1976, 1977 and 1978---Taught several extension classes in Mechanics in Davie County (Mocksville, NC) for Davidson County Community College (mostly for women, but had several men as well)
1979, 1980, 1981---Worked at Farmington Dragway---did all the Public Relations work and wrote articles on races and racers for newspapers all over North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee
1979---Graduated Automotive Mechanics---Rowan Technical Institute---Salisbury, NC---Honor Roll
Spoke at several Career Days at many schools from Davie County to Lincoln County and also had racers bring their race cars to schools for displays and classes
Helped with the Boy Scouts of America's Pinewood Derby at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, NC in 1980
The first issue of Quick Times Racing News was published in April, 1981 with co-worker Barry Jenkins
Took over publishing and editing Quick Times Racing News in September, 1981 when Barry bowed out.
The last 'printed' issue issue of Quick Times Racing News was published in December, 2004
Published several 'Special Editions' over the years
Held two of the most successful car shows ever held at the Valley Hills Mall in Hickory, NC in 1983 and 1984 and one at Eastridge Mall in Gastonia, NC in 1984. Store owners told us these were the only Januarys in their histories in both malls where they met their quotas of sales for that month
Published two Southeastern Drag Strip Directories and two Eastern U.S. Drag Strip Directories
Published souvenir programs for several tracks in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia
Helped established the Sportsman Class Racers Association and was a founding member
Helped establish the Southeastern Bracket Racing Association
Was instrumental in bringing about the institution of Pro Modified Drag Racing.
Held the first ever Quick 8, Heads Up, No Breakout race at Orangeburg Drag Strip in 1987 (Don Garrick...owner)
Held the first ever Quick 16, Heads Up, No Breakout Race on any NHRA track at Atlanta Dragway in 1989 (Gary Brown...owner)
Started and maintained the Triple 0 and Dead On Clubs from 1992 through 2003 and held free races for members
Printed photo handouts, business cards, calendars and other media such as stationery, envelopes, invoices, etc. for tracks and racers
Published the ONLY 'Doorslammer' coloring book EVER published...in 1990...with hand drawn pictures...ALL autographed by the drivers of the cars with the exception of Walter Henry who had passed away the year before (October, 1989). Received permission from his family to include his drawing
Helped raise thousands of dollars for various charities and for racers and their families over the years
Proofread AND corrected Dave Morgan's book...Door Slammers: the Chassis Book: in the Acknowledgements: "Becky White of Quick Times Racing News edited my grammar and gave me technical input in relation to what she sees racers go through. Becky may sound like a female Dixie truck driver, but the lady knows the King's English, American style. If there are any grammatical errors, it's because I fooled with the copy after Becky corrected it. Racers who grind on trick new pistons and cut up rubber bumpers will appreciate this mania." (I did this in THREE days!) In my autographed copy, Dave wrote: "To Becky, You are one of the most courageous people I know. The sport is better because YOU cared. Dave Morgan."
Proofed AND corrected a Herbert Cams spec sheet and assisted several other companies with customer spec materials
After Shirley Muldowney's accident in 1984, I tried to get McKinney Race Cars to implement some of the chassis changes made AFTER John Force's accident in 2003!
Helped MANY tracks implement safety features and other improvements such as guard rail, fencing, lights, better pit areas, lights (some had never had lights before), better restroom facilities, better concessions and many others
Helped many tracks implement races and race programs of which, some are still being run...such as the Kinston Drag Strip WinterFest in 1987 (25th Anniversary in 2012). I attended all WinterFest races until 2004 after my accident
I made the FIRST pass EVER on race day at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Red Springs, NC on opening day in 1984. I took the track owner/builder, Brady Locklear on the opening run in my 1971 Duster I drove to all the races at that time. He would have climbed out about half track if I had not been going so fast!
Currently publish http://quicktimesracingnews.blogspot.com
Received many letters of Appreciation from track owners and operators, racers, fans, advertisers and many others
1981---Farmington Dragway---Booster Award
1983---Valley Hills Mall---Dragster Show Outstanding Performance
1985---Lincoln County Schools---Outstanding Service to Vocational Education
1987---River Cities Raceway Park---Appreciation Award for help with their 'Kids' Race...a race benefitting two children's home in Kentucky
1988---River Cities Raceway Park---Media Award for Kids' Race and King of the Mountain
1988---Sportsman Class Racers Association---Ace Reporter and Appreciation Award
1988---Cleveland Mall---Appreciation Award and 'Recognition of Support in the World of Racing'
1989---International Hot Rod Association---Media Award for helping bring IHRA back to where it was 'before Billy'
1990---Bracket Racing USA---Vol. 4, No. 3---Drag Racing's Most Dedicated Fan
1994---Super Stock & Drag Illustrated---Members Only
1994---Wilkesboro Raceway Park---Appreciation Award
1995---Wilkesboro Raceway Park---Appreciation Award
1981 through 2001...Darlington International Dragway---Appreciation Award for 20 years of service and contribution to drag racing
2002---Mountaineer Dragway---Appreciation Award
2002-Elk Creek Dragway---Appreciation Award
First news person, publisher/editor/photographer AND first female ever inducted into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame in 2003. I could not attend the ceremony because of my wreck just two weeks prior to the ceremony. In 2012, I was finally able to attend to 'officially' receive my plaque
2007---Shuffletown Dragway Tribute...Supporter of Sportsman Drag Racing
February, 2012---First person to ever receive the Jeff Byrd Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame
June, 2012---Became a North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame board member
2014---Name placed on Farmington Dragway Wall of Fame (full circle)
My profile. Where do I start? Many people have asked me over the years how and why I got interested in drag racing. I've already written a couple stories on the blog about my early years and how I got interested in cars, etc. I DID stay pregnant and barefoot for several years, beginning at 18. My husband and his brothers raced a little at Farmington when it opened in 1963 and even earlier...in '61 and '62...before it 'officially' opened! I remember thinking to myself way back then, "I sure would love to write stories about all these guys and their cars!" I had always loved to write and did a lot of it in school. When Teresa was nine, I finally got up enough nerve to get away from our abusive home situation. That was 1972. In 1972, there were no laws for women and children.
I could not even get a lawyer to represent me because lawyers had no laws to go by. It just so happened, I did get some good advice from a judge and I took that advice. When I left, I took my red 1967 Dodge convertible and my three girls (3, 5 & 9 years old) along with the dog and whatever I could pack in that car. I had actually taken a couple other carloads before that but that's all. I had a job, I rented a tiny little trailer and the four of us started all over again. It wasn't easy. But I HAD to get those girls out of there...even my parents were against me because women just didn't do things like that back then! (I was from a large influential family and I was the 'black' sheep.) Well, women did not run large used car dealerships either, but that's what I had been doing for the previous two years...family business, you know.
After I left, I worked in a sewing factory. I worked in a part of the building the farthest from the time clock. I could clock out, get to my car and unlock the door, grab my screwdriver, open my hood, crank my car and be the third car out of the parking lot!!! I HATED THAT DAMN JOB!!! I also waitressed at the local truck stop on midnight shift for a while and I hated that, too. When I poured a hot cup of coffee in an abusive trucker's lap one night, that was the end of that job! Since I didn't get any spousal support for my girls, I also cleaned up cars in our yard in the afternoons and on weekends. I enjoyed taking crappy looking old cars and making them look new again.
I started doing a little drag racing in that sleek red convertible (I just sold that car in 2011!!!) in early 1973 at Farmington Dragway...my 'home' track. I met some nice folks and helped a couple guys with their cars. They were just blown away.
I was just running in the slow class...after all, I only had a small block 318, but I was having fun and the girls were, too. That car weighed 4,700 pounds and ran 9.80s in a fifth which is what they were running then! There were VERY few women racing at that time. Through the grapevine, I heard there was a garage for rent in town so I checked it out. $18.00 a week. HUGE potholes in the floor. Eaves not closed in. No hot water...you can't clean engines without hot water. I talked the guy into putting a hot water heater in after about six months. Before that, I had to do the best I could at the local car wash. I think every damn Chevrolet I took there to clean the engine ended up with water in the distributor.
So there I would be, up under the hood of a car AT THE CAR WASH drying out the damned distributor just so I could get the thing back to the shop. (It WAS a good advertisement!) Mopars and 'most' Fords didn't do that!!! There also wasn't any heat in the shop except for an old pot-bellied coal stove. I could go to the bottom of the hill to the mill and get a bucket of coal for really cold days, the rest of the time I used a space heater which didn't help much because the wind blew through the eaves. One day, I was SO cold I sat down on a box or something and put my feet up near that stove and literally blistered the bottoms of both feet before they got warm enough to feel!!!
When I got home that evening, my temperature was 104 and I had pneumonia! Did someone say 'good ole days?' It took about a week to get over that. I had a couple friends who came and helped me once in a while so that allowed me to do more than just clean cars. I knew how to do a lot of basic mechanic work but serious things? Not so much. I also could do minor body work, painting, etc. so with a little help from the friends who could do more serious mechanical fixings and body work, I also took in more of those jobs. There always seem to be a 'fast' crowd hanging around "Becky's Car Care Center' on Depot Street in Mocksville behind P&G Auto Parts and I can't even begin to tell you how quickly I soaked up all the knowledge I could.
I LOVED cars...always had...you can read about a lot of that in some of the stories on the blog. Racing was a great advertisement and we got lots of inquiries about, "Could we work on race cars," etc. etc. So we did a little of that. Did a little modifying, engine and transmission swapping, etc. etc. I always had help with the racing and when I grenaded a transmission at Mooresville one Saturday night, we all came back to the shop, dropped that one, dropped one out of another car, put it in the Dodge, washed and waxed the car and still made it to Farmington in time to make time trials. If I ever run across those old photos, I'll stick a couple of them on here.
Photographers at tracks like Farmington were few and far between (back then) and I don't think I ever got more than one picture of my car leaving the line. When I started taking pictures, that one thing was the single deciding factor in the way I took racing photos. I always took YOUR photos the way I thought the DRIVER wanted to see their car because the DRIVER was the ONLY person who could not watch their car perform! (No video cameras then either!) But with my photos, they could catch a small glimpse of how their car looked and performed leaving the line.
One Sunday at Farmington, in the final round, I was running Tommy 'Scrap Iron' Burrows in his Maverick and I wanted to win that race SO bad I could taste it. Only a driver can understand. But I made a huge mistake. In my zest to win, I over wound her! Grenaded another 727. I don't know if you've ever been witness to the explosion of a 727 Tourqueflite, but my explosion was just as bad as any I've ever seen...including 'Big Daddy's'...the only 'good' thing about it was, at least I didn't get hurt. The driveshaft was in about four pieces, it took 12 teeth off a 5:57:1 ring gear and the fan went all the way through the radiator before it quit turning.
The front yoke, with the transmission tail housing still hanging on, got hung between the floor and the seat springs. If I'd had the seat out of that car, that yoke would have cut my head off. Big Daddy only got half his foot cut off! That was the cause of most injuries when those transmissions exploded. Those were just a few of the things wrong with running a street car on the drag strip and I learned a lot about building cars and about safety because of it.
But, hey, this was 1973! Scared my girls to death. I cut the switch and coasted off the side of the track but if you've ever been to Farmington, you know once you get past a certain spot on that track, you can't be seen very well so no one knew what was happening except parts were going EVERYWHERE. There were even parts of my car coming out from under Tommy's car...I am glad I didn't do any damage there!
That was the end of my drag racing. It was hard enough trying to make enough money to feed my children, let alone a race car. I worked in the mill half a day, then worked in the garage. I couldn't fix the car, so it just sat. You cannot raise three children AND a race car...all by yourself! I refused to go to the track. If I couldn't race, I couldn't spectate. The only time I went to Farmington for several years was May 2, 1975 to the last ever match race between Don Carlton and Lee Edwards with my friend Patsy. We had a BLAST! Don was my hero. I still have the photo he autographed for me that night.
Don and his crew took us out to breakfast at the local truck stop after the race and we sat there and talked to him and his guys until 4:30 in the morning. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I never got to talk to him again. I cherish those moments...that remains a highlight in my drag racing memories! I learned so much from him in those four or five hours and many of the things we talked about I used all the years I published Quick Times Racing News. Like all Don's other fans, it broke my heart when he died. I still have my autographed photo of Don racing, he wrote "To Becky, Don Carlton." It is the most cherished piece of drag racing memorabilia in my collection!
The girls and I, along with some friends, went to Rockingham a couple times to national events...those were the only times I went racing from 1973 until April, 1979. But I never lost my love for the sport. I bought every magazine I could afford to buy and several of us would trade back and forth so I continued to soak up everything I could about cars and drag racing. I learned more and more and more at the garage!!! I soaked up that stuff like a sponge. The man I rented that building from was one of the best body men I've ever known. Between him and my best friend's husband Wayne, I learned how to do custom body work and painting. I did some part-time work with Wayne in the body shop at Dan Beck Ford in Yadkinville, NC for several months.
In 1978, I got a chance to go back to school. I could have taken any number of business courses...social services, teachers aid, nursing, cooking, sewing, business management, secretarial etc., etc., but, no! What did I choose to take? Auto mechanics! Yep. I was 35 years old, the oldest person in the class! I took the placement tests and made such good scores, I didn't even have to take first quarter math and English! That meant I didn't have to get to school until 9 am! All those 1978 high school graduates had to be there at 8 because they didn't have such good scores. That put me in on a bad note to start
with! There was only one other female in the class and she was 18! I graduated in the top third of my class at Rowan Technical College (now Rowan Cabarrus Community College) in 1979.
I probably could have made better grades IF I had had algebra and physics in high school, but I didn't! All I wanted to do in high school was GET OUT! By the way, I failed Senior English!!! When I walked across that stage and accepted my diploma, it was NOT signed!!!
I had to go back to summer school to get the damn thing signed, but I did it. If I had not done that, as my Daddy said, "You ain't too old or too big to get an ass beating! If your mama and me could graduate during the Great Depression, you can graduate now!" I failed more because I hated my teacher than any other reason! Not a good reason!
I've already written about how I got started working at Farmington (in my memorial to Norman Drouillard Sr. on my blog) and how I came to publish Quick Times Racing News. What more can I say? What more information would you like to know about me? It took me a long time to realize I was living a life no one else had ever experienced and no one else in history would EVER experience! No one in the history of the world ever even had a hint of a life such as the one I breathed, ate, slept and LIVED 24 hours a day, seven days a week for more than 25 years!
I was the first person to ever really fight for grass roots racers in print in the history of drag racing and to publish a periodical for just those racers ONLY. Yeah...I did a Pro racer once in a while, mostly when there might be some future advertising revenues in it for QTRN...or in the case of Warren Johnson and Jerome Bradford, Ronnie Sox, etc...they were heroes to me AND to my girls. When I started the paper, I NEVER intended for it to become what it did. I just wanted to cover few local tracks, East Bend, Farmington, Mooresville, Shuffletown, Wilkesboro, maybe Piedmont.
But after struggling SO hard trying to get my local racers to support the paper, simply by buying a subscription and finally figuring out they weren't going to, it was either quit or branch out. Remember...a woman was not supposed to be doing something like that...even Shirley was still struggling with that 'female' stuff and I know those guys in NHRA were a helluva lot more chauvinistic than the grass roots racers I was dealing with. Another thing I learned really fast...everyone wants you to GIVE them everything, they want you to DO everything FOR THEM.
Racers were/are no different...they wanted me to print their photos, their stories, do stories on their business for free, etc. but they didn't want to give me that $10.
I will never forget one race day at Shadyside Dragway when I was sitting way up high on the bleachers talking to Ronnie Dotson and his wife. Tommy Hall climbed the bleachers and stood in front of me, shook his finger at me and said, "I want to know why in the hell you won't put my picture in that damned magazine? I have won six races in the last few weeks and you ought to be printing my picture! You put Ronnie's picture in there all the time!" (I had previously asked Tommy to buy a subscription but he wouldn't. Why would he? He could read Gene's every day when he went work!!!) I calmly said, "Tommy, I put Ronnie's picture in because he has a subscription."
He said, "Well what in the hell has that got to do with it, I've been winning all the races?!" I said, "Well, to put it plainly, you DON'T have a subscription and in order for me to print your picture, I would have to leave out Ronnie's picture! I don't do that. I support the people who support me!" Tommy Hall bought a subscription that day and I put his picture in. He never spoke to me again and he never renewed his subscription and his photo was never in again. The concept of supporting the people who support you is so simple I just could never understand why so many racers couldn't see it!
I was the first person to EVER do anything for racers who cut triple 0 lights and made dead on runs. That's where the Triple 0 and Dead On Clubs came from. It also started an avalanche of tracks paying racers extra money or giving bye runs when a racer cut a triple 0 or dead on light! I had two free races for the members, the first one was great, the second one I really got screwed by an two people at that track, so I never had another one. I couldn't get track operators to work with me (that 'female' thing again!). Mike Greer held those two races at Greer Dragway but I wanted to have them at other tracks...too many 'out of town' racers felt 'local' racers had the advantage at their home track and I wanted to move the races around. It wasn't easy for me to put all that extra work on myself...keeping up with who did what when. I even published an extra paper for each of those two races...a 'souvenir' issue!
Racers got their names in print an extra time and they got decals to put on their cars to show off their accomplishments. They were proud to display their decals because that absolutely terrified some of their opponents...if you don't believe that, just ask Jim Wood!!! I would have had a Club race every year but I guess those track operators just didn't want to have a race they didn't have to pay for! Doesn't make any sense to me, never did!
Brenda Dollyhigh and I basically started the Sportsman Class Racers Association which fell apart in its second and third years because the racers were jealous of she and I doing such a good job of running the association, they kicked us out and thought they could run it themselves. They lost Moroso's sponsorship because of that and their petty gossip...you said, she said, they said. They were going to do their own publication...did one which looked like crap and folded it shortly thereafter. Sure, Dick Moroso's first love was Modified racing but he did the sponsorship because of the publicity...he was only interesting in getting what he PAID for for his business.
When he ceased to receive what he was paying for, he stopped paying! And that was the fault of approximately three racers (there is a complete story on what happened to the SCRA elsewhere on this blog). I not only had to fight IHRA and NHRA to stay in business, I had to fight the very people I was trying to help! It seemed the racers and track operators did more to put me out of business than anyone!! I worked HARD FOR IHRA and NHRA!
In the years after the 'Billy' devastation, I busted my butt to help bring IHRA back. I won their 1989 Media award and that's what they announced to the crowd that night before they introduced me as the winner of that award. It was for "helping bring IHRA back to the way it was before Billy!" I was the first woman to ever win that award in IHRA. Never mind them threatening to burn me out the very next year because I wrote about tracks not having enough rules and tech inspections!!! (I have that phone call on tape!!!)
Who did NHRA call when they wanted to start a Southeastern Quick 32? Me of course! I even went to the first one at Coastal Plains Dragway to help them get it set up and the second one at Southeastern Dragway in support of the new eliminator! Never mind the fact they tried to put me out of business a few years later by printing their own 'junior' National Dragster called Southeast Dragster!!! Well that didn't last long either because they were NOT helping their little supporters any...they just did more of the same bullshit they always did (do) with their California publication!
I held some of the most successful car shows ever during the winters of 1983 and '84 and everyone who attended had a blast, we even had people come from as far away as Ohio to put their cars in shows here in N.C. I've done career day talks at several schools. The more I write here the more things I remember I have done in support of drag racing...things I hadn't thought of in years! What did I do after my daughter died? I buried her on Sunday, went right back to work on Monday morning and went to the races the very next weekend! Where was my daughter going when she was hit head on by another car? To the printer to pick up the October, 1985 issue of Quick Times Racing News! What would you have done?
I am the only woman editor/publisher of a drag racing magazine to be inducted into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame (in their second year in existence). I have plaques and certificates from everywhere! I can't even name them all. I am very proud of every one I've ever received, but two which mean the most to me are from River Cities Raceway Park in Ashland, KY in appreciation for helping them with their 'Kids' races. They held a race every year which benefitted two local independent childrens' homes. Only one means more to me than those two...the Jeff Byrd Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award from the N.C. Drag Racing Hall of Fame...because of Jeff.
Track operators were even worse than racers. They figured if they ran an ad in the paper one time which was two inches square, I should kiss their hiney and cover half a dozen of their races. As many of you know, sometimes, they didn't even pay for their ads! I remember asking Ronnie Humphrey at Coastal Plains Dragway in Jacksonville, NC if they would pay for my room once when HE called me and asked ME to come to HIS race. I'll never forget what he said, "What do you think we're running here? A hotel service?" Royce Miller and many others pretty much said the same things, they just used different words.
Bill Bader knew and STILL knows the true value of hospitality. In 1997, Bill flew me to Toledo, had a rental car waiting and a motel room reserved for me. I spent four of five days there, the first one, he took me out to lunch and he showed a little of the countryside...had to...the track was so far out in the country, we had to drive for miles to eat! HA! I visited Koffel's Place one morning and got the grand tour of the area. I visited Milan, OH one morning, toured the museums and the home where Thomas Alva Edison was born and took photos. I took hundreds of photos at the track and I printed pages and pages of stories on that weekend of racing.
It was one of the nicest racing weekends I ever attended and I made sure I let Bill and all his crew know how much I appreciated his hospitality AND his advertising and support. I STILL talk to Bill as often as I can! I did the same thing for Puerto Rico Int'l Speedway. Raymond gave me an all expenses paid FIVE glorious days in Puerto Rico and he didn't even run an ad!!! (Don't think it would have done him any good!!) But there I was and there was only one real day of racing and one of test and tune. The rest of the time, we were pretty much partying!!! It was an experience I will NEVER forget but I never care to go back!!! At least Raymond knew the way to get publicity! I printed pages and pages of photos and story for two or three months about that race to show my appreciation.
Lester Blackburn and Marshall Oldham at River Cities Raceway Park were two more track operators who knew the value of wining and dining the press. And I don't mean just me. Every time they had a 'Kids' race, they invited all the local media...from radio, tv and newspapers, etc. Then they got the local NEW car dealers to bring brand new cars to the track for the media folks to race on Friday night! They ALWAYS paid my motel bill, gave me money for gas, ran ads, bought my meals. About the only thing I ever had to buy when I went there was ice for my cooler! Even their Pepsi vendors gave me free drinks!! I always gave them pages and pages of stories and photos AND I sponsored races there!
Bobby Smith at Kinston Drag Strip was another one who always paid my expenses. I was the person who got them to start their WinterFest Race. I attended every one but one for all the years from the first one though 2003...they celebrated the silver anniversary of that race in January, 2012! I printed pages and pages of photos and stories for them, too. They listened to all my suggestions for improving their track so they could become IHRA sanctioned, they put in lights and fences and water and guardrails and I can't even tell you all the things they did per my suggestions.
Every single time they took MY advice and did what I advised, it paid off for years and years! So you wonder why I printed more about some tracks than I did others? These are the reasons! I know I'm supposed to be writing my profile but this basically IS my profile and I've written these things to give you an idea of some of the things I went through to be able to work with track operators...who actually benefited from Quick Times more than anyone else.
A few other track operators did pay for a room once in a while and some gave me a little gas money and some even put me up in their own homes, but I pretty much had to call racing friends and beg them to let me stay with them when I came to their local track and if it was somewhere new, I just had to take that out of my advertising revenue...which meant fewer pages I could print each time! Local tracks advertised the most but 'helped' the least.
When I got hurt, I pretty much didn't even hear from most of them. During the other years, most track operators didn't even care enough about their racers to send their race results in...I had to call many of them nearly every week and beg for their results all the years I did the paper...all for my subscribers. Lots of track owners all over the eastern U.S. sent checks when I got hurt, some of their tracks I had never attended before...like Windy Hollow Raceway. But not my local tracks...other than Wilkesboro, Farmington and Greer Dragways!
Track operators like Tommy Morton, Bob Harris, Tim Bell, Ronnie Buff, even Steve Earwood (at times) treated me like the red headed step child. I remember the first time I met Steve. He was working for NHRA and we were at the Gator Nationals. They had only given me a starting line pass for Saturday and I went to the press room and begged him to give me one for Sunday. I was SO appreciative of that and I NEVER forgot it. I always felt beholden to him because of that one thing and I always did everything I could to help him.
When he first got Rockingham and would get worried about not making it, he would call me and I always spent time talking to him telling him everything would be okay and would work out. I was right! But when he thought he had gotten everything out of me he could, he turned on me like a mad dog and that's the way it is in drag racing. Some others were just downright mean...they never let me forget a 'woman' didn't have any business doing a racing publication...even though it helped them. They were about as chauvinistic as anyone could be. Lex Dudas, Robert Leonard, lots more at IHRA and NHRA did just about everything they could to run me off! HA! Ted actually changed, a 'little,' after I helped IHRA come back in 1989 and wasn't so bad the years after that.
Then there were the racers who sucked up to me until they got their story printed and never spoke to me again...just look right through me! Wally Stroupe, Marshall and Marshall Smith, Kenny Melton, Ben Trammell and SO MANY more. I don't even have room on a blog for all that. I call them takers, they take and take and take and never give anything back. And if you will remember those I've named here, you will remember them in just the same way!
I did everything all those years to help every track operator who would listen or who asked and followed my suggestions (I am actually still doing that!). I spent hours and hours on the phone with track operators answering their and helping them figure out things which could work for them from points and track sponsorships to food. I did not get paid for those things, I did it because I wanted to see EVERYONE in drag racing make a little money, have a great time and be successful and happy.
I STUDIED everything about drag racing. I spent hours and hours on the phone with racers listening to them telling me all their experiences so I would know everything I could about them and the tracks where they raced. I lived drag racing. I breathed drag racing. I ate drag racing. I dreamed about drag racing when I slept! (Sometimes I still do!) When I got hurt, the first people to desert the ship were the track operators. I wasn't sinking...I had NO intention of quitting.
But after a year, I knew there was nothing else I could do. It amazed me when track operators would say, when I asked them about their advertising, "When are you coming to my track?" Duh! I had three surgeries on my leg in 22 months! How did they think I would get around? Not one of them said a word about having a golf cart or any other way for me to get from point A to point B! At the beginning of my last year, when I first talked to G.W. Leazer at Mooresville Dragway, he said he would do the same deal we had done the past two or three years (ten issues of full page advertising for the best price).
When I called him for his first ad, he said they weren't going to advertise with me in 2004! They had advertised with me for 24 years. The big difference? I was crippled! Good way to end up, huh? That was pretty much the story of the last year of QTRN. I know a lot of people were mad at me for quitting, others were mad at me for my last
editorial. After all my years of hard work, yes, that last year really hurt and it came through in that editorial! I couldn't believe I had worked as hard as I had for as many years as I had only to be dropped like a hot potato! When I NEEDED THEM THE MOST!
And to top it all off, people like 'all flash, no cash' George Howard, who probably made more money in drag racing than anyone, didn't even pay me for all the ads he did run in 2004! And he wasn't the only one...I printed their names in the last paper. What kind of person doesn't pay their bills to someone who is crippled? These are the reasons I didn't do much on the internet for about six years. But I've kind of gotten over some of that hurt...not all, but some. I have written some things over those years and I have gotten some on the blog. There is more to come.
I DO want to tell EVERYONE how much I appreciate all the things people DID FOR ME AFTER my wreck! Bill Pratt and many of his buddies had a Blues for Becky concert in Houston, TX and send me a HUGE check! Lots of people...people who didn't even know me...donated items to be auctioned off. I printed some of that in the last papers I published but I just want everyone who helped me after the wreck...and even all the other years...just how much I appreciated everything they did for me...no matter how large OR how small! I loved what I did and ALL the goodness of the people I knew made ALL the other stuff worth it ALL! Thanks to everyone who ever helped me any way...whether it was a little gas money, a bed to sleep in, a meal, no matter what! Thanks for all the support I received all those years.
I hope this 'profile' hasn't bored you to tears. I have kept up with the basics of the sport simply because of those people who actually did keep in touch all this time and I still have more to give. I STILL know more about drag racing and drag racers than most of the people involved in it. One of the biggest compliments I ever received was when Animal Jim asked me to autograph his copy of Bracket Racing USA which had my story in it! By the way...that story was titled 'DRAG RACING'S MOST DEDICATED FAN!'
I guess the other most important compliment was this: once, when I was at the Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway and I was talking to Arlene Johnson, she said something about them not getting the paper. I told her I'd had a computer crash and wasn't sure I had gotten everyone back in the mailing list and I would make sure to get them back on there. I said, "Do y'all actually READ the paper?" She said, "Oh yes, when your paper comes in the mail, Warren and all the guys take it to the kitchen and when they get done with it, you can almost see through it!" I was shocked!
I said, "Why in the world does Warren Johnson read MY little paper?" She said, "Warren said when he reads your paper, he learns what is really going on in drag racing and it helps him keep in touch with those things. In the other papers, it's all propaganda and they never tell you anything you need but Quick Times tells it all!" I was so proud of myself, I'm surprised I could even get my head in my car when I left the track that day! We remain friends and still keep in touch!
Arlene emailed me one day after reading the memorial to Norman on the blog and told me she was glad to see I was writing again because they had missed it so much! She said she remembered that IHRA banquet in Gatlinburg when they won the Pro Stock championship and by my writing about it, I had brought back all those memories for them. Last year, I wrote about my first trip to Bristol and emailed it to them and she said the same thing. You will laugh till you cry when you read some of the stuff on here!!! Most of it is all new stuff and it is ALL true! Anyway, this is as much of my profile as I am going to write right now. I will be putting more and more on the blog as time goes on! Always remember...no one in the history of the world has ever done what I did and no one can ever take that away from me!
I always was, I am now and I will always be DRAG RACING'S MOST DEDICATED FAN!