Limited-Edition Print of 500 (13x19)
Signed and numbered by the Artist.
In my opinion, the "Super Stock Nationals" race did for Funny Cars what the "U.S. Fuel and Gas Championships" at Bakersfield did for Dragsters.
In 1965, the fledgling drag-rag "Super Stock & Drag Illustrated" magazine, thought it a good marketing idea, to stage an all out Drag Race, featuring nothing but the Super Stock and Factory Experimental Doorslammers. These Factory Experimentals (known as F/Xers to the Drag Race community), had not yet been recognized by the Drag Racing sanctioning bodies. These F/Xer's were billed as "Outlaw Cars," and were barnstorming and "Match Racing" across the country that year, much to the delight of thousands of attending fans.
The "Super Stock Nationals," would be, the first all out "Funny Car" race. It was held as a 1 day event, August 7th, 1965, at "York, U.S. 30" drag strip, in "York" Pennsylvania.
Invited to event, were 80 of the "Hottest" doorslammers in the country. Everyone who was "Anyone" in F/X racing was there, it was a veritable "Who's Who," in the (soon-to-be) world of Funny Car racing. The track itself was built to hold about 8,500 spectators, when they finally closed the gates, some 21,000 fans had jammed their way in. Hundreds of more enthusiastic fans, parked their cars along the out-lying roads, and simply walked through the surrounding cornfields and snuck in. They seemed to have sensed a major historic event was about to take place.
The field of cars, was broken up into 5 different classes. An "Unlimited" class (which allowed anything, injected or supercharged). Then 4 weight classes, starting at 2700lbs, then 3,000lbs, then 3,200, and finally 3,400lbs. All cars had to be 64 or 65 model years.
Since this was to be a 1 day event, qualifying was held in the morning, and early afternoon, and the "Race" itself, got underway at 4pm. The "Unlimited" class was first up; and they didn't disappoint their "Outlaw" fans, as they adorned their "Firesuits," spread rosin, (traction compound), did several dry-hops, and burn-throughs, prior to each match race .
The two subjects of this painting were both in that class. Bud Faubel, and Bob Harrop, both running Altered Wheelbase, F/X 65 Dodge Coronets, "Injected" on "Nitro." Bud Faubel, and team mate George Weiler, had a stable of 3 cars the race, and it was Bud's alternate, "Twin Turbo-Charged" Coronet, that seemed strongest running car at the event. However, the "Turbo" car lost early on, as the car would have traction problems and start smoking the tires when the "Turbos" kicked in, at about 400' out.
After all 5 classes were ran, and the "winners" were crowned, there was to be two more class runoffs. A "Handicap" Eliminator, and a "Heads-Up" class, to determine the faster car of the event. These two races were held between the 5 class winners, and the next faster 11 cars. The "Handicap" Eliminator race was held first, and was it was "Bill Lawton's" "Tasca" Mustang, that grabbed the "Win," as "Cecil Yother" driving his "Melrose Missile" Plymouth, couldn't play the "Handicap" game, and Redlighted!
When it was time for the "Heads-Up" race start, it was 2.30 in the morning. (Which would technically, make this a 2 Day race, but who was counting?) There were not enough cars left to make up a 16 car field, as by now, some of competitors, had called it a "day."
It was a hot August night, and the fans were still jammed in track, completely enthralled by the history they were witnessing "first-hand."
The first 2 cars up, were Bud Faubel in his "Honker" Dodge, against So Cal standout, Dick Landy. Bud nailed Landy with a "Holeshot" and ran a 9.52 to Landy's 9.64...Meanwhile, Bob Harrop's " Flying Carpet" Dodge was the model of consistency, as he plowed his way through the field, to meet Bud in the final.
Dick Landy would later comment, that it was so hot and muggy, and with all the rosin the racers had used all day, the staring line was like "glue!" He had to add air to the slicks, in hopes of spinning the rear wheels a bit, to avoid the "dreaded" bumper dragging wheelstands.
You can ask Bud Faubel what I meant by "dreaded?" As he stood his Dodge on the rear bumper allowing Bob Harrop to sprint to the win...No matter what, Bud would have had a hard time in over coming Bob's "Flying" 9.32 at 146mph. Which stood as low ET. and Top Speed of the meet. I would assume this final round went off at about 3.30am.
It was a lot of fun to paint this late-night image, and I would love to hear from anyone who was in attendance, that fateful night. A Special Thanks goes out to Jim Davis and Dick Wells, for their help with this story.