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You ran one of the more successful fuel funny car teams on the East Coast since Bruce Larson quit. You shuttered your team about ten years ago due to lack if a sponsor and funding right after winning the IHRA World Championship.  In the mid-eighties you had Raybestos as a major sponsor. How did that come about and why did they get away?

NB: Yes we had Raybetos as a sponsor for the fuel funny car beginning in 1985.
We started out with a $5,000 check from them to put their decal on the car at Maple Grove. I still have that framed somewhere. They just sent the check and asked if we could put the decal on the car. There was no money promised. And that race I went to them and talked them into sponsoring us for $60,000.

: The very first year?

NB: Yes and by the end of our program with them that number was up to a million.

: So let’s say that in ’86 you had sixty grand. You were running a fuel funny car. Was $60,000 enough to run a fuel funny car?

NB: Yeah. And I’ll tell you why: we went out and match raced. And we could literally have  two or three match race dates when there were no NHRA races. We could get ten, twelve, fifteen grand, which was nice. Since NHRA was only paying $1,500 to qualify.

: So at the end, in 1991, ’92, was that enough money?

NB: No. That’s how fast the sport took off. No, and I’m proud of it because I dug myself out of a hole. I quit in ’91, and threw the towel in, actually Raybestos was smarter than me because they told me they couldn’t afford to raise my sponsorship money. I needed more money and they knew that. When I threw the towel in, I was $150,000 in the hole, out of my own pocket. I mean I owed everybody.

: This was after ’91, in ’92?

NB: Yes, 1991 was when I raced, and in 1992 I was $150,000 in the hole and had no more sponsor.

: So it’d be easy to say then, that it would take all of a million dollars plus to…

NB: If you said to me, “Nick, we’re going to race and I’m going to give you the money, how much do you need?” I probably wouldn’t even do it unless you had a little over two million

: No, I meant back then.

NB: Oh, a million wouldn’t do it back in ’91. I was broke. I was broke back in ’91; a million was not enough. A tractor-trailer, eight to ten crew guys, everyone got paid.

: How many races did NHRA have in ’91 or ’92? Do you remember about?

NB: I want to say eighteen or nineteen. In ’89, we raced IHRA too. They had a Funny Car class, and that was the year we won the championship. We won the IHRA World Championship with R.C. Sherman driving. In 1989 we were doing really well. We had a Revell model and were getting money from them. We were doing good; we were fast. There were only eight or nine IHRA races, we were number one qualifier at five of them. We had a fast car back then.

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