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There were a lot of risks. It wasn’t as safe, but they were dedicated to something they had a lot of passion for. That shows another thing: If you have a passion for something, there’s really very few limits to how far you can take it. I think that’s an excellent suggestion and that’s what we would like to see: to eventually marry the personalities with the machinery, with the history, with the past.

: Well, it’ll help particularly in the ‘Chi-Town Hustler’, which extends into Austin Coil, Frank Hawley, and all those others. People that were spawned by a successful operation like that. John Force is a big part of NHRA drag racing, but he’s not a big part of that museum because he’s a relative newcomer. And the Austin Coils out there that need to have their stories attached to that car, I hope that can be a component of the museum.

TM: You’re right. I think that’s where they’re headed. But Tony Thacker (Executive Director of the Wally Parks NHRA Museum), for such a small staff, I think they do a fantastic job. If we can get more resources, we can build that up, do more of that over time.

: Do you see more involvement? Do you see this as the right place for the museum to be here in Pomona?

TM: Oh yeah, I think it is, because this is where it started. I remember my uncle bringing me here when I was four or five years old when the pump house and the Cyprus trees were still here. I think this is an historic place out here. I think it’s very connected to an historic place. I also think the Fairplex is a lot more of an historic place than the LA County Fairgrounds. The Fairplex is a place with events all the time, and they’re doing things all the time with young people. They’re starting to operate a shop kind of program, so I think it’s all connected, and it’s a history that’s here, that people ought to learn that it was here.

Unfortunately, there would be other places in southern California, like Lions, and San Gabriel, and Irwindale, but they’re gone. Fontana’s good and we’re involved there, but that’s a newer one. And Bakersfield’s very historical. We’re involved there, but in southern California, this is the historical one. I think the museum belongs where the history is.

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