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At the Henderson Super Run car exhibit in 2011, we were at a table inside the Eldorado Casino’s popular coffee shop when the following comment was made by a local NHRA record holder, Mike Dahl: “I used to go with my dad to races at OCIR and Bakersfield, where we always watched Butch Leal put holeshots on the other cars.”
This writer was in 100% agreement with the group at the El Dorado. However, they did not realize the depths of my relationship with Butch or the high esteem he had attained in my judgment of him as a pure, talented racer!
During 1969-70, Butch constructed his original Chevrolet Camaro at Bill Thomas Race Cars in Anaheim, Calif. We became well acquainted since my management position there was head of the PR Department left open when Mike Jones became GM of OCIR in 1967. And Howard Harmon and I put together a ’68 Pro Stock Camaro using a Dick Harrell 396 motor courtesy of Bill Thomas. Leal’s Camaro was a work of art, but in ’71 Chrysler came calling!