Volume X, Issue 2, Page 59

Do you have a favorite racing memory of all time?

LEONG: Well… Any of my favorite memories would be of winning. And my favorite one? I would have to say the best one was in 1991 (US Nationals). We set top speed, we set a new national record for top speed, we had low ET, low ET qualifying, we won the Big Bud and the race at the same time. That was with Jim White. And any money that was on the table, we took it all. That year we set the national speed record four or five times. We would have won the championship if they gave points for top speed and speed records, but they (NHRA) were trying to slow the cars down, so they gave points for low ET, but not speed, so we came in second to Force.

Do you think the PRO (Professional Racers Organization) is good for racers?

LEONG: Yeah, I really do, I really do. What it does is kind of bond our guys together, I think. Instead of each guy bitching about something by himself, they go as a collective group, and I think they can get a lot more things done that way as opposed to the other way.

Besides yourself, who’s the smartest tuner you ever saw?

LEONG: There’s a lot of guys a lot smarter then me. You have to put Alan Johnson up there for the things he does, and recently, and Austin Coil, of course, for his longevity. And there’s even a lot of new up and coming ones, like Todd Okuhara who we brought over from Hawaii with me. He’s a real up and comer.

Is there anyone out there that we don’t know about to watch out for?

LEONG:  Well, you know Todd was kind of our best-kept secret there for a while, but now he’s getting a little publicity and whatever. I don’t know. I’d have to think about that. I don’t know anyone right off the to of my head.

Do you think the professional team owners will ever get together enough to strike?

LEONG: Man, that’s a tough question. I don’t know.

  Do you think that would be a way to get attention for certain issues?

LEONG: Well, you know going on strike never really helps anybody or anything. I know it has gotten things done, and once we, the funny cars, did strike for one race, and they (NHRA) said they were going to pay us, that they were going to get certain cars in the Pro Nats, Prudhomme, McEwen, myself. They’d pay us to go to Columbus. I don’t remember what race we did it at, Baton Rouge, I think. Anyway, I don’t know. I’m not real close to the big car show, to the politics, to what’s going on. I do know there’s a lot of politics in this nostalgia thing so far.