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Drag Strip List

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Indiana
Drag Strips

Frakes & Funk's twin-engined dragster (far lane) at Chandler Raceway Park, circa late 1960s. Photographer unknown

Bunker Hill

  • Bunker Hill Drag Strip, 1965
 
Dewayne Beady was killed at Bunker Hill In. in 1965 when the rod to the master cylinder fell out and he went off the end of the track. Back in those days, railroad tracks actually went across the strip at an angle. I think he hit the tracks and flipped. He was a good friend of mine. I used to race my 1957 Corvette at Bunker. My old Vette was C/ M Sports. It had a tired motor and no posi-trac. Just haven fun when I was 20 years old.  
John Schell
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John Schell in his 1957 Corvette at Bunker Hill, on May 9, 1966. Courtesy of John Schell
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John Schell racing his 1957 Corvette at Bunker Hill. Courtesy of John Schell

Clermont

  • Indianapolis Raceway Park, 1961, 1964
 
As I recall, 1961 was the first National Championship for the new Raceway Park at Indy. I hitch-hiked and walked there from Richmond and slept inside the screen storage area of the drive-in theater across from the entrance. I also helped at the ticket booth. Those were great times.
Bill Gregg
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Ticket stub for first NHRA National Championship race at Indianapolis Raceway Park on September 3, 1961. Courtesy of Bill Gregg
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Don Garlits, winner of top eliminator at 10th annual NHRA National Championships at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1964. He defeated Jack Williams for the title with a time of 7.67 at 198.22 mph. Courtesy of Bill Gregg
  • Indianapolis Raceway Park
 
Last Sunday while driving through Amarillo, Texas,  I saw the barbeque restaurant that I used to take Dale and Glenanna Ham to for lunch, when I was driving through. I will never forget Glenanna’s story about the “Pizza Dog.”  She was laughing so hard, tears were running down her face and I could not finish my lunch, I was laughing so hard. We were still laughing in the parking lot.  It seems that the Kissengers, Ed and Helen, brought their Chihuahua dog to Indy with them. Ed and Helen handed out time slips out of the old DA tower that was a little past the finish line. The little dog got out of the tower and was run over by the back slick of a dragster. The Safety Safari took a coal shovel and scooped up the dog and put it in a pizza box. They buried it in the grass by the tower. The Kissengers were so mad, they dug it up and put the boxed dog in the trunk of their car. The story of the “Pizza Dog” went around the pits.  Everyone wanted to order a ”Chihuahua Pizza.”  I am sure the Kissengers did not think it was funny, but everyone else did.     
Dale Schafer,
NHRA fuel check official
  • Indianapolis Raceway Park, 1961
 
I have several pictures that I took with my camera at Raceway Park in Indianapolis at the 1961 National Drags that three friends and I attended. We were all living in Minnesota at that time and were talking about the races in Indianapolis. So that evening we all jumped in my '60 Ford Starliner and drove 10 1/2 hours to Indy, arriving for the races the next day!   
Dean Lind
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Dean Lind (second from left) and his three friends in front of his '60 Ford Starliner. Photo taken at the Indy 500 track on their trip to attendt the first NHRA National Championship drag race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in, 1961. Courtesy of Dean Lind
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Dean Lind took these great photos of Eddie Hill's "Double Dragon," with side-by-side blown Pontiac gas-burning engines and dual slicks at the first NHRA National Championship race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in, 1961. Hill's tires reportedly literally dug holes on the starting line at this historic Indy race. All photos taken by and courtesy of Dean Lind
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Frakes & Funk twin-engined AA/GD from Radcliff, Kentucky. Courtesy of Joe "Muggs" Tichenor
  • Indianapolis Raceway Park, 1971
 
I saw Big Daddy at the U. S. Nationals on September 7, 1971. That day was the day AFTER Labor Day due to a rain out on Labor Day   That is how we got to go to the event for FREE!!   Two boys,  one nearly six and one on my back in a carrier, aged nine months. One of my dearest friend's grandmother used to own the land where Raceway Park is located just outside of Clermont, Indiana.  Her family used to take turns parking the cars on the land they still owned.  If you parked the cars, you got to keep the revenue for the days that you worked.  It was a family affair.  Across the street from Raceway Park there was the Clermont Deluxe drive-in theater.   I spent many an evening there watching the movies.  Of course the area has all changed so much, but it was great to have those experiences.   Raceway Park is about 6-8 miles from the Indy 500.
Pauline Davidson
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Don Garlits, runner-up to Steve Carbone at the 1971 U.S. Nationals. Courtesy of Pauline Davidson
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Leland Kolb's "Polish Lotus" Wedge top fueler, reaching the quarter-finals at the 1971 U.S. Nationals. Courtesy of Pauline Davidson
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Garlits wasn't the only one with a rear-engined dragster at the 1971 U.S. Nationals. Does anyone know who this was? Courtesy of Pauline Davidson
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Don Prudhomme's 1972 Plymouth Cuda funny car on display at 1971 Indy Nationals.  Courtesy of Pauline Davidson
  • Indianapolis Raceway Park, 1967
 
My friend, Gene Cromer, raced his 1940 Willys "Moonlighter" A Gasser at Indy in 1967. He has a page of time slips, pit pass, and photos of his car at that race in his scrapbook.
Frank Taylor
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Page of racing memorabilia from the 1967 Indy Nationals in Gene Cromer's scrapbook.  Courtesy of Frank Taylor
  • Indianapolis Raceway Park, 1968
 
I raced my gasser at the Nationals in 1968.
Carroll Schmidt
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Carrroll Schmidt's 1949 Anglia A/G.  Courtesy of Carroll Schmidt
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Schmidt's A/G Anglia in lanes at 1968 Indy Nationals.  Courtesy of Carroll Schmidt

Elizabeth

  • Harrison County Dragway, 1960s
 
I remember going to watch my dad race at Harrison County Dragway in Elizabeth, Indiana, very well. I still dream about it all the time. It also was a ET dragstrip. My daddy's name was Eddie Yopp, same as mine. He raced, it seemed like, against a guy and good friend, Tinny Nobel. His name was David Nobel. He was from Illinois.  He went on to race oval tracks in his home state and here in Indiana, also. The last time I seen him, he was at Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana, My mom has pics of my dad's car. He ran a 1963 Panlera with a 383 with 440 heads on it. It was awesome!  I cried the day Mom had to sell the car, just like I did the day he passed. I've been to one race since.  I love drag racing to my soul. My dad's pit crew was my Uncle Homer Harkness, David Bennett, and Woody Jones. All have passed, but my Uncle Homer Harkness. He raced his Cougar one time.
Eddie Yopp
  • Harrison County Dragway, early 1970s
 
I never raced at Harrison County Dragway but went there as a spectator several times. The track hosted an IHRA regional event in either 1972 or 1973, with several hundred cars present. Harrison County's operating procedures were unusual --sportsman cars did their burnouts going north on the 'head end' of the return road, then turned around onto the track, and staged going south. Hot cars did do burnouts on-track. The other 'interesting' bit - Harrison County Dragway was only about 10-12 miles, "as the crow flies," from Ohio Valley Raceway just outside Louisville. The two tracks were careful not to race on the same day - although the drive from one to the other was a good hour, due to the location of the bridges. Great memories!
Mark Johnson

Muncie

  • Muncie Dragway, 1967-74
 
As a kid, my dad mainly took me to circle tracks in the Muncie area: Muncie Speedway, Anderson Speedway, Winchester, Eldora, New Breaman. The drag races we sometime saw while at Muncie Speedway as you could see them from the bleachers at the Speedway. Sometimes when there were cool races booked at the dragway (Sox & Martin, Art Arfons), we would go to the frontage road and watch. Great memories. The very first time we ever paid to get into the drags, I remember was when Big Daddy Don Garlits had a match race with "The Hawaiian" funny car. This was in 1967. It is referred to in Garlits book as the "72 Hour Special" car. That is the car that he later won the Indy Nationals with as an underdog. I will never forget the first time I ever heard a nitro car fire up. Holy crap! I was totally hooked from that point on. I was 9 years old. The following years my folks allowed me to be dropped off (then picked up at midnight) at the strip on a Saturday night, with friends to enjoy the races. We only lived 5 miles or so from the track. Some of the best memories of my life were from that era and at that race track. There were countless match races I attended, mainly funny cars, wheelstanders and jets. In 1973, Garlits had a match race with Tommy Ivo. I was standing around the car while he and TC were doing maintenance on the car. Then TC approached me and someone I do not know and asked, "Hey, you guys wanna give Big Daddy a hand?" YES! we do. So, our gig was to push the car back after he did his burnouts. I cannot believe this. Don Garlits, my personal hero. And I get to help him do what he does! To this day, I still cannot believe I got to do this. So, we got in the push truck, back up inside a sleeper shell, and proceeded to do the tasks each time. I will never forget running down the strip, and seeing Garlits look up at me while I grabbed the rollbar and pushed his car back to the line. Three times I got to do this. I was forever a fan of this man, to this day still.  I went to many races after, the IHRA Northern Nationals two years in a row. Great cars and racing. I won the model car contest in '73. Had my photo taken with Linda Vaughn. Ya, she hugged me. I wish I still had those photos. I'd take the hug again, too.  As I aged, I went less and less, then moved far away. I have included all the photos I still have. There were many, many more, but they are lost. The one where Garlits is posing by his car was the night I got to help him. So many of the best memories of my life were all about being at Muncie Mid-America Dragway.
Jack Franklin
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Don Garlits at Muncie Dragway, 1973. Jack Franklin got to help Garlits on the starting line on the night this photo was taken. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Don Garlits at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Don Garlits at Muncie Dragway, 1973. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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"Free Spirit" rocket dragster at Muncie Dragway in 1974. This car was owned and driven by Russell Mendez, who sadly was killed while driving it in 1975.  Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Billy Meyer at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Don Schumacher at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Cyr & SchofeldT/F dragster at Muncie Dragway, 1973. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Alcohol funny carss at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Shirley Muldowney at Muncie Dragway, 1973. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Shirley Muldowney at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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The Condit Brothers and Gene Beaver's "L.A. Hooker" funny car at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Larry Arnold's "King Fish" Barracuda funny car at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Ed O'Brien's "Qu Voe Charger" at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Ron Leaf's Vega funny car at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Raymond Beadle's "Blue Max" funny car at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
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Unidentified funny car at Muncie Dragway, 1974. Courtesy of Jack Franklin
  • Muncie Dragway, 1960-63
 
I was the flagman from 1960 thru 1963 at Muncie Dragway and flagmen at the 1961 & 1962 NHRA Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Bob Geimer

Osceola

  • Osceola Dragway, 1963
 
I did a radio commercial for Osceola Dragstrip in 1963 with my '63 409 Chevy. I'm looking for a copy of that commercial.
Red Williams
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Red Williams's 1963 Chevy at U.S. 131 Dragway in Martin, Michigan. Courtesy of Red Williams

Terre Haute

  • Action Dragway, 1972
 
I was 12 years old when I saw my first drag race at the Action Dragway in Terre Haute, Indiana. I think it was their opening race in 1972. I remember a massive grandstand on the south side of the track (long gone), lots of front engine dragsters, and two very tall poles behind the starting line with four very bright lights on each that lit up the whole dragstrip. They had a very long shutdown area, part of which was turned into a street while the track was closed for a few years. That was where I caught the drag racing bug.
Kirk Beel
  • Terre Haute Drag Strip, ca. 1964
 
i used to run my cycle at Shaw's drag strip. I. got quite a few trophies. I was probably 17 or so. I am now 72. Time flies.
Tom Church