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