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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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