So, I feel like I have lost a member of the family, somewhat. He has had that car since 1998, and there are a lot of fond memories of it, but in reality, the time had come for Dad to scale things back. With the recent horrific wrecks of Ronnie Davis (who later succumbed to his injuries) and Sidnei Frigo (who escaped luckily with only a broken arm), maybe it was a good time for Dad to hang it up, as far as that class goes. I can't say I don't blame him at all.
I used to be really good with his stats, but as years have gone by, things have gotten fuzzy. I'm sure he will read this and correct me, but I will at least give it a shot. Dad leaves Pro Modified with:
- Approximately 5 local championships (I believe 3 in the local Quick 8 Racers Association and two more at a track in Virginia)
- He once had the track record at every track on the local circuit and still holds the records at the now defunct Shuffletown \(Charlotte, NC) and Princeton Dragways (Princeton, WV).
- He won 11 races in a row in 1992 and the only reason the streak stopped that year was because Dad was sick with the flu at a race.
- Nationally, he was tied for the World Speed Record in Pro Modified (with Michael Martin) at 214.24 miles an hour and once held the elapsed time record at Richmond Dragway in Dinwiddie Virginia.
- Has held the car designation number "1963" since the inception of Pro Modified. At the time the class was initiated, all competition numbers for the class were four digit numbers, starting with a 1. With his car being a 1963 Corvette, that number designation was fitting (even though none of us kids could guess the number when he asked us which one he picked),. When the explosion of 1963 Corvettes entered the class in 1996, folks were clamoring for that number, but it was and has always been Dad's. If IHRA were smart, they would retire the number... Just saying...
- YouTube videos exist of ESPN broadcasts showing Dad putting some of the top racers in the country on the trailer. One of my all-time favorites is the 1992 Spring Nationals where he took on the blown Lamborghini of Randy Moore and outran him the entire quarter mile. Look it up.
When you are at a race and folks refer to your dad as a legend in the sport, it really is an eye-opening experience. I never really realized it as it was happening, since I kind of saw it all transpire. Now, having been removed from it, myself since I went off to college, it is really cool to go to a race and see all of the people come up and take pictures with my dad and ask for his autograph. I can't wait to go to the Stick Shift race in May. It will be a lot of fun.
Dad isn't retiring, he is just scaling back to something he can enjoy much more.
Thanks for reading and allowing me to reminisce.