Bill 'Badco' Ott recently underwent shoulder replacement surgery leaving him literally left handed. Being right handed he's unable to type, take notes, or even dial the phone. The story below is from his archives and was originally featured on Draglist.com. More of his earlier stories can also be accessed on www.Draglist.com.
Thanks, and a special thanks to Bill Pratt and the fine people at Draglist.com. Your site is the best, period!.
A ROARING SUCCESS
©2002 Bill 'Badco' Ott
Notes on breaking into a performance
and through a sound barrier on the same afternoon
*Kick it into overdrive
I’m gonna win
Ooh, ooh, ooh
I’m gonna win*
Yes Sir!!! Precisely what the gang from Dallas had in mind as they finished loading the digger into the trailer. Someone had put Foreigner’s latest album (Foreigner 4) in the cassette player and the chorus of “I’m Gonna Win” was fading into silence as Curt Carroll and crew closed the doors on the 43’ Chaparral trailer they’d just purchased from that Beadle(1) guy across town. ‘Ol Raymond evidently made ‘em an offer they couldn’t refuse, as they wound up with his 454-powered crew cab dually pickup too.
Looks like the crew’s gonna be riding in style... and air conditioned comfort too. But then again Indianapolis Raceway Park is a long way from Central Texas (or anywhere in Texas for that matter) and so far this summer has been a warm one. And then there’s that damned Labor Day traffic... The National safety Council predicts that this 1981 weekend traffic will be the heaviest on record.
But so far... in the global arena... this has been a pretty upbeat year. The hostages were released from Iran... we now have a female Supreme Court justice... an attempt on the President’s life failed... the collapse of the Iron Curtain seems inevitable... the entire planet kicked back for just a while and enjoyed the nuptials of Prince Charles and Di... AND... there’s STILL nine of sixteen slots open in the NHRA 250 MPH Club.
When viewed from the Drag Racing theater perspective, this has also been an upbeat year for the Carroll Brothers team. Their “Texas Whips”(2) dragster qualified #1 and reset both ends of the track record at the Cajun Nationals in Louisiana... took out defending Winston Champ Shirley Muldowney in the second round at Columbus, in what many consider one of the best side by side pairings of all time (thanks to driver David Pace’s superb ‘feathering’ work after getting out of shape mid-track)... Gary Beck AND Shirley both congratulated him on that win.... and just for the hell of it, at the same event, they set top speed of the meet (247.93 MPH).
Someone grabbed that Foreigner cassette and threw it in the pickup just before the garage doors were locked. So with the gang all present and accounted for, truck and trailer are on the road and eastbound on I-30. Next stop... The U.S. Nationals.
T-Shirt logo courtesy David Pace
On board for the next few days is Curt Carroll, wife Deloris, son Steve... and driver David Pace. Noticeably absent for this excursion is legendary prankster Bill ‘Bones’ Carroll who recently retired. Bill will remain with the team but strictly as the guy who stays home in Dallas builds those strong Keith Black engines. He has decided to put an end to his ‘on the road’ days... and nights.
The circus atmosphere that was the U.S. Nationals some thirty-plus years ago produced some fairly impressive times both Thursday and Friday. But these first two days of qualifying were dominated by the sportsman categories with the Professional classes getting in just one pass each day.
Saturday’s Pro qualifying session was topped by Shirley’s 250.69. Followed up almost immediately by Gary Ormsby’s identical 250.69 blast. This pass got Gary into that exclusive NHRA 250 MPH Club. Eight slots left now.
And why didn’t you mention Shirley’s pass getting her inducted into the club you ask? Must be some sexist reason, no? Hell no! Turns out she’s already a member... since May of ’77. And the one person who’s been in the club longer than her? Who else but BIG. And he’s been the founding member since October of ’75.
The “Texas Whips” machine ran its usual consistent 245 to 247 MPH passes on Saturday. David mentioned an unusual ‘quirk’ the dragster had that only the driver would have known about... so I couldn’t resist passing this one along. Seems that when the drag chute hit on any pass over 245 MPH the back wheels on the Tony Casarez-built chassis (another Dallasite) would lift in the air. Who says you don’t have to be crazy to drive one of these?
Another quirk about this dragster... it was the loudest on the grounds. Seems like the Carroll Brothers team borrowed a page from the infamous Jobe/Skinner/Sorokin (aka: The Surfers) book of NITRO tuning wizardry. A little compression... a lot of mag... a lot of blower... and a whole lotta NITRO. Maybe 92-94% on an easy pass, and the rest of the time... just tip the can! This method saved time, as well as unnecessary wear and tear on the hydrometer. I forgot to ask what their favorite shade of food coloring was.
Sunday’s Pro sessions ended with Gary Beck qualified #1 with a 5.63 in Larry Minor’s machine. Fellow Canadian Terry Capp managed to squeeze into that ninth slot in the 250 Club with a 250.00 pass. Dave qualified #6 with a 5.73 and would draw Frank Bradley in tomorrow’s first round of eliminations.
Monday (Labor Day) morning dawned with threatening overcast skies and rain in the forecast. But by 11:00 a.m. the rain had held off and first round got underway as scheduled. “The Beard” (Bradley) red lit against Dave in the “Whips” car. Good thing too... the K.B. threw a blower belt somewhere around 1000 feet.
Next round... Dave paired off with Dwight Salisbury driving Ray Fisher’s show-quality digger. ‘Ol Dwight got out on Dave and had him covered to just before the lights. That’s where Dave blew by him on what he knew had to be one of his stoutest passes ever. Man, when that chute hit, it felt like it must’ve gone a foot in the air! Dwight commented later that the “Whips” hemi was so loud it scared the hell out of him as it roared by.
After coasting to a stop at the turn around at the end of the track and removing his helmet David was informed by the smiling track personnel and crew members that he had just became one of the fastest ever with a pass of 250.00. By now David was convinced they had the right setup to win this whole thing. The 250 pass was just icing on the cake. Being one of the first sixteen cars to top 250 was something that hadn’t even crossed the boys’ minds. article continued on next page
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