My Thoughts



    Get the Bug.


Fun to watch somebody get the bug. My granddaughter, Lexi, has been working with me in the office since the move back to Illinois. Last week I asked her if she wanted to go to the races with me this week. (She’s been to the races a lot of times in her life). She said “I don’t know.” After a while she said, “You know what I’d really like to do is.... I’d like to go to the drag races”.


     So we went to Coles County Dragway in Charleston, Illinois. And now she’s in love with the drag races. She got up to the fence and watched almost every race. It was hard to get her away from the fence to help me with bios until there was a break in the action and they oiled down the track.


     I was amazed! I was ready to leave, and she said she wanted to stay with Mom and Dad and stay ‘til the end.  She wrote a little article: she’s going to have a column each week…it’s Lexi Bathe…Drag Racin Babe.  This is going to be different because we haven’t had any drag racers in this family.


When was the late time you took someone to the track and watched them get the bug.


I started drag racing with Ron Evans.  He was an old guy: he was like 23…been in the service, been divorced, took me all over the country, and taught me about motors. He turned me onto Chrysler stuff. I introduced him to his wife, and his wife introduced me to my first wife.


        I’ve always liked the equipment at the Drag tracks. The equipment is always exceptional.  Those guys are always ahead of the circle track guys, and that’s why I’ve always run Chryslers. The problem with drag racing is that just about the time it starts getting cool – it stops. In circle tracks just about the time it starts getting cool they turn the corner and they’ve got to do it 50 times in a 25 lap feature.  It’s a lot different racing at the drag track. 


       I saw Jackie Protz. She was Jackie Banks when we were 18. But then  Bill came along. Her granddaughter is 16 and running a Jr. Dragster. Check out her bio, Brandy Protz,  on the Coles County Dragway Page.  She’s a third generation racer too. 


      Lots of empty seats at Pocono. Joey Logano won.  And he was pretty emotional about it.  Dale Jr. had the car and just didn’t get there.  I’ll be glad to see him get the monkey off his back.


     The racing in Illinois is so much different than the racing in Texas I had forgotten!  You gotta turn your shirt upside down and shake the dirt outta the pockets when you come home.  I went to Clay County Speedway in Flora, IL to see the AMS Mod series run, and found they had open wheel sprinters that run on a regular, weekly program.  I asked them what the rules were, and they said “Don’t get too far ahead.”  I saw Steve Thomas of Bell  still kicking the car around.  I raced with  Steve’s Dad, Al, who drove the #70 car.  You can see both their profiles on the MSCS page in out sprint car section.


     Clay County speedway put on a good show, and they did a lot of things for the kids.  They had them down on the track taking pictures with the feature winners which I thought was super.  Bryan Shaw won the AMS Modified feature.  Had a lot of good hot-shoes from Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois running in that series. Catch them when you can. . 





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Revised: February 23, 2013