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(photo by Tim Marshall)
One thing drag racing had 30-plus years ago was variety. In June of 1966, Eddie Schartman's flip-top Roy Steffey Enterprises Mercury Comet defeated Tommy Stringfield's "Triple Trouble" Nova two straight at Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio. Stringfield's car featured three injected Chevy engines with a total cubic inch displacement of 1,128 inches, and tipped in at over 4,000 pounds. Stringfield's best run was an 11.75/130.89; Schartman ran in the 9.20s ... On the subject of variety, Lions announced that late that month, they would be hosting the Svela & Sons 145-mph Funny Truck out of Washington. The Econoline was powered by a 1,000 horsepower, nitro-burning '55 Chrysler and would be racing Al Van Der Woude's "Flying Dutchman" Dart. If either car broke, waiting in the wings would be Shel Konblett's 142-mph, blown and injected, fuel-burning Chrysler-powered '66 Ford LTD Luxury Sedan. ... Bill "Maverick" Golden turned in what was reported as the longest wheelstand in history when he went 1,386 feet on his rear bumper at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin. ... One more variety item. Ray Finn's "Ozark Mule" Mustang Funny Car, featuring a 1,150 horsepower turbine engine ran a best exhibition time of 10.42/130.62 at Lions Drag Strip.

Shirley Muldowney was thrust into the national spotlight for life when she won Top Fuel at the 1976 NHRA Springnationals. She became the first female Top Fuel winner in drag racing history when she beat the late Bob Edwards in the final ... Based on newspaper reports, Raymond Beadle's "Blue Max" Mustang II Funny Car was undefeated from the weekend of the IHRA Pro Am at Rockingham, N.C., on April 3-4 to the NHRA Springnationals at Columbus, Ohio on June 10-13. After 30 straight round wins, Beadle lost to Tom McEwen in the semi-finals of the Columbus race ... Don Prudhomme's U.S. Army Monza Funny Car was undefeated for the month of June save for one race. At a U.S. 131 (Martin, Michigan) match race, he lost in the final round to old friend and foe, "T.V. Tommy" Ivo ... Eventual two-time AHRA Pro Stock champion Shelby Jester scored a big win in early June when he pushed Andy White's "Shag Monza" past Lee Shepherd in the Reher & Morrison Monza to win the NHRA WCS race at State Capitol Dragway in La.

Butch Leal enjoyed a great month of June in 1986. He pushed his Gil Kirk-owned Nationwise/Rod Shop Pontiac to the Pro Stock titles at both the NHRA Springnationals and Le Grandnational/Molson in St. Pie, Quebec, Canada ... At the Springnationals event, Connie Kalitta won Top Fuel in one of his wilder displays of racing prowess. In the blower explosion of the year, Kalitta fireballed in Friday qualifying, lofting parts over the track P.A. phone poles. Despite that destructive moment, he and his crew repaired the car and went on to defeat Joe Amato and win the eliminator ... Where are they now? Lee Young -- who's he? Alcohol Dragster winner at the Springnationals.


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