and they call me Rick! My OCIR story.

April 01, 2020  •  5 Comments

1974-91-031974-91-03Richard Shute in 1973. "I've had many personas during this crazy career," said Auto Imagery President and longtime drag racing photographer Shute. "However, my favorite came after C.J. Pappy Hart asked me in the early 70s if I would be interested in being track photographer for OCIR. Of course I said yes, and my life changed Ð right down to my name. I was shooting and supplying publications weekly with images, and I didn't like how 'photo by Richard Shute' sounded when spoken. It just sounded weird to me, so I changed my name to Rick. 'Photo by Rick Shute,' okay, that worked. I stopped shooting for publications and started Auto Imagery in March of '79, and then I went back to Richard. When I walk through the pits and my OCIR family is there, though, they still call me Rick. It always brings me back to a really great period of time in my career."

Richard Shute in 1973. I've had many personas during this crazy career, said Auto Imagery President and longtime drag racing photographer Shute. However, my favorite came after C.J. Pappy Hart asked me in the early 70s if I would be interested in being track photographer for OCIR. Of course I said yes, and my life changed  right down to my name. I was shooting and supplying publications weekly with images, and I didn't like how 'photo by Richard Shute' sounded when spoken. It just sounded weird to me, so I changed my name to Rick. 'Photo by Rick Shute,' okay, that worked. I stopped shooting for publications and started Auto Imagery in March of '79, and then I went back to Richard. When I walk through the pits and my OCIR family is there, though, they still call me Rick. It always brings me back to a really great period of time in my career.

1973-79-031973-79-03Kelly DeLuca, left, and Mary Langdon were two of the gals making ensuring dial-ins were recorded correctly and the OCIR clocks kept running.

Kelly DeLuca, left, and Mary Langdon were two of the gals making ensuring dial-ins were recorded correctly and the OCIR clocks kept running.
 

1975-47-711975-47-71OCIR's C.J. Pappy Hart changes the bulbs in the Christmas Tree with the help of his son Jerry. The discerning eye may recognize Bob 'Cookie' Cook in the foreground.

OCIR's C.J. Pappy Hart changes the bulbs in the Christmas Tree with the help of his son Jerry. The discerning eye may recognize Bob 'Cookie' Cook in the foreground.
 

1976-16-07a1976-16-07aOn any given weekend, regulars would watch the action from in front of the iconic OCIR tower. From left: Bill Middaugh of M&H Tire; Gary and Audie Christensen, who had a Hilborn Injected '58 Corvette they ran in Bracket 1; bracket racer T.C. Harrell; Gary Christensen's brother, Gene; and Riley Chappelle, another Bracket 1 competitor with his '66 Corvette.

On any given weekend, regulars would watch the action from in front of the iconic OCIR tower. From left: Bill Middaugh of M&H Tire; Gary and Audie Christensen, who had a Hilborn Injected '58 Corvette they ran in Bracket 1; bracket racer T.C. Harrell; Gary Christensen's brother, Gene; and Riley Chappelle, another Bracket 1 competitor with his '66 Corvette.
 

 

1976-01-191976-01-19Drag racing veteran Alan Miller has done it all. Driven an AA/FA? Check. Run a race? Check. Worked the starting line, been the starter, announced the race, managed the facility, managed the track? Go ahead and check all those boxes, too.

Drag racing veteran Alan Miller has done it all. Driven an AA/FA? Check. Run a race? Check. Worked the starting line, been the starter, announced the race, managed the facility, managed the track? Go ahead and check all those boxes, too.

 

1973-82-021973-82-02Bonnie and Clyde Miller (left), along with Gayle and Earl Sorenson,Glen Gailey, and the Sorenson's daughter, exemplify the family atmosphere at OCIR. .

Bonnie and Clyde Miller (left), along with Gayle and Earl Sorenson, Glen Gailey, and the Sorenson's daughter Katie, exemplify the family atmosphere at OCIR. .
 

1973-23-051973-23-05Orange County International Raceway (OCIR) starter Stan Swickey double checks a lane prior to the next racers making a pass.

Orange County International Raceway (OCIR) starter Stan Swickey double checks a lane prior to the next racers making a pass.
 

1974-46-231974-46-23Vicki and Sigi Mickschi met at Belmont High School in Los Angeles and were married in December of 1963, the same year their Plymouth Belvedere rolled off the assembly line. The couple raced the car they called "Taurus" beginning in '67 at OCIR.

Vicki and Sigi Mickschi met at Belmont High School in Los Angeles and were married in December of 1963, the same year their Plymouth Belvedere rolled off the assembly line. The couple raced the car they called 'Taurus' beginning in '67 at OCIR. They and their marriage are still going strong.

 

1974-1-131974-1-13Miss Drag Scoop Cathy Murphy was more than a trophy girl; she was an outstanding goodwill ambassador for OCIR back in the day.

Miss Drag Scoop Cathy Murphy was more than a trophy girl; she was an outstanding goodwill ambassador for OCIR back in the day.
 

1975-14-10 - Copy1975-14-10 - CopyOCIR regulars Ronnie and Randy Marcum with their cousin, David.

OCIR regulars Ronnie and Randy Marcum with their cousin, David.

 

1976-34-051976-34-05OCIR regulars remember Jessica Hoffmeier as a bright, cheerful, and fun person on any given day at the racetrack.

OCIR regulars remember Jessica Hoffmeier as a bright, cheerful, and fun person on any given day at the racetrack.
 

1976-01-051976-01-05Here's a classic shot of Mike and Karen English in their Atomic wagon. Some folks know that this is the same Mike English who went on to become an NHRA announcer - and Karen, well, she just went on.

Here's a classic shot of Mike and Karen English in their Atomic wagon. Some folks know that this is the same Mike English who went on to become an NHRA announcer - and Karen, well, she just went on.

 

1977-40-15A1977-40-15AGordon Pye, Gordon worked staging and tech. and Judy DeLuca, Judy was a track mom of sorts at OCIR, but her role extended well beyond that. Judy ran the timing deck of the tower, and everyone knew that 'What Judy says, goes.'

Gordon Pye, Gordon worked staging and tech. and Judy DeLuca, Judy was a track mom of sorts at OCIR, but her role extended well beyond that. Judy ran the timing deck of the tower, and everyone knew that 'What Judy says, goes.'
 


1973-90-091973-90-09A young fan gets a guest pass right into the cockpit of the Hawkeye Funny Car thanks to 'Hawkeye' Frank Harris, himself.

A young fan gets a guest pass right into the cockpit of the Hawkeye Funny Car thanks to 'Hawkeye'  Frank Harris, himself.

 

1975-61-011975-61-01Fans perch on the wall above the AHRA logo on the wall at Orange County International Raceway.

Fans perch on the wall above the AHRA logo on the wall at Orange County International Raceway.
 

 

 

1976-55-041976-55-04Bracket racers Mark and Ginny Brownlee raced a front-motored econo dragster.

Bracket racers Mark and Ginny Brownlee raced a front-motored econo dragster.

 

1976-05-291976-05-29An unidentified couple display patriotism and the style of the time while keeping back behind OCIR security.

An unidentified couple display patriotism and the style of the time while keeping back behind OCIR security.
 


Eric: A day in Oakdale

March 26, 2020  •  5 Comments

0405-05460405-0546Eric was a natural when it came to his riding and roping ability. He loved roping and made it seem so easy but don't get me wrong, he was a competitor. He strived to be at the top , a winner and he worked very hard at every practice session. He was a good listener and applied what he learned. He was also a prankster and even today I can get a good chuckle remembering some of the things he did or said. Jerold Camarillo

"Eric was a natural when it came to his riding and roping ability. He loved roping and made it seem so easy but don't get me wrong, he was a competitor. He strived to be at the top, a winner and he worked very hard at every practice session. He was a good listener and applied what he learned. He was also a prankster and even today I can get a good chuckle remembering some of the things he did or said. "-    Jerold Camarillo
 

0630-002800630-00280Eric explains some of the theory behind roping to Candida Benson. Candia was there to write a story on Eric about his roping days for National Dragster. See the story by clicking this National Dragster link.

Eric explains some of the theory behind roping to Candida Benson. Candida was there to write a story on Eric about his roping days for National Dragster.

See the full story in National Dragster.

 

0630-002830630-00283Champion bareback rider and team roper Ace Berry and Eric visiting and discussing old times.

Champion bareback rider and team roper Ace Berry and Eric visiting and discussing old times.
 

0630-000060630-00006Eric illustrating the correct way to hold the rope (for roping) for Candida Benson from National Dragster.

Eric illustrating the correct way to hold the rope (for roping) for Candida Benson from National Dragster.
 

0630-000210630-00021Eric warming up on the roping dummy before going to the arena.

Eric warming up on the roping dummy before going to the arena.

0630-003930630-00393Eric looks on as Courtney feeds a rescued baby bird that fell from its nest that Ashley is hold while papa John looks on.

Eric looks on as Courtney feeds a rescued baby bird that fell from its nest that Ashley is holding while papa John looks on.

0630-003470630-00347Eric & John enjoy lunch at the House of Beef with Uncle Steve & cousin Butch.

Eric and John enjoy lunch at the House of Beef with Uncle Steve and cousin Butch.
 

 

0630-000300630-00030This is Eric and Jerold probably discussing the rules of the bet.

This is Eric and Jerold probably discussing the rules of the bet.
 

0630-000750630-00075Jerold thinks that this was a bet on how many steers Eric would miss. Jerold & Eric would always say, I bet you a hundred! So, one of them must have pulled the $100 and stabbed it with the knife, for show purposes;who knows? Those guys were always kidding around!

Jerold thinks that this was a bet on how many steers Eric would miss. Jerold and Eric would always say, I bet you a hundred! So, one of them must have pulled the $100 and stabbed it with the knife, for show purposes;who knows? Those guys were always kidding around!
 

0630-003010630-00301Coach Jerold stands in front of the roping simulator explaining the basics,

Coach Jerold stands in front of the roping simulator explaining the basics,
 

0630-000850630-00085Eric and his friend Talya warming up horses before roping.

Eric and his friend Talya warming up horses before roping.
 

0630-001670630-00167Eric heading another steer as Talya looks on.

Eric heading another steer as Talya looks on.
 

0630-001210630-00121The girls, Courtney and Ashley watching the action.

The girls, Courtney and Ashley watching the action.
 

0630-001540630-00154Riding ; Eric is looking for his position to throw the loop.

Riding Gonzo, Eric is looking for his position to throw the loop.
 

0630-001710630-00171Got him!

Got him!
 

0630-001570630-00157Eric heading a steer as World Champion Team Roper and Coach, Jerold Camarillo comes in for the heels.

Eric heading a steer as World Champion Team Roper and Coach, Jerold Camarillo comes in for the heels.

0630-000810630-00081Hey guys, watch this.

Hey guys, watch this.
 

 

0630-001460630-00146Ashley, Courtney, John and Laurie looking in disbelief that Eric is a real cowboy.

Ashley, Courtney, John and Laurie looking in disbelief that Eric is a real cowboy.
 

0630-002110630-00211John asked Eric, see if you can rope me. Silly question!

John asked Eric, see if you can rope me.  Silly question!
 

0630-002170630-00217Eric aboard Gonzo, tightening the slack on John, good catch!

Eric aboard Gonzo, tightening the slack on John, good catch!
 

0630-002580630-00258The girls, Laurie, Ashley and Courtney, deciding whos up next?

The girls, Laurie, Ashley and Courtney, deciding who's up next?
 

0630-002370630-00237Laurie, John's wife getting in the action and learning the ropes.

Laurie, John's wife getting in the action and learning the ropes.

0630-002740630-00274Laurie Force has John just where she needs him.

Laurie Force has John just where she needs him.
 

0630-004720630-00472Why settle for one, when you can get all three. Ashley, Courtney and Laurie Force

Why settle for one, when you can get all three. Ashley, Courtney and Laurie Force

0630-004730630-00473Eric caught the girls in one big loop! Ashley, Courtney and Laurie were good sports about it.

Eric caught the girls in one big loop! Ashley, Courtney and Laurie were good sports about it.

0630-004040630-00404Eric and Talya having a quiet moment.

Eric and Talya having a quiet moment before the roundup.

0630-004110630-00411Eric and Talya bringing up the cattle to the roping chutes.

Eric and Talya bringing up the cattle to the roping chutes.
 

0630-004140630-00414Eric in his happy place.

Eric in his happy place.

0630-005000630-00500John looks plum tuckered out after a day at the ranch.

John looks plum tuckered out after a day at the ranch.
 

0630-005050630-00505Calling it a day at Camp Jerold! Eric Medlen, Candida Benson and Jerold Camarillo.

Calling it a day at Camp Jerold! Eric Medlen, Candida Benson and Jerold Camarillo.
 

0643-001400643-00140Cord McCoy, Champion Bull rider, and Eric Medlen swap rides for a photo shoot in Las Vegas. Eric appears just as comfortable on a Brahma as in his 10,000 HP Mustang.

Cord McCoy, Champion Bull rider, and Eric Medlen swap rides for a photo shoot in Las Vegas. Eric appears just as comfortable on a Brahma as in his 10,000 HP Mustang.
 

0643-001410643-00141Eric trades in his Mustang for a Brahma for a photo op.

Eric trades in his Mustang for a Brahma for a photo op.
 

0630-001800630-00180As the sun sets on on this blog, take a minute to remember Eric, and go grab a dish of Ice Cream. You can never be sad eating ice cream.

As the sun sets on on this blog, take a minute to remember Eric, and go grab a dish of Ice Cream. You can never be sad eating ice cream.
 


Don Prieto's Taco Party

March 26, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

2011-028752011-02875Wave maker, Don Prieto, left, accepted the FoundersÕ Award from noted driver, track official, racing magazine executive, Hall of Fame honcho and all-around good guy Harry Hibler.

Wave maker, Don Prieto, left, accepted the Founder's Award from noted driver, track official, racing magazine executive, Hall of Fame honcho and all-around good guy Harry Hibler.
 

2011-028812011-02881Don Prieto thanks Harry Hibler and the selection committee for his induction into the Hall of Fame.

Don Prieto thanks Harry Hibler and the selection committee for his induction into the Hall of Fame.
 

2011-028922011-02892The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing's International Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees were celebrated on Thursday of the Gatornationals. Back row: Founder's Award recipient Don Prieto, Billy Meyer, Lee Beard, and Sandra Mizell, who accepted the Patricia Garlits Memorial Award on behalf of Etta Glidden. Front row: Larry Minor, Don Enriquez, Robert "Bones" Balogh, and Roy Hill.

Don Prieto thanks Harry Hibler and the selection committee for his induction into the Hall of Fame.
 

DK2011-00007DK2011-00007One of the only highlights of the postponing of the Big Show Gatornationals for me, was my ability to attend Don Prieto's annual Taco Party in Torrence. This was the 30th year and it generally is done the Sunday following the March Meet. Therefore, I'm always in Gainesville. Don told me at the Garlits Hall of Fame banquet to come by and we did. I enjoyed visiting with long time friends. Thank you Don. photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.

One of the only highlights of the postponing of the Big Show Gatornationals for me, was my ability to attend Don Prieto's annual Taco Party in Torrance. This was the 30th year and it generally is done the Sunday following the March Meet. Therefore, I'm always in Gainesville. Don told me at the Garlits Hall of Fame banquet to come by and we did. I enjoyed visiting with long time friends. Thank you Don. photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.
 

DK2011-00010DK2011-00010When you put a group of older men together with race cars and Nitro, something amazing happens. It's like putting fresh blood in old bodies, kinda building RestBodes so to speak. Either way, tacos, cars and friends were great. photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.

When you put a group of older men together with race cars and Nitro, something amazing happens. It's like putting fresh blood in old bodies, kinda building RestBodes so to speak. Either way, tacos, cars and friends were great. photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.
 

DK2011-00013DK2011-00013Here is a shot of the newly restored of the Baney, Rapp, Lisa, Rossi car.. Owner/Builder is Frank Baney who also co-owns the Yeakel Bros TF Cackle car that "Goose" drove back in the day. photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.

Here is a shot of the newly restored of the Baney, Rapp, Lisa, Rossi car.. Owner/Builder is Frank Baney who also co-owns the Yeakel Bros TF Cackle car that "Goose" drove back in the day. photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.

DK2011-00035DK2011-00035Jay Carpenter's South Wind cackle car was there to entertain the crowd., photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.

Jay Carpenter's South Wind cackle car was there to entertain the crowd., photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.
 

DK2011-00037DK2011-00037Lots of folks looking on as they cackle the Surfers car. Owner/Builder is Bob Higgensen, with mucho help from Tom Jobe (RIP). photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.

Lots of folks looking on as they cackle the Surfers car. Owner/Builder is Bob Higgensen, with mucho help from Tom Jobe (RIP). photo courtesy of Dave Kommel.
 

 


Don Garlits's International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, March 12th 2020

March 25, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

2011-026602011-02660Former Texas Motorplex and John Force Racing PR maven Elon Werner, left, shares a laugh with Motorplex founder and 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Billy Meyer and friends.

Former Texas Motorplex and John Force Racing PR maven Elon Werner, left, shares a laugh with Motorplex founder and 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Billy Meyer and friends.
 

2011-026762011-02676Ed and Barbara Rensi were on hand to help celebrate 2 Hall of Fame inductees, Lee Beard and Larry Minor. Ed was CEO of McDonalds USA Corp at the time of their sponsorship if Larry Minors racing operation.

Ed and Barbara Rensi were on hand to help celebrate 2 Hall of Fame inductees, Lee Beard and Larry Minor. Ed was CEO of McDonald's USA Corp at the time of their sponsorship of Larry Minors racing operation.
 

2011-026902011-02690Beauties and the Beast. A beaming Roy Hill reveled in his induction into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2020. Roy is definitely enjoying being with Jessica Read, right and Brenda Walls, left.

Beauties and the Beast. A beaming Roy Hill reveled in his induction into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2020. Roy is definitely enjoying being with Jessica Read, right and Brenda Walls, left.
 

2011-026942011-026942020 inductee Billy Meyer, third from left, enjoyed a wealth of support from family and friends including, from left, son Adam and his wife Clair, wife Deborah, daughter Christy Johnson and her husband Barry.

2020 inductee Billy Meyer, third from left, enjoyed a wealth of support from family and friends including, from left, son Adam and his wife Clair, wife Deborah, daughter Christy Johnson and her husband Barry.
 

2011-026992011-02699Meeting of the minds. Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood, left, and Masters Entertainment boss Ted Jones shared stories about Roy Hill, whom the jointly introduced as one of the inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Meeting of the minds. Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood, left, and Masters Entertainment boss Ted Jones shared stories about Roy Hill, whom the jointly introduced as one of the inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
 

2011-027072011-02707Guests at the Rockingham Dragway table included, from left, Laura Earwood South, track owner and host Steve Earwood, Dave Densmore, Sue Smiley Height, Julie Soltis, and professional driving instructor and former U.S. Nationals Super Stock Champion Terry Earwood.

Guests at the Rockingham Dragway table included, from left, Laura Earwood South, track owner and host Steve Earwood, Dave Densmore, Sue Smiley Height, Julie Soltis, and professional driving instructor and former U.S. Nationals Super Stock Champion Terry Earwood.
 

2011-027102011-02710P.B. Candies, left, and his mother, Rita, widow of the late Paul Candies, attended the banquet in support of inductee Roy Hill.

P.B. Candies, left, and his mother, Rita, widow of the late Paul Candies, attended the banquet in support of inductee Roy Hill.
 

2011-027232011-02723Funny Car drag racers Bruce Larson and K.C. Spurlock were among the celebrities supporting the 2020 inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Larson was himself inducted into the Hall in 2006.

Jessica Read, Bruce Larson, K.C. Spurlock and Brenda Walls pose for a photo during the social hour prior to the banquet.

Funny Car drag racers Bruce Larson and K.C. Spurlock were among the celebrities supporting the 2020 inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Larson was himself inducted into the Hall in 2006. Jessica Read, Bruce Larson, K.C. Spurlock and Brenda Walls pose for a photo during the social hour prior to the banquet.
 

2011-027262011-02726David Dobson, left, Producer at Masters Entertainment Group and former mainstay of NHRAÕs drag racing coverage on ESPN, shared a moment with Schumacher Racing executive and 2019 Hall of Fame inductee Mike Lewis, right.

David Dobson along with Vicki and Mike Lewis sporting smiles.

David Dobson, left, Producer at Masters Entertainment Group and former mainstay of NHRA's drag racing coverage on ESPN, shared a moment with Schumacher Racing executive and 2019 Hall of Fame inductee Mike Lewis, right. David Dobson along with Vicki and Mike Lewis sporting smiles.

2011-027422011-02742Robert, Bones Balough welcomed the support of his granddaughters at his induction into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Robert, Bones Balough welcomed the support of his granddaughters at his induction into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
 

2011-027442011-02744Fast Jack-Beckman, left, and Harry Hibler share a moment with Hall of Famer Ohio George - Montgomery during the 2020 banquet Montgomery attended in support of new inductee Robert Bones Balough, against whom he competed during drag racingÕs legendary Gasser Wars of the 1960s.

Fast Jack-Beckman, left, and Harry Hibler share a moment with Hall of Famer Ohio George - Montgomery during the 2020 banquet Montgomery attended in support of new inductee Robert Bones Balough, against whom he competed during drag racing's legendary Gasser Wars of the 1960s.
 

2011-027542011-02754Rodney Garlits, right, addresses banquet guests on behalf of his grandfather, Big Daddy, Don Garlits, who missed the ceremony due to family issues. At left is first time master of ceremonies Joe Costello.

Rodney Garlits, right, addresses banquet guests on behalf of his grandfather, Big Daddy, Don Garlits, who missed the ceremony due to family issues. At left is first time master of ceremonies Joe Costello.
 

2011-027612011-02761Native Californian Robert, Bones Balough, inducted into the class of 2020 by Fast Jack Beckman, still races today. He was a mainstay in the ,Gasser Wars, of the 1960s in a number of cars including the legendary Stone, Woods and Cook car renamed Òtone, Woods and ÔBones.Õ

Native Californian Robert, Bones Balough, inducted into the class of 2020 by Fast Jack Beckman, still races today. He was a mainstay in the Gasser Wars, of the 1960s in a number of cars including the legendary Stone, Woods and Cook car, Woods and, Bones.

2011-027922011-02792New inductee Don Enriquez was one of the dominant performers in Pro Comp when NHRA introduced the category in 1975. In fact, he won the very first Pro Comp title when he beat John Shoemaker in the final round of the Õ76 Winternationals at Pomona.

New inductee Don Enriquez was one of the dominant performers in Pro Comp when NHRA introduced the category in 1975. In fact, he won the very first Pro Comp title when he beat John Shoemaker in the final round of the 76 Winternationals at Pomona.

2011-027942011-02794Former Founders Award winner Steve Earwood, owner of Rockingham Dragway, introduced Roy Hill as one of the newest inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Former Founders Award winner Steve Earwood, owner of Rockingham Dragway, introduced Roy Hill as one of the newest inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
 

2011-028052011-02805Roy Hill, who has soared to fame in a new career as proprietor of Roy HillÕs Drag Racing School, was a standout Pro Stock and Pro Modified driver and car owner during the heyday of the IHRA series. He still competes today in Stock and Super Stock.

Roy Hill, who has soared to fame in a new career as the proprietor of Roy Hill's Drag Racing School, was a standout Pro Stock and Pro Modified driver and car owner during the heyday of the IHRA series. He still competes today in Stock and Super Stock.
 

2011-028462011-02846Donny Couch, left, reminisces with former IHRA series champion, NHRA U.S. Nationals winner and Texas Motorplex owner Billy Meyer for whom he worked as a crewman in the 1980s and whom he inducted into the 2020 class of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Donny Couch, left, reminisces with former IHRA series champion, NHRA U.S. Nationals winner and Texas Motorplex owner Billy Meyer for whom he worked as a crewman in the 1980s and whom he inducted into the 2020 class of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

2011-028612011-02861Larry Minor, who drove Top Fuel dragsters in the 1980s and won NHRA series championships in Top Fuel and Funny Car as a car owner, the latter with Cruz Pedregon and the McDonalds Oldsmobile, was one of those inducted in the class of 2020. Among those attending in support of the California potato farmer and fellow inductee Lee Beard, was Ed Rensi, who in the 1990s was McDonaldsÕ president and CEO.

Larry Minor, who drove Top Fuel dragsters in the 1980s and won NHRA series championships in Top Fuel and Funny Car as a car owner, the latter with Cruz Pedregon and the McDonalds Oldsmobile, was one of those inducted in the class of 2020. Among those attending in support of the California potato farmer and fellow inductee Lee Beard, was Ed Rensi, who in the 1990s was McDonald's president and CEO.

2011-028682011-02868Sandra Mizell, wife of racer Stanley Mizell, accepted the Pat Garlits Memorial Award on behalf of Etta Glidden, a key member of the Glidden family racing team that won 10 NHRA Ori Stock championships in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sandra Mizell, wife of racer Stanley Mizell, accepted the Pat Garlits Memorial Award on behalf of Etta Glidden, a key member of the Glidden family racing team that won 10 NHRA Ori Stock championships in the 1970s and 1980s.

2011-028752011-02875Wave maker, Don Prieto, left, accepted the FoundersÕ Award from noted driver, track official, racing magazine executive, Hall of Fame honcho and all-around good guy Harry Hibler.

Wave maker, Don Prieto, left, accepted the Founders Award from noted driver, track official, racing magazine executive, Hall of Fame honcho and all-around good guy, Harry Hibler. 

2011-028952011-02895Billy Meyer, who was the Funny Car winner in the last event in which he participated before his 1987 retirement, shared his induction into the 2020 International Drag Racing Hall of Fame with wife Deborah, who was the inspiration for many of the innovations he incorporated into the construction of the Texas Motorplex in 1986.

Billy Meyer, who was the Funny Car winner in the last event in which he participated before his 1987 retirement, shared his induction into the 2020 International Drag Racing Hall of Fame with wife Deborah, who was the inspiration for many of the innovations he incorporated into the construction of the Texas Motorplex in 1986.
 

2011-028922011-02892The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing's International Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees were celebrated on Thursday of the Gatornationals. Back row: Founder's Award recipient Don Prieto, Billy Meyer, Lee Beard, and Sandra Mizell, who accepted the Patricia Garlits Memorial Award on behalf of Etta Glidden. Front row: Larry Minor, Don Enriquez, Robert "Bones" Balogh, and Roy Hill.

The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing's International Drag Racing Hall of Fame inductees were celebrated on Thursday of the Gatornationals. Back row: Founder's Award recipient Don Prieto, Billy Meyer, Lee Beard, and Sandra Mizell, who accepted the Patricia Garlits Memorial Award on behalf of Etta Glidden. Front row: Larry Minor, Don Enriquez, Robert "Bone" Balogh, and Roy Hill.
 

 


LOOKing Back at Kenny Delco's First Win. by Kelly Wade

March 23, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

2008-052942008-05294When the postponed Amalie Motor Oils NHRA Gatornationals reappear on the schedule, the entry list will have a spot reserved for Pro Stock's Kenny Delco.

When the postponed Amalie Motor Oils NHRA Gatornationals reappear on the schedule, the entry list will have a spot reserved for Pro Stock's Kenny Delco.
 

2008-011432008-01143For engine builder Frank Iaconio and Pro Stock driver Delco, a return to Gainesville is always special. It's where both earned their first career wins as Pro Stock drivers.

For engine builder Frank Iaconio and Pro Stock driver Delco, a return to Gainesville is always special. It's where both earned their first career wins as Pro Stock drivers.
 

9011-87-119011-87-11Delco, of East Setauket, New York, has been a fixture on the circuit for many years, and he won his first and, so far, only national event at Gainesville Raceway 30 years ago.

Delco, of East Setauket, New York, has been a fixture on the circuit for many years, and he won his first and, so far, only national event at Gainesville Raceway 30 years ago.
 

1990GF1_Delco WC_011990GF1_Delco WC_01Delco, of East Setauket, New York, has been a fixture on the circuit for many years, and he won his first and, so far, only national event at Gainesville Raceway 30 years ago.

Kenny Delco, crew and friends are all smiles after beating Rickie Smith to take home the Pro Stock honors.

 

9011-100-029011-100-02Deb Britsen, Miss Winston, looks on as legendary announcer Dave McClelland interviews Kenny Delco after his 1st Pro Stock win at the 1990 Gatornationals.

Deb Britsen, Miss Winston, looks on as legendary announcer Dave McClelland interviews Kenny Delco after his 1st Pro Stock win at the 1990 Gatornationals.

9011-100-099011-100-09Mike Lewis interviews Kenny Delco about what it's like to win the Gators.

Mike Lewis interviews Kenny Delco about what it's like to win the Gators.
 

9011-87-019011-87-01Along with Kenny winning that weekend, Darrel Gwynn won Top Fuel and Ed McCulloch won Funny Car. Joining them on the podium is Miss Winston, Deb Britsen.

Along with Kenny winning that weekend, Darrel Gwynn won Top Fuel and Ed McCulloch won Funny Car. Joining them on the podium is Miss Winston, Deb Britsen.

2008-052972008-05297We've always done well here and run fast, and we were hoping to win that day & but no, we didn't expect it, said Delco at the 2016 event. Of course you go to any race and want to win, but the truth is that I just like racing.

We've always done well here and run fast, and we were hoping to win that day & but no, we didn't expect it, said Delco at the 2019 event. Of course you go to any race and want to win, but the truth is that I just like racing.

9011-96-059011-96-05Delco beat Rickie Smith in the 1990 Gainesville Pro Stock final.

Delco beat Rickie Smith in the 1990 Gainesville Pro Stock final.

8820-39-098820-39-09His first Pro Stock final round was in 1988 in Memphis, where he was runner-up to Tony Christian.

His first Pro Stock final round was in 1988 in Memphis, where he was runner-up to Tony Christian.

9011-87-019011-87-01Along with Kenny winning that weekend, Darrel Gwynn won Top Fuel and Ed McCulloch won Funny Car. Joining them on the podium is Miss Winston, Deb Britsen.

Along with Kenny winning that weekend, Darrel Gwynn won Top Fuel and Ed McCulloch won Funny Car. Joining them on the podium is Miss Winston, Deb Britsen.
 

1978GF1_PS Final1978GF1_PS FinalNotably, Iaconio also earned the first win of his Pro Stock career at Gainesville Raceway. In 1978, he beat iconic driver Bob Glidden for the Gatornationals title. 10 more wins would follow in the ultra-competitive class before Iaconio would hang up his driving suit.

Delco, whose crew chief is Jamie Yates , son of two-time Pro Stock champ Jim Yates , has a lot of years in the category. He also has a not-so-secret weapon in his veteran engine builder: Frank Iaconio.

Notably, Iaconio also earned the first win of his Pro Stock career at Gainesville Raceway. In 1978, he beat iconic driver Bob Glidden for the Gatornationals title. 10 more wins would follow in the ultra-competitive class before Iaconio would hang up his driving suit.

 

1978GF1_PS winner1978GF1_PS winnerDelco, whose crew chief is Jamie Yates Ð son of two-time Pro Stock champ Jim Yates Ð has a lot of years in the category. He also has a not-so-secret weapon in his veteran engine builder: Frank Iaconio.

There is definitely meaning to it, coming to this race, said Iaconio, who raced in his first final round at the 1976 running of the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Wally Booth got the win that day. I remember our Gainesville win. It was only the second year Ray Allen and I raced. We built the car the year before and only went to a couple of races, and we were runner up at Indy, the second race on the car. We went to Pomona ,Winternationals, and back then Gainesville was the second race. We ran good and won the race. It was memorable. Hopefully, this is still a good track for us.
 

 

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