Volume IX, Issue 12, Page 16

Who’s Been Naughty or Nice?

The 2007 Chips for Toy drive at John Force's Race Station has grown to being more than an event that was started to get toys for the kids whose families just cannot afford to get them the toys. The high gas prices at the pumps did not stop the overflow capacity of hot rodders, street machine guys and gals, and the classic street car people from coming out to support this cause.

John Force and his brothers, Louie and Walker, grew up in this trailer in Bell Gardens, CA. They learned first-hand of the program run by the California Highway Patrol, ChiPs for Toys. After they got successful, they started giving back.
This year had to be the biggest ever car count since I have been coming to the event: over 960 cars attended. I am sure it was also the largest crowd of fans to come out to the show as you could barely walk through the crowd.  In past years I would have been done covering the event by say noon or one o clock in the afternoon I would have made it home and been watching the NFL on TV, but this year it just plain took me a lot longer. I started at 6:30 a.m. and there were three others who beat me to tables with toys.

I gave the two bags of toys to a nice CHP officer! Hey he sure looked like the guy that gave me that speeding ticket up in Bakersfield when I was leaving the March Meet this year! No, couldn't be him…that guy was motorcycle cop. A beautiful sunrise over this fuel injected big block Chevy pickup.

I started at one end of the show and I got to watch the first cars roll into the show and went looking for friends who have been to every one of these CHP Toy Drives. They got parked in a different area. Now I thought I got there early, but they got in line the night before to get the parking spot they always get. Guess what? Due to the large number of cars they got parked somewhere else.

I finally found them and we talked for a little while, then I was off and running. It is now 7.30 a.m. No sweat, how long can it take to find every car in all the various parking lots around John Force's Race Station? A lot of different businesses around Force's shop do not open up on this Sunday so that he can use their lots too for this event.

I am making what I think is pretty good time and speed (got a good e.t., you know!) until I get a call and Dave Densmore, Force’s PR guy, is on the phone. “Hey, James, where are you? I am waiting on you; didn't you want to get inside and take some photos of the shop and stuff inside before we let the fans in?” Yes, Dave, I will be right there.

Every year it amazes me when I go into the lobby at Force Racing and there are always new things stuffed in there that weren’t there the year before!