THE LONG BOLT
by Ben Griffin
When we were racing the UDRA circuit back East in the early 1970's, Terry Pringle, the driver of Gene Snow's A/FC had to fly home to work between races and since we had a week between events, we had extra time on our hands. So I offered to prep his car for the next race after finishing mine.
Gene Snow did not give Terry a reverser for his Lenco 2-speed so his one-man crew, a guy we called Yank from Iron Mountain, Michigan (the most northern city in the U.S.A., or so we were told...almost on the Canadian border), had to push Terry back after his burnouts. Even though Yank was a strong guy, I really felt sorry for him as he could barely push Snow's car back by himself. I could see him straining his guts out to do it, so one of my crew guys would run out and help him so Terry could get back in time to stage.
Back at the shop when I pulled the clutch can off Terry's car I saw that the bolt that held the fork on his shaft that worked the throwout bearing was a bit too long. I worked his clutch pedal and could see that the end of the bolt was hitting inside the clutch can and stopping the pedal from fully depressing the clutch. No wonder Yank was having so much trouble pushing him back! I cut the bolt off so that it missed the can and the dilemma was solved. At the next race, Yank could easily push Terry back by himself.
It’s often the small details like this that can make a big difference in a race car – something to think about in your own racing operation!
Nostalgia Drag World - by Ben Griffin
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