10 Questions with James Day and Eily Stafford

Interviewed by Al Heisley, Editor
Nostalgia Drag World Magazine

NDW: James, you’re a successful hired gun. What classes do you currently run? And for which owners?

JD: I’m currently driving the Cecil Matthews Nostalgia Funny Car. However, I’ve driven the Burkholder Bros Fuel Altered, and I also had a win in John Alemans ‘Sheepherder’ Fuel Altered this year as well.

NDW: You’ve driven Top Fuel Funny Cars in the past. What’s the future hold to get back in one again? Maybe for a more extended stint?

JD: I’d like to tell you that a ride is right around the corner, but unless millions of dollars fall out of the sky, I won’t be headed back to the pros anytime soon. (Laughing)

NDW: What have been your biggest wins and most satisfying accomplishments on the drag strip?

JD: Let’s see, winning in Dale Pulde’s ‘War Eagle,’ winning the 2014 March Meet in Gary Turner’s ‘Pedaler’ Nostalgia Funny Car, and winning the 2019 March Meet in the ‘Tramp’ Fuel Altered were all fantastic wins!

NDW: Eily, you’ve driven some great, big-name cars. Tell us about the team you drive for now and what makes this team special?

ES: Right now, I’m driving for John Brand and Carol McCaslin in the ‘Mighty Mouse’ Blown Alcohol Altered. It’s a Nostalgia Eliminator car in the ANRA Racing Series at Bakersfield, CA. I’m also driving for Mark Borjon. I drove one of his Rear Engine Top Fuel Dragsters at the March Meet in the Nitro Pro Comp class.

NDW: While you’ve been involved in one aspect of hi-performance or another your entire adult life, what does the future hold personally and professionally?

ES: Hopefully, we can continue to race, travel, and have fun. Work hard. Play hard.

NDW: Now that you’re the dad of an 8- or 9-year-old boy, what’s it like to think about his dreams of becoming a driver himself? Is that something he talks about? Are you prepared for it if he wants to drive?

JD: As of now, he has no desire to race. He’s really into video games and loves school. We hope he blazes his own path in this world.

NDW: What’s life like with two married racers living under the same roof? Is everything a competition, or are things reasonably normal?

ES: Nothing is a competition between us. We’re both very supportive of each other on and off the racetrack.

NDW: What do you both like to do when you’re not racing? What do you do and where do you go to relax?

ES: We love to travel, scuba dive, go to the sand dunes, and spend time with family.

NDW: What can the racing community expect to see from you as a couple in the future?

JD: Hopefully, we get to run in the same class someday.

NDW: Heads up, in the same class, who would win?

ES: I guess we’re going to have to wait and see 😉

Photos supplied with story by James Day