Hometown: Huntertown, Indiana (near Fort Wayne)
Vehicle: 1970 Plymouth Road Runner
Color: Orange, with spots of primer and rust
Engine: 520 Wedge
Personal Best: 10.32
How did you choose the vehicle you are racing with?
This is our fun car my wife and I take to all the drag and drive events across the country. I’ve owned it for 34 years. It won a Daily Driver class championship at the 2013 Hot Rod Drag Week, and finished second in our class at Rocky Mountain. I can run it just about 11 anywhere except Colorado. At Rocky Mountain Race week, I couldn’t get it past 12.20 due to the high elevation and heat those days.
What makes this vehicle “sick”?
Its longevity. It is a beat-up old warrior. I’ve put 15,000 miles on it from drag and drive events alone, and it has run on 30 different tracks over the years.
What excites you about Sick Week?
I love going to different race tracks, and I get to visit four I’ve never been on before. I keep a log of every track, so I get to expand that list. With so many tracks closing in recent years, I want to get as many as I can on my log. I also enjoy driving into these local communities; people gather in chairs along the highway to see all of us as we enter their town.
What will your journey to Florida be like?
We are traveling down on Friday and Saturday. We might stop at Summit Racing in Georgia to get some parts since it is right off I-75. Otherwise, just stopping at gas stations. We’ll already be loaded up with snacks (meat, cheese, crackers, celery, peanut butter) along with water and some sodas, so we’ll mostly just need fuel and a break now and then.
Have you participated in any other racing events like this?
Too many to list. Like I said before, 15,000 miles worth. Hot Rod Drag Week every year from 2009 to 2019 are the main ones.
What makes you a good drag racer?
Honestly, I’m a hack! I’m not very good – I just got lucky a couple of times. The car has an automatic transmission, so I don’t even shift. All I have to do is put it in drive and just keep it going straight. A monkey could drive it and run 11’s. This is what I do for entertainment – it isn’t serious competition for me.
Who is your drag race inspiration?
I grew up in the 1960s, which I consider to be the renaissance years of super stock cars and the beginning of pro stock. I like racers like Grumpy Jenkins, Dick Landy, Arlen Vanke, along with Sox & Martin. I saw those guys and thought how cool it would be to have a car like that. Now I do, and I can experience what they experienced. That is very exciting for me.
What are you passionate about outside of racing?
My wife would tell you I have too many hobbies. Boating and flying airplanes are at the top of my list. I’m a licensed pilot, and now that my daughter is studying for her pilot license, I’m helping out with that. My wife enjoys Big Ten basketball, which I like watching with her.
Anything else you’d like to add?
People need to get their car out and do events like this. A car show is fine, but these cars were not meant to just sit around – they are performance vehicles. Get out, drive them and drive them hard. A drag and drive event is like nothing you’ve ever experienced.