:::::: Editorials ::::::

ENCORE - THE BAZEMORE FILES: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION

bazemore leadMost drag racing fans who are familiar with my story, know that I worked as a photographer for many years before my own racing career finally got underway in 1986. Once I started racing, I put away my cameras and focused (pun intended) solely on my career. All of my past work was no longer important to me. But even though I no longer cared about my past, I did manage to lug around 11 big plastic bins of negatives and transparencies from the mid eighties all over the country. They've been stored in numerous storage units, moved from Atlanta to Indy back in 1994, stacked up in the not-so-dry 1932 era basement of my first house, and most recently, stored in the garage next to all of my and my family's cycling and ski equipment out here in Oregon. How I kept them, and why, I am not sure, but, boy, am I glad I did. I kept all of my camera equipment too, for the most part, although I did sell my 500mm lens to noted photographer and fellow Super Stock Magazine contributor Francis Butler after we had blown something up in the funny car in 1990. I last did a professional shoot (for WInston) in 1989 to raise some quick money when Gary Evans and I formed our own team, Bazemore Evans Racing. I next shot our car in 1996 for the cover of National Dragster. That was it until 2005 when my son Dashiell was born. In 15 years, I had picked up a camera exactly one time.

BOBBY BENNETT: THAT WHICH DOES NOT KILL YOU; MAKES YOU STRONGER

Somewhere I heard that life is a test

I been through the worst but I still give my best

God made my mold different from the rest

Then he broke that mold so I know I'm blessed - Aloe Blacc

I've heard many times in my life, "That which does not kill you only makes you stronger.

Today is the start of a new year, a new resolution. Many will use January 1 as the launching date of a new approach to life or whatever they seek for self or professional improvement.

BOBBY BENNETT: DRAG RACING FANS NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD

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DAVE DENSMORE SPEAKS ENCORE: TIM RICHMOND BELONGED IN A FUNNY CAR

 

On August 13, it’ll be 29 years since Timothy Lee “Tim” Richmond succumbed to the devastating effects of the AIDS virus. He was 34.

The late Raymond Beadle, with whom Tim enjoyed his first real success on the NASCAR tour, was himself one of the “cool kids” in a very cool era but even he was overshadowed by Richmond’s larger than life persona. Tim was a modern day Errol Flynn, the movie swashbuckler from the 1940s. You may have seen him on American Movie Classics. If not, Google him because that was Tim Richmond.

 

 

ENCORE: BOBBY BENNETT: IT USED TO BE MY PLAYGROUND

12_02_09_playgroundThe fences still remain, as do dilapidated buildings, a reminder that a once proud drag strip occupied the land.

To the drag racing community, Spartanburg Dragway was just another drag strip that fell victim to a new neighborhood where the neighbors created a community around the strip and then realized that drag strips are loud.

Spartanburg Dragway wasn’t purchased for a real estate investment. It was purchased to be silenced.

JUSTIN ASHLEY: THAT'S A WRAP

 

When I look back at my first Countdown the biggest lesson I learned was you can’t count points. The points jockey and move so much during the Countdown that you just really need to focus on taking care of your business. At the end of the day if you don’t take care of what you have to do nothing else matters. I really enjoyed being in championship contention and what a privilege it was to be competing against so many great teams like Steve Torrence, Brittany Force and Mike Salinas. I learned you have to take care of your own business and let the points take care of themselves.Louis we really have no margin for error now. We must be on our “A” game over these last four races. 

TOD MACK - WE SHOULD NEVER SAY NEVER ABOUT ELECTRIC CAR DRAG RACING

 

That awesome recent display of power and acceleration exhibited by Bob Tasca, Jr in his all-electric Mustang Cobra Jet 1400E made the race promoter in me stop to think about what’s ahead for drag racing and us old gear heads.

My initial reaction was, “Wow! That’s really cool.” An 8.12 ET at nearly 180 MPH. And it looks like a real Mustang! But will it play in Peoria? Will fans really buy into electric car racing? What’s the future for drag strip promoters and the drag racing industry?

This prompted me to do some serious thinking about it. My entire adult life, my legacy, and my fortune were all about this truly visceral sport we call drag racing from my first exposure to it in the mid-1950s.

I realized quickly that drag racing is one of the most sensory experiences one can encounter — the sound, the smell, the shaking of the earth.

GUEST COMMENTARY WITH PAUL LEE: WATCHING THE FUTURE IN THE PRESENT

 

Paul Lee doesn't consider himself a journalist. He's a Funny Car racer and owns the very successful McLeod clutches product line. In the days following the Summit NHRA Nationals, Lee felt inspired and the only way to get his point across was to put his fingers to the keyboard and begin typing. He writes from the standpoint of a racer, aftermarket manufacturer, and a race fan all in one. We are sure he speaks for a large contingent of fans who believe they witnessed the future of the sport on Sunday in Norwalk, Ohio. 

THE TOD MACK MEMOIRS: THE OTHER TIME THE GAS RAN DRY

 

Tod Mack, a former owner of Maryland international Dragway, had his fingerprint on many promotions and innovations from the heralded facility located in Budds Creek, Md.

Mack, whose promotional home runs included the US Pro Stock Open, Mountain Motor Nationals, and The Wild Bunch, solidified his name in the ranks of significant drag racing contributors.

Mack was the first to use a pairings ladder based on qualifying times for the nitro cars when he ran the NASCAR Drag Race Division in the 1960s. Tod and Larry, along with Lex Dudas and Mike Lewis, created the ET Bracket Finals program in the early 1970s, which the group finally turned over to NHRA after a few years. MIR was the winner of the Inaugural event held at York US 30 Dragway. All in all, Tod Mack owned or operated six tracks over his career, and MIR fans benefited from his decades of experience.

BOBBY BENNETT: IT SHOULDN'T BE THIS TOUGH

One would think after 40 years, one would get over the boohooing. 

On August 5, it will be 40 years since I lost my everything.

Here we are on another Mother's Day, and the struggle to get through without shedding a tear is still very real. 

As men, we are trained to be tough, macho, and everything manly men are expected to be. And there were some of us whose Moms demanded a measure of toughness, as mine did but on the same token gave an object lesson of compassion. 

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