John and Sharon Fletcher

fletcher

Inducted 2012

From Hamilton, Ontario, this family ran a successful automotive speed shop, but selling customers high-performance parts wasn’t enough. In 1982 they decided to buy a drag strip and through perseverance and hard work revitalized Dragway Park just outside of Cayuga Ontario in Southern Ontario.

Purchasing the facility from bankruptcy trustees, the Fletchers had their work cut out for them, as a great deal of equipment was missing, including the all-important quarter-mile timing clocks and equipment.

Also missing was the trust from the racing community, which had a bad taste in its mouth from the former owners, and this trust had to be re-established.

But John and Sharon, and the rest of the family not only built the former Cayuga drag strip back to a viable track, they also fostered and received support from the racers, fans, and sponsors.

They also expanded the track and its facility, and welcomed some new classes of drag cars that were becoming popular as well as maintaining a solid foundation with regular local racers.

With the sponsorship of the Becker’s Milk Company, the Fletchers introduced such classes as Pro Modified and Super Gas at the track in the late 1980s, and hosted the first Canadian national event under the sanctioning of the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), a sanctioning body that would visit the track several more times over the years.

After these accomplishments, the Fletchers were presented with an offer of selling Cayuga that they could not refuse. And they left the track, which is Canada’s oldest drag racing track and in operation since 1954, in solid shape. But instead of taking the money and retiring, they purchased another historic track about 80 miles west along Highway 3 from Cayuga.
Saint Thomas Dragway is located in Sparta, Ontario, and was developed in 1962 by the Harvey Family. It had long been an NHRA track and the home of some of the biggest events in the country. With some spit and polish, and modernized equipment, Saint Thomas returned to its former glory under the work and guidance of the Fletchers, who continued to operate the track under the NHRA with the name of London Motorsports Park in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

One of their most noted endeavours while at Saint Thomas was to bring in the biggest name in the sport, and racing icon John Force wowed the fans three times with his nitromethane-burning Funny Car.

The Fletchers have stepped away from the day-to-day operations at Saint Thomas, but their positive hand at the track continues. To take not only one, but two ailing race facilities and return them to a viable place for competitors and fans of drag racing is to be highly commended.

Bob Elliott

Inducted 2010

When the name’s Bob Elliott and the Northern Force are mentioned in the same sentence, you know that a great story is likely to follow. Those two names combined created one of the greatest Funny Car racing careers in the history of Canadian drag racing. Thought by Todd Veney, a staff writer for National Dragster, to be one of only three known drag racing competitors in the world to have driven all three types of Funny Car in his career, Bob Elliott and his Northern Force left a lasting impression throughout Canada and the Mid-Eastern United States. To his credit over the 13 year span that he drove Northern Force branded Funny Cars, from 1980-1993, are several distinct accomplishments.

From 1986-1990 he did double duty behind the wheel of noted tuner John Rossitter’s potent Alcohol Funny Car and in his own Northern Force Jet Funny Car. In 1989, driving John Rossitter’s Alcohol Funny Car, he became the first, and thus far only, Canadian to set a National Hot Rod Association speed record in the Alcohol Funny Car division, setting that mark at a late season event hosted in Bradenton, Florida. He covered the quarter-mile racing distance at more than 233 miles per hour that day, running in a lane that the majority of his competitors couldn’t navigate due to a large bump at half-track where the racing surface transitioned from concrete to asphalt. That was the highlight of a three year span that saw Elliott and Rossitter dominate the NHRA regulars at national and divisional events, often setting top speed of the meet and qualifying in the top five positions.

During that same time frame, Elliott was running approximately 30 events per year in his Jet Funny Car where he became a pioneer of change in that exhibition division. Constantly pushing the performance envelope, he was often included in the quickest and fastest side-by-side runs in the history of the class and held more than 50 track records across the United States and Canada. With his background in heads-up racing Elliott brought a level of professionalism to the class and was a catalyst for the implementation of pro-tree starts for the whole of the category. From the time he entered into competition in 1986 until he last competed in the division in 1991, driving for the Dustman Brothers of Malvern, Ohio, the class performance standards were lowered from 6.6 second, 250 mile per hour quarter-mile runs to mid 5.7 second, 290 mile per hour performances, with Elliott and his Northern Force leading that charge. 17 years later, Elliott still ranks amongst the top 20 in all time performances in that class and is considered to be one of the top four drivers in the history of that racing division alongside names like Roger Gustin, Dick Rosberg and Al Hanna.

In 1992, Elliott and long-time tuner John Rossitter decided to ascend to the pinnacle of Funny Car racing, putting plans into motion that would see them field Canada’s lone Fuel Funny Car program at the time. With two national events in Canada on the schedule, one in NHRA competition hosted just outside of Montreal, Quebec and another under International Hot Rod Association sanctioning at the legendary Dragway Park in Cayuga, Ontario, the 1993 debut seemed like a perfect scenario for this dynamic duo. Unfortunately for the team, threats of a ban on leaded racing fuels from the Ministry of the Environment spooked the NHRA enough that it pulled its event from the schedule, and a cost cutting measure by the IHRA saw the removal of the Fuel Funny Car class from its events altogether. Now, with more than $150,000 invested into a brand new race car, the team decided to make a go of it running NHRA events in the United States. This lead to Elliott becoming the first Canadian to qualify at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana in Fuel Funny Car competition in eight previous seasons. That also served as the team’s last event, with budgetary concerns forcing them to the sidelines permanently. Although it was a short-lived journey it did fulfill the dream for Elliott, who since first watching a funny car go down the track some 25 years earlier, had dreamed of driving one on the biggest stage drag racing has to offer.

Elliott began driving funny cars in 1980 behind the wheel of a Trans Am bodied Alcohol Funny Car. His impetus to get behind the wheel of a “flopper”, as they are commonly referred to, was the likes of legendary drivers such as “Jungle” Jim Libermann and Al Segrini. For the next three seasons, Elliott and his partners Bill and Vince Vanni blazed a path on the local scene, taking that first car to its performance limits, only to purchase the 1981 NHRA national record holding and NHRA championship winning Alcohol Funny Car of legendary tuner Ken Veney. This car, combined with the driving abilities of Elliott, led the team to numerous prestigious victories at NHRA divisional events and propelled them into first place in the NHRA national point’s standings during 1982 and 1983, ranking them #1 against the best competitors from across North America. Their four year run was noted as one that significantly raised the stature of Alcohol Funny Car racing across central and eastern Canada. From being one of the first teams in North America to utilize a semi-tractor and trailer combination as a marketing tool, to 1/8th mile burnouts and matching crew uniforms, their professionalism and showmanship was unmatched at the time in the Alcohol Funny Car ranks.

Elliott’s off-track persona and reputation were as well-known as his driving skills on the track. From 1984-1986 he served as the track announcer and coordinated with track owner’s John and Sharon Fletcher, 2013 inductees to the Hall of Fame, as part of the event operations team at Dragway Park in Cayuga, Ontario. His colourful analysis of the racing events and impromptu contests and information sessions to keep the fans entertained during down-times were revered at the facility. At the conclusion of the 1984 season, ‘Dizzy’ Dean Murray presented him with an award on behalf of Molson Breweries recognizing his outstanding public relations talent. Elliott’s time spent in the announcer’s booth led to his inclusion as the colour commentator as part of the GM Motorsports Hour’s foray into drag racing programming in the early 90′s where he worked with noted NASCAR radio personality Dave Moody. He was also asked on several occasions to participate in charity events for organizations such as Scouts Canada, The Lions Club, Kiwanis and the Drag Racing Association of Women (DRAW). In the late 1970′s Elliott co-founded and served as the President of the Sportsman Racers Association of Ontario and Western New York. As the President of this group, his mandate was to keep the best interests of the sportsman racers in mind while negotiating with local tracks and sanctioning bodies. Throughout his entire career, Elliott was an outspoken proponent of organized racing events and authored several editorials in regional newspapers that were aimed at promoting the positive side of racing at sanctioned facilities.

Elliott’s most recent involvement in the sport has shown his true rank among Canadian drag racing’s best. Although linked to tragedy, his most recent contributions may well have been the most significant of his off-track career to this point. After the untimely death of Jet Dragster pilot and close friend, Jack Dustman, in a high speed racing accident at Grand Bend Motorplex in 2001, Elliott was asked to be a special advisor to the Ontario Coroner’s Office and the Ontario Provincial Police’s investigation team assigned to the crash. In his role he was given the duty of housing the wreckage and analyzing both it and the television footage from the event closely so that he could present his findings in an official statement to the Ontario Coroner’s Office. One year later, in 2002, he was asked to provide his insights into a crash at Toronto Motorsports Park where the driver of a Jet Dragster lost his arm in a top-end accident. In 2006, he was once again called into action when 18 year old Kendall Hebert perished in a top-end crash at more than 300 miles per hour in her Jet Dragster while testing at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario. In this case, he was asked by the Ontario Provincial Police to provide his insight as the resident expert on these types of racing vehicles and was given the task of analyzing witness statements and video footage of the accident.

It’s been nearly 45 years since Bob Elliott made his first pass down a quarter mile drag strip at St. Thomas Dragway in Sparta, ON in 1964. Throughout those years he has cemented his name in history as one of the premier Funny Car drivers in Canada and still remains as the greatest Canadian Jet Funny Car pilot of all-time. His prowess behind the wheel will see him forever recognized as one of the premier drivers in the history of Canadian drag racing and his recent contributions towards improving the safety of the sport will undoubtedly allow him to leave his mark on history as well, albeit in a more subtle way than he did as a flamboyant personality during his driving career.

 

Image via Canadian Drag Racer

Herbie “Go Fast” Rodgers

Inducted 2010

The late, great Herb Rodgers and his “Flyin’ Glass” moniker were two of the most familiar names in all of Canadian drag racing. The London, Ontario based racer first became active in the Alcohol Funny Car class in
1977 and since then ran a series of Ford-bodied alcohol Funny Cars. His claim to fame includes being the first class racer to ever run a “five” on Canadian soil, being chosen to represent his country Canada during NHRA’s
Dragfest in Fuji Japan in 1995, and a huge IHRA national event title at New York International Raceway in 1992.

Herb Rodgers’ driving career spanned 5 decades and his forty-year driving career will probably never be equaled.

Herb started campaigning drag race cars in 1964 along with his wife Elaine racing at local tracks in Ontario and Michigan. His first ride was in drag racing pioneer George Herbert’s D/Dragster in which he drove for one year before purchasing his own small block Chevy powered B/D. Herb raced the B/D for two years before stepping up to an injected nitro burning small block Chevy in a Logghe chassis built in Michigan.

In 1967 Herb put a blower on the little Chevy and appropriately named the car Mission Possible. Herb and Elaine
sold the car when they got the opportunity to team with “Hall ofFamer” Scott Wilson in a Ford Canada sponsored SOHC Ford dragster. Next up Herb then drove the MacGregor Auto Parts Top Fuel car for a season before
putting his driving career on hold to raise his family.

During his hiatus from Drag Racing and never one to sit idly around Herb decided to help his employer Pat Hodgson with his Super Modified Oval track car. The London Concrete Machinery Super Modified was a
force on the circuit with drivers Norm Mackereth, Harvey Lennox and Ron Peam. This time filled the gap from his true love of drag racing until 1977 when Herb, Elaine and the “Girls” Stacey and Jacki purchased their first of
many Alcohol Burning Funny Cars.

The first car was appropriately named “The Entertainer” as Herbie was always just that an entertainer. Famous for his long smoky burnouts Herb captivated the crowd and quickly became a fan favorite. Herb kept the Entertainer name on the car until he lost the Trans Am body launching it skyward after an explosion and “The Flying Glass” name seemed more appropriate and it stuck for next three decades.

Herb’s big break came with the marketing partnership with Big “V” Drugs and for the first time in Herb’s career he had financial backing to go to the next level. The 1992 season was a breakout year for the team as they won the IHRA Empire Nationals, plus running well in both IHRA and NHRA. Herb set the IHRA 1/8 mile per hour record in Huntsville, Alabama with a 187.42 pass. With the sale of Big “V” to Shopper’s Drug Mart the sponsorship deal wasn’t renewed but Herb and Elaine purchased a new Gordy’s Chassis with a Mustang body. Right out of the box the Mustang became the first Alcohol funny Car ever to run a 5 second pass on Canadian soil. Herbie continued to be a force in Alcohol Funny Car racing throughout the 90′s winning numerous match races, UDRA events and competing in IHRA and NHRA. Their successes were rewarded with a trip to Japan in 1995 to the NHRA/RCC International Drag Race where Herb represented Canada and finished runner-up in the all-star field.

Herb and Elaine continued to run the “Flying Glass” Mustang until the summer of 2002. Herb had battled Colon cancer and had developed a breathing disorder related to his working with asbestos which made it hard to breathe and he felt it no longer safe to drive a 3000 horsepower race car. The car was sold to Slave Lake Alberta’s Trevor Lebsack and Trevor still races the car competitively in IHRA Funny Car.

Throughout Herbie’s distinguished Drag Racing career he was always flanked by his close friend and crew chief Gordie Overbaugh and his loving wife Elaine known to all the racing family as “Toots”. Herbie was always
there to help up and coming young drivers and was a mentor and close friend to IHRA World Champion’s Todd Paton and Rob Atchison and NHRA World Champion Frank Hawley. Herbie was a legend who touched
the hearts of all who met him both on and off the track. His positive influence helped all those who were fortunate enough to meet Herb Rodgers. Herb Rodgers is a true Canadian Legend. His exceptional talent as a driver, car owner and builder are dwarfed by his great showmanship and compassion for drag racing. Few people will forget the legend and the accomplishments of this truly unique man without a big smile and story to share. His legend and his accomplishments live on through the many stories and tales told and retold time and time again acknowledging this truly remarkable Canadian racer.

Image courtesy of Lynn W. “Mort” Morton

F.J. Smith

Inducted 2009

Not only was F.J. (“Fred”) Smith one of the top drag racers in both Canada and the US, he went on to build some of the finest, most competitive Stock and Super Stock class cars. The cars built in his shop by the banks of the Grand River at Cayuga in Southern Ontario have won numerous NHRA “best engineered” awards.

Smith’s crowning achievement was the conversion of a front-drive car, which became the norm in the early 1980s, and stuff in a V8 engine with a traditional rear-drive setup without butchering the car’s integrity.

Working with the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, who at the time was heavily involved in drag racing, Smith developed a car for the Super Stock classes in NHRA and IHRA competition, a car which received the blessing of the sanctioning bodies. By 1987 Smith was very busy building these cars, always improving on the basic design. Some of his achievements, such as the four-link rear suspension and front-end strut are used exclusively in the classes.

The former high school teacher has not raced himself for some years now, but is actively involved. He continues to build cars, has passed the driving torch to his daughter Victoria, and is the main proponent behind the Can-Am Stock/Super Stock series which tours throughout Ontario and several US states.

Geoff Goodwin

Reliable Printing “Printers Devil” driven by Geoff Goodwin

Inducted 2007

Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Geoff moved to Edmonton in 1949 at age 12 and by 1952 was active in the fledgling hot rod and drag racing community.

A series of award winning hot rods and custom cars followed. In 1962 he campaigned his gas dragster a full season without defeat, winning the NHRA Inland Empire (Washington, Idaho) Edmonton and Alberta Championships. Geoff continued to dominate competition eliminator for over a decade in Western Canada and Eastern Washington.

Throughout his driving career, Geoff was involved in the growth and administration of the sport. In early 1960′s as President of Capital City Hot Rod Association, led that group back to solvency after a law suit threatened to bankrupt the club, effectively ending drag racing in Edmonton.

In 1967 he assisted in design of the then state-of-the art Edmonton International Speedway, sold shares in what was then a dream, invested personally, then managed and promoted the strip while continuing as President as CCHRA.

In 1990 Geoff re-answered the call for a much-needed facility, he invested personally and was instrumental in raising the funds to build Edmonton’s new Capital Raceway (now Castrol Raceway) and served as President and General Manager for the first 5 years.

As car owner Geoff continued to be active fielding Top Fuel Funny Cars, 360 Sprint cars, Junior Dragster (Championship) and recently Top Alcohol Funny Cars, garnering numerous track records, three AHRA World Finals and “Best Appearing Awards” at both IHRA and NHRA National Events.

His current team competes in the prestigious NHRA Lucas Oil Series finishing 6th in Division 6 in 2006 and 7th in 2007 in California’s highly competitive Division 7.

At the date of this induction, after devoting a proud 56 years to the sport, Geoff has no intentions of retiring.

Image via Drag Race Alberta

Bob Atchison

Inducted 2006

Bob Atchison is one of the true pioneers of Canadian drag racing. Born in 1941, Bob started competing in the mid-1950s with an Oldsmobile-powered 1955 Ford and an Oldsmobile powered 1951 Henry J. In the early 1960s, Bob began racing in the dragster classes, first with a B dragster and then a nitro-fuelled Top Fuel dragster. He became a frequent winner at Grand Bend Dragway, Motor City Dragway, Detroit Dragway and at the St. Thomas Dragway. The reputation Bob established was enhanced when he opened his machine shop, Atchison Machine, in 1967. He became well-known for building chassis, engines and custom components not only for himself but for other racers. The list includes previous Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductees Scott Wilson, Frank Hawley and Bill Kydd. In the 1990s, his son Robbie went racing and father and son took on the task of creating an alcohol burning Funny Car. During record-setting and dominating 2003, 2004 and 2005 seasons, Bob choreographed his son Robbie to three straight IHRA Hooters Drag Racing Series Alcohol Funny Car World Championships. Bob was IHRA Crew Chief of the Year in 2004 and Crew Chief of the Year in a Drag Race Canada poll. The team currently holds 10 speed records. Bob is responsible for the current success of the AJ481X, an engine considered to be obsolete in today’s highly competitive world. He has developed camshafts that have increased the horsepower in these engines to staggering numbers. In addition, many top engine builders now use the supercharger technology that Bob pioneered. Bob’ s achievements in the last five years are world-class. Even more remarkable is that he accomplished them using an eight-year-old chassis in the midst of constant engine evolution.

Bob & Helen Harvey

Inducted 2004

A life-long citizen of Sparta, Robert (Bob) Harvey was a man who was always concerned about his community. A young employee of the nearby St. Thomas dry cleaning business made frequent stops in Sparta. As bundles of clothes were being picked up, the Harveys frequently invited the driver in for supper. The young fellow was an active hot rodder named Doug Kennington. During one of these mealtime discussions, Kennington took the opportunity to explain his concerns over the state of racing in the community. As the Harveys listened, Kennington told them that local hot rodders needed a drag strip set up in that area of the province to provide a safe and professional place to race their cars. After a visit to Detroit Dragway, Bob Harvey announced that he would build his own drag strip on an unused parcel of land in Sparta. St. Thomas Dragway opened in the spring of 1962 and quickly became a landmark drag racing facility in Canada. It became the first drag strip outside the United States to be sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association. In 1963, the track was given a coveted regional meet to host. This again was another first for the NHRA, being the first major regional meet outside the U.S. St. Thomas went on to host drag meets that attracted some of the finest racers on the continent. After her husband died, Helen Harvey chose to keep the track open for racers of all classes. Helen was one of the most unique women in motorsports. In 1962, at a time when women didn’t get involved with automobile racing, she was as important a member of the building process of St. Thomas Dragway as anyone. In fact, from the opening day in the spring of 1962 until the day she sold the track to John Fletcher in 1989, she was at every single event ever held at the racing facility.Bob andHelen Harvey created a legacy when they built St. Thomas Dragway and their mark on drag racing in Canada will never diminish.

Doug Kennington

DJ Kennington crests the hill leading into Mosport’s Turn 2.

Inducted 2004

Independent, dedicated, versatile and determined. For more than 40 years, Doug Kennington has displayed those qualities at drag strips and oval tracks throughout Canada. Fuelled by a passion for motorsports and a single-minded determination to succeed on the road of his own choosing, Kennington has created a wide-reaching legacy that has left an indelible mark on the Canadian racing scene. It was Doug Kennington who convinced local businessman Bob Harvey to build St. Thomas Dragway and he became the driving force behind the new facility. As well as overseeing the operation, he was Technical Director and he also raced. With a young family and a growing business, Doug eventually backed away from St. Thomas. It wasn’t until young son DJ started in go-karts that Doug got involved in the sport again. Faced with the choice of going drag racing or oval racing, young DJ opted for stock cars. By all accounts, Doug was always a ‘MOPAR Man’, regardless of what he raced on the track. Although successful in a ’52 Olds, a sedan Willys and several other makes, Doug’s heart always belonged to one certain brand. The Kenningtons’ decision to race MOPARs on stock car ovals was anything but the easy route to take. But their perseverance paid off in spades. In 1996, powered by Doug Kennington-built MOPAR motors, DJ captured the CASCAR Sportsman track championship at Delaware Speedway, as well as his first CASCAR Super Series win. In the time since, they’ve been – more often than not – the top performing MOPAR Super Series team. The team’s level of respect is further evidenced by its long-running sponsorship support from Castrol Canada.

Image courtesy of Gary Grant.

Bert Straus

Inducted 2003

Bert Straus was a drag racer who competed from the mid-1960s to late 1970s. His specialities were stock, gas, altered and pro-stock. He set National Hot Rod Association records in the altered and pro-stock classes and won the D-Gas championship at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in 1971. He built and maintained his own cars and has worked through the years with Hall-of-Famers Dave Billes and Brad Francis on their various automotive and racing projects. He campaigned “Chilly Willy” throughout North America and it is still one of the most recognized and respected car names in Canadian drag-racing history. Like most champions, he loved to push the boundaries of conventional vehicles. He teamed with Pontiac in 1973 to build and compete in Pro Stock with the Canadian Pontiac Astro, the only one of its kind. The Astro was a ‘Canadian only’ car. There were also no other Pontiacs in Pro Stock at the time. All this at a time when there was little or no Canadian participation at the professional/U.S. national level. Throughout his career, he consistently won best-engineered/best appearing car/best crew awards. Although no longer a competitor, he has worked and continues to work with Billes and Francis in CART, SCCA, IMSA and NASCAR racing.

Image via Chilly Willy

Barry Paton

One More Time at Sanair in 1976

Inducted 2002

Barry Paton has been involved with race cars since the mid-1950s. As a teenager, he took a turn at stock car racing but soon found out that “turning left” was not for him. In 1964, he began running a ’58 Plymouth Fury at the drags, honing his driving skills. In 1969, Barry ordered a new 1969 Chevrolet Nova with a powerful 396 big block. With his wife Lynne’s encouragement, Barry began racing the Nova, which he quickly named “One More Time.” “One More Time” quickly became one of the most-feared Super Stockers of its time. Running in SS/IA trim, the Nova obliterated the NHRA record of 11.08 with an unreal 10.83 and won hundreds of trophies. In 1978, Barry felt the urge to go a little quicker. After a brief search, he found the old “Fighting Irish” Nitro Funny Car which fit perfectly into B Econo Altered in NHRA’s Competition Eliminator, with a de-stroked 383 cu. in. Chevy for power. This allowed him to move into the 8-second range at over 150 mph. It also seemed to whet his appetite for funny cars. In 1986, Barry took delivery of Paul Smith’s “Entertainer” nitro funny car and outfitted it with all the running gear from the Vega. At a Division 2 Points Meet in Warner Robins, Georgia, his fourth event behind the wheel of his new Camaro, Barry eliminated Bogie Kell, Terry Mullins and then-Division 2 champion Steve Group to claim his first title in Alcohol Funny Car. In 1989, Barry became the first Canadian to qualify #1 at the Molson GrandNational in Montreal, Quebec, where his 6.06 paced the 16-car field. During the winter of 1990, Barry put Todd, the older of his two sons, behind the wheel of the family funny car. Barry tuned Todd to a run of 6.01 seconds at his very first national event, the 1991 Gatornationals. They went on to win the Can-Am Nationals that year in St. Thomas, Ontario. The following year Barry, along with Todd’s younger brother Tony, tuned him to a runner-up finish at the IHRA Winternationals. In June of that year, just three months later, the Paton family earned their first national event win when Todd defeated Scott Weis in the snow-delayed(!) IHRA Summer Nationals. In 1993 the team won the IHRA World Championship despite missing the season-opening Winter Nationals. In 1995, the team again used record-setting performances to return to their winning ways, and became the only Canadian team to capture two IHRA World Championships. In 1996, Barry and his family shifted their focus to the NHRA. Using a new combination designed around a screw-type supercharger, the team became the first alcohol funny car to break into the 5.70′s at Indy, and used a string of consistent 5.8-second elapsed times to eliminate the likes of former world champions Pat Austin, Randy Anderson and Tony Bartone to win the biggest drag race of them all: the U.S. Nationals. 1999 was the team’s best season in the NHRA’s Alcohol Funny Car division. The team won the Mac Tools Gatornationals. They quickly followed that victory with another win at the Lone Star Nationals in Dallas, Texas and a divisional victory in Reynolds, Georgia, earning them a top 5 finish in the NHRA’s season-long points chase. Barry has since kept himself busy guiding the career of son Todd in a nitro funny car. But just before the season-ending NHRA World Finals last year, Barry climbed back in the cockpit of a funny car for the first time in 12 years and the first time ever in a nitro funny car during a test session at the Strip in Las Vegas. He made two perfect 300-foot checkout passes, leaving his future plans wide open. Maybe he’s ready to go quicker “One More Time”.

Image via Lynn W “Mort” Morton on Drag Racers Reunion