Diary of a Match Racer

Ok, to start off, a word of caution for any of you aspiring poverty seekers. Drag Racing can be hazardous to your financial, maritial and mental condition. As with any addiction the greater the rush the more funding, attention and time required. And don't fool yourself, it is addicting, I know. Driving a funny car is a feeling that nothing in the world can beat. Ok, so much for the disclaimer.


The Rapid Transit racing team started out in 1992 with the purchase of the first of 3 funnycars, a 1987 TransAm. After 12 years of wanting one, it finally happened. It was just a rolling chassis but it was here. Got it home, put the seat tin in it and discovered it didn't fit. It was for a driver about 7 inches shorted then me. Back on the trailer and over to Seattle I went to Progressive Metal Craft. Owned and operated by Brad Hadman, the same guy who builds all of Allen Johnson/Gary Scelzi world championship cars. After Brad was done I fit great in the car and is the same chassis in all three bodys I've had.


Took me another 2 years to get all the parts and pieces together to make a complete car. Wasn't the best of anything but it was all together. Then came the moment of reckoning. Could I drive it or would it scare me to death. On a warm June night at Spokane Raceway Park I attempted to make my first pass. My crew was greener then I was. The closest any of us had got to a Funny Car was standing in the pits at a race. We didn't know how to back up the car, stage or any of the little things you see teams do but don't pay attention to. A good friend named Jerry Ruth came out and helped us a bit that first night. We've sure learned alot since then. My first full pass was a 10.62. Thought I'd set the world on fire and then when the crew got there they asked me why I clicked it off at the 1/8 mile. Oops. Things happen so fast you don't even have a chance to look around. I ran out of bleachers and thought that was the end of the quarter mile. Didn't even see the line. I've come along way since then as has the crew. A word of thanks to crewmembers Jim Ashenbrenner and Jeff Stroud. Thanks for the help in the early years.


In 1996 we won the Pro Alcohol Funny Car title at Spokane Raceway Park and the Lilac Funny car show as well. Went to races in Calgary and Seattle and went to the finals. 96 was good to us.


In 1997 we installed a 1992 Olds Cutlass body with great expectations.We had traction problems all year and kicked the rods out of the motor in Calgary. We had alot of fun, won a few races and met alot of really nice people but part breakage sure can mess up a weekend. All in all though 97 was a pretty decent year.


1998 is one for the record books. When you try to go faster it will cost you. Had fun and won a couple of events in Spokane but also broke the rearend housing 3 times and rolled both sprages in the transmission. Went to Woodburn, a great track by the way, and shook so hard it rolled the timing back about 12 degrees and gave me a headache for a week. But the topping on the year came at the last event of the year. The Medford National Open. First pass out tire shake broke a fuel line, catching the car on fire at the 1/8, of which I didn't see it. Kicked the rods out of the motor crossing the finish line, blew the burst panel setting off the fuel tank which in turn unlatched the body at 210 mph sending it about 100 feet up and coming down on the guard rail. Mean while I'm sitting in the car with the parachutes melted off noticing about this time that I'm on fire. Thankfully all the safety equipment did its job. I kept the car out of the gaurdrail and walked away uninjured. I just jumped out of the car when the NHRA Safety Safari showed up. My hats off to those guys. They were there as fast as anyone could have been . Its nice to know if something goes wrong those guys are there. Thanks alot you guys.

A good friend told be one time, if you race funny cars, its not a matter of if you wreck the car, its a matter of when you wreck. Something to think about.

Well as you can see from the picture on the opening page I'm back with a third body. A 1997 Olds Cutlass carbon fiber piece. Sure is alot lighter. Hope it works as good as it looks.

Hmm. The last 2 years have been kind of a bust for me and the Rapid Transit racing team. I only made one outting with the race car in 2000. Work, money, personal stuff and more, you know "LIFE" kind of got in the way. Did have some fun driving Mark Aguiars car at the 2000 Foxhunt. We all worked on the Rayco Top Fuel entry both years which was really alot of fun. The alcohol program suffered from engine problems that have just recently be discovered. 2001 wasn't a hole lot better. Small problems got us at every turn. Well those problems have been corrected! We did intermitten racing thru 2005 when the engine was totally destroyed. Put it back together in 2006 and then parked it.

Ok, after a long intermission were back and testing in 2010. Then were gonna give it a hell of a run in 2011. Some match racing and maybe a NHRA race to boot. Enjoy the rest of the web page and thanks for reading this.


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