Friday, August 15, 2008

Awful Awful

Thursday night at Summerduck Raceway, August 14, 2008. An old business friend, Steve Bruce, told me that he and his brother are involved with a drag race car and that I should come out and see them. It had been over 35 years since I had seen an actual organized drag race! I wanted to go but knew it would not be the same as I remembered. First the course was 1/8 mile, not the 1/4 mile I am used to. Most of the cars looked like what I would call Pro Stock....but were called Outlaw or Big Dog cars? Very different. And the eliminations were different and confusing....especially since we couldn't hear the announcements clearly, we didn't know what was going on. In fact the final run happened and we didn't know the show was over till everyone else started to leave the track! Very different. There seemed to be the same intensity in the participants but that's what racing is all about....intensity! There were two back motored diggers and a street roadster kinda thing and a lot of motorcycles. Then, while we were sitting on the spectator side, I saw a familiar shape backing out of a trailer. It looked like a Fiat Topolino (loosely translated means little mouse in Italian). It was a Fiat and as I talked to the owner I found out it has the frame of a funny car, which is why the wheels are about 2' out in front of where they should be, and the Fiat body and Chrysler motor. This is like some of the old AA/FA cars I saw back in the day in SoCal! Cars like Mondello, Bradford and others....we called them Awful Awfuls....You talk to the driver of any Awful Awful about the ride they get and they will tell you the only thing consistent about the car is you never know what to expect! Sometime the car took a 1/2 mile to go 1/4 mile! Sometime it went as straight as a just never just steered through everything....what a ride! Anyway since my hero car was there I was very happy. The sounds and smells of the drag strip brought back many good memories! We may go back to Summerduck when we can and it doesn't conflict with our show schedule....maybe we can learn how things are now! We are going to a nostalgic deal this Sunday, hope more Awful Awfuls are there too!

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