1999 - Big Yohns Goes VRA Jr Fuel Racing




Myself, son Kol and Marc McCormick in the trailer at our first race, the 1999 California Hot Rod Reunion.


Second is me with my friend from Minneapolis, Jim "Sweddy" who drove the car at 1999 CHRR. Jim has driven top fuel, Alcohol dragsters etc. for 30 years and now lives in Grand Forks ND and has his own A-Fuel Blown Donovan FED. Sweddy and I are about 8 years apart in age, but we learned at CHRR that we grew up 3 blocks apart and he was my folks paper boy after I married and left home.


Here I'm guiding Swedberg into the staging beams.


We qualified twelfth at our first race.



We drew the eventual winner second round, the McKray, Algire and Enriquez entry. Sweddy cut a 4:08 light leaving on Enriquez, but we suffered a performance gap of about 6/10ths. We lost, but we did made it to second round at our first race.




After the 1999 CHRR we finished installing our Cygnus Race Computer and in December we took the car over to Carlsbad Raceway. Top Fuel driver Howard Haight helped install the computer and also came to the track the next week to help us sort out operation of the computer and mentor Kol in his quest to learn to drive a race car for the first time at age 43.


Howard made a shake down pass and ran faster, at almost 172, than the car ever had before. Then it was Kol's turn. Here is his first pass ever in a race car. It was his first step in getting an NHRA Competition License.


Our next outing was in January of 2000 to Palmdale, LA County Race Track, for more licensing runs. Bob McKray took an interest in our efforts and offered to accompany us.


This is after Kol's sixth and final run, all completed unbelievably within three hours on one day.


He was now qualified for his license. I don't know which one of us was more relieved that this was over. Kol, because he was showing great natural ability, or me because nothing had broken and it didn't appear that I was putting Kol in harms way.



Our next outing was the 2000 Goodguys March Meet. Here is 3/4ths of my crew. On the left is Dave Dewars, who partnered with Sweddy for years, racing dragsters back in the Midwest. Seated in the car is Dewayne Engness, former owner/driver of cars called Hot Sauce from the Fargo /Moorhead area and also former owner of a dragstrip in that area as well. On the right is my "shoe", Sweddy. Bob Meyer, the chassis builder, came along as well to assist with running the car, but he had wandered away.


At the March Meet, Kol was unable to drive due to business conflicts, so once again, Sweddy stepped into the car. Here he's conducting a ritualistic experiment, quaintly called a "burnout".


We went out first round here, but the car ran well. Here's Sweddy in a typical launch mode.



Shot is of the workers creating a spot next to the garage, gotta have a to park the motorhome and trailer.


Then the motorhome and trailer in their allocated space. Having everything at home is really a pleasure, instead of the way it used to be with the race car and trailer at Kol's house and the motorhome in storage. Everything was difficult. I can't say how much this has helped.


A race car has to have a place to rest, after the races are over, and be prepared for the next outing. Here's mine...







When the car is all set to go, the crew must contemplate the next action. Here is me and Kol and Marc after completing the preparations for the 2000 VRA Pomona race.



Here are pictures of the takeoff and the landing of Kol's first ever wheelstand at the 2000 Pomona Goodguys meet. This was a bad attitude with a very rough landing ... not something we tried hard not to repeat.
Photos by Cody Coleman


Tires Flat, Chassis bent, but Kol doesn't lift... his Greek impression. Check out the height of the wheelie bar, Kol don't need no stinkin' wheelie bar. Or at least not one that breaks!


   Big Yohns History - Photographer/Writer 

The Early Years - Racing

Sonoma Win || Pomona Win

2004 CHRR  ||  40th NHRA World Finals  ||  Inyokern 2005
2005 NHRR  ||  2005 CHRR  ||  2005 Fuel & Gas Finals
Shubert & Herbert Riceman Replica

"TV" Tommy Ivo Barnstormer
Shubert & Herbert Recreation  ||  Shubert & Herbert CHRR
ChiZler 204 Restoration ||  ChiZler V Recreaton


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