Rest In Peace Buddy & Val Short ~ Forever In Our Hearts ~

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My name is David Owen and my driver’s license says that I’m 42.. Seriously? Wow, when did that sneak up on me? Anyways, I’ve just recently gotten back into drag racing as of July of 2015 after being away for more than 20 years. I first fell in love with drag racing in my high school days as I’m sure most teenagers do. I’d listen to stories from my Dad of racing his ’66 Chevy II at Thunderbolt Raceway when he was my age and the fire started burning inside of me. I never missed an opportunity to load up and help out one of my best friends Rowland Haddock Jr(Better known around the Jacksonville racing scene as P-Nut) when he was racing at Jax Raceways. After graduating in ’91, I finally convinced my Dad to put a small block 327 in our ’87 GMC Jimmy. For the next 5 years I was hooked and although I didn’t race at Jax Raceways that much on the weekends since the Jimmy was an everyday driver, I didn’t miss too many Tuesday night “King of the hill” races out there. My highlight at Jax Raceways was a King of the Hill runner up to none other than John Rougas in his street El Camino if I’m not mistaken(That was a few moons ago). I was excited that I had won a trophy that night but was also nervous because my Dad had told me specifically not to go racing that night because of a broken header. But as most teenage sons do, I thought I knew better. Plus, this was almost the exact story of him and my Granddad back in his racing days when he won his first trophy at Thunderbolt. Instead of hiding the trophy in the trunk like he did from Granddaddy (Which eventually found the trophy), I walked right in the door, apologized, and showed him the trophy. After quickly reminding him of his story, he didn’t stay mad too long thank goodness.

After a few years of having fun and going to track every time it was open, life happened. I was getting married, starting a new job and building a house. Racing took a back seat for a few years and then eventually disappeared completely. The thought of getting back out there was always on my mind but just couldn’t make it happen for many different reasons.

Fast forward to 2015. I’ve got my life on cruise control and having what I think is the time of my life. In the past year I’d traveled around the world visiting Vietnam with my Dad, had flown up to Canada for weekend concerts with friends, and had just planned a trip to Iceland just because. Enter Mark Horton.. I was holding interviews for an open position I had and a colleague/mutual friend set up a lunch interview with Mark. It took all of about 10 minutes before Drag Racing and Green Cove Dragway came up and it was like I was a teenager again. This is what I wanted to do and now I have the means to make it happen. Needless to say, Mark got the job(not because of racing, he really is good at what he does) and I kid him all the time that it’s been the most expensive hire I’ve ever made!! Mark and his Dad “just happened” to have an ’85 Camaro and a SBC 383 sitting in the shop that they wanted to sale, well, it was like taking candy from a baby for them and it was on.  We got the car ready in late June for her maiden run down the track and I must say, since that day there is no other hobby/life out there that I’d rather be doing. Recently I had the opportunity to buy in on another Camaro with Horton that we like to call “Ole Yeller” and it has been a blast to drive. Since last year I have met many great people at GCD and look forward to meeting many more. The entire racing family is just that, a family. Thank you to all at GCD that I’ve met in the past year and welcomed me into your family, and as I said before I look forward to meeting many more of you in the future.

David Owen Collage

 

My name is Amber Underwood. I am 19 years old and I have been racing for a little over a year now. Being raised by my Dad I have been around the sport my entire life. As a little girl, the only thing that I wanted to be when I grew up was a race car driver. My dad raced when I was younger and has had many cars. We got out of racing for a couple of years when I was growing up. About 5 years ago we bought our Fox body Mustang, which my Dad’s original plan was to “throw together” so I could have something to learn in. Being the person that my Dad is, he didn’t cut any corners and the car is still under construction as of today (But we’re close lol). That’s when my Dad decided to make the Dodge Dakota we had into a race truck. I started off in the truck with a stock 350 small block Chevy. Then I got hooked on nitrous and wanted to go faster and faster. We recently put a new and improved 350 in it, along with a roll cage, which I had to beg my Dad to paint pink. While my truck was under construction, I had the opportunity to drive Kyle and JR’s mustang for a couple of months. It was a great experience being able to drive something different. I also had the pleasure of driving Jessie’s Opel once, which I made my fastest pass ever in. I’d like to thank you guys again for trusting me with your rides! I love my little ole Dakota but I cannot wait to get behind the wheel of our Mustang. I am ready to go faster! I love racing, it’s what I look forward to every weekend. I love my track family at Green Cove Drag way as well! I’d like to thank my Dad for always being there and giving me the amazing opportunity to do what I love. My boyfriend, Travis, for being there when Dad can’t be, and dealing with my attitude when things don’t go my way at the track. Also, Dan, for allowing me to help whenever I can, because helping out with a race car is the 2nd best thing to driving them! I have met so many awesome people because of racing and love meeting new people every time I am at the track, so come say hey sometime! Thank you & See you guys at the track!

amber in pink
MEET JENNA HADDOCK:

Jenna Haddock Growing up with a big brother turned me into a tomboy quick. I’ve always had a passion for trucks and motorcycles…anything with wheels. I remember going with him to the drag races when I was very young. 

 
When I turned 16 my daddy and mama bought me a Red 2003 GMC Sierra which had a few upgrades. In 11th grade some of my friends invited me to Douglas Dragway and one made a pass with me riding passenger down the track. 
 
I was hooked, jumped in my truck and out ran him the next pass. After that me and my red truck frequented the track. Eventually my parents found out my about my drag racing and took my truck for awhile! 
 
When I was 21 I met my husband Edd which happened to be a very experienced drag racer. We bought a Red 1981 Step Side Chevy several years ago with a small block 434. About a year ago I got in it and never got out! 
 
He’s been the best teacher and we have had the best time racing together! Our three year old son, Madden, loves watching his mama and daddy drag racing and can’t wait for the day he can get behind the wheel!
2016 jenna & edd haddock
MEET CLARENCE WINGATE:
My love for going fast started at a very young age from driving my mom corvettes to watching NASCAR on TV, My favorite driver was Dale Earnhardt Sr.
When I was 17 my mother got me my 1st Hot rod, a 1970 Pontiac Lemans, it was all stock but I wasn’t having that at all. I had the car painted, added corvette rally rims and tinted the windows.
I then purchase a 403 engine & 400t rans. that came out of a Trans Am but before I could install my new combo someone had stripped my car and left it on blocks. This lead to my second Hot Rod, a 1979 Z28 Camaro which my grandfather helped me purchase and after 33 years I still own the Z28.
The first race track this car raced at was Jax Raceways in 1983 and the last track was Gainesville raceway in 2009.
Best track time slip 1/8mile 7:13 on motor, it also was a NOS car.
The car I race at GCD and currently #6 on the top 10 list is my 69 Z28 Camaro AKA “Dirty Red” which I owed for only 1 year. Its a BBC car with a NX single stage nos system. I like racing at
GCD competing on the top 10 list, meeting new people and making new race friends and of coarse did I say racing?
My goal is to be #1 on the list, I know it want happen over night but I’m sure it will happen!!! But for now, Lets go Racing!

2016 clarence wingate

 

MEET DAN HOLT:

I got started drag racing when was a teenager in a 57 Chevrolet, back in Titusville Florida… on the street, back in them days. Street raced everything I ever drove. Got married really young, started a family, 2 times… the second time folks would ask, how many kids you got? Well! We have yours, mine and ours.. That totaled 4 (two girls, 2 boys) Hers, Billy & Kristen Mine, Mechelle, and Ours, Joshua, who now has my grandson Colin James, he was 6 Jan 21st…I love my kids whom all have grown up to be very successful adults in their own lives. Very proud of them all. Then the years go by, never forgetting how much I enjoy going fast and being competitive… and then my youngest son (Joshua) got really interested in drag racing,… so I eventually bought a 1975 pro street Vega, and turned into a bracket car, raced it for several years and at a Super Chevy Show in West Palm Beach ; runner up… and I / we were hooked then, that Vega is still being raced today in Orlando by Evert Lowe. Like most drag racer… I wanted to go faster… So I partnered with a good friend (Gordy Campbell) on a 1941 all glass tube chassis Willy’s he had built, sold everything I had to build a Donavan 581 cubic inch Big Chief motor, ran mid 8’s ¼ mile, he moved on after a divorce with his car and I bought unfinished all glass 55 Chevy mild steel tube chassis, finished building the car, put my motor and trans in that, ran 7.80’s @ 184 MPH ¼ mile in the late 80’s. THEN ! Had a real bad crash (top end roll over) in that car at Orlando Speed World, and by the grace / hand of God walked away with minimal injuries, at least injuries I recovered from. Bought 27 Ford Side seat Roadster, raced it a very short while, due to injuries from the 55 crash. Stayed out of racing for several years, and like the drug (drag racing) that it is, I got back into it with 1962 Chevy ll, built an all-aluminum 416 inch 18 degree SBC that made 805 HP on the dyno, ran 5:50’s 1/8 mile, sold it after my second divorce Stayed out of it for about two years, got that hunger again and bought this S-10 that I am racing now. I had a 565 conventional head motor built by Tom Calis for this truck, spraying it with Nitrous, weighing 2680 #’s without me; it needs it to go fast. LOL, it will never be fast enough, that’s the drug part, never being satisfied, always wanting more. I’m single, Love life… I am a drag racer forever, or as long as the good Lord allows me to be and I enjoy drag racing here in Green Cove Springs as much as I have ever have. I used to live in Green Cove, moved away in 2008 to South Carolina, moved back last October and proud to be back in the area again, have met some really nice folks that love drag racing like I do. Special thanks to Woody, Kyle, JR, Amber and Cricket and to the drag racing community for making me feel a part of the Green Cove Drag Racing family.
See ya at the track, come by and say hello…
2016 AWESOME TRUCK W PARACHUTES

 

 

MEET ROCK BRINKE

RICHARD HENRY AUFDEM BRINKE

Here’s Rock’s story:

I was told I could make this short but we are talking about almost 70 years of racing!  So, I will shorten it as best I can.

First, I raced boats.  My dad was President of the American Power Boat Association.  He ran Hydros C-D Hydro and even drove Miss Pepsi and Miss Budweiser!!  I ran a J-U and after many wrecks we started running Go-Karts.  So, my Dad started the American Kart Association and I got the best of everything therefore, I won a lot.

Then, we began racing Bikes.  Motocross at that time was first really starting to become popular so I got some good rides with Team Yamaha and Suzuki.

After that came drag racing!  At that time my Dad had an 84 Corvette he took to  75-80 Dragway – so, I took my 57 Chevy and ran that.  I had raced many cars:  64 – 65 – 66 Chevy ; 67 & 69 Camaro SS ( #1399 NHRA) ; VW Bug; VW Rail and even a 67 Corvette Funny car!  I took a big brake from racing for a while and became a biker.

Well then, along comes Green Cove Dragway and I began running my Woody.  My Woody was a homemade body mounted on Jaquar chassis powered by a Chevy V-8 engine!!!I  I have since moved on to my current dragster and am currently competing to the #1 spot on the Top 10 Challenge list.

PS – I was amazed to hear that Pete PROMOTED EVIL KNIEVEL’S LAST JUMP!!!  LMAO
2016 mike wells

 

MEET ROCK BRINKE

RICHARD HENRY AUFDEM BRINKE

Here’s Rock’s story:

I was told I could make this short but we are talking about almost 70 years of racing!  So, I will shorten it as best I can.

First, I raced boats.  My dad was President of the American Power Boat Association.  He ran Hydros C-D Hydro and even drove Miss Pepsi and Miss Budweiser!!  I ran a J-U and after many wrecks we started running Go-Karts.  So, my Dad started the American Kart Association and I got the best of everything therefore, I won a lot.

Then, we began racing Bikes.  Motocross at that time was first really starting to become popular so I got some good rides with Team Yamaha and Suzuki.

After that came drag racing!  At that time my Dad had an 84 Corvette he took to  75-80 Dragway – so, I took my 57 Chevy and ran that.  I had raced many cars:  64 – 65 – 66 Chevy ; 67 & 69 Camaro SS ( #1399 NHRA) ; VW Bug; VW Rail and even a 67 Corvette Funny car!  I took a big brake from racing for a while and became a biker.

Well then, along comes Green Cove Dragway and I began running my Woody.  My Woody was a homemade body mounted on Jaquar chassis powered by a Chevy V-8 engine!!!I  I have since moved on to my current dragster and am currently competing to the #1 spot on the Top 10 Challenge list.

PS – I was amazed to hear that Pete PROMOTED EVIL KNIEVEL’S LAST JUMP!!!  LMAO

2015 rock closeupnice

 

 

OUR NEWEST RACER PROFILE ~ MEET SCOTT LANGEVIN ~ #4 SPOT ON GCD’S TOP 10 CHALLENGE – GRUDGE BIKES!

HERE’S SCOTT ‘THE POWER WHEELIE MASTER’S” STORY:

I have always been into cars/bikes and racing. Growing up I watched Earnhardt Sr. tear up the circle track. I wanted to be just like him. At the age of 17, I went in half’s with my brother to get a 1983 four-barrel v8 camaro. One day after football practice I left rubber stripes from the parking lot to 220.

The adrenaline rush was so overwhelming that I had to continue. At the age of 19 I had my own car and was street racing. On the street people with turbo/supercharged to nitrous cars all wanted a piece of me and my 4cyl. cavalier. I continued my street racing dominance until I was 29.

I stopped street racing cause I started working at EFI ALCHEMY and also cause I saw two good people lose their lives in the blink of an eye due to street racing. My friend at EFI got me into racing motorcycles cause of my size and build. After street racing my car for 10 years, I decided a change would be good.

I started racing my 2013 CBR1000RR (Alice) near the end of May 2015. Now I’m on the motorcycle top 10 list working my way up. Racing has always been in my life and blood and racing will always be a part of who I am.

I want to say thank you to everyone at green cove dragway for the track, prepping, and making sure all of the racers are always safe as possible. I also want to say thank you to all the fans that come watch us race and cheer us on.

2015 scott langevin
MEET TROY “THE FLY” BOSTICK
#5 on our Top 10 Challenge List – Cars/Trucks
2015 TROY BOSTICK ON FIRE BY BG
HERE’S TROY’S STORY:
I have been Racing since I was 16 years of age, 45 now. I have raced everything from bicycles, to motorcross, bikes to pro bikes, to promod drag cars, lots of trophies, to Salley winner, old jax race ways, just absolutely, love the Sport.
I opened a Race Shop in max : NSCW Racing, Aka New School Chassis Works. We build high end Race cars, and as you can imagine, this helps us race all over the United states, I just love to race and help people go fast, but be safe!!! WE LOVE RACING WITH YALL @ GREEN COVE DRAGWAY!
Thanks Troy.. We LOVE it when you race with us!

Meet Chris Hall ~ Green Cove Dragways #1 on our Top 10 Challenge ~ Motorcycles!!!

gator3199.hostgator.com

Chris Hall Racer Profile

 

First things first I would like to thank Green Cove Dragway for giving me the opportunity to share my story.

My name is Chris Hall, Im 29 years old, have a beautiful wife, Emily and a awesome son, Blake. Yes I am one of the ones that always gets called “crazy” for racing those motorcycles lol.

Racing for me started out very young. My first ride was a go cart with a 5hp Briggs and Stratton motor on it. Man did that thing leave some scars on me. I remember lining up in the corner of our yard and waiting on a vehicle to come down the dirt road.  When they got close I would floor that thing and 9 times out of 10 smoke them to the other corner of the yard – HA HA !!

As I started getting older my toys started getting bigger and MUCH more expensive. My first car was given to me by my Dad. No race car by any means! A Mercury Topaz. I drove that car back and forth to school and my first job was washing dishes until I saved up enough money to buy a 1981 Ford pick up with a 302 in it from my Grandpa.

It had true duals with glass packs and I loved to listen to them!!

At 16 I started working at Winn Dixie on the stock crew saving up for my first muscle car. It was a 1990 Camaro RS with a 305 and a 5 speed in it. The 305 didn’t stay in long and before you knew it, I had a 350 bored 40 over in it.  My first passes down Gainesville Raceway were in this car. I then bought a 95 Mustang GT and dumped tons of money into that thing. The car ended up making close to 700 HP and was a blast to drive. Making that much power breaks a lot of parts though.

That’s when I decided to change it up to street bikes. I have been racing motorcycles for 10+ years now and love every second of it. Shoot –  I love them so much I decided to make a career out of them. I attended MMI “Motorcycle Mechanics Institute” in 2011 and became a certified Kawasaki Technician. I now have my own shop CHPerformance doing anything from basic tune ups on bikes to building all out race bikes. My current bike is a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX14.  In fact, just this past weekend I reset the motorcycle MPH track record.

I’ve owned this bike for about 6 months now. Bought it as a completely showroom stock motorcycle and have come a very long way with it. There have been several late nights in the shop and I have to thank Billy Barton, Justin Whitehair, and Cody Bryant for giving a hand when I needed it. For you car guys the 1400 is the big block of motorcycles. The torque these bikes make is amazing compared to the smaller cc bikes. I have won two years back to back 1st place at the import face off races, I raced for Gainesville in the district finals losing to one of the best in the world Roy Hagadorn and have won a few king of the track races as well. I prefer the heads up races, fastest wins. Just more of a rush –  that’s in my opinion.

Well,  I’m at the track every weekend doing some type of racing so if any one has any questions just stop by our tent and say hey. We “the team” will be there continuing to make our bikes faster and faster!! Thank You Greencove for giving us a track in our backyards!!! THANK YOU CHRIS FOR BRINGING 2 WHEEL EXCITEMENT TO GCD!!!

 

 

Pamala Conner Wade
Featured Member – Nov, 2015

2015 pamala

Pamala Racer Profile

My love of fast cars and racing started at a young age.  At only 6 or 7 and my Aunt and Uncle would get me every Saturday and take me dirt track racing.  That love of racing kept me from dating as I would leave work and head straight to the track.
In my preteen years I would ride the school bus home and was always on the lookout for cars.  The first car dad bought me I was 12; a 70 Challenger on a used car lot.  I begged him to go look, and being an only child he always gave in; after 3 transmissions from the junk yard we got her running.  My 2nd car was a 69 Volkswagen.. Dad said if your gonna be a good driver you have to learn to shift gears.  I still laugh at all the good times we had in that car.  I was quite good at pulling the emergency brake and slinging her around to scare my mom to death. I was 15 when I found my 73 Firebird in the Auto Trader. My dad and I did a full restore on it and by 16 I was racing anybody who thought they could keep up.
It was only natural that I would marry David; we were a complete match.  He completely understood my need for racing and Street Rods.  We have spent 24 years together and have 3 beautiful children together.  When I ask Dave for  dirt track car he gave me the Viper; hence the gear shifting skills were put to good use.  Dave has made sure I have had any fast car Iv wanted, he got me the blown 32 with the 468, but I kept at him until he got me my first drag racing car; the Corvette, which just wasn’t fast enough.  Aussie then found my Vega which currently sits No. 9 on Green Cove’s Top Ten list.  Dave and Aussie keep “My Girl” running at its best and I’m living my dream!

 

 

Rick Wilson
Featured Member – June, 2015

Rick Wilson Racer Profile

Rick Wilson Racer Profile

This was shot at GCD and he is the owner of a local garage.. he is also building the Green Cove Springs Beat the Heat Police vehicle.

http://www.northfloridasubarugroup.com/#!nfsg-featured-member-of-the-month/c17hn
It’s that time again; time for another installment of the North Florida Subaru Group’s Featured Ride! A few weeks ago, we asked you to vote with your likes on Facebook and you did. Congratulations Rick Wilson for being our featured member for June! I met up with Rick at the Green Cove Dragway for some automotive mischief on the dirt and drift tracks. And it was GLORIOUS!  We started out with some photos on the drag strip because the car was going to get dirty and it wouldn’t be a good idea to drop dirt on the racing surface. Out on the dirt, the car was insane; it kicked up giant plumes of sand as Rick tore it around corners and across the open areas of the track. As he slowly took the car over a berm to size it up, it may or may not have be gotten high centered…While we waited for a tow rope (or didn’t), we had a chance to talk about Rick’s automotive history.

As most of you probably know, Rick is THE doctor at the NFSG sponsor, Dr. Dirty’s Rusty Nuts Garage (though by time of publication, I’ve been unable to find any records of said doctor with the state Department of Health).   His first car was a 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint and the list of “highlights” include (in no particular order) a 2004 neon srt-4 stage 2, an M3 swapped 1977 bmw 320,  1998 c5 corvette with a pedestrian 600 wheel horsepower, 1965 C10 full custom, 1966 Mustang, 1982 Toyota 4×4 bobbed lifted truck, 2001 Firebird Formula road course car, 1994 ford escort GT rally car and a 2007 STI Rally car.  Prior to opening the shop, Rick served in the Navy and was stationed in some of the absolute worst places for an automotive enthusiast…places like Italy… and Japan… horrible, right? Some of the cars he had abroad were as interesting as those he has owned in the States: 1995 Skyline GTS25-T, “some badass RX-7’s”, a 1992 Ford Escort Cosworth Turbo AWD, 1989 Lancia Delta Integrale, 1994 Mazda 323 GTR swap, Turbo AWD. You get the idea. Rick came to the Subaru fold by moving up to the AWD racing classes after about eight years in 2WD rally cars. A dozen or so Subarus later, he arrived at the Patriot.

The Patriot, a 2004 WRX bares little resemblance to the orange stance-mobile it was when Rick picked it up as a shell from North Georgia Craigslist, a year and a half ago. The first modification made to the car was to get the shell back on the road with a JDM 2.0L running E85 and producing around 300 wheel horsepower.  Along the way, the suspension has received ISC coilovers, and Perrin sway bars up front and out back. White Team Dynamics 15in wheels that reside under the fender flares are shod with Firestone Winter Force 205/65/15 tires.  Both the interior and exterior got the “keep only what’s absolutely necessary” treatment  and an awesome American Flag wrap was applied. The latest work done to the car was putting in a fully built Revvworks 2.5L block which makes considerably more power than the previous mill. The new power plant’s higher than usual compression ratio, VF48 turbo, massive TMIC, 1000cc injectors and “every other supporting mod” combine to put about 400 horsepower and 440 torques to the ground. The power is channeled through a JDM STI 5-speed  4.44 transmission with a Driver Controlled Center Differential(DCCD) and limited slip rear diff.

Rick says his favorite thing about the car is its versatility. “The car was built for the purpose of doing anything and everything; and it does.  It’s an all-purpose hoon mobile.” This goal was achieved and then some. Even on snow tires, Rick was able to churn out smokey donuts, kick up loads of earth, slide on the asphalt and splash through the odd puddle. “Numbers don’t do this car justice,” he says. “On the street, 0-100mph, there are very few cars that can keep up. The combination of the small turbo, high compression, low gears with AWD, is just plain awesome.”

Of the North Florida Subaru Group Rick says “it’s a badass group of likeminded car enthusiasts, best group on Facebook.” I couldn’t agree more.

Written By: Patrick Fry

NFSG Member

ms. bettyms. betty3 ms. betty2

OUR NEW AND VERY VERY SPECIAL & EXTRAORDINARY RACER PROFILE:

MEET MS. BETTY….

 

Started out with dirt track in the late 1950’s running a ’48 Ford with a ’51 Lincoln engine. Then in the early 1960’s moved to Minnesota dragways running a ’47 Cadillac convertible, can’t remember what place I took but I’m sure I did well. My brother had a ’59 Chevy convertible that I raced and won him a trophy by coming in first place. Oh and did I mention I was 8 months pregnant in that race. Then when I found out my grandson was racing my son’s corvette, I got the bug all over again at age 75. What started out as somewhat of a joke turned out to be the best day of my life thanks to all of the wonderful people at the Green Cove Dragway!! And of course to my son Scott who let me use his car and my grandson Shane for riding with me and last but not least thanks to the rest of my family for being able to be there.

 

FROM MS. BETTY : I have wanted to send you a note telling you and all the staff how great I was treated when I was there on the 9th of March. I really would like to come back for rematches, but I broke my right foot plus there are other things I have to do. A lot of doctoring. I have been fighting breast cancer since 1987. It travels around and is now in my liver since 2007. I have the best doc in the world. The day I spent down there was the best day of my life!!! Having all my kids, grandkids, great grandkids there was great also. Also meeting one of the owners of the track. My daughter bought me a tee shirt with my picture and the car. Words cannot describe how wonderful it was for me. Thank you so much for making my day. Hopefully I will be able to come down again.

 

Profile for Peter Miele – Saint Augustine

Cars, I have always had a love of cars. My first one I carried around in my pocket and still have it on the shelf in my house. So it was no surprise that as a kid in 1966 growing up in New Jersey I worked at my Uncle Danny’s Sunoco Gas station in Hackensack, New Jersey. I also worked at my Uncle Larry’s Sunoco in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Sunoco 260 was the choice of all Hot Cars of the day so I got to see them all firsthand. It was so cool!

Both of my uncle’s specialized in working on Hot Cars and both were drag racers themselves. The bonus of working for them was the firsthand knowledge of fast cars and the weekly trips to the drag strip.

At the track, I was able to be in the pits and do small jobs on the cars, like pumping up the fuel pressure tank and checking the tire pressure. The drag race “Fire” was lit!

In 1969, my family moved to Florida and my days of working at the Sunoco stations for my uncles were over. But not my love for cars.

Met and married my High school sweetheart, Debbie. We had two Beautiful daughters.

In those years of working long hours and raising a family, drag racing and hot rodding was something I read about and dreamed of. I did rebuild and make many cool cars over the years but I always wanted a ‘gasser’ looking car with a straight front axle and roll bar.

Fast Forward… to 2004, finally ready to build a “gasser” as a daily driver. After a long search, I found the Ranchero which happens to be the actual shop truck of my uncle’s New Jersey Sunoco stations.

When the Ranchero was finished, it was driven on the street for years. Then it happened, “Green Cove Drag way opened! On my “Bucket list” was to Drag Race on an actual track. There I was on a track for the first time ever! “Drag racing my Ranchero”, the ‘gasser’ looking car with a straight front axle and roll bar.

“The Need for Speed is ALIVE & WELL!”

Racer Profile

Racer Profile

Profile for Billy “The Wheelie” Barton

Billy barton

My birthday is the 7th of December, Pearl Harbor Day.  Back when I turned 15, Gainesville Raceway  used to keep the track open until the first weekend of December every year.  I raced for the first time on my birthday, when I turned 15.  Now my step-father went and bought a 1972 Chevelle, a 350 Malibu with a factory two-barrel.  He got it as a project for us before I was old enough to drive.  In the meantime, my mother raced the car at Gainesville.  She did fairly well, too.  As soon as I got a license, I took over the driving.  I had been going to the track and watching since I was around 10 years old.  I used to go with a friend of mine in our neighborhood, his dad, Clinton Ray, drove a dodge demon that my cousin owned.  A lot of the old school Jax Raceways drivers will know and remember my cousin, Billy Crews.  I grew up watching Billy race at Jax on Friday nights and Gainesville on Saturday nights.  I can remember Billy winning at Jax on Friday and winning a “Big Bucks Race” in Gainesville the next night.  I always wanted to be a winner like my cousin Billy.  I never can remember seeing Billy get mad or talk ill of any other driver.  He was a huge inspiration to me.  Another racer hero of mine was “Rapid Roy” Johnson.  Roy and his wife both used to race dragbikes at Gainesville.  My friend, Clinton Ray Jr. and I used to go down to the wooden bleachers that were at the ¼ mile trap at Gainesville and watch Roy come flying by us!!!!!  I grew up wanting to be just like Billy Crews and Roy Johnson.

The deal was if I kept my grades up and paid for the fuel, my family would take me racing.  I started working at 15 at the Winn Dixie in Macclenny.  I started as a paper/plastic technician….. fancy talk for a bag-boy.  I worked there for over five years and worked two jobs and ran substitute on the Times Union paper route to support my bad habit.  This bad habit being that little win light coming on!!!  We upgraded to a 1970 ½ split bumper Z-28 when I was a senior in high school.  I ran it until I got married and started a family.  The cars had to go.  Oddly enough, we sold each car for 700 dollars each.  There is not hardly a day go by that I don’t wish I had kept them.  I was out of racing until 2007, when I bought my first race bike.  It was a 1997 Honda Blackbird.  I won my first track championship on this bike in 2007.  A good friend of mine had bought a brand new ZX-14 in 2007 and I helped him at the track.  His only goal was to get his 9 second license, then he said he was going to sell his entire rig….. bike, trailer, leathers….everything.  He let me buy his entire operation and he let me pay over time.  He was a huge help and a very good friend to me, Mr. Emery Fuller.  The new bike allowed me to step my game up.  I have qualified for 3 Division 2 NHRA Bracket Finals and I have won a WALLY and two WALLY-GATORS. I finished #2 in the 6.50 “No-Box” circuit in 2010. I have got a 1972 Nova, a 1973 Camaro, and  my girlfriend has a 1978 El Camino that she will be racing soon.  I have been doing high performance work on cars and bikes for many years now.  We built my step-dad’s 1995 Gran-Prix Super-Street car and it has been a wonderful performer.  I have driven everything from a car than ran 18’s in the quarter to a door car that went in the 8’s at 150 mph.  I just love racing and hopefully one day I will be able to make a living doing it.  If we are ever at the track, come by and say Hi…… we love to have kids get on the bike or in our car and get their pictures taken!!!!  I can remember some of the old school drivers doing that for us when we were younger and I always try to be an example to young people today.  A huge thanks goes out to the City of Green Cove Springs and to Mr. Pete and Mrs. Maree for having the vision and knowledge to supply us with a safe race environment and for giving back to the community.  I also would like to thank my sponsor “Pawnderosa Pawn Shop” in Macclenny Florida.  Go see Robbie for the best deals around!!!!!

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