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Thanks to ye old editor's taste in feature material, most everyone here at Drag Racing Online gets the chance to explain how they got "the disease" that is Nitro Drag Racing. So now, It's my turn!

As comic George Carlin says, "I started out as a kid." A twelve year old kid, circa springtime 1966 to be specific. I was checking out the magazine rack at the local grocery store — you know, comic books and whatever else twelve year olds were reading in 1966. But that day I stumbled across something I hadn't seen before. It was a book smaller than most on the stand, written by some guy named Mike Doherty. Guess what it was about! That's right, it was all about drag racing. Filled with trivia, class records, photos and insider tips from drivers (K.S. Pittman says, "Ya gotta watch these gassers on the top end. They try to turn left when ya get off the loud pedal,"), it got my full attention right away!

Once safely home with my copy, I set about memorizing everything in that book. I think it took me until dinner time! That posed a dilemma for me -- what to do with all this new knowledge and interest. Of course I had to experience drag racing live and in color! So I got busy checking the newspaper and listening to the radio for news of the NEXT BIG RACE.

And that word came just weeks later. "Steve Bovan vs. Al Vanderwoude at the KCTA drag strip" blared the radio, and lil' Lenny was in motion. Poor ol' Dad was coerced into attending, and even worse, into making an advance scouting trip to find the place! We finally located the "track" over in Kansas City's northeast industrial bottoms. It was hard to find, since it had no stands, no timing tower and no regular schedule of events. But the Leonard's are a tenacious lot, and we persevered.

So the day came, and lil' Lenny sprang from his night of unrest, rushed to the window, and was greeted with the sort of rainstorm the Bible said wouldn't be happening again, ever. Talk about a test of faith! Well, it didn't stop raining that day, and the Bovan / Flying Dutchman match race wasn't my first time at the drags.

No, I had to wait until later in the season. One of my friends, similarly afflicted, clued me into an upcoming event at Mokan Dragway. Jack Chrisman was slated to make some exhibition runs -- no opponent, just Jack and his blown, topless Nitro burning Comet. I wasn't much of a Ford man, but after the KCTA flood, I wasn't about to sweat the details. I set about applying the needed amount of arm twisting, and the road trip was booked.

Cutting to the chase, my dad and I made the trek to Mokan and saw Chrisman lay down three smoky solo runs. Chrisman's nitro burning, thunder pumping cammer roadster left me slack jawed and dazed on Mokan's rickety bleachers that day. The woman of the house would probably say I'm still in that condition, but that's another story. At any rate, that's how it all started. I saw Jack Chrisman's Cammer Comet shake the cornfield, and it hooked me for life!

Gary Rohe is the 2 time defending NMCA EZ Street Champion with a record time of 8.471 at 160 mph. His Mustang is equipped with Mike's Fordglide transmission available now for:


Powerglide transmissions are designed with the Super Street, Super Comp, Super Gas racers in mind.

All of these transmissions are hand made, one at a time, to exacting tolerances for your specific application. These are brutally tough and deadly accurate transmissions.

These transmissions feature:

  • Instant release pro tree transbrake valve body
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  • Machined direct and reverse pistons to hold six clutches each
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  • Special pump modifications for superior lubrication
  • Torrington roller bearings throughout
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  • Trimmed case for clearance
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