that was the same car you made famous as a Pro
The exact same car, the '68 Camaro. It was already
nine years old when I got it. It was my very
first car -- and I still have it.
eventually made you decide to race the car instead
of the bike?
Well, I raced it, too, at the same time as I
was racing the bike. I had to sneak at first.
I wasn't allowed to race. The ink on my driver's
license wasn't even dry yet and I was at the
dragstrip with my Camaro. By 1986, I had the
quickest street car in my town. It ran 11.50s,
but I could still drive it to the beach two
you start out bracket racing?
Yep, and I hated it, too. All I wanted to do
was mash it to the floor. That breaking out
stuff, I hated it. So, in 1986 we took a torch
to the Camaro. We didn't even finish it until
1990, but I had already envisioned the Pro Street
class when we started work on it.
Were you already with your husband, Vern, at
Yeah, I met him in 1982. Him and his dad worked
at a garage and I worked at an auto parts store
and I delivered parts to their shop all the
time. But he was Ford and I was Chevy, so we
hated each other. We were constantly bickering
with each other, but just one day I went to
a race with him in '83 and that was it. I think
it was actually here at Rockingham and he qualified
10th in the first all-seven-second Pro Stock
field, with Lee Shepherd, my hero, and Warren
Johnson, Bob Glidden, Darrell Alderman, they
were all here. I had been to these kinds of
races before with the people I worked with,
but being with him when he got into a field
like that, well that was just great.
And now the roles have changed.
Back when he drove, I was his crew chief and
now it's just reversed roles. He was a kamikaze
driver. It was going to the other end, no matter
what. But guys have egos like that; girls don't.
It's the truth.
got out of Pro Street racing earlier this year,
and now you're trying to break into Pro Mod.
What's the biggest difference between the two?
It's way easier to drive a Pro Mod car than
a Pro Street car. I think out of everything
I've raced in my life, Pro Street is the hardest
to drive, because of the weight. I've raced
it anywhere from 2,900 pounds to 3,350 pounds,
basically with Pro Mod horsepower. With all
that weight, when the car makes a move, it's
hard to get it back in shape and settled down,
where with the Pro Mod being lighter you can
just steer it back in and you don't do the 'rolie-polies'
as Bunny Burkett calls it."
tough is it coming from a class where you've
had great success and going to a class where
you haven't been able to qualify yet?
It used to be I was stressed until I made that
first run and got down the track okay, because
in Pro Street the spread might've been from
a 6.60 to 7.80, so you could be pretty sure
of getting in. But here it's different because
you're stressed for every run because the fields
are so tight and the slightest mistake can mean
you don't qualify. I'd only not qualified twice
in my life before I came here (to Pro Mod).