VOLUME XXI, NUMBER 8 - AUGUST, 2019
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
DRAGRACINGOnline owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.
Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor, Jok Nicholson
Motorcycle Editor, Tom McCarthy
Nostalgia Editor, Brian Losness
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
Poet Laureate, Bob Fisher
Cartoonists, Jeff DeGrandis, Kenny Youngblood
Senior Photographer - Ron Lewis
Contributing Photographers - Aaron Anderson, Brad Baker, Scott Bessee, Donna Bistran, Steven Bunker, Pam Conrad, Adam Cranmer, James Drew, Don Eckert, Steve Embling, Jamie Shores Fraijo, Mike Garland, Joel Gelfand, Steve Gruenwald, Chris Haverly, Rose Hughes, Bob Johnson, Bret Kepner, "Bad" Brad Klaassen, Jon LeMoine, Eddie Maloney, Tim Marshall, Matt Mothershed, Richard Muir, Joe McHugh, Dennis Mothershed, Ivan Sansom, Paul Schmitz, Dave Stoltz,
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Webmonkey: Axel G.
Production Monkey: Axel G.
Racing Net Source LLC
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
COO Kay Burk
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Contact: Casey Araiza
Front-motored Top Fuel team owner/driver Jimmy Young has been the champion ...
North and South win at Carolina ...
North and South Carolina, that is. Racers from both states got wins at ...
Pritchett, Line get first season ...
Minnesota native Jason Line won a race for an NHRA-record 16th straight ...
Khalid al Thani ordered ‘hits’ on ...
The Tampa Bay Times reports that a former employee of Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad ...
Torrence father and son will ...
Reigning NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence has won eight ...
Winners crowned at 2nd Annual ...
The second annual American Jr. Dragster Challenge presented by Capco Contractors ...
Just Wondering ... Whatever happened to the track reporter? There used to be ...
Wondering about the ‘Countdown’ and ...
Just Wondering ... Will qualifying be the most dramatic part of the NHRA ...
ET DRAG RACING
When I think back to the ‘good ole days’, one name comes to mind a lot -- Russ Guymon! Russ was an aspiring young drag racer from Keokuk, Iowa. Long prior to Kahoka (Tri-State Dragway) opening, Russ had built a reputation for excellence in the Mississippi Valley.
I temporarily lost track of Russ and his wife Donna until a Facebook post caught my attention and found they live in southern Missouri where Donna spent her early childhood.
Russ was with us in 1959 at Cordova, IL, when Palmer Lazarus wowed everyone by shifting a four speed-equipped ’56 Chevy with a 6-71 blower! We all went home to the Tri State area and Russ went to work on a ’55 Chevy two door sedan. Seeing his preparation, we decided to offer him use of our new blower. We intended the supercharger for our Pontiac engines, but we had to wait for a Pontiac manifold. So Russ and I assembled the small block Chevy engine and that awesome sound descended on Sportsman Park (the name of Keokuk’s first drag strip). For several weeks there was no matching the screaming ’55 Chevy. Then a rod let go, hit the starter and the steering box...which did not have a ‘happy ending’.
The above photo shows the first Top Eliminator final at the new drag strip at Kahoka, MO. The head linesman in the center is Russ Guymon. Russ remained a key figure in upper Mississippi River Valley drag racing for more than 20 years.
Russ’s newest and perhaps last effort was this ’69 Camaro Pro Stocker. Ronnie Saar, manager of Lee County Raceway at Keokuk, Iowa, jumped on board the new Pro Stock Eliminator category as did several of the Midwest tracks of the day.
Tony Sheffler (recently retired announcer at Atlanta Dragway), and Lee County announcer as well as track manager at Keokuk during the ‘80s, said this about Russ: “Always a tough competitor and with a good team helping make it all happen. Great memories for sure!”
The above photo is one of the few I have of my Top Fuel efforts during the mid-sixties. It is a 421 Pontiac Super Duty with a 6-71 blower and Hilborn injection. The driver is young Ray Halberstadt a member of the Keosaqua, Iowa, car club that made Tri State Dragway hum during those years.
This is Ray (left) at Des Moines, Iowa, with me in 2016. The former Top Fuel pilot now manages a factory at the Iowa Capitol.
Ed Bruegge’s awesome ‘Possum Chaser’ A/G Crosley, without question the most popular car at Tri State Dragway during the early ‘60s.
Danny Hobbs, announcer and final manager at the doomed TSD, sent us a message about a June 2019 visit he had at his Kahoka, MO, home with ‘Big Ed’ and his wife Nikki:
“Not really much to give you about Ed visiting. He had called me in the early spring about getting together and on this past Friday he called that he was in Kahoka so I gave him directions...he and his wife are just plain great and gentle people...we mainly discussed the medical problems we both are fighting...we did in just passing discuss some of the names that raced at TSD....Leo Payne, RD Wolf and the funniest was we both were fans of Gabby Bleeker and his wild and crazy the Bantam Fuel Altered that he ran and what the “The Greek” said about anyone that would drive such a crazy machine after he took it for a run...I was thinking that it was at US30.... the funny part to me was Ed thinking the Bleeker machine wild....think about this, Jim ...Ed was probably 6’2” or 4” and 250+ lbs.....the short wheelbase Crosley wagon was probably only 6’ interior so it was probably more of a handling handful than Bleeker’s was in fact seeing Ed get into the machine was something. He said he has built 15 T-Buckets to date...the last one is driven by his son, Darren.”
Photo above was snapped in Fairfield, Iowa, back in 2016. It is Jim Baker and son Brad with Ed Bruegge and his son Darrin.
This is Ed Bruegge’s 15th Street Roadster with an 8-71 blower for ‘kicks’ on the street. It is driven on the street by Ed’s son Darren.
Tommy Johnson Sr’sR.D. WolfT.J. CrutcherGuy Baker
This photo was snapped early in 2019 at the Arizona Nationals near Phoenix. TJ has gone on through the season and finds himself in second place just 199 points behind leader Robert Hight.
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