Volume X, Issue 8, Page 107

: Was this problem created by not having competition?

DP: Not necessarily. You could say that, but it’s a situation that was created by being caught with a short supply of nitro. We just got caught. Yeah, we know there’s a bunch of nitro sitting in Indianapolis, this guy was caught with. I think he was fined a hundred thousand dollars for sneaking into the race, you know? That just shows you how serious NHRA is about protecting the sport and not letting nitromethane get into the wrong hands. So, they’re pretty responsible, I think.

: Have you had any problems with the quality, or any problems with the nitro whatsoever?

DP: You know, I’ve heard about that, and I just found out today that we’re going to run Fuel Stock at 100% and mix it ourselves.

: Mix it yourself?

DP: Yeah. So we’re going to test that, and I’ve heard about it, but I don’t know. Hell, I heard that years ago, the Chinese  boiled their rice in it or something. [laughs] Years ago, we wouldn’t have used it. From China? And they had these old leaky barrels.

: Okay time for a  word-association test. Ready?

DP: Yeah.

: Tom Compton.

DP: Okay guy.

: Graham Light.

DP: Okay guy.

: Track preparation.

DP: Questionable.

: Hot Wheels.

DP: Bitchin’.

: PRO.

DP: Okay.

Don Schumacher.

DP: Uh, question mark.

: Funny Cars.

DP: They are cool! .

: Still love ‘em?

DP: Yeah.

: Top Fuel.

DP: That too, yeah, love it.

: For drag racing, are  we going to look back on this time and have the same romantic feelings we do for the seventies or the sixties?

DP: No. No, I don’t think so. No. I don’t think there’ll ever be…there were characters, and people, and it was the beginning, it was being free, it was being able to afford it, it was tons of cars, lots of dragstrips on every corner. Being here in  California, we had so many dragstrips…. I feel bad for the guys who didn’t grow up in that time. I’m not envious of these new guys, I think they’re more envious of me, having come up when this was really a cool thing to do.

: What’s the best car you ever drove?

DP: Probably the Greer/Black/ Prudhomme car was right there. My Army Monza was a pretty good car too. Those were the best cars.

: Have you sold off all your old cars?

DP: I still have quite a few of them, but I’m selling them, and I’m involved with a fellow who’s building a museum in Winnemucca, Nevada, so in a couple of years the museum will be up and running and I’ll be a part of that. 

So you’ll store your cars there too? You’re not getting rid of all of them?

DP: No, I’m not getting rid of all of them. I’m restoring stuff, got my Hot Wheels ramp truck.

: I heard that it was found.

DP: Yeah, so I’m into that. I like to preserve the history, but at the same time I’m thinking about some new CNC equipment for our shop. I’m looking forward to being in the sport for some time, and I still go to bed thinking about what we’re going to do, and how we can get our cars running better, how do we do this, how do we do that. Same thing. Doesn’t change, I’m still aggravated when we get beat.

: One last question. Are these the golden years?

DP: Well, for me, yeah. 

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