Tag Archives: Drag Racing

MEDIA MATTERS: Have a Heart! How NHRA Star Greg Anderson Almost Lost His

24 Apr

“When Anderson was told a week before the 2014 NHRA season that he needed surgery, he described it as a “shock.” Then he told the doctor that wasn’t possible; he needed to wait until November, after the racing season.

One of many reasons to get the heart valve fixed. (photo courtesy gregandersonracing.net)

One of many reasons to get the heart valve fixed. (photo courtesy gregandersonracing.net)

[BREAKING NEWS: Anderson cleared to qualify/race at Houston weekend of 4.25.14-4.27.14!]  “He looked at me like I had three heads,” Anderson said. “You feel indestructible as a racer. I wasn’t worried about my safety, my health or my life, which I’m a complete idiot for that. I was worried about missing races.”

By the time Anderson left the surgeon’s office, he was convinced the operation would be done in November; however, when Anderson arrived home and outlined the situation to his family, he was told emphatically he wasn’t waiting.”

Then a stunning development at Four-Wide Racing at Charlotte . . . Find out here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/04/18/4845406/mooresvilles-greg-anderson-looks.html#.U1j6SfldXYx#storylink=cpy

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MEDIA MATTERS: Find This Car! BIG NOISE II

21 Mar
Big Noise II in a Chicago-area photo; know where it is? Contact me. There may be an award.

Big Noise II in a Chicago-area photo; know where it is? Contact me. There may be an award.

A Famous man, Don Miller, owned it; would like to find it and acquire it.
You can become famous, even better off financially, if you are the one to identify the location where it can be found.

In front of a house, Big Noise II all cleaned up. contact me at phillip@ultrasuperior.com if you know where it is

In front of a house, Big Noise II all cleaned up. contact me at phillip@ultrasuperior.com if you know where it is

No guarantees, but find it first . . . .

Here is information on the search:

http://harmonizingkeys.blogspot.com/2010/08/big-noise-ii-new-later-photo-search.html

"Miller's Time" the book that  reveals the life--and tragedies--of this amazing man of racing

“Miller’s Time” the book that reveals the life–and tragedies–of this amazing man of racing

Contact me: Phillip@ultrasuperior.com

MEDIA MATTERS: Jeg Coughlin New Spokesperson for Chrysler?

6 Mar
At an invitational tour of Chrysler Headquarters & Technology Center, five-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. (left) met with Chrysler President and CEO Pietro Gorlier. Notice the relaxed look and dress

At an invitational tour of Chrysler Headquarters & Technology Center, five-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. (left) met with Chrysler President and CEO Pietro Gorlier. Notice the relaxed look and dress

Jeg Coughlin: Is he a new spokesperson for Chrysler? No; however, he should be. His casual demeanor belies the intensity and smarts within, otherwise how could he have won five–count ’em, one, two, three, four, five–NHRA Pro Stock Championships in arguably the most difficult Pro Class. Wins AND losses are counted in the small hundredths of a second . . . to be that precise proves his mettle. His looks are strong but not like a model’s . . . but a man’s.

Plus he has a name: Jeg, the only person in the NHRA’s 60-year history to win in SIX different categories. Let me ask: How many Jegs do you know?

Just think of this theme: “I drive a Dodge” and there’s Jeg Coughlin. On the highway and on the drag strip. Hurry, Chrysler! There’s still time to get this ready to go before their race: Denver, July 18-20, Bandimere Speedway at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals.

Snakes on a Drag Strip! Get “Snake and Mongoo$e” New DVD

24 Feb
A young Snake (Jesse Williams) gets the best award for winning; Ashley Hinshaw as Lynn Prudhomme

A Young Snake (Jesse Williams) Gets the Best Award for Winning: Ashley Hinshaw as Lynn Prudhomme

Fast friends yet arch rivals uncover the coming-of-age in the world of drag racing as seen through the eyes of two of the most famous drivers ever, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “Mongoo$e” McEwen—yes, with a dollar sign. Their lives twist dramatically with a story that tears at the heart, unleashing feelings that go way deeper than an ultra quick lap down a drag strip.

The coolest college to snatch a degree in drag racing without ever covering a single lap . . . watch “Snake and Mongoo$e” over and over.  Study it, embrace it, drive it; the film is an archive treasure trove.

The full-size racing Funny Cars of the Hot Wheels era

The full-size racing Funny Cars of the Hot Wheels era

Each trip through this new DVD unveils dramatic action and historic film seamlessly woven into the plot revealing the inside of the world’s most popular professional motor sport.

The Snake pairing on the track against Mongoo$e pioneered modern racing sponsorship; this is their story. Wrapped around each nostalgia-laced scene coils thrill-a-minute flash-history lessons in how it happened, the personalities involved, plus the work and strife in the pits and their lives.

Patron Tequila Funny Car star, Alexia DeJoria, zaps a cameo, one of many best lines in this history-comes-to-the-big-screen. Strolling with a young Wally Parks (John Heard) founder of the professional sport of drag racing, she sultrily coos, “Watch out for snakes . . . .”

Don Prudhomme's Collection of Real Toys; Notice a Life Size Figurine of Him

Don Prudhomme’s Collection of Real Toys; Notice Snake Sitting on the ARMY Funny Car

They’re everywhere in this movie, those snakes and mongeese, both old and young. Interspersed with historic racing film clips, Snake and Mongoo$e drag racers Jesse Williams and Richard Blake, offer a realistic depiction how it had to be to live and race those roles. As a viewer one will be hard-pressed to distinguish the actors from the originals.

Alexia DeJoria Gives a Warning While Wally Parks (John Heard) Looks On.

Alexia DeJoria Gives a Warning While Wally Parks (John Heard) Looks On.

The character’s personalities come across just as they are in life: Prudhomme, the cool, collected but intense competitor. McEwen plays the playboy, loving every squeeze while creating a brilliant marketing strategy. His single idea led to a remarkable deal with Hot Wheels developing a Barbie-type franchise for racing. Today the novel idea still lives through tricked-out Traxxas remote-controlled models splashed on Courtney Force’s popular NHRA Funny Car.

How these two drivers ever managed to get along without killing one another racks fodder for a sequel. Mongoo$e, just like his namesake in the desert or on the track, seems to get the jump on the start. His prankish ways drove his partner nuts.

Snake's English Leather Hot Rod

Snake’s English Leather Hot Rod

Meanwhile, Snake’s mechanical acumen became his competitive tool, twisted like a Dairy Queen with his cool breeze. Cameos spice this movie such as the movie star character Prudhomme meeting the real Snake playing the role of a car owner, which he was after retiring from active driving. They shake hands while not breaking character; it’s great stuff to witness.

No other film including the ground-breaking “Heart Like a Wheel,” a survey of drag racing 40-years ago revealing how Shirley Muldowney colored it pink, has this incredible depth of detail. 50 million can’t be wrong; drag racing is the most fan-friendly motorsport on the globe. One experiences it frame-by-frame with “Snake and Mongoo$e.”

An Inside Lesson on How Those Racing Close-ups Occur

An Inside Lesson on How Those Racing Close-ups Occur

Illustrating the historical significance of this story, make sure to check the special thanks and archival footage credits trailing the movie. It reads like a Who’s Who in the history of drag racing: Legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits; Prudhomme crew chief and drag racer Bob Brandt along with “Jungle” Jim Liberman.

Caught walking through the pits in the movie, Roland Leong, who was there when the Hot Wheels deal came together, recounts “McEwen was the smartest of the bunch . . . I hate to admit it but McEwen and Prudhomme showed us the way to the future.” (1) When Leong and Prudhomme formed a team, the Snake describes it as driving for another rich kid; in that line is a truism that escapes most of the public. Great wealth roams those pits—some are billionaires—who are as addicted to the thrill of the intense seconds on a pro drag strip as the sportsman in the Super Gas class.

Young and Old Snake and Mongoo$e Meeting On The Set

Young and Old Snake and Mongoo$e: Meeting On The Set

“TV” Tommy Ivo, whose showmanship and dragster display innovation staged the way for the sport, contributed to the film along with a driving credit, too; note the credit for the ever-lovely Linda Vaughn originally creating the hot look modeling white boots as Miss Hurst Shifter; count in respected veteran reporters and voices of Dave McClelland, Steve Evans and Keith Jackson.

The remarkable racing artist Kenny Youngblood snares credit as he created the look and feel of those logo images pasted on the dragsters. Youngblood is the best known of any racing artist where the word “legendary” does not do him justice. Note he recently launched a new publication illustrating his work, “Fuel Coupe Magazine.”Snake Mongoose DVD wheel shot up close

Popular NHRA Funny Car Driver for NAPA, Ron Capps, with an uncharacteristic look

Popular NHRA Funny Car Driver for NAPA, Ron Capps, with an uncharacteristic look

Incredibly for this production, eight restored dragsters, trucks and funny cars provided by Snake Racing populate the screen along with 17 other dragsters from names such as Bruce Meyer, Frank Baney, the (must see) NHRA Museum, Mike Kuhl and a host of others.

Seven additional Funny Cars receive credits like Don Trasn’s 1978 English leather Corvette; 22 “period cars” such as Chopit Kustom’s 1932 Red Ford Hot Rod and a 1950 Merc, along with four Chevys by Randy Winkle including his cool 1964 El Camino.

Then there is the book . . . ahhhh, the book.

Author Tom Madigan published “Snake and Mongoose: the Rivalry that Changed Drag Racing Forever.” I wrote the following in a review December, 2009, for Radioactive Drag Racing News:

(L-R) Young Snake, The Real Snake, Young Mongoose

(L-R) Young Snake, The Real Snake, Young Mongoose

. . . elements that will amuse, confuse, and bemuse the reader absorbing this pictorial delight. Then, without warning, the whole tale comes together in a very poignant moment of the adventure, slamming the reader in their seat as though they’ve hit the accelerator on a Funny Car, leaving one exhausted and emotionally spent afterward, but warmly satisfied.

I am not giving away the nature of that moment, but it led to . . .

Snake and Mongoo$e were Front Page Material

Snake and Mongoo$e were Front Page Material

I was squished on an airplane at 35,000 feet . . . absorbed in the beautiful photography handsomely displayed . . . . Then, out of the blue, here comes this bombshell like nitro exploding in my gut . . . I was grabbed by a story that had the Snake losing a major drag race to McEwen, but afterwards uncharacteristically leaping out of his Funny Car, scrambling over to McEwen’s car and clutching him as they both broke down, crying in a very private way.

The Hauler: The Interim Step Between a Trailer and the Now Prevalent Tractor Trailers

The Hauler: The Interim Step Between Towing a Trailer and the Now-Prevalent Tractor Trailers

Snake Mongoose DVD

Notice in That Era the Engine Sat in Front of the Driver. Later, Don Garlits and T.C. Lemons Created the Rear-Engine Dragsters

I remember misty eyes and a clutched throat as the two hardened racers, as different in personalities as summer and winter, wept together over an unfathomable loss that exceeded anything either had experienced in their racing careers—and none of us ever wish to join. And now here it is, available on a DVD; their lives, their loves, their personal animosities morphing into respect, along with the entire racing experience brought together in redemption exceeding one’s imagination.

I am not going to spoil this account here, or give it away—it is too important for that. You need to discover it for yourself. I will tell you my eyes watered for those moments, stuck in a window seat, turning to glance at the expansive blue beyond while reading in shock as raw human emotion spilled out of these pages and now is embedded on the “Snake and Mongoo$e” DVD. You will know it when you see it. You NEED to know it.

Compare this photo of the Actors Snake and Mongoo$e with the Super Stock Magazine Photo of the Real Thing

Compare this photo of the Actors Snake and Mongoo$e with the Super Stock Magazine Photo of the Real Thing

Songs like Rare Earth’s “I Just Want to Celebrate” rock the soundtrack bringing Motown Records to racing.  ZZ Top’s “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” follows a Prudhomme national win early in the movie. The movie credits end with the hard rock riffs of “How You Like Me Now” written by Ken Goldstein, Jack Dempsey’s voice reverberating deep in the soul, leaving an awesome imprint that one just witnessed something special in this movie, confirmed by the song’s closing lyric: “Oh, mercy. Hello. Oh yeah.” Oh, mercy. Hello. Oh yeah, indeed.

Mongoose Wins; Snake Congratulates Him in This Poignant Moment

Mongoose Wins; Snake Congratulates Him in This Poignant Moment

Race to buy the new “Snake and Mongoo$e” DVD, an entertaining and exceptional era-racing movie. Then you will discover a secret: why Jamie smiles . . . forever.

(1) Tom McEwen (drag racer)

The Women of Force

11 Mar
BP Lubricants Inc., and their line of Castrol motor oil will be featured on Designing Spaces, the popular home improvement show on Lifetime Television. Brittany Force, professional drag racer joins the show's "Kid Spaces" series to talk to viewers about staying safe on the road.

BP Lubricants Inc., and their line of Castrol motor oil will be featured on Designing Spaces, the popular home improvement show on Lifetime Television. Brittany Force, professional drag racer joins the show’s “Kid Spaces” series to talk to viewers about staying safe on the road.

Brittany  continued,“We shot the segment in Florida after we tested in January. It was a really neat experience and I hope the show’s viewers enjoy the segment. I am excited to have Castrol EDGE as my primary sponsor so getting the word out about the importance of changing your motor oil is a big deal. Spring Break and Summer are right around the corner so you want to be sure you have your car in tip top shape,” said Brittany Force a top contender for the 2013 NHRA rookie of the year award drives a Top Fuel dragster, the only one in the Force camp.

Brittany continued,“We shot the segment in Florida after we tested in January. It was a really neat experience and I hope the show’s viewers enjoy the segment. I am excited to have Castrol EDGE as my primary sponsor so getting the word out about the importance of changing your motor oil is a big deal. Spring Break and Summer are right around the corner so you want to be sure you have your car in tip top shape,” said Brittany Force a top contender for the 2013 NHRA rookie of the year award drives a Top Fuel dragster, the only one in the Force camp.

Courtney Force, the youngest daughter of drag racing’s most prolific and popular driver, 15-time NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force, is RACER magazine’s  runaway choice as Rookie of the Year, voted on by their global readership. A runner-up finish to Cruz Pedregon in the Pomona finals showed she’ll be a Funny Car title contender in 2013 – and victory in the season-opening Winternationals confirmed it.

Courtney Force, the youngest daughter of drag racing’s most prolific and popular driver, 15-time NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force, is RACER magazine’s runaway choice as Rookie of the Year, voted on by their global readership. A runner-up finish to Cruz Pedregon in the Pomona finals showed she’ll be a Funny Car title contender in 2013 – and victory in the season-opening Winternationals confirmed it.

"I want to thank the readers of RACER Magazine for voting for me as RACER Rookie of the Year. To be considered with top NASCAR, Indy Car and F1 rookies is an honor just in itself and to be voted as Rookie of the Year is unbelievable,” said Force, the 2012 Automobile Club Road to the Future Award winner. “I have to thank all my fans and especially RACER magazine for this honor."

“I want to thank the readers of RACER Magazine for voting for me as RACER Rookie of the Year. To be considered with top NASCAR, Indy Car and F1 rookies is an honor just in itself and to be voted as Rookie of the Year is unbelievable,” said Force, the 2012 Automobile Club Road to the Future Award winner. “I have to thank all my fans and especially RACER magazine for this honor.”

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We Run and Ride

Original thoughts on running and riding. Swimming too.

The Neighborhood

telling the story from every vantage point

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

iHarmonizing Competition

Delivering Lessons Learned from racing and life

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

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