set to haul it in & not lift! Hopefully we can just work it out where we have entertaining, competitive races & things will be just ducky!!

Have fun, Jim



bsman63
MyWebsite
September 25, 2008 at 08:14:11 AM
Joined: 04/24/2007
Posts: 496
Reply

Bob Mays needs to write a book about David Grace. this is good stuff


"its useless to put on the brakes when you are upside 
down"   -Paul Newman

jdsprint71
September 25, 2008 at 12:47:20 PM
Joined: 05/02/2005
Posts: 1336
Reply

I hear that!



brian26
September 25, 2008 at 03:01:49 PM
Joined: 12/03/2006
Posts: 7918
Reply
This message was edited on September 25, 2008 at 03:15:24 PM by brian26

I third that!

 

Actually this whole thread showed a glimpse of the sheer intensity going on behind the curtain. As fans we saw the "event", it was believable. Meanwhile, behind the scenes it was every bit as so. Rivalries on and off the dirt, the people who sacrificed to make it happen. The kind of war we all wish to been in.

 

I found Jim's part just as interesting, and I think a book from multiple perspectives would be cool. Don't forget stories about "Roger the bicycle man" lol. There are elements to a great story here. Done right, there could even be a "Lonesome Dove" appeal here. jmo






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