The Dawg Days of Summer and Other Nostalgia Animals


Jeff Burk Photo

Like a good nostalgia reporter, I’ve got one foot in the past and one in the future and this month’s column is just more evidence of that - a look back at July and a look forward to August and beyond.

Who Let the Dawg Out at the Funny Car Reunion III?

How about that Funny Car Reunion numero tres at E-town? Webmaster and promoter extraordinaire, Mark Brewer a.k.a. DAWG, pulled this one off with nary a hitch. The weather cooperated, the fans cooperated, and the racers cooperated - and that, in itself, is a feat. I know from whence I speak. Of course, the nitro cars that ran had to put up with some ribbing from us snobby west coast guys on their lackluster numbers. Hey, it’s easy for us to tune your race car from our keyboard - ask the gang at Nitromater.

Speaking of E-town, that little mouse (is it a mouse?) that cackles “Ha ha ha Raceway Park” may have a muzzle put on him shortly. As I’m writing this, a public meeting is being held to discuss (read: complain about) the noise levels that affect the nearby residents. For the latest up-to-date info, head over to

Mousie in the House ... and Just About Everywhere Else

What the heck is with Mousie? He and Richard Heath of Full Throttle News took the Winged Express on a July joyride that would have done-in anyone half their ages! They stopped in Thompson, Ohio, and then at the York 30 Reunion, and then finally the Funny Car Reunion before coming back to Cali - only to plan to turn around again and head out to Boise and who knows where else after that! Has anyone told these guys that retirement is supposed to be relaxing?

The Firebird of Happiness

Speaking of Boise, the Firebird Raceway Nitro Nationals are incredible! The year I was able to go was a total blast! If you have a chance to attend the yearly August extravaganza that the New family puts on, you will not be disappointed! This year’s event again features Fuel Altereds, Nostalgia Top Fuel, west coast Pro-Mods, and a huge bracket show. 2004 marks the 33rd annual running on August 12-15. The coolest thing about this track is that the two staging lanes run in front of the grandstands. Lots of heckling and good natured ribbing goes on and when I was there, I dug it! Where else can you dial your buddy’s phone number and hold up your cell phone for him to listen to two fuel altereds go by … at 2 a.m.!?

Is The List Coming Back?

File this under: “My Wife is Crazy!” Who here remembers the Nitronic Research top ten list? Well I know I do because I actually own an “I’m on the List” shirt that the Hansen & Kuhns nostalgia top fuel car earned when I was on the crew. Anyway, this list was a take off on the old Standard 1320 List from Drag News back in the day. Cole Coonce, publisher emeritus of Nitronic Research (RIP), created this list of modern day AA/FDs with an emphasis on numbers of low e.t.s, top mph’s and number of wins. It also allowed for challenges to be brought by other teams who thought they could steal your slot instead of earn it. Well, not exactly but something like that. After Cole got burnt on running the list it was offered to Mark Hovsepian (M-Ho) he passed on it so it turned over to Jim Sorenson (J-So). Anyone lost yet? Well my old lady, Pammy Moore-Utterback (P-MU) has been goaded into bringing back some permutation of the list with the Funnies in the fray. Sounds crazy to me … wait a second, she’s managing the lists, we share a computer, I have access to the files, this might just be a good idea after all.

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