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DRO: When you and Prudhomme were barnstorming around the country, two or three one-night-stands a week, were there ever any team orders, or did the two of you just go at it every round?

TM: Oh no! Never! Ever! On my kids’ lives, did we ever talk about throwing a race or taking turns winning or anything like that. There’s never been a rivalry like the Mongoose and the Snake, and it’s still on today. So, no! We always raced straight up and tried to beat the other guy to the win, and there was never hanky-panky with that.

You’re probably thinking about what’s been going on in the drags lately with the Force/Pedregon thing? Any time an association, whether it’s NASCAR or Formula One or drag racing or whatever it is, allows more then one car to a class, then that breeds a problem. If one of your cars is running for the championship, you’re automatically going to help that car. I don’t care who you are, whether you’re Penske, Prudhomme, Force, Schumacher, Alan Johnson, it’s just the way it’s going to be.

I don’t know why they make such a big deal out of it. It’s a show; Force spends a lot of money, puts a lot of show out there for the fans, and you’ve got some guys that are just kind of complainers. If the shoe was on the other foot, I think you’d have seen it go the other way if they had multiple teams and enough money to do it.

DRO: After Prudhomme, who was the hardest guy for you to beat?

TM:  There were a lot of guys. I raced a lot of people over the years and you know, you have your good days and your bad days. Here’s a funny story about that. Jim Dunn’s a local Long Beach guy that’s raced forever, still out there with a car. He and I used to race all around southern California: Lions and all the different tracks around here. Whenever he and I would leave town to go to a national event, whether it was Indy or Englishtown, we’d always end up drawing each other first round. We always laughed about that because we couldn’t get away from it.

But I always had tough times with guys. A lot of guys beat me. I think I got up more against certain people. I loved racing Garlits and Prudhomme and Karamesines and all the rest of the guys. Because you’re only at your best when you think the other guy can beat you. They used to complain about me not being up against the smaller names. To me, they were all the same. I enjoyed it, and some beat me, some didn’t. I’d say Prudhomme was the toughest racer out of everybody.

DRO: What do you like or dislike about nostalgia top fuel and nostalgia funny cars? Are you a spectator? I know I’ve seen you at the reunions, are you a fan of nostalgia racing?

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