RACING ILLINI Part II

When the NHRA Gatornationals results were published, one name really stood up and got my attention! It was Larry Griffith, whose original MOPAR Drag Pak had won the Stock Eliminator title with Charlie Fitzsimmons at the wheel.

Gainesville, Fla., The NHRA Gator Nationals: Charley Fitzsimmons wheeled this original MOPAR Drag Pak Challenger to the Stock Eliminator title at the third NHRA race of the season. The car is built by long time Chrysler ace Larry Griffith from Geneseo, Ill. Larry ‘cut his teeth’ at Tri State Dragway, Kahoka, Mo. back in 1965! (Steve Gruenwald photo)

It doesn’t seem like nearly 50 years since Saturday nights at Tri State Dragway included some of the best ‘Muscle Car’ action. Included in the large group from Illinois was Larry Griffith. He was joined by Jack Sharkey in Rampage, Arnie, ‘The Farmer’ Beswick with his GTO, Farkonas, Coil, and Minik, Lee Smith and a host of others.

When Pro Stock came into vogue in 1970, the UDRA formed a Pro Stock group, led by a pair of former Kahoka, Mo. stars: Larry Griffith and Greg Brenneman.

Cordova Raceway Park, 2010: Larry’s original ‘Hemi Dart’ was totally restored and is shown here in front of the modern day Tower at Cordova, Illinois. (DRO file photo)