Catching my breath


When this oddessy started, in Jan. 2010, writing 12 ‘Then & Now’ columns seemed like a fullfilling challenge. However, when the year was finished, I explained to our publishers, Jeff & Kay Burk, that I would very much like to continue into 2011. Thankfully they allowed me to do so. Another year has too quickly passed, and now there seems an indefinate amount of additional material to share with DRO readers.

Speed World Dragway, Wittman, Arizona: A 50 year anniversary Celebration at Arizona’s oldest still operational drag strip was a personal highlight for me. Not only did my wife and I operate this track in the late ‘60s with the couple above, we were proud to be part of the presentation of ‘Lifetime Achievement’ to Mel & Marilyn Larson at the Hot Rod Heritage event. (Photo by James Drew)

If you missed it, my first column contained an outline of where my drag racing took place as well as my experiences of track management and Pro Stock racing. Once the 24 current columns are finished, there are countless stories and reports still to be told. A large number of readers have joined my efforts and sent items to DRO & my personal e-mail for possible use in these columns.

We have connected with drag racing friends and personalities from past years, many who might have been lost forever, if not for the tremendous scope of Drag Racing On-Line and the forward thinking of the Burks. We can only say ‘Thank You’ to everyone involved.

Tucson Dragway, Tucson. Arizona: In the pit with the tilt front raised, is the ’55 Chevy Gasser sponsored by my long time friend, Joe Rundle, owner of Rundle’s Speed Goodies out of Tempe, Arizona. I went racing with Joe on Central Ave. in Phoenix, Arizona, while in college at Arizona State. And he was a big supporter when we operated Arizona Raceway with Mel Larson, many years ago. The three Rundle Brothers were a big part of Arizona drag racing starting in 1954. Now, I cannot locate them.

As 2011 closes and we enter 2012, here are a few tidbits which did not make the ‘cut’ during my 2011 columns, plus a peek into what will be featured in my third year writing ‘Then & Now’ for Drag Racing Online!