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As of July 17, 1966, the top 5 Top Fuel dragsters according to Drag News Standard 1320 record list were: 1. Pete Robinson; 2. Paul Sutherland; 3. A&W Root Beer -Neil Leffler; 4. Dan Rightsell; and 5. The Andrews-Fisher-Fraley "Blue Angels" dragster out of Wisconsin. ... Bill Martin's "400 Jr. Top Fueler showed up at Lions on July 23 with radical 327-cid Chevy with custom aluminum heads built by Leo Lyons and immediately ran a career best of 7.83, 205.00 ... At Fontana Race City, Eddie Marcak's "Flying Farmer" Mustang split two races of a Funny Car match race with an up and comer named Dale Armstrong in 10,000 RPM Equipment-backed "the Canuck" '65 Chevy II. Armstrong ran a best of 10.04, 139.75 in the blown Chrysler-powered roadster ... Turbonique Inc. of Orlando, Fla., ran a pictured ad showing their '66 "Black Widow" Volkswagen "Bug" nearly beating "T.V. Tommy" Ivo's four-engine dragster. Ivo (photo) just did catch the VW at Tampa Dragstrip that day, but the VW ran a 9.36, 168-mp speed untilizing the company's 850 horsepower microturbine engine. As you can guess, they sold turbines and superchargers ... Top Fuel Bike racer Boris Murray guided the Murray & Cook fuel-burning twin-Triumph to a track record 9.66, 157.89 at Fremont.


The Corvette body, which had been mostly snubbed by Funny Car racers over the half decade, was resurrected in fine style at the 1976 IHRA Summernationals (held at Union Grove, Wisc.) by Jerry Boldenow's "Moby Dick" entry. He stunned soon-to-be-association champ Raymond Beadle's "Blue Max" in the first round before losing in the semi's. He would later go on to a great 6.15, 236.84 effort at that year's U.S. Nationals ... At this same race, Bob Glidden, in his only full year with IHRA, lost in the Pro Stock final round to Wayne Gapp. The big deal was that was the only time Glidden would lose an IHRA race that year. He won eight of nine events, which culminated in the association's Winston title ... The nation's hottest Funny Car driver that year was Don "the Snake" Prudhomme in his Army-backed Monza (photo). He won the Super Stock Magazine Nationals that month and followed with a win at the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, N.J. ... Prudhomme was the low qualifier at the event with a 6.13, which helped highlight an incredible skein. In '76, Prudhomme was the No. 1 Funny Qualifier at NHRA events seven out of eight times ... and, of course, he won seven of eight of their races as well.

Mark Oswald (photo) with the Candies & Hughes/Old Milwaukee Pontiac was the big force in IHRA Funny Car competition in 1986. He won five races that season, including the season championship. At the Northern Nationals in Milan, Michigan, he came up a bit short when he lost in the final to Kenny Bernstein's "Budweiser King" Ford. ... The other July IHRA extravaganza was their Summer Nationals in Cleves, Ohio and Oswald won that race ... On the subject of Funny Cars, Fred Mandoline, the 1983 NHRA champ, won both the Alcohol Funny Car titles at Milan and Cleves .... If July of 1986 is remembered for anything, it will be Don Garlits' over-backwards wheelstand at the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, N.J. You've all probably seen it on film at least once and probably agree that, at the time, it rated near the top of anybody's thrill list ...The guy he was running with on that pass, Darrell Gwynn, went on to take the Top Fuel title.


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