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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 233 - February 16, 2012
Editor: Richard Parks [email protected]
President's Corner: By Jim Miller (1-818-846-5139)
Photographic Editor of the Society: Roger Rohrdanz, [email protected]
Northern California Reporter: Spencer Simon

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Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
 President's Corner, Editorials, Just received word from Diane that Art had "Crossed the Finish Line" last evening; 2012 SCTA/BNI Schedule of events; Believe it or not after many, many years of hard work Bob Schilling's beautiful book on Rex Mays is finished; The Milers car club meeting will be February 18, 2012, with chili and beans at 12 noon and the meeting at 1 PM; LandSpeed Louise Ann Noeth was recently on the Wally Bell radio show on January 25, 2012; I had a meeting with Bill Goff (son of Porter Goff) on Tuesday; My name is Carolyn Parks ... My father, Richard Collins, died of cancer about five years ago; Check out the great little 60 second piece that eBay did on our museum; Gone Racin'...Dawson Hadley: Soft Spoken Genius; Friends of the Challenge For those folks coming to Bonneville in September for the USFRA's World of Speed (Sept 8-11, Sat thru Tues); There have been 3 requests for procedures changes; RADIO AND TV PRESENTER DAVE LEE TRAVIS ENTERS BRITISH DRAG RACING’S HALL OF FAME, SPEEDWAY CYCLE 2012 INDUSTRY SEASON KICKOFF BBQ LUNCHEON; Friends of the Challenge The USFRA is now accepting entries and assigning Race Numbers for both the 130 and 150 MPH Club racers at this year’s upcoming World of Speed in September

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President's Corner:  
   Jim Miller has been overwhelmed with research at the other organizations that he assists and asks the readership to be patient with him as he catches up. Your editor has also suffered a bit of illness that has put him way behind on his duties. We ask your indulgence.

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Editorial:   
   I recently received a letter from a contributor to the newsletter; “ … photos that I got from … picture has a good shot here. You may want to ask … for permission if you want to use this one.
     SLSRH Contributor: That was nice of you to send me the photo.  Here's the problem and why I am trying to give you some background on how to be a good reporter.
1) What you asked me to do is a job that you should have done; i.e. find photo, create caption and get permission to publish the photo.
2) If you sent this to a local newspaper, what do you think the editor there would have done?
     a) accept your photo, write to the owner of the photograph, send a follow-up response, turn it over to an editorial assistant to find out why the owner of the photograph has not responded and then put this in a "to work folder" spending more time looking for captions and approval?
     b) Pushed the DELETE key and go on to more pressing duties.
     The reporter has a function to do and it is very important.  The reporter researches the topic, writes the story, gets permission to print story and photos, and then captions the photos.  Then the reporter goes through this process a second time and makes 99.99% sure that what he did was accurate.  Then he sends the textual story to the editor and the photographs, permission and captions to the photographic editor.
     The photographic editor takes the photos and complete captions and scans them into a folder, double checks everything for accuracy and mistakes and makes sure that the photo is credited to the owner and we have permission to publish.
     The editor receives the textual material, checks it over for a third time and then slots it into the newsletter/magazine/newspaper area that it belongs in.  The editor is responsible for the finished newsletter and for timeliness of publication.
     If the editors have to stop what they are doing then they have to leave other work undone and attend to jobs that are the duty of the reporter.  Editors can't do what they are supposed to do, coordinate, if they have to go back and rewrite the stories and find captions and email for permission to publish. 
     The reason that I spend so much time and rewrite stories, which breaks my concentration on my main duties, is that the members are good bloodhounds who know how to find a story and can get people to tell you their stories.  That's a talent that can't be taught.  But if members can't PREPARE the story correctly, then what happens is that the editor has to turn your stories away.  It is beyond an editor’s ability to find the time to do the things that the reporter has to do.  You all have the makings of really great reporters and what it takes is practice and some mentors to help you learn.  What all of you have to work on is the BASICS of journalism.  What you have already mastered is the ability to find and to get the story.  You are more than half-way there.
     So go back to the owner of the photograph, get permission, write up a great caption and since there is no story attached, send the photo and caption to Roger, who is the photo editor.  You can CC me a copy.  When I see that you are SENDING to Roger and CC'ing to Jim and me; then I know that Roger is the one doing the job, the others are simply being updated.  How you send an email is as important as what is in the email.

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Just received word from Diane that Art had "Crossed the Finish Line" last evening. He was an old Indy 500 racing friend of mine but I know he has been in ill health for quite a long time. Both of us were Indianapolis 500 Old-timers Club member for over twenty years. Art was the author of the Roy Richter book that is an excellent chronicle of Roy's life and the history of Bell Auto Parts. If it is not on your library shelf and you have an interest in older SoCal racing it should be there. The Bagnall's relocated to Kernville several years ago. At the present time Arrangements are pending and we will pass them on to this newsletter once they are known. Bob Falcon
   Bob: Art was a close friend of Kenny and Wally Parks. His brother was Bill Bagnall and we have a bio on Bill. This is a tragic loss.

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2012 SCTA/BNI Schedule of events:
El Mirage; May 19-20, June 10, July 15, September 16, October 21, November 10-11.
Bonneville Speedweek; August 11-17.
World’s Finals at Bonneville; October 3-6.
SCTA/BNI Office is at; P.O. Box 10, Orosi, CA 93647. Telephone number is 559-528-6279, and the FAX number is 559-528-9749. Website is www.scta-bni.org and the email address is [email protected].

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Believe it or not after many, many years of hard work Bob Schilling's beautiful book on Rex Mays is finished! We have the book at Autobooks and are having a signing on February 25, 2012, at 10 AM to 2 PM, with Bob Schilling, Rex Mays, Jr and the Bowes Seal Fast car on display.  See the website http://www.autobooks-aerobooks.com. Please post in the next newsletter. Autobooks-Aerobooks, 2900 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California 91505. Phone 818 845-0707. Tina Van Curen
   Tina: I'm glad to see something on Rex Mays. He was a racer that many of the young men from the California area looked up to as a role model. If you need any reviews on the book I will be happy to do one.

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The Milers car club meeting will be February 18, 2012, with chili and beans at 12 noon and the meeting at 1 PM. President’s meeting is the 3rd of February where the duties are changed or added so I can't start taking sign-ups until the 4th. The Milers plaques are here and are $20.00.  Doug Robinson
   Doug: Thank you for the notice. Does the Milers have a club historian who can work with us to add to the history of the club?

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LandSpeed Louise Ann Noeth was recently on the Wally Bell radio show on January 25, 2012.  The show runs from 8pm to 9pm on www.drag.racersreunion.com, each Wednesday.

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I had a meeting with Bill Goff (son of Porter Goff) on Tuesday. We met at Skip Govia’s Machine Shop (son of Hillary Govia). I had showed him some of the work that I have done and the pictures that I have accumulated along the way. He showed me some pictures of his dad's old car, "The Easter Egg" midget race car from Indoors Racing, as well as an Indy Driver. He was thrilled and awed by the great history and for the remembrance of some of the people he has heard of, especially when he heard that Norm Rapp was still around. He came from a 3 hour drive to be with us. With some others, we all had some lunch together and we even stopped behind Al Hubbard’s machine shop for some great views on some fabrication work on some serious race cars and hot rods. It was great. He gives word that he is trying to round up the photos from his dad's album and will soon get to them to me asap. I should hear from him soon and be glad to give the story about it. Meanwhile I am seeing if Marty Costello of Mor- Drop axle is willing to show me how to drop a stock 37' tube axle that I bought from him and possibly film him on my camera.
   I was told that John Moore never dropped a tube axle and it was Marty who did it all. He only dropped 6 of them and sent them to Pennsylvania. I told him that I had one and I brought it over one night to show him. I came to his steps and he invited me in. He mentioned that there was special tooling marks that he made that would tell him if he did it or not. He did not think that I actually had it. I told him that I have it with me right now in my car. He looked at me with full disbelief with his head jolted back to the North Pole. He followed me barefooted in the cold weather outside. I opened the back of my car and pulled it out for him. With my bad hearing, I heard him swear and cussin’ like hell and his jaw dropped. "I -DROPPED-THAT-AXLE!!! How the **** did you get this ****** axle. I told him that it was on my car since 1960 when Robert Coulsten owned the car. Marty had worked with John Moore since 1958 and bought John's business in 1969. I will be giving the rest of the story of Mor-Drop soon. Reporter of the North, Spencer Simon.
   Spencer: Great story. Keep them coming.

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My name is Carolyn Parks.  My father, Richard Collins, died of cancer about five years ago.  He had told me he was in some car racing clubs when he was in high school; and he went to Santa Ana high school.  All I have found so far to collaborate this is a singular article from the High School newspaper, which featured him and a friend, a "Frankie," standing with a polished up roadster.  Would you by chance know of any other book or website that I could peruse in order to find information about him?  In some ways he held his own secrets; and he wasn't always forthcoming when it came to his life before being my father.  Thanks for any information you can give me.  Thank you, Carolyn
     Carolyn: Here are some suggestions that you can try and I will ask around for you.  First, create a biography on your father with everything that you know.  The more facts that you tell people the more you will jog the memories of those who might have known your father.  They may not know the name Richard Collins, but if you provide enough facts then something might remind them of who he was.  Secondly, send that bio and any photographs that you have (cars, racing, etc) to H.A.M.B., the American Hot Rod Foundation (www.ahrf.com) and other hot rodding historical societies and newsletters (www.landspeedracing.com, www.landracing.com).  Third, use the telephone to research; once you have a phone number, ask that person for more phone numbers to call.  I find that phone contact is a hundred times more effective than snail mail or email contacts.  Check back with me or read the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter at www.landspeedracing.com to see what results have been received.  Do you live in Southern California?  If you do the Santa Ana Drags Reunion in April and September are good places to check for people who might know your father.  Also, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California might help.  There are lots of books.  Eight of the best were written by Don Montgomery of Fallbrook, California. 

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Check out the great little 60 second piece that eBay did on our museum. You’ll enjoy it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLoPXo45DEY&feature=channel_video_title.  Ed    Edward R. Justice, Jr, President & CEO Justice Brothers, Inc. 2734 Huntington Drive, Duarte, California 91010. 626-359-9174, [email protected]. Website: www.justicebrothers.com

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Gone Racin'...Dawson Hadley: Soft Spoken Genius. Story and photographs by Bob Falcon, edited by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.       
   Most likely you have probably never heard his name before, but those of you who drive a modern motor car powered by a direct fuel injection, computer controlled engine have him to thank for his development efforts on such a system with these benefits in the early 1970’s. That is when Dawson and your writer first met and the introduction did not progress all that smoothly at launch. I had taken a position with The Echlin Manufacturing Company whose central location was in Branford, Connecticut. My job was with their newly formed Auto Emissions Division located in West Los Angeles. This division was created to compete in a new auto emissions program begun by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to combat a new element that was polluting the Southland air. This unnamed pollutant was identified as NOX. Technically this element is composed of oxides of nitrogen that form in the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine.  It is the result of ultra high combustion temperatures coupled with the CARB mandated lean fuel mixtures in the 1970’s engines as dictated by the CARB war on smog and the automobile. Echlin had developed a device that was quoted to be a high frequency sound wave generator that directed a high frequency vibration at the fuel mixture as it passed from the carburetor to the intake manifold. The division was composed of a group of Field Service Engineers who assisted the auto dealer service departments, auto parts jobbers and auto service training schools in dealing with The Echlin Device and CARB dictates.
   My job was in the field services group and as part of an army of six representatives that covered a huge portion of Southern California to the Mexican border. Echlin, an old line auto ignition parts manufacturer, also had a high performance division for their auto ignition equipment line that was marketed under the “Accel” banner. Accel had purchased a small, local company that was owned by a pair of dry lakes racers; the Spaulding brothers. The Spaulding’s, who produced a line of aftermarket high performance ignition systems, had just introduced a system that employed an optical system in place of contact points as the trigger. Their system, named “Breakerless Distributor Ignition” (BDI) was a new form of the high energy “Capacitive Discharge” (CD) ignition systems that were all the rage in high performance automotive circles. When Accel purchased Spaulding Ignitions they also obtained the services of the designer of the BDI system, Dawson Hadley. The emissions division had moved from West Los Angeles to Huntington Beach, which is in Orange County. The new Accel Ignition facility was located in Monrovia, California in the San Gabriel Valley. The CARB NOX program had become a “political football” and was bouncing around several state courts due to the moans and groans from several of the manufacturing participants.
   While the program was in a paused stage I needed something to do in my downtime. I had been promoted to chief field service engineer, so I asked our division manager, “Skip” Gackstetter, if it would be OK for me to visit the Monrovia facility and see if I could provide them some help on their service desk, if they had one, and he agreed that it might be a good idea. He also told me that Dawson was managing the facility composed of nearly 20 people and had several new products under development on his drafting table and he would probably welcome some assistance from a qualified person. I visited the shop and introduced myself to Dawson and we soon discovered that we had a lot of mutual friends in the auto racing business which went a long way in reducing the stigma that I was a “Hatchet Man” assigned by top management. He was struggling to maintain full production while he was completing some designs on new applications of the Accel re-branded “Breakerless Electronic Ignition” (BEI) systems.
   Wearing that many “hats” working as general manager, purchasing agent, manufacturing and testing engineer, and chief designer, he was like the theatrical juggler who had several “balls in the air” at any given moment. I asked if there was anything I could do to ease his burden. He seemed suspicious of my reason for being there; that perhaps I was dispatched by Echlin management to take over his operation. I suggested we take a lunch break to discuss why I was there which, in reality, was that I needed some real work to fill my days since my division was marking time. Once he realized my honesty, we decided that I would work at the Monrovia plant three days a week and spend the other two days at The Echlin Huntington Beach facility. This was a smart move on my part since Monrovia is just a short city street drive from my home in Rosemead. I called “Skip” at Emissions and mentioned that I had visited with Dawson and he was happy to have me to help operate his facility and that we had discussed it over lunch and I informed him of the schedule we determined. His response was a simple statement, “You spend all the time you need there and if I need you for anything I’ll give you a call.” Long story short; Dawson and I made a good management team. 
   That’s when he told me about a free lance project he had designed in conjunction with Fairchild Electronics in Palo Alto, California. The system was a computer controlled fuel injection system that measured the fuel requirement for each cylinder based on air flow and temperature and the computer adjusted the fuel quantity and spark timing for that particular cylinder. He had completed a prototype test unit that was tuned for a demonstrator auto fleet that could be moved from one car brand to another quickly. These modified cars were dispatched to the car factories for testing and evaluation. Each test car model was specific to a particular manufacturer. The prototype was now installed on a late 1960’s Lincoln (I’m not sure of the Mark series number). The electronics package was in the form of a “bread board” that was placed on the front seat close to the driver. The Lincoln was due to be driven to Michigan for a presentation to FoMoCo (Ford). Fairchild needed an auto manufacturer to sponsor miniaturization of the circuit boards into film chips, which was a very expensive proposition at the time, well into the mid-six figure range. The current US manufacturing formula of “cost multiplied by five times” added to the Retail selling price was considered prohibitive. The Lincoln was ferried to the proving ground for the demonstration and the driver was directed to return with the car to Silicon Valley in northern California. 
   One day during one of our frequent lunch meetings, Dawson remarked, “You know that driver and the Lincoln disappeared!” Turns out that no one had heard a word from him in more than three weeks and his pay checks were waiting for him at the Fairchild headquarters in Palo Alto. About two weeks later Dawson declared, “They found that driver. He is in Louisiana and he ran out of money. He’s been Street Racing all over the country and has been quite successful but his streak ended.” On one occasion when that Lincoln was down here in Los Angeles I had the chance to drive it. The circuit board housings were in the front seat and they were fitted with adjustable “pots” on the boxes and you could dial them to an “economy” setting and register fuel mileage in excess of 30 MPG from that 460 CID engine. A setting of “performance” would smoke the rear tires off their rims. Dawson was a graduate mechanical engineer and was self taught in electronic and chemical engineering. He was the target of a lot of bad criticism by members of the emissions staff in part due to his manner of voice which was of a very low volume and identified his detractors to the negative side since they believed him to be of low intelligence. Many experts in the auto field thought the BEI at that time was a fraud. But not long afterward Chrysler, and then followed by GM, introduced their versions of electronic ignition systems. 
   In racing circles the BEI was on the receiving end of adverse publicity because of failures in the Indy 500. The problem there was that the Spaulding BDI located the electronic circuit board assemblies inside the Amplifier housing that was a 3 x 4 x 3-inch aluminum casting. Vibration from the four cylinder Offy engine and the stiff springing of the down force of the current Indy cars caused the solder joints for the electronic components to disintegrate and the electronics failed. Filling the assembled Amplifier housing with epoxy, a new process in aerospace electronics at the time, rigidly located the circuit boards, and the failures stopped. But the damage was done and use of the BEI on USAC Championship Circuit dwindled to six cars. I will have more about this subject in a future column. The BEI was doing great in the auto aftermarket and in NASCAR racing. We had field service engineers present at the drag racing events of three different associations around the US. We were also supplying a few Gold Cup boat teams with the BEI ignition systems for their Allison powered hydroplanes. They replaced the heavy wartime aviation magnetos with the lightweight units which amounted to an overall performance improvement.
   Dawson could see that much had to be done in high performance equipment to keep them out of the focus of the CARB, a group which was anti-automotive in nature. He sensed that product design and marketing needed to place more emphasis on cleaning up the air we breathe especially for our children, and he had a large group of those “Little Rascals” at his home! I sat amazed at a dinner table when Dawson and “Racer” Brown were having a conversation about emissions and racing engines. Two noted racing equipment geniuses discussing the steps that would improve the air quality and at the same time improve the power of racing engines. They left me in the dust! Later my job was changed from chief emissions field service engineer to that of manager of the engineers servicing the various racing bodies that the Echlin/Accel Company supported with their contingency awards program. Each of my field service guys toured the country in a van that was equipped with a Sun Distributor Machine and a supply of spare ignition parts. This team also was scheduled to hold briefing sessions and provide distributor service at various auto parts jobber and speed shop facilities.
   Their weekends were spent at a drag strip or a race track somewhere. I continued to reside in Los Angeles and commuted to Branford, Connecticut every week. I would visit each of the events on Thursday to make certain my guy was on-site and set up properly. Often I would visit one site on Thursday and another on Friday but I covered the USAC Championship Indy Car circuit by myself. Of course I also stayed in close contact with Dawson since we had six teams that we needed to service and we had a lot of bad publicity that we had to prove wrong to the participating teams. We handled that in the best way possible by winning the 1973 USAC National Championship with the Lindsey Hopkins team that had Roger McCluskey as the driver and Don Koda as the Chief Mechanic. I had become good friends with this team so they transported my tools and spares to each venue on the schedule. Incidentally, this was the very first car to win the National Indy Car championship that was equipped with an electronic, battery powered ignition system.
   All Indy cars at present are outfitted with battery powered electronic ignition systems. Unfortunately, at present they are not Accel BEI systems! Dawson ultimately left Echlin/Accel and began doing a lot of work for Edelbrock Equipment. He designed an aftermarket Water Injection system but for some reason it never got off the ground. Dawson had established a small laboratory in Montclair but not long after a massive heart attack took this soft spoken automotive genius away from us. When Joanie called me to deliver the news she stated, “…he awoke in the middle of the night and the attack which took away his two largest virtues, his brain and his heart!” I always held Dawson in very high regard as did many of his friends.
Gone Racin' is at [email protected]. Bob Falcon is at [email protected]

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Friends of the Challenge. For those folks coming to Bonneville in September for the USFRA's World of Speed (Sept 8-11, Sat thru Tues), some positive changes have been made for 130 MPH Club competitors and that includes both the Big Block air and water-cooled VW's and the 36hp Challengers. Beginning this year, each entry fee will include an additional run down the track for a total of six (6) runs. And yes, you can enter as many times as you like to increase your opportunity to maximize your speed. Entry fees are $160.00 "plus" USFRA membership ($40.00 prior to July 1st and $50.00 after July 1st, 2012). Each additional group of six runs for members costs $125.00. If a second person drives your car, they must become members and pay the full entry fee. In addition, requirements for a permanently mounted fire extinguisher have been removed so you do not have to drill mounting holes in your restored Volkswagen. It is however, still strongly encouraged and generally just a good idea. For those racers running a 36hp engined car at speed "below" 100 miles per hour that have inner tubes in their "S rated" tubeless tires, the normal rubber valve stems will be allowed. The new 130 Mile Per Hour Club rules for all the racers are located at the link below: http://www.saltflats.com/I30_Club_2009.html. 130 MPH Club rules for 2012! Applies to all VWs, both air and water-cooled, NOT running a 36hp engine!
   They have also posted the updated 36hp Challenge Guidelines for 2012 and there are some small changes. Please look at the link below and contact me with any questions you may have: http://www.saltflats.com/36_HP.html. 36hp Challenge guidelines for the USFRA World of Speed meet. The new USFRA 36hp Challenge guidelines include a link to Duncan Charlton’s great video of Greg Silkenson’s journey to the salt with his Big Block Ghia that truly captures the essence of racing Volkswagens at Bonneville. In addition, they have posted photos of the following 36hp racers in the link. Featured are the bugs of Mike Gittins, Larry Mocnick, the Blackline Boys, both of Dick Beith’s beetles, the Bugliner and his 1960 record holder, Larry Greggs Ghia and Ronnie Fietelsen’s wrapped Type 2 Single Cab. Be sure to head down to the local magazine rack and pick up the March issue of Hot VW's just hitting the stands now. The new DSS36 Bug record holder of Bill Hatfield is covered in a full color four page feature inside including a nice shot with Bill on the cover. While you are there, keep an eye out for the February issue of Ultra VW's from England that will be hitting the racks soon. It has a six page article on all of the VW land speed racing from around the world that took place in 2011.
   The first 36hp Challenge racers of the year are about to hit the salt down under in Australia. Their DRLA Speedweek begins March 19th, http://www.dlra.org.au, and will have a minimum of eight VW's racing and possibly as many as twelve or more. Team Ratmuller has a combination of over six entries including a strong challenger to Juan Coles SS36 record, a DSS36 racer and a Godfrey supercharged K36 entry going after Dick Beith’s 101 mph record from 1961. Also racing will be Steve Muller’s Type 4 powered Kombi and Ghia vert as well as Mark Holyoak’s Big Block Super Beetle. Rumor also has it that the VW Australia distributor will have five or more modern water-cooled Australian VW's heading down the salt. Set up a Favorite link to see the results after March 26th! The www.burlyb.com website with all of the updated 2012 36hp Challenge classes including Lakesters, engine and body rules are now posted so you will have a quick reference point available to check for the legality of any improvements or modifications you are making to your current or future 36hp Challenge racer. Please add it as a Favorite! As always, feel free to contact me at the email address above if you have any specific questions regarding the guidelines. I hope the new year is starting off well for you and I hope many of you will be able to join us at World of Speed in September as racers, pit crews or spectators. R.K. Smith from Hot VW's is again planning on covering all of the Volkswagen's racing on the salt. It appears as of now that we will again have another record year for VW's racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats (the list is nearing 50 potential racers! ! ! ) and I hope you are one! I think, due to the numbers of VW's now racing at the World of Speed, we are going to have to designate the WOS event as the 36hp Challenge Nationals for future reference. Burly Burlile

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There have been 3 requests for procedures changes. 
1. After setting a record you must go directly to impound, no stopping. 
2. Earning points for #1; no change from current way; have only 1 class. If you start in C/F gas roadster you stay in C/F roadster. No engine, body or fuel changes. Anybody, engine or fuel as long as owner, entry, car or bike log book and number stay the same. 
3. No GPS in view of driver when on a run (sandbagging).  The SCTA meeting is on February 3rd. Doug Robinson

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RADIO AND TV PRESENTER DAVE LEE TRAVIS ENTERS BRITISH DRAG RACING’S HALL OF FAME
   Starting in 2006, each year the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, in association with US Automotive, has honoured those who, over the years, have made a significant and lasting difference to the development of drag racing in the UK. Full details and longer citations of all the inductees since 2006 can be found on www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk. This year, Radio and TV Presenter Dave Lee Travis (DLT) is one of five new inductees. During the 1970s when he was one of Radio One’s most popular DJs and a regular presenter of Top of the Pops, Dave spent much of his leisure time drag racing - driving a Chevrolet powered Escort called Tender Trap that ran 10 second times for the standing start quarter mile and a Top Fuel Dragster called The Needle that got down to mid six second runs at over 220 mph. This dragster raced in Radio One colours. Few drivers had achieved quicker times or faster speeds in the UK at that time. As a Radio and TV presenter he was able to give drag racing a huge media profile; a major factor in broadening the sport’s appeal. He was a great ambassador for the sport and it is for this constant and never matched high level promotion of the sport that he has been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
   The other 2012 inductees are Tony Murray, The Brachtvogel’s (Phil, Frank and Alex), Barry Sheavill’s and Carl Olson. The unique crystal tablet ‘Bootsie’ Awards will be presented at the Joint APIRA-SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation held at St John’s Hotel, Solihull on February 11th 2012. In their different ways all of them have been a positive influence on the sport and those who enjoy drag racing today, as competitors or spectators, owe them a debt of gratitude. The name
Tony Murray crops up regularly in the history of drag racing in the North of England. Starting with the development of the Crosland Moor drag strip in the mid-1970s he remained a leading PDRC organiser until his untimely death in 1992. Whether it was digging holes for Armco barriers or acting as Clerk of the Course, Tony Murray was a true club man. Without his passion the establishment of a viable drag strip in the North might not have been achieved and it is for this that he has been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
   From the early 1970s to the present day the name
Brachtvogel (Phil, Frank and Alex who died in 2001) has been around drag racing. They spent years at the top of two-wheeled drag racing, developing Top Fuel motorcycles in co-operation with Pete Davies and John Clift. They were innovative in their approach, sometimes leading the world. Their bikes became a classic route into Top Fuel for many of today’s stars – and they were British built. This, along with Alex’s dedication to improving the expertise and conditions of marshals, is why the Brachtvogel’s have been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
   Barry Sheavills has been part of UK drag racing since 1970 and there are not many four wheel classes in which he has not competed. A leading light for many years he has several firsts to his name – debuting the UK’s first purpose-built Super Gasser, running the first Alcohol dragster 5 in the UK, the first Top Fuel dragster 4 in the UK and the first Top Fuel dragster 300 mph by a European. It is for his long career at the top of drag racing and his constant work in promoting the sport that he has been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
   Carl Olson is one of the top names in American drag racing history winning many Top Fuel dragster titles in the USA. He was later appointed NHRA Vice President responsible for International Relations and in 1993 became President of the FIA Drag Racing Commission, responsible for all international drag racing. He used his influence to raise the status of European drag racing to stand alongside other forms of motor sport and produce the fantastic European Championships we enjoy today. It is for this work that he has been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
   Full citations are available as separate attachments. Photos are available on request. Interviews with inductees can be arranged at St John’s Hotel, Solihull on the evening of February 11
th by appointment. The official British Drag Racing Hall of Fame reception is being held in the Drawing Room at the St John’s Hotel from 5.30pm. The late Tony Murray’s ward will be presented by British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chairman Stuart Bradbury at the Pennine Drag Racing Club’s Night of Champions VIII held in Yorkshire. It will be accepted by his son Peter. Photos of presentations will be available after these events. Contact Brian Taylor at
[email protected]. Tel 01395 579733, Mob 07702 043411

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SPEEDWAY CYCLE 2012 INDUSTRY SEASON KICKOFF BBQ LUNCHEON – By Tim Kennedy
   INDUSTRY, California, January 22, 2012. Almost 500 persons (497 to be exact) attended the 2012 Speedway Motorcycle preview, “meet and greet”, free BBQ kickoff luncheon Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Industry Hills Expo Center management, the new racing promoter, hosted the affair in their spacious Pavilion Ballroom next to The Grand Arena, home of speedway cycle racing since 2003 on a one-eighth mile dirt track at 16200 Temple Avenue in the City of Industry. More than 400 riders and mechanics completed required 2012 registration forms and 420 racing license photos were taken. Following an hour of socializing and music by a live band, emcee/track announcer Bruce Flanders introduced two-time and reigning 2011 World Speedway Cycle Champion Greg Hancock, a surprise guest. Other speedway cycle promoters in attendance were introduced and gave their 2012 season plans. Promoters Jason Bonsignore, Shawn McConnell, Josh Larsen, Chris Ackerman, and Steve Evans spoke as did promoters from Northern California. Promoters met and discussed point fund money, a national series and the AMA. Costa Mesa Speedway promoter Brad Oxley was unable to attend. 
   Carol Perez, Expo Center Operations Manager, welcomed everyone and named new Industry Racing staff members who will operate the racing programs at The Grand. Howie Zechner is the new press officer. New race director Kelly Inman is a former speedway cycle rider and crew chief, co-promoter at The Grand in 2005-06 and a sprint car driver at Irwindale and Perris in 1999-2000. Mike Reed and Tom Fox will switch off as race starters. Bryan Galvin, the Costa Mesa referee, will be the Industry referee as well. Inman announced a “lucky 13 race” season for 2012 of Wednesday night speedway cycle racing at The Grand. Opening night will be May 30 and the season will conclude on August 29. July 4 will be dark because of the Independence Day holiday. The 37th California State Speedway Cycle Championship event will be held again at The Grand for a $5,000 guaranteed purse. The race date will be announced later. Racing this season again will feature Division I, II and III racers on 500cc cycles, plus races for Junior/Youth (on 200 and 250cc cycles), pee-wees ages 5-12 (on 50cc cycles) and exciting 1,000cc sidecar races. Inman spoke about existing plans for 2012 and planned improvements.   
   Race starting time moves to 7:30 pm to complete all racing before 10:00 pm. Larger racer purse payout. Larger pit area with improved lighting. Free guest pass with each weekly rider sign-up. 75 tons of fresh DG added to the racing surface. Rider video introductions of statistics on the large overhead video screens. New crash-wall. New starting gate. More rapid Wednesday race nights with 30-35 races instead of 45-50. New racing format that is better for riders and fans with handicap racing returning. Two minute yellow flashing beacon before each race to tighten-up the show and run it more professionally. $30 entry fee for D-1 riders and $20 entry fee for D-2 and 3 and Junior riders. With every paid admission participants will receive one free grandstand seat ticket. The Last of the Mohicans (John and Mike) will return with cash awards to riders. Weekly 50-50 cash drawings will continue with half of the collected funds going to the feature winner and half to the lucky fan whose ticket is drawn. Permanent lighting for the pits under the front grandstand. Flat screen TV for riders. Guaranteed minimum purse of $2,200 each race night. More sponsors. A new rulebook will be available on line soon. A used oil collection site in the pits. Return of long-time sponsors Haddick's, Joker Machine and Gumball Rally among others. Lower admission prices--$10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Kids under 12 free. Parking reduced from $5 to $3; motorcycle parking remains free as always. New comfortable permanent backed seating for some grandstand seats. Box seats with VIP table service. New suites on the backstretch with cocktail hostess service. Use of overhead big screen to show racing highlights and head shot photos of riders. Fantastic Speedway Motorcycle racing competition with no brakes. Great family entertainment. Spectator gates open at 6:00 pm. Fresh food at reasonable prices. Live music before racing commences. Famous Tiki and Dirt bars for adult beverages. 
   The 2012 Speedway Cycle kickoff BBQ luncheon also featured drawings for more than 20 door prizes. They included Industry Racing season passes, DeWalt cordless drill, two tool boxes, portable propane heater, battery charger, tool sets and numerous t-shirts. Each attendee also received an Industry Hills Expo Center coffee cup, a 14 X 19” color speedway poster for advertising use, and a 2012 Industry Racing schedule postcard. The initial speedway cycle BBQ luncheon was held on Sunday, January 13, 2008. Expo Center management would like to make the free BBQ luncheon an annual event for all speedway cycle promoters, sponsors, competitors and fans to launch each new speedway cycle season. The second ever speedway cycle kickoff BBQ luncheon was a rousing success; and a great start for the 2012 speedway motorcycle racing season. Race dates at the Grand Arena in the City of Industry – May 30 (with a Journey tribute band performing) through August 29. The Industry track website is www.industryspeedway.com. Victorville Speedway (at San Bernardino County Fairgrounds) – 12 race dates from Saturday, March 17 through Saturday, November 10. Gates open at 5:00 pm with racing at 6:00. Adult admission is $10, youth 12 and under $5 and a family pack is $25 for two adults and two youth. (See www.vvspeedway.com for additional information.)

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Friends of the Challenge.  
   The USFRA is now accepting entries and assigning Race Numbers for both the 130 and 150 MPH Club racers at this year’s upcoming World of Speed in September. All 130 Club numbers begin with "T" and all 150 Club numbers with an "X". Ellen would like to have you submit your preference requests directly to her at [email protected] as soon as possible so they can be assigned to you. This quarters USFRA newsletter (available in your mailbox with current membership!) outlined changes for this year’s 130 MPH Club entries. For 2012, it will no longer be necessary to drill holes in your street ride and mount a fire extinguisher. You will have to have "at least" a 5lb fire extinguisher in your pit area or with your support vehicle! In addition, you must have a "metal" battery tie down. Plastic is no longer allowed. As in years past, tires and wheels must have both metal valve stems and valve caps. Only one exception is made for this and that is for 36hp Challenge Volkswagen's running under 99.999 miles per hour. If you 36hp Challenge car will not be exceeding that speed and you "are running inner tubes" in your tires, the tubes rubber valve stem will be accepted if there are no cracks apparent in the stem.
   All 36hp Challenge cars expected to top 100 miles per hour will require the mandated metal valves stems and caps, regardless if you are running tubeless or inner tubes.  The USFRA would also like FaceBook users to know they do have a FaceBook page dedicated to social discussions (no technical or safety rules are discussed!). You can Favorite your USFRA FaceBook page by signing up at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Utah-Salt-Flats-Racing-Association/100630516712955.  I would also like to welcome Miguel Gonzales from Monterrey, Mexico, to the land speed racing. His interest and future participation adds to what is becoming a truly international scope to the 36hp and Big Block Challenge. Currently he road races his 1978 Vochos (Mexican for Bug) and has plans to dedicate his back-up car as a land speed racer for a future Bonneville attempt. His shop, Servo Lab, is an independent VW service facility located in his home town. Miguel’s Servo Lab road racer. Please contact Ellen at [email protected] to have your 2012 "T" and "X" racing numbers assigned as soon as possible. The good ones will disappear quickly.   Burly Burlile

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Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Gale Banks, Glen Barrett, Mike Bastian, Lee Blaisdell, Jim Bremner, Warren Bullis, Burly Burlile, George Callaway, Gary Carmichael, John Backus, John Chambard, Jerry Cornelison, G. Thatcher Darwin, Jack Dolan, Ugo Fadini, Bob Falcon, Rich Fox, Glenn Freudenberger, Don Garlits, Bruce Geisler, Stan Goldstein, Andy Granatelli, Walt James, Wendy Jeffries, Ken Kelley, Mike Kelly, Bret Kepner, Kay Kimes, Jim Lattin, Mary Ann and Jack Lawford, Fred Lobello, Eric Loe, Dick Martin, Ron Martinez, Tom McIntyre, Don McMeekin, Bob McMillian, Tom Medley, Jim Miller, Don Montgomery, Bob Morton, Mark Morton, Paula Murphy, Landspeed Louise Ann Noeth, Frank Oddo, David Parks, Richard Parks, Wally Parks (in memoriam), Eric Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Roger Rohrdanz, Evelyn Roth, Ed Safarik, Frank Salzberg, Dave Seely, Charles Shaffer, Mike Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Zach Suhr, Maggie Summers, Gary Svoboda, Pat Swanson, Al Teague, JD Tone, Jim Travis, Randy Travis, Jack Underwood and Tina Van Curen, Richard Venza.

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