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Fred Goeske, 1976 (DRO file photo)

By Frank Oglesby
DRO File Photos

Click here to read Part 1
Click here to read Part 2

believe the touring match race Nitro Funny Cars were as responsible for the growth and success of Drag Racing as ANY other single factor except TV coverage. So why did match racing Nitro Funny cars die out and will we ever see anything like it again you ask?

The answer to the first question is pretty simple really and the answer to the second one is maybe. In the beginning Nitro FCs made money match racing. Yes that was no misprint, THEY MADE MONEY, as the fans were willing to pay to see them and the tracks knew hiring Nitro FCs was a money maker for them as well.

There were only a couple of yearly national events, so if you wanted to see Nitro FCs you went to your local tracks to see them. To give you a couple of examples both “Jungle Jim” and the “Chi-Town Hustler” were wildly popular on the match race circuit and both ran 60 - 70 (maybe a hundred in Jungle's case) paid dates a year for six or seven years before appearing at a national event.

Timmy Grove and the Chi-Town Hustler, circa 1970 (DRO file photo)


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