Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 6, Page



here did I go … as if you care. Cranking high speed rate screed over the late summer of 2005. The Cordova World Series. George Ray’s Wildcat Hot Rod Drag Strip. And then a disappear-o. Boy’s said to have a shaky personality. What would you expect from a guy like that? One day he’s here, the next day – rocketing through the ether. A vacancy at the Bates Motel of drag racing journalism. Missing in inertia.
Well friends, it’s like this. I took a vacation within the vacation that I call my life. Too dramatic? Naww … not really. I just wanted to get really loose for a while. Instead of a +3 responsibility governor on my habits, I wanted to go zero for awhile. And I heard some of the talk through the Burkster about this hard left turn; some of the rumors being milled.  Lemme fill you in on what really was happening this past fall and winter and let’s begin by dealing with the rumors.
A.  I was not arrested trying to sneak over the Arizona border INTO Mexico.
B.   I was not the passenger in the million dollar Enzo that split in two in a spectacular pole kiss on the Pacific Coast Highway last April.
C.   I am not a priest.
Actually my steps were much more mundane than the above. I just wanted to relax and live like a normal person for a couple of months. Instead of deadlines, I wanted deadbeats.
I did not retire from DRO, but rather just took a few deep breaths. Look, I’ve got my appointment calendar here and I’ll write you what I did for just a few days this last March. Check it.
Okay ..
Mar. 1 – Get drunk at Pat’s Cocktails.
Mar. 2 – Get drunk at Pat’s Cocktails.
Mar. 3 – Go home.
Mar. 4 – My younger brother turns 56. Get drunk at Pat’s Cocktails and spend the night on the pool table.
Mar. 5 – Go home.
No big deal. A veritable winter wonderland or make that a Spring Spinner.
In this six-month stretch, I didn’t avoid the drags by any means. In fact, this same March, Burk and I went to the IHRA opener at San Antonio. I loved it. Pro Mods in the 6.0s at well over 230 mph. Mountain motor Pro Stocks running as quick as 6.37 at speeds around 218-219 mph. “The Greek” cranking a 4.89 in qualifying while not qualifying. Getting drunk at “Wild Bill’s” Silver Eagle motor home for three days. Hanging out at the Gruene Dance Hall (that’s pronounced "green"), which is Texas’s oldest. Hey, I was in it!
And I’ve kept myself current on the NHRA program, too. Burk mails me National DRAGSTERS once a month, and occasionally I catch the show on TV. I’m like a lot of you. How about that Melanie Troxel??!! And while in that gender, how about Erica Enders and Hillary Will? Yeah, I saw Hillary doing the twist around Rob Vandergriff at Columbus, but what the hell … I thought it was exciting. I’m not sure what Connie Kalitta thought since it was his wallet that just missed a fatal head shot on that near disastrous pass.
And IHRA wise? Jack Wyatt, the Allerton, Iowa, “White Devil” wins the Rockingham Funny Car show. Admittedly 5.0s are a tad off the pace, i.e. circa 1992, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
I’m gone for a half a year and the drag racing universe changes as above and that’s more than all right. Just what I needed. Although, let me add this.
It also hasn’t changed. It all spins on the money and that cuts into the enthusiasm that the Troxels and Enders jump-started for me during this vacation. You still have about six teams that provide about half of the Top Fuel and Funny Car fields. Damn Sam, you know how I feel about that from past rants. Children, repeat after me, “Capitalism eventually changes everything into its own image … Karl Marx, 1859.” I wish that could be changed, but ….
I plan on banging around this spot in the coming months. Maybe not every month.  I still possess that immature, self-centered motto that all play and no work makes Jack a cool guy. The Chronicles will appear when I’m inspired and, as you can tell by the contents of my daily reminder, I’m capable of inspiring myself when the situation calls for it and the spirits move me.


The Martin Chronicles [3-8-06]
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