Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 5, Page

What do you remember about the first Nationals that you had at Indianapolis? Did it go off pretty well?

PARKS: It did, it was a natural. It was a drag racing Mecca; the place where all the racers came in to get together.  I think there was as much interest there in coming in and seeing guys with personalities, people that they met and renewing annually their acquaintance as much as coming out and competing on the track.  It was a natural from Day One.  It was a common meeting ground that happened once a year.

C.J. Hart:  We used to point towards going to Indy just to get smart 'cause we figured if we could go to Indy and run with the guys that were running fast we could run (or maybe learn) more in 10 days at Indy than we could a whole year around the pits.

PARKS: Absolutely, and that’s what’s one of the prime values.  First race there was just an improvement on the one we had before.  A lot of trial and error stuff and there were a lot of things that were awkward.

  Did you have the big camping crowds at the first year? 

PARKS: It was big, but I remember one of the disappointing things was that the first, second or third year at Indianapolis still wasn’t as big as the last time we had it at Oklahoma City.  It wasn’t until 1964 at Indy we finally got crowds bigger than what we had. I don’t even remember what the numbers were on that, but it was surprising because we thought if we went to Indianapolis, the racing capital of the world, the world was going to be there. It was a good crowd, but that Oklahoma City thing was just amazing.

Was your car count as good for the first one as Oklahoma City?

PARKS: It continued to grow.