If you follow us and the info on this page, here’s the scoop for our journey “south of the Mason Dixon Line” to Atmore Dragway on April 9…….
Tod Barker and his family, John Swick and his nephew, Bill Sworm, and Marcella, Sophie, and I were treated to one of the nicest receptions and gasser programs in memory. The term “southern hospitality” was the order of the weekend, from other racers, the press, track officials, to the several hundred spectators that turned out for the North vs.South shootout. If there was any downside to the weekend, it had to be the number of cars in all classes that somewhat slowed the program. 42 nostalgia gassers of all types and years were there to strut their stuff, not to mention 2 full fields of nostalgia bracket racers. The hottest “strutter” turned out to be our own Tod Barker and the “Little Bit” Anglia. He’s got a handle on tune up and handling, enough to lay down several 5.30 something passes…….straight as a string, with no bad manners. Looks like there’s gonna be some serious numbers to be seen at Bowling Green.
Swick’s “Modocker II” was showing its tail to several competitors, 6.40 something being the new number for John to build off of. Ignition woes shortened his day, but upon returning home, the problem has been solved and he’s ready to go.
Sworm’s ’41 Willys was as consistent as ever, and raised several eyebrows of the locals…….original racer, straight as a string, no bad manners, and looking good in the Alabama sunshine. I’m told there are pictures out there of Sworm smiling and laughing when a local “Southern Belle” began complimenting him and praising Willy. He offered a ride, but her male companion dragged her away before it could happen…………
Last but not least, “Little Booger” is alive and well after last fall’s fire at Tulsa and the subsequent redo. I’m chasing some carb issues…..lots of black smoke (even though the engine block is from a GM diesel, there shouldn’t be any black smoke) but I have an idea where to start. Even though it was off a bit, Booger still ran 6.20 something back to back, best being a 6.14. A couple of calculators seem to think these numbers should carry over to upper 9.70’s/mid 9.80’s @ 140 something for a quarter mile…..
WAAAYYYYYY too fast for an old guy like me. Probably better leave the carbs alone!!!!!!
The track is a work of art…….all concrete, laser ground, smooth as silk and absolutely no imperfections. A quarter mile of shutdown is just as good as the race surface. Good access to the track, clean restrooms, and a well versed staff are icing on the cake.
Our host(s) Jessie Holmes and Bill Ziel were good as gold to us. Kudos and thanks to them for their hospitality, and making us feel at home. Even dumb questions and a couple of mechanical glitches didn’t bother them.
Tod and “Little Bit” were awarded the #1 spot for the 5.30’s he was running.
We’ve been invited back for their fall program, but it looks like our California Hot Rod Reunion trip will prevent it. Too bad, this place and the people who are part of it are top notch!!!!!!!!
A couple of other quick notes…….Greg “I BREAK RACECARS” Burge succeeded in wadding up the rear suspension on Gary “Chickenman” Weathersford’s ’38 Chevy…..on his first pass. Dan Tackett’s ’36 Chevy (new build) didn’t make it for its debut……..ignition gremlins. Both are supposed to be ready for Bowling Green.
Lots more stories from Atmore. You’ll have to search them out at Bowling Green in June. 24 cars gonna be doing their damndest to make the 16 car “A” field. Should be fun.
See ‘ya there.