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DRO: After Funny Car and Pro Stock came Top Fuel?

JC: No, I ran Pro Comp with an Alcohol Dragster in 1975 and 1976. Again, some might think that's a step backwards. Alcohol Dragsters aren't as fast as Funny Cars. However, budget dictates a great deal. We did well with the Alcohol Dragster, I runner-upped at the '75 NHRA Nationals and I won the '76 NHRA Division 3 title, but like a lot of racers I wanted to go faster and step the program up and we did that in 1978.

DRO: With the Jeg's "Captain Quick Change" Top Fueler ...

JC: I ran Top Fuel from 1978 through 1981. We came out at the Winternationals, but didn't qualify. However, we did better later on in the summer. The first car was a very good runner. We were at a Division 3 points race and the thing ran a 5.82 and won. If you eliminate Garlits's 5.63 (at the 1975 Ontario NHRA race) or Gary Beck (5.69 at the same event), our number stacked up pretty good. As it was, I won the Division 3 NHRA championship three times (1977, '78, and '80), and we usually qualified at NHRA and IHRA national events.

DRO: So, why did you get out?

JC: As a driver, I was gone pretty much after the 1980 season. Billy Williams and Bill Pryor drove my cars, but I lost, no not lost, but questioned my interest in driving.

I crashed the fueler at Columbus (NHRA Springnationals) in 1979 and broke two ribs and an arm. A year later at Union Grove, I crashed the car again, and I thought to myself, "What's the deal here?" Two crashes in a two years, what would happen with number three? So I decided to sit things out for a couple of years and that really was the end of my pro driving career.

DRO: Is this when your kids came into the picture?

JC: Yeah, I'd say so. John, my oldest son, wanted and did build a Super Comp dragster and I found myself taking a real interest in it. A couple of years later, Troy got behind the wheel of a car, then Mike, then Jeg Jr. The kids have raced with me since they were three or four years old and, like any parent, there is a tremendous feeling you get when you see your children do well.

DRO: What about you during all of this? Did you lose your desire to drive?


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