VOLUME XX, NUMBER 6 - JUNE, 2018
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
DRAGRACINGOnline owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.
Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor, Jok Nicholson
Motorcycle Editor, Tom McCarthy
Nostalgia Editor, Brian Losness
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
Australian Correspondent, Jon Van Daal
European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
Poet Laureate, Bob Fisher
Cartoonists, Jeff DeGrandis, Kenny Youngblood
Senior Photographer - Ron Lewis
Contributing Photographers - Aaron Anderson, Donna Bistran, Steven Bunker, Pam Conrad, Adam Cranmer, James Drew, Don Eckert, Steve Embling, Mike Garland, Joel Gelfand, Steve Gruenwald, Chris Haverly, Rose Hughes, Bob Johnson, Bret Kepner, "Bad" Brad Klaassen, Jon LeMoine, Eddie Maloney, Tim Marshall, Matt Mothershed, Richard Muir, Joe McHugh, Dennis Mothershed, Ivan Sansom, Paul Schmitz, Dave Stoltz, Jon Van Daal
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Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
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Racing Net Source LLC
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
COO Kay Burk
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Contact: Casey Araiza
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ET DRAG RACING
Al Corda lives drag racing and has since the mid-sixties. This makes the Wisconsin native an icon in drag racing and a renaissance man to boot! I watched him in 1971 as he won his first national title, Stock Eliminator at the ’71 U.S. Nationals.
Skip forward to 2016-17 at Tucson Dragway, and we were astonished to see the name AL CORDA on the side of a beautiful red ’15 Chevrolet Camaro in the Stock/Super Stock competition. Sure enough it is the same person, many years later and still going strong. (He won the Tucson Dragway event!)
We saw the car several times during the winter months of ’16. He was back at Tucson in late 2017 and still winning. This year, 2018, when we talked to Al during the LODRS race at Wild Horse Pass, I inquired “How do you do all this”?
He responded quickly that he purchased a retirement home in Sun City West, a part of the Phoenix metro area, and bases his racing operation there during the cold winter months.
Graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1971 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering still allowed him time to place second at the ’71 Ontario Motor Speedway, NHRA World Finals. Pretty good start for a young aspiring national event runner, who then proceeded to night school earning a Master’s Degree in Business Administration!
With his education complete he purchased Rock Falls Raceway in Eau Claire, WI.
In 2015, Al sold the Raceway to a close friend, who was involved in the operation for many years. He can now concentrate on his active racing schedule at a time many are sitting in their rocking chairs watching FS1. Al said he schedules 15 national events per year and tries to run at least five LODRS point races too. He remains active in the Rock Falls operation to a much lesser degree.
Al’s first long time winner was a Plymouth station wagon with Street Hemi power, which placed him in B/SA. Light years later, in 2018 Al is once again fielding a B/SA, however it is now a Chevrolet Camaro.
2003 NHRA Winternationals, 9.97 E.T. Record (photo by Phil Elliot). Two years prior, in 2001, Al kicked of the season winning Stock Eliminator at the NHRA Arizona Nationals! The Pontiac with an LS1 GM motor was highly successful, but as Al said, “They quit making them.” Not to be denied his winning combination, Al brought out the current 2015 Chevrolet Camaro.
The debut of the ’15 Camaro occurred at Tri State Raceway in Earlville. Iowa, and of course it was an NHRA points race. The new Camaro is not only a ‘looker’, it is also a ‘winner’. Most recently Corda was the #8 qualifier at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Chicago land, making it to the third round of competition, where he broke out by .004.
The 2018 season got off to a great start when Al won at Wild Horse Pass during a Club race which featured Stock/Super Stock competition. In the final, a wild ‘Hell Cat’ Challenger turned on the red bulb after learning of Corda’s prior reaction times, all .00s.
While Al’s current ride is a Camaro, no longer an ‘old’ Pontiac, much of the same GM technology remains. The new bright red car races in B/SA and is competitive as were all of Corda’s 19 previous entries for NHRA competition.
The current GM power plant with aluminum heads, fuel injection, 8 coils, pushing a highly modified Metric 200 transmission to a modest 120bolt GM rear axle which features an aluminum spool and rifle drilled axles. Goodyear tires on Bogart wheels paste the power to the track.
Al is a supporter of NMCA and the rise of NHRA Nostalgia racing. So he pulled his old Dodge Dart out of storage and ‘freshened’ it up for battle as shown in this May 4, 2016, pic. To Al, freshened means increasing the 440 cubic inch wedge Mopar to 500 inches, Indy Aluminum cyl. heads and a few other ‘tid bits’ like a new set of Mickey Thompson 10.5” wide tires. And while this may seem ‘out of line’ for the recent GM racer, historians will note that Corda began his career at age 20 in several MOPAR cars.
To quote NHRA’s Bob Frey: “Al Corda is a unique individual. Even in the world of drag racing, where there are a lot of unique individuals, Al stands out. First of all, how many guys who won the 1971 U.S. Nationals are still racing? And, how many of them are still competitive? Then, how many racers can also say that they own and operate a drag strip for a living? I’m not sure, but I think the list is rather short. And, of course, how many guys who were real, honest to goodness, died-in-the-wool Mopar fans can now say that they are happy, deliriously happy, racing a Pontiac? That may be the shortest list of ‘em all. Yep, Al Corda is one of a kind.”
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