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HIGH HATTIN' WITH Mr. MAGOO

 
   

Don Sosenka's "Mr. Magoo" Dodge Daytona in action at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix.

The near-blind cartoon star in the hat would be the last creation that some would fantasize as driving a nitro-burning Funny Car and, in his off-time, playing drums for such luminaries as Willie Nelson, Johnny Rodriquez, Tanya Tucker, Moe Bandy, and currently, Bubba Littrell and his Melody Mustangs.

And a cartoon star, Don Sosenka of Spring Branch, Texas ain't. However, he does drive a nitro Funny Car called "Mr. Magoo," and used to run a Top Fuel dragster and Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car, bearing the surname of the bumbling Quincy Magoo. Sosenka does wear glasses, but he's hardly at the level where he mistakes a Sparkletts bottle for a gold fish bowl.

And keeping hand in hand with the above metaphor, Sosenka does indeed earn his daily bread playing drums on the country and western circuit, listing some of the biggest names (as above) in that sport as employers.

Admittedly, Sosenka's name does not strike fear in the hearts of his fellow Funny car racers as does a John Force or Jerry Toliver. He's never been to a semifinal at an NHRA national event, and truthfully has all he can do to qualify his roughly 5.3- to 5.4-second, 285-mph car. The money just isn't there. Hell, given those handicaps, the cartoon Mr. Magoo would probably come closer to doing that than the Texas veteran, his wife Lana, and their small crew. However, Sosenka's mixed career does lend itself to DRO's "Drag Racing From a Different Perspective" motto. So how did this high-hat hittin,' tom-tom poundin' son of a gun get involved in drag racing? Or for that matter, music?

"My dad Frank Sosenka, used to run an auto parts shop in San Antonio and he called it Magoo's," Sosenka said. "So when I decided to try my hand at racing, I latched onto the name. As far as drumming goes, my dad used to have a local 'oom pah pah" band and I started playing drums in it when I was about 13."

Jeff Burk photo 

Sosenka didn't start racing seriously until sometime in the early 1970s, and his start took on Magoo proportions. He put together a Vega Alcohol Funny Car and towed it to a school parking lot where he proceeded to do burn-outs in it, much to the chagrin of the local constabulary. After getting reprimanded, Sosenka was sent on his way, but that didn't discourage him and he tried the burn-outs a little later. That time he got a stiffer talking-to, and he finally decided to try his luck at nearby San Antonio Dragway.

Since those days, Sosenka ran Alcohol cars of both types and a Chevy-powered Top Fueler from 1983 through roughly 1985. After that, he switched to nitro Funny Car and has been there ever since.

That's Sosenka sitting in with old employer Moe Bandy in 1982 at the Golden Stallion. (Frank Neal Associates photo)

"I've never been a full-time racer, one who makes every national event," he commented. "I became a full-time musician in 1967 when I was 17 and joined Moe Bandy's country and western band. I was there for eight years, and as a result, could only run the dragster or Funny Car sparingly. In those eight years, myself and the band lived in a tour bus and we traveled all over the Southwest and after that many years, I had had enough of that."



The powerful sparks of these ignitions will ignite high revving, high compression engines to produce great throttle response, a clean idle and incredible power throughout the entire rpm range
!



Capacitive Discharge design produces powerful sparks through high rpm.
Every spark is at full power, even each multiple spark, for complete combustion.
Adjustable soft touch rev limiter for engine saving overrev protection.
Multiple spark series lasts for 20 of crankshaft rotation.


3-Step Rev Control.
RPM Activated Switch.
4-Stage Retard System.
Start Retard Circuit.

 
 

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