Saw this posted and thought it was appropriate.

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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.

"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”.

That's a great story.  I love that part of racing.


Great read...



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