Racing started with my father Darrell after his return from the Korean War, he was the car owner and mechanic on old Ford coupes drove by Lawrence Bradley on dirt tracks in northwest Missouri. In the late 1960’s Kline’s Speedway, a quarter mile dirt track, was opened about 2 miles north of our farm in Chillicothe, Missouri. When the racing ended there around 1973 my father got out of racing.
In 1981 I started racing in the Sportsman division at Capital Speedway in Holts Summit, Missouri in a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500. The progression was to a 1973 Ford Torino, my father and I built my first two cars from scratch. Then it was on to dirt late models, throw in some Demolition Derbys and Enduros as well.
In the mid 2000’s I had to give ARCA a try, I had never drove on asphalt and that is where I wanted to go. You get the equipment and do all the work, then wonder if you will be fast enough to qualify for a race. My first ARCA race was the Allen Crowe 100 at the Springfield, Illinois Fairgrounds, we missed practice as it was the time we ever went through tech so we had to work on the car. Now, I have never drove the car, I think all I had done was make sure the clutch worked in the shop. ARCA tells me I can still make a qualifying attempt, my first lap will be my practice, with my second lap being my qualifying attempt.
I put it in the show and ran 91 of 100 laps, so what a relief. After that is has been highs and lows, almost had a top 10 at Springfield a few year ago, just had too low of gear in the car and hit the chip about half way down the straights, ran Daytona, ran in the draft, made it to the end of the race with the car in one piece.
On the other end, destroyed a car at Springfield, a car at Kansas and a car at Salem, did not qualify on the first attempt at Daytona, too sick to get in the car at the track so put another driver in, been baked in the car, and it goes on.
Yeah, when you get out of the car and EMT’s start walking towards you it is never a good sign.
It is all part of it, just keep going down this road to see where it goes….