Story and photos by Dale Wilson
’ve done a lot of “Quik Trix,” “Pit Tips,” “Cheap Trix” and so on in my role as magazine editor and writer, usually racing ideas and how-to’s on other people’s cars --- the whole idea for the concept being, here’s some good ideas that other racers have, and here’s what those ideas are and how they can help other racers.
Many times, these “Pit Tips” ideas have been based on my own race cars and wife Fran’s which at last count numbered seven between us, including Fran’s “Lady In Red” ’71 Nova, my first front-engine dragster, my ’73 Datsun, Fran’s ’87 Suncoast rear-engine digger and our two Malibu station wagons. My latest, a 2004 Fabrication Concepts front-engine dragster, was completed last year by Tommy Harris of Douglasville, Georgia, and it is slap-full of “trix.” Here are a few, fully illustrated, on my best race car so far, the Fab Concepts “Yeow-eee” Super Pro/Pro/Super Comper. Use them as you see fit. More will follow.
You always need something on your digger to store things --- bags, boxes, etc., that can hold a small flashlight, a tire gauge, a Dzus tool and extra Dzus buttons and so on. For simple leather and leather-like bags, look no further than your local dollar store. Fran found one bag that was perfect for holding my Dzus tool, a screwdriver and a small pair of pliers at a local “Little Buck’s” store that sold everything in the place for 99 cents. The bag, labeled “Bell’s,” is used mostly on bicycles, and it fit perfectly under my driver’s bottom hoop, tied there by the Velcro straps that came with the bag. I painted the “Bell’s” yellow logo black because the yellow didn’t go with the color theme of the dragster. I found an old “Winston Drag Racing” keyholder to zip and unzip the zipper. The bag is totally accessible for between-round tire checks and other racing “to-do’s.”
Another bag that came on the cheap is mounted on a lower cockpit bar, and it holds a small flashlight. The flashlight came with its own bag, and it is held to the bar by tie wraps. You never know when you’re gonna need a light during night racing.
This is a simple idea. I always try to race with a shop rag or towel of some kind, if only to wipe the perspiration off my face while in the staging lanes, or clear up the condensation that always lays on the inside of my face shield at night. It’s good for my glasses too. Once I’m done with it and ready to pull into the water box, I merely tuck the towel under my fire suit or my skinny butt.
But what about a more permanent solution to condensation and sweat on the top of my glasses? Some 20 years ago, I was looking for an answer, and a friend told me to try a local motorcycle shop, where I bought a small bottle of “Keep Klear” liquid used by cyclists that can only be described (by me) as a “condensation stopper.” Works every time, and this one bottle has lasted me all those years --- like the old Brylcreme commercial went, “A little dab’ll do ya.” If you can’t find such a product at your local motorcycle store, try liquid Pledge.