Haybusa Parts and Service Member Support

Author Topic: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.  (Read 5292 times)

Online sportbikeryder

  • OFF TOPIC
  • Universal Post Whore
  • **********
  • Posts: 7220
  • Gender: Male
Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« on: August 12, 2013, 06:17:10 PM »
I try to help anyone with something I've learned whenever I can. Sometimes it is tough to do, and sometimes you even get burned doing so, but always worth it regardless. Don't let the "sport" of high performance engines die. Share whatever you can.
John




"Tales From The Drag Strip" by Big Daddy Don Garlits!

When I first started running those Chrysler engines, I was having a problem with spun bearings. I knew that Lee Petty was running those engines in NASCAR and had won down in Daytona in 1954. I remembered he lived up in North Carolina in this little town called Level Cross, so I thought I’d call him up and ask him if there was something I could do to fix the problem.

They had operators back then, and when I called the one in level Cross, I asked her if she had a number and that she’d have to ring over there for me. So she did, and Lee Petty himself answered the phone.

I said, “Mr. Petty, this is Don Garlits, and I run an engine just like the one that you won Daytona with, but I’m having trouble with it and I need some help.”

He said, “What kind of trouble are you having?”
I said, “I can’t keep the bearings in it.”
He said, “Have you got a pencil?”
“I sure do.”
He said, “Write these numbers down.”

He gave me the numbers I needed for turning down the crank and how much to hone out of the cylinders. Then he told me I had to go get some 60-weight airplane oil and put that in there and I wouldn’t have any more trouble!

Two months before Lee Petty died, Pat and I were driving down Interstate 220 and we saw a sign that said, “Level Cross.” I said, “Let’s go over and see what the Petty’s place looks like.” It was a Sunday, and when we got there, the museum was closed but up on the hill was the big white house they lived in. I walked up there and knocked on the door. Who should answer the door but Lee Petty himself!

He said, “Don Garlits, what in the world are you doing in Level Cross?”

I said, “Well we were driving past and saw the sign for Level Cross and wondered if any of the Pettys were home.”

And he said, “Why don’t you just come on in here and sit a spell? We’ll drink a glass of iced tea and talk about racing.”

I got to sit there and talk to him for about three hours, and I really enjoyed it. It was just so wonderful. And then not long thereafter, he died.

And he made such a strong impression on me back in 1954 when he took my phone call and helped me that I try to do the same thing when someone comes to me for some help with their car. It’s because I remember Lee Petty, the Daytona winner, took the time to help Don Garlits when I was really a “nobody”.
Any day on a motorcycle like this that ends just needing parts and labor is a good day.
4.82, 158.67mph 1/8th mile 7.350, 200.32mph 1/4 mile Riding

4.51, 171.75mph 1/8th mile  6.908, 212.83mph 1/4 mile Tuning

Offline Lumpasaurus

  • Rider
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Gender: Male
Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 06:31:52 PM »
That's a great story.  I love that part of racing.

Offline piratediverjefff

  • OFF TOPIC
  • Universal Post Whore
  • **********
  • Posts: 8448
  • Gender: Male
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 06:32:14 PM »
 :tu:
Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day,light a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Online STUNNAH

  • Post Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Gender: Male
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 06:43:20 PM »
Great read...
Getting "Blown" is a hell-of-a drug...STUNNAH...

Offline MREDDIEB

  • OFF TOPIC
  • Post Master
  • **********
  • Posts: 1501
  • Gender: Male
  • "U can't just stop, U have 2 slow down 1st"
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 07:21:35 PM »
 :thumb:
\"Do you know why I pulled you over?\" Md State Trooper

Even the best bike is only as good as it's operator.
"You can explain it to the judge." Va State Trooper

Offline 2fast4u2c

  • Site Supporter
  • Mad Post Whore
  • ****
  • Posts: 2667
  • Gender: Male
  • 300mph or bust in 1 mile
    • Tiger Racing Products
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 08:19:48 PM »
Reminds me of Dave Owen.  He would help anyone with anything he could.
Official Site Supporter
Guy Caputo - Tiger Racing - 300mph or bust in the 1 mile


Offline Rokitman1300

  • Rider
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Gender: Male
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 09:20:39 AM »
That was a graet story thanks for that post 8)

Offline 2fast4u2c

  • Site Supporter
  • Mad Post Whore
  • ****
  • Posts: 2667
  • Gender: Male
  • 300mph or bust in 1 mile
    • Tiger Racing Products
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 09:21:57 AM »
A great story indeed.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 10:41:00 AM by 2fast4u2c »
Official Site Supporter
Guy Caputo - Tiger Racing - 300mph or bust in the 1 mile


Offline jimmygsxr

  • Mad Post Whore
  • ******
  • Posts: 2002
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 06:31:18 PM »
 :thumb:
05 blue/silver gen3 pc3r air shifter nos lowered 4" over arm RPM lock up

Online Sport

  • OFF TOPIC
  • Post Master
  • **********
  • Posts: 1796
  • Gender: Male
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 06:54:24 PM »
Years ago, and I mean (years) ago I helped Don mix his nitro and alcohol fuel together in three cans before putting it into his Swamp Rat.  Years later at the opening of Sears Point Raceway a Goodyear helicopter landed in the staging area and out rolled two experimental slcks for him to try.  He won the meet.  I'm still pissed at him though because he joined with those who want the drags for fuelers to be just 1000'.  I want my 320 feet back!!!
Ride em if ya got em

Offline Rocketgeezer

  • OFF TOPIC
  • Universal Post Whore
  • **********
  • Posts: 7819
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 07:15:45 PM »
I could read that stuff all day, and I have to say it is cool to know Don and Pat Garlits personaly, and to have used his nitro eng advice, even if he did giggle when I said I was running a small block, nowadays if you try to talk to one of the crew chiefs at the drags they may get security to haul you off, most of them have the attitude that they don't bother with nobodys,.............Don owned, built, and drove the cars, along with Tommy Lemons, and Connie Swingle, and more often than not it was just the three of them at the track, we may never see people like Don and Pat ever again, that type of DNA is just not in people anymore
The older you get do you notice you start chickening out way before the bike does

Offline Rocketgeezer

  • OFF TOPIC
  • Universal Post Whore
  • **********
  • Posts: 7819
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 07:32:44 PM »
Years ago, and I mean (years) ago I helped Don mix his nitro and alcohol fuel together in three cans before putting it into his Swamp Rat.  Years later at the opening of Sears Point Raceway a Goodyear helicopter landed in the staging area and out rolled two experimental slcks for him to try.  He won the meet.  I'm still pissed at him though because he joined with those who want the drags for fuelers to be just 1000'.  I want my 320 feet back!!!
One thing is for sure is that the Garlits crew was never short on volunteers, and I don't know how old you are, but is case  you don't realize it, the majority of todays Dragstrips were built when the fuel dragsters were just getting over 200 MPH, yes there are the supertracks, Dallas, Charlott NC, Chicago,  but the thing is most of the races are held on tracks built in the 60s, and most are just not long enough to stop Dragsters and Funny cars running 330 MPH, with any degree of safety, yes I also was pissed over the 1000 ft deal, but after a couple of VERY scary incidents myself because of chute failure, I thought it not such a bad idea, and you see now they have almost gotten the speed back where it was at 1320,
The older you get do you notice you start chickening out way before the bike does

Online Sport

  • OFF TOPIC
  • Post Master
  • **********
  • Posts: 1796
  • Gender: Male
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2014, 09:06:19 PM »
I realize that most tracks were built in yesteryear but disagree that 'most' don't have the runoff room required for 300+mph dragsters.  And like you said, the speeds of the fuelers are where they were when the rule was changed anyway.  Only a handful of tracks are too short and most of those have the room to expand.  Just a few, like two or three, can't expand the runoff area.  I wouldn't change the entire fuel car sport to accommodate just a few drag strips.  We're probably stuck with it though due the way it was changed, a driver's death.  If I remember right, the length of the track was not the direct cause of his death anyway.  Sad all around.

This site has some great old pics.  I remember the 200 mph and 8 second barriers being broken, Muldowney, Stone Woods and Cook, Tommy Ivo, all of it.  Was a great time.  While rehabbing after  his bad crash Don pretty much designed the top fuel dragsters that we see today.  He made a joke after the first run in his rear engined car that he just missed a such and such size bolt on the track at the finish line...with fine threads!  Joking about how well he could finally see while running down the track without a huge blower in front of him.  There's even a shot of his dragster breaking in two at Lions Dragstrip when he almost lost his foot.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/508695720380448981/
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 09:29:21 PM by Sport »
Ride em if ya got em

Offline Rocketgeezer

  • OFF TOPIC
  • Universal Post Whore
  • **********
  • Posts: 7819
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2014, 05:50:14 AM »
I realize that most tracks were built in yesteryear but disagree that 'most' don't have the runoff room required for 300+mph dragsters.  And like you said, the speeds of the fuelers are where they were when the rule was changed anyway.  Only a handful of tracks are too short and most of those have the room to expand.  Just a few, like two or three, can't expand the runoff area.  I wouldn't change the entire fuel car sport to accommodate just a few drag strips.  We're probably stuck with it though due the way it was changed, a driver's death.  If I remember right, the length of the track was not the direct cause of his death anyway.  Sad all around.

This site has some great old pics.  I remember the 200 mph and 8 second barriers being broken, Muldowney, Stone Woods and Cook, Tommy Ivo, all of it.  Was a great time.  While rehabbing after  his bad crash Don pretty much designed the top fuel dragsters that we see today.  He made a joke after the first run in his rear engined car that he just missed a such and such size bolt on the track at the finish line...with fine threads!  Joking about how well he could finally see while running down the track without a huge blower in front of him.  There's even a shot of his dragster breaking in two at Lions Dragstrip when he almost lost his foot.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/508695720380448981/
I normaly would be the last person to advocate early shutdown or slowing the cars in any way, it go's against everything, but I also have to agree that something had to be done, almost like in Nascar, but where would Top fuel speeds be today if there were NO restrictions, and still 1/4 mile other than it had to be a 8 cly engine? I don't know about 400 mph, but can guaranty it would be well over 350 mph, 100% nitro, no gear rule, no weight rule, no blower rule, ........people would be hurt very badly....on a weekly basis, in fact Garlits himself perposed such a car way back when, it was called the NFR car (no foolish rules) basicly outlineing what I said, not sure but I think the powers that be shut it down telling him he would never be allowed to run it anywhere even in exhibition, but it did lead to the enclosed frt end, single strut wing car the he turned over in Englishtown, that car was a tend setter, at the time
The older you get do you notice you start chickening out way before the bike does

Offline Jay

  • Post Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 1933
Re: Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2014, 02:25:32 AM »
The tires are the problem. Goodyear has talked of pulling out (it's not a profit maker). If they did, fuel racing is done.