: What’s the status of your nostalgia deal? 

Shirley Muldowney: The nostalgia deal is located in the nostalgia world, behind me, in the past, probably to never happen again.

: How did it come about in the first place?

SM: The nostalgia deal came to me; it was an offer that came to me. I looked at it. I didn’t make a 100-percent decision until I could look at a car. The guy said, “I built 135 cars.” Well, that’s a pretty stout figure. I don’t think Al Swindahl built 135 cars. So I thought, “Why haven’t I heard of this guy?” I dialed his 800 number, and what did I get? Dave McClelland, touting this fabulous car/chassis you could buy from SlingshotDragsters.com. “I built Bruce Larson’s car.” That’s a name you could throw around that people will recognize.

: What was the story about funding for this deal?

SM: It was to the point where [in his words] “I’ve got this big meeting with Amalie. They’re going to write us a check. They’re going to meet us there. We’re going to have this big pow-wow.” So I decided, “I like the back roads from Detroit to Indy. I’m up for that.” So I took my nice, little back-road run to Indy. This guy – John Worm – lured me down to Indy.

: This was for the U.S. Nationals, when you appeared on ESPN2?

SM: Yes. I told [ESPN producer] Eric Swearingen the two things I would discuss were this possible nostalgia deal that was offered to me – I didn’t say I grabbed it with both hands and wouldn’t let go – and something very, very exciting: a ride in Doug Herbert’s wheel-driven land-speed car. So that was the reason I went down [to Indianapolis].

: So you got to Indianapolis and what happened?

SM: No meeting. No meeting. No meeting. No meeting. All day Saturday. Where’s the meeting? Uh . . . he’s coming. Sunday, no meeting, no meeting. I got in my car and I drove home.

: But you did get a peek at the race car?

SM: I got a look at Bruce Larson’s car, and some things got my attention. That’s all I’m going to say.

: What did you see? What got your attention?

SM: I’m looking for brand-new. Even though it’s a nostalgia car, I’m looking for the exact body that I drove in 1973, with a little bit more wheelbase to it – which is welcome, safer, and easier to drive, with dual ‘chutes. But I didn’t see that. I did see an escape hatch. I didn’t see all the newest bells and whistles, which got my attention.

: What was this car like, this John Worm-built car?

SM: His cars are more exhibition cars. The same fire burns in me that burned my whole career: Get ‘em. Get there first. Do it at your very, very best. And his cars don’t provide me with that. He’s not in that league. It wouldn’t work for me. I know what I’m capable of, and I know what I can produce. And his cars don’t allow me . . . They don’t give me the ability to produce what I want to produce.

: You said you want the same quality of race car that somebody such as Courtney Force has.

SM: Absolutely. She gets in her car, and I can tell just by looking at her, she’s got all the confidence in the world in her car. She’s got the best car underneath her and the best people in the world working on it. She’s confident because she knows what she’s got to work with. I want to have the same, and he doesn’t provide that kind of car. I could see that. That became very obvious to me.