William L. Sparks (aka Wild Child) -
Week Five Winner

It was the summer of 1961. I was 14 years old when my future brother-in law, Tom, took me to Detroit Dragway.

I’d always heard the radio spots for “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday” at Detroit Dragway. I would stop whatever I was doing and listen, somewhat mesmerized by those commercials.

Tom was a major player, at that time, on Woodward Ave. in the Royal Oak, Michigan, area. His choice of steed for those high-spirited, short blasts on Woodward was a red 1940 Ford Coupe. It had a 465 c.i. blown Caddy in it.

We drove to Detroit Dragway in his new 1961 Ford Starliner with the 352 c.i. 360 HP factory Hi-Po motor, which I was totally impressed with. After the end of that evening, I was totally and completely hooked on drag racing and Detroit Dragway. The assault on my physical senses, the sounds, the smells, the speed, the excitement was almost more than I could handle. It was better than any circus or fair I had ever been to.

I saw my first Dragsters. There were some Altereds, Gassers along with Super Stocks and Stockers. I was so wound up that it took me forever to go to sleep that evening. I so excited that I about talked my father’s ears off.

I continued to attend and race at Detroit Dragway and Motor City Dragway until they were closed down, which damn near broke my heart. I’ve attended many tracks, including Indy, the U.S. Nationals, for 36 straight years. I think the most beautiful track is Thunder Valley in Bristol, Tenn.

Since that first time, I’ve driven for a couple of teams (a Gasser and a SS/S) and had a sponsored car (B/MP) of my own. I’ve raced dirt bikes and built and raced hydroplane boats. My wife and I built a 289 Hi-Po 1972 Ford Pinto that we bracket raced. Now it is a full tube chassis Pro-Street car with a 600 HP, 408 c.i. stroker. My daily driver is a 2012 Ford Taurus SHO.

I will be, in one month, 68 years old and I’m still a ‘Certified Speed Junkie’ thanks to that one evening, when I was 14 years old, with my brother-in-law, Tom.  

If you should ever stop by my garage (Freddie’s Hot Rod Garage), we’ll tip a cold one and you can still hear the sounds of “SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY” on the stereo!