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

THE FRAZZLED SIDE OF FORCE

sm_10-1-06-forcecover.jpgUsually John Force answers questions . . . or at least starts out trying to answer them.

But this time he blurted out a question of his own:

"Did you know you have little nose hairs that keep dirt and stuff out?"

WHY JIM YATES IS EXCITED ABOUT 2007

 

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Accustomed to going it alone, Jim Yates and his family spun racing
enterprise are ready to get back into championship contention with the
help from another National Football League personality.



Yates won a pair of dominating NHRA Pro Stock crowns in 1996 and 1997,
driving for the golden arches of McDonald’s and owner Joe Gibbs, the
Pro Football Hall of Fame coach who temporarily left the sidelines to
fund three drag racing teams. Ten years later, Yates was hooked up with
Duce Staley, a running back for the champion Pittsburgh Steelers, to
help launch next season’s two-Pontiac lineup that fields IHRA standout
driver Billy Gibson.

RICHARD MASKIN'S LEGAL BATTLE WITH BIG O TIRES

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When it comes to drag racing, Richard Maskin has had very few peers.


The Michigan resident's resume includes several national event
victories and being the mastermind behind the NHRA Pro Stock
championship runs of veteran competitors Jim Yates and Jeg Coughlin Jr.

FAITH IN THE FAST LANE

sm_faithinthefastlane480x240.jpgAs is true with most people (drag racers of the male gender being a
possible exception), I love flowers. Every shape, size and color. From
long stem to short stem, I admire them all. But I have always pondered
one ironic phenomenon concerning flowers.

When you cut a flower and place it in a vase (for you male racers,
that’s a cylindrical object filled with water—similar to a puke tank
with the top removed), you are actually removing that flower from its
very source of life. Yet it continues to have the look of life and
vitality, even though the death process has already begun. With proper
care and nourishment, a flower may continue to look healthy for days or
even weeks, but eventually the death process overcomes the fragrance
and loveliness of even the heartiest and most beautiful blossom.

STANFIELD'S GRANDSTAND

 

WHIT BAZEMORE SPEAKS

 The
rumors had been swirling for months but last week they became reality.
Jack Beckman was officially named as the replacement for Whit Bazemore
in the days leading up to the originally scheduled NHRA TOYO Tires
Nationals date.

The questions began as early as
Seattle. Would Bazemore return as the driver of the Don Schumacher
Racing Matco Tools Funny Car in 2007? Would Matco Tools renew their
contract at the end of 2006?

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE

 Opportunities to turn pro are precious and few in
drag racing.


Just ask Brady Kalivoda and Brad Plourd – gifted young
drivers from the state of Washington without major league rides.

Catching on with a corporate-backed team has been difficult and
frustrating for two of the area’s promising second-generation racers whose
fathers made their marks on Northwest strips.

RON KRISHER REBOUNDS

 Nobody would blame NHRA Pro Stock veteran Ron
Krisher if he decided to skip this weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in
Reading, Pa. while he recovered from injuries sustained in a horrific crash
during eliminations at the 52nd Mac Tools U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis two
weeks ago.

UNDERSTANDING THE CLUTCH

The clutch. There is no more critical component of
a drag racing vehicle, and in no other motorsport is it so important. Whether it
is a Pro Stock, Pro Modified, or a 7,000 horsepower nitro-burning Funny Car or Top Fuel dragster,
nothing else in drag racing determines the outcome of more runs down the track.
Too little clutch, and the car won’t “get up on the tire” or make a fast run.
Too much clutch, and the end result is likely tire shake in a Pro Stock or Pro
Mod, and tire spin in the fuel classes. Go to any drag strip around the country,
or the world for that matter, and you are bound to hear racers and crews talking
about the clutch in some sort of lingo: “we were light on that run,” “she was
locked up on that one,” “it was pretty soft,” or “welded it that time” are just
a few of the terms you are likely to hear.

DARRELL GWYNN - Navigating Roadblocks


It might seem odd, but perhaps no one has described Darrell Gwynn’s approach
to life better than a cosmetics entrepreneur from Texas.

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