DRO file photos


In the recent past, I have wrapped this column around a theme about a particular race that I missed, but would have loved to have seen. This issue will concern itself more with a track that I wish I could’ve been a guest during its heyday … the one and only U.S. 30 Dragaway in Merrillville, Ind., just a hop, skip and a knock out of Gary.

This graphic (right) is typical of why I would’ve been an attendee at this plant. Just check out the copy that described what you might surmise an historic race.

"A great hook up off the line shot Roger out cleanly in the lead and on his way to a world record run as he put down the “Skootin’ ‘Cuda “ with the highest mph ever turned by a Funny Car at 218.116 and a (track) record setting elapsed time of 7.37 seconds!!! What can you say when Lenny Hughes goes to 7.46, 211.877 and has to taste defeat. Oh Wowwwww!!!"

“Oh wow” is right, and in more ways than one.

The racers? Roger Lindamood’s “Color Me Gone” Dodge Charger versus Leonard Hughes in his and Paul Candies’ Barracuda. The event? A featured best of three Funny Car match race at U.S. 30 Dragway near Gary, Ind. The date? June 21, 1969. The journalism? Wowwwww!!! The times? As MasterCard might put it . . . priceless and, incidentally, in all likelihood . . . false.

There was no greater purveyor of baloney times in the history of the sport than the fun-loving crew at U.S. 30 Dragway, and this one was typical and, for some reason, among the first instances of such goings on.  However, it should be understood from the get-go that the track was famous for more than ramping up the Rolexes.

Don Prudhomme’s Pepsi Challenger Firebird is seen at the 1983 AHRA Chi-Town Nationals at U.S. 30. Time-wise that’s a little modern for the period we’re talking about, but that race still featured happy clocks.

The track was easily the country’s biggest promoter of summer pro drag racing match races in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with talent ranging from Don Garlits and Don Prudhomme to Denny Petersavage in the “Time Machine” Vega and Donnie Durzeg’s “Ghetto Rat” Dodge Charger. In fact, I’m pretty (as opposed to absolutely) sure that the Chicagoland radio ads for the track were the first ones to use the “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!” meth rant to entice the fans. Moreover, in the years 1982 through (I think) 1984, the track was the site of the AHRA Chi-Town Nationals, and wouldn’t you know it, in the spirit of the Lindamood/Hughes tango, was carried out in at least two of those races. At the 1982 event, Don Garlits received a pair of 260-mph time slips, a full year and a half before Joe Amato’s 260.11 at the 1984 NHRA Gatornationals.

Magic Muffler Explosion Hot Rod Nostalgia Issue 5 Drag News CDs Wheels of Fire on Video High Performance EJ Potter Match Race Madness Youngblood Lithos Infinity Over Zero Bob McClurg Posters Click Into The Time Machine

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