We set tire pressure and my best friend helped me with a burnout. Fonzie put us on the painted stripe and it's drop-and-go on a road where there isn't more than a yard separating the cars. We both hooked and left extremely hard. I remember looking over in Low gear and nothing had changed in our spacing, we were still tire-to-tire. I made the shift on the Powerglide and felt the old LS7 torque give the back end a slight squirm. I looked over again and much to my surprise the Chevelle was not to be seen. I ran the Camaro out the back door and could see the Chevelle in my rear view mirror coasting. I shut down, turned around and came back to the trailer to greet my four friendly fans. The first words out of my dad’s mouth were, “Put the car on the trailer, get your money, and you are out of here!” Meanwhile, I saw the big money bouncer coming over and his demeanor was not pleasant. “Double or nothing,” he demanded. Before I could open my mouth, my dad had stated “Let me have our winnings and I want to see your $1,000 for the next race. I will hold the money and we need 15 minutes to cool down!” I kid you not! I stared at my dad thinking he had lost his mind!

During the next 15 minutes, not a soul from the Chevelle camp came our way. I asked my dad did he have any idea what happened. “You’ve got him nervous and he missed a shift. I promise you can out run this guy!” I said, “I better or you owe me $500 dollars. I had no intentions for a second race. Besides, I'm a nervous wreck!” But I had the trailer, I had all of my race track supplies with me, water jugs, sprayers, everything I needed for a quick cool down. Fifteen minutes later, Fonzie meandered over and asked if we were ready to go. This time I was trying to pay more attention to his engine RPM and shifting. It was tire-to-tire and then the next thing I know it was deja-vu. The Chevelle was in my rear view mirror and I headed to the finish line--alone.

My dad gave me all the winnings and I escaped that old West Texas country road without taking a beating from the bouncer boy. I also staked a claim to a new title, Fastest Car in Lubbock County. We sold that Camaro a few weeks later to a guy in New Mexico who'd sought it out for the sole purpose of street racing. The next year I saw the Chevelle at the track on a Friday night test and tune. His first pass down the track was within 0.05-seconds of my best ET in the Camaro. The next week he was back at the track, but he had pulled the 4-speed and installed a Powerglide! He told me later he wanted to know for sure what the ET difference was between the two. He had never seen any automatic car leave with his 4-speed Chevelle and I had convinced him it was time for a change.

: What do you see for GM Performance Parts and the future of the LS engine?

NF: More power! Let’s face it --- this is kind of like history repeating it’s self. Only now we start with the LS engine. I see more blocks, more heads, new LS crate engines. The future is bright! Trust me there are some cool things in the pipe line. Think about all the GM hot rod parts that were released over the years for the old small-block. We are not re-inventing the wheel. We have just upped the ante.

: What about SDPC and other brands?

NF: Trick question! I have always been a closet Hemi guy! When I had the opportunity to take on the Mopar Performance Program, I jumped on it! That was probably 10 years ago. We have been a Ford Racing distributor since the first or second year the program was released. Bottom line, Scoggin Dickey is committed to the performance parts industry! Personally, I am very involved in the GM brands.

: Who were (are) your heroes?

NF: It began with my father and mother. They are the best and their passion for racing obviously pointed me to the path I am on today. By the time I was ten, Bill Jenkins and Big Daddy were part of my everyday thought process! I read every issue of car mags, National Dragster, you name it. I knew the Grump knew how to make horsepower and I read that he had his degree in Mechanical Engineering. That set me on a mission to get my degree in Mechanical Engineering. I will never forget the World Finals in Amarillo. I had not been to a race track in about four years. It was like heroin to a heroin addict. I needed my fix. I was hanging around Big Daddy’s pit area, old Dodge pick-up, small enclosed trailer, and a new rear-engine Top Fueler. He noticed I had been a steady observer and asked me to join him on the tailgate of his truck to sip on a Coke. He grabbed a photo, signed it. He talked to me for the next fifteen minutes like I was the most important person there. He took the time to make a difference to a young boy at the races!

I cannot say that I have just one or two heroes. It would be an injustice. There are so many people in the automotive industry that have had an influence on me. The list is too long and I promise I can name most of them, but most importantly it started with my dad and mom. Hey, I still have the signed photo from Garlits in my shop!