:::::: Feature Stories ::::::

DO WE HAVE A VOICE? by Jeff Wolf

11-19-06-jeffwolf_2.jpgAs
members of the National Hot Rod Association we need to wrest control of the
organization from the fat cats now running it.

Or is that just my opinion?

We have as much input into its decisions as we do with how our government is
run. But at least we can vote as Americans.

The cry to unite should be loudest now as NHRA is a month away from
instituting its new points system, which is intended to fix something that isn’t
broken.

MERCHANT OF 70S FLOPPER MEMORIES

1-2-07-merchant.jpgLike the advent of eBay, Dale Smith has inadvertently tapped
into a growing nostalgic vein by helping races and fans relive the glory days
of the Funny Car. You remember--back in the ‘70s when they were personalized
with their own names and actually resembled the stock cars they were based
upon? Whole websites are now devoted to these cool rides. And by
single-handedly resurrecting the 1972 Plymouth Satellite flopper body, this Florida resident now has buyers from as far away as Great Britain
beating a path to his door.

“I didn’t think there was any marketability,” Smith said.
“I had this idea about making a match race funny car and I wanted an older
body, but there weren’t any. If you do find one they’re either beat up or too
heavy. (But this) goes far beyond just my own immediate need for a body. I’m
just this kid that still has his original collection of Hot Wheels. Ultimately
this was an extension of (that) collection.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS by Roger Richards

1-2-07-prettyflycover.jpgRodney reached a milestone
on December the 10th of 2006. Rodney is the name that my frequent
travel companion Brian Wood and I have given to the Astro van in which I have
criss-crossed the country for the last 5 years. We gave it that name because
any time someone asked what I drive and I tell them an Astro they usually roll
their eyes and give me that “I’m Sorry” look. Since the Astro gets no respect,
it has earned that name.

However, not many vehicles
can boast of the accomplishment that occurred about 7 pm on the 10th
of December. Rodney rolled over 300,000 miles while rolling down the right lane
of Bristol Dragway. Each year, Bristol
allows cars onto the grounds to view thousands of Christmas (not holiday)
lights decorating the complex.

THE LEGEND OF THE TRIPLE NICKEL

12-27-06-kenny.jpg1965. The height of the Civil Rights era. The United States was just
beginning to ratchet up military involvement in South East Asia. The
Soul Survivors topped the charts with the hit, “Expressway to your
Heart.” Sonny and Cher, the Rolling Stones, and the Dave Clark Five
were but some of the major attractions that had made the grade by
appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. Television was also populated by
such hit shows as Bonanza and Gunsmoke

It was the calm before the storm. Drug use was still rare, as the drug
culture of the late sixties was only beginning to catch on, and the
division and turmoil that would overrun the country in the late sixties
as the war in Viet Nam reached its full fury was still several years
away.

GETTING A FRESH START by Ken Owen

sm_faithinthefastlane480x240.jpgIf you’re like most people I know – and especially racers as a whole – you
probably find comfort in being able to turn the calendar from December to
January every year. It’s a new year, a fresh start, and an opportunity to put
the past behind and begin looking forward to a new beginning.
    
Due no
doubt to my background and training as a minister, every year at this time my
mind remembers a little portion of scripture located in 2 Corinthians 5:14-17,
in which this statement is made …
“old things are passed away, and all things are becoming
new.”
    
I can remember always being intrigued by that message.
What a comforting thought to know that we are given opportunities to start anew.
And even though the author was obviously speaking about new beginnings in a
spiritual context, it’s nice to also have fresh opportunities in other areas of
life.

SUSAN WADE'S 3RD ANNUAL NAUGHTY & NICE LIST

12-22-06-christmascover.jpgThe Beach Boys sang about him: "A real famous cat all dressed up in red. And he spends the whole year workin' out in his sled . . . Just a little bobsled we call it Old Saint Nick, but she'll walk a toboggan with a four-speed stick. She's candy apple red with a ski for a wheel. And when Santa hits the gas, man, just watch her peel." (Ha! You're humming the song already, aren't you?) Well, Ole Saint Nick is coming to town. But will he have goodies for our drag-racing family or big lumps of coal? Find out who deserves what by reading Competition Plus' third annual . . . Naughty and Nice List

THE 8TH ANNUAL DOTCOM BALLOT

12-22-06-dotcom.jpg Since 1999, Torco's CompetitionPlus.com has offered the spirit of friendly competition amongst the racing community in a "Best of" competition. Our readers have assisted us in voting on everything from the best drag racers to their favorite journalists to the presigious Person of the Year. Please cast your vote in this annual tradition.

 

 

FEEDBACK FRIDAY - December 22

11-30-06-feedbackfriday.jpgEvery Friday, Torco's CompetitionPlus.com brings you our Feedback letters. Read what our readers have to say about our feature articles and you can even offer your opinions.

FEEDBACK FRIDAY - December 22 

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2007

12-20-06-newcartime.jpgTorco’s CompetitionPlus.com
opens its annual “What’s new” gallery to prepare you for the upcoming 2007
season. This annual feature will run through February.

 

ONE LAST HURRAH FOR GILLIG

12-20-06-tony.jpgThe phrase ‘agonizingly close’ doesn’t begin to describe Tony
Gillig’s shot at the Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock title during IHRA’s
UTI World Finals. With his race team due to be dismantled at year’s end, Gillig
came into Rockingham, NC with high hopes and a hard-won points
lead. But then the winds changed, the signs became unfavorable, omens adverse…

Tied at two wins a piece with Frank Gugliotta, Pete Berner and
Robert Patrick, Gillig succeeded in holding off these competitors for most of
the year. “We had qualified bottom half four times before in the season,” the Lake Bluff,
IL native explained. “I was 9th in Grand Bend and won first round…Budds Creek
we beat Robert Patrick first round, then went on to runner-up the event [after
a 30 second staging battle, Gillig lost on a holeshot to Ricky Smith]. When I
get past first round I go to the semis, that’s just how it worked out for us.
It just didn’t happen for us at Rockingham.”

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