They Called Him "Atomic"

#1
Meant to post this a few days ago (11/28) on his birthday, Al Hofmann would have been 70 this year

Great racer and never, ever boring when a camera and mic were shoved in his face....

Perfect example of "Atomic Al"


 

none

Nitro Member
#3
He was one of a kind, if he liked you, he would do anything to help you. If he didn't? Well.......

He once put in a rest area at his place between the main house and the crew quarters, just for me. For some reason, that one night after a trip to the local watering hole for a few drinks, then back to the house for drinks, pool, drinks, a ride in his 57 Chevy, and a few drinks, it was too far for me to walk without taking a break, so next time I was there he had added a bench.......

Good Times,
Alan
 

kegs

Nitro Member
#4
Heard a story about Al walking thru the pits when a guy with his rather large girlfriend/wife asks "hey Al you think she'll go 300 today?" to which Al responded "she will if you keep letting her eat!!"
 
#6
He was one of a kind, if he liked you, he would do anything to help you. If he didn't? Well.......

He once put in a rest area at his place between the main house and the crew quarters, just for me. For some reason, that one night after a trip to the local watering hole for a few drinks, then back to the house for drinks, pool, drinks, a ride in his 57 Chevy, and a few drinks, it was too far for me to walk without taking a break, so next time I was there he had added a bench.......

Good Times,
Alan
For some reason, eh?
Maybe after a "few" drinks the distance was too far to walk....
Like a Fuel Altered needs more than 1320 feet to get to the finish line?:D
 
#9
Lets not forget Helen hoffman. Had the same heavy duty competitive drive as al. Met her once in the pits at enlishtown. They had gone two rounds. Second rounds was not pretty and they lost by a hair. I made the mistake of saying something like “you guys had a pretty decent couple of rounds today”
. She looked up with a sneer and said “you call those decent!! and then she stormed off.
 
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Jimbo

Nitro Member
#10
Sherman:

When I started to read this post about Al all I was picturing in my mind was his old "Sunday's Child" car.

He used to also race at Dover Drag Strip a lot back in the 60's with the car.

Thanks for posting that cool picture.

Jim Hill
www.nostalgicracingdecals.com
 

DAN

Nitro Member
#13
I always thought he looked like Harvey Keitel. Was always a fan of his brash honesty. Often wonder if he'd still be racing today if he were alive.
 
#14
Lets not forget Helen Hofmann.
.

He once put in a rest area at his place between the main house and the crew quarters, just for me. For some reason, that one night after a trip to the local watering hole for a few drinks, then back to the house for drinks, pool, drinks, a ride in his 57 Chevy, and a few drinks, it was too far for me to walk without taking a break, so next time I was there he had added a bench.......

Good Times,
Alan
Now we get to see the '57 Chevy, and the shop and crew house layout, the pool table, the watering hole....but where was the "Alan Reinhart Grandstand....er... Bench" located? Did they manage to capture it on that film?:D
 
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#15
Many years ago I went to Maple Grove with my best friend and he had comp tickets to a hospitality tent sponsored by G.M. we grabbed a burger and soda, sat down to a table under their tent and Al walked over and sat down with us... Just the 3 of us at that table! We talked for about an hour or 2. Such a cool guy but get him started on NASCAR because he thought it was a "YUPPY" sport. Sitting at a plastic table with Al is something that you cannot forget. The stories he had told us were awesome. Just the street racing that he used to do before he went pro were impressive! I Miss that guy!
 

FC138fan

Nitro Member
#17
Al was pretty large when I was a huge fan of the NHRA (mid 90s). I was of course a Force fan early on he was the NHRA's poster boy after all. But it seemed there was one racer who was the dark horse, not afraid to take a shot at the King every chance he got. This was Al in the mid 90's. He was the underdog, and every once in awhile he would get a good shot in. I loved it and soon I was on the Hofmann train.
This was the mid 90's mind you, the internet was brand new. There was NHRAonline... and thats about it. Of course Force had a website... and I had a crappy geocities type website. I got pretty good at HTML and photoshopping images / creating animated gifs and that. But forums like the current NitroMater were also popping up. In these forums it was alot of gushy Force fans. One board in particular I remember John himself came into the board and offered a fan tickets to a race. From that point on I trolled hard knowing that Force read these forums. I would create animated gifs showing Al beating Force, Al Hofmann #1 etc. etc. I created a section of my geocities website as the unofficial Hofmann website. This was about 1996 or so.
Anyway the years rolled on, the guestbook grew and went largely un-noticed... except fans kept finding my site. I logged all the entries and stored them in hopes to send them to Al one day.
And eventually his career came to an abrupt end (Remember ESPN showing Jim Dunn peeling his name off the window?) Anyway Al actually reached out to me to try and get his side of the story out there to his fans when that happened. Al never actually did get a website going, so he gave me permission to call it the "official" Al Hofmann website now that he was sponsor less and out of racing. I got his number and he told his side of the story and posted it on the site.
As time went on my wife and I took a trip to Disney and got an invite to Al's place while we were down there so that I could look through photos and get stories for the website.. and I could finally hand over all those gustbook entries to him in person. We had a great time and Al looked like he was truly happy. He had a stable of cars that he was very proud of. I remember I took a picture of him for the website and he had the biggest smile on his face... I said hey Al, you're supposed to be a badass... can I get a badass look? He kept smiling and said "But I don't wanna be a badass!". He really was a great big teddy bear.

 
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#19
"Hofmann retired from racing in 2002 and with his second wife, Susie, operated a classic and custom car restoration shop back in his home state of Florida. In an interview last year, Hofmann admitted he missed the excitement of his tumultuous racing career but that "I'm glad I walked away when I did. When all that money came into the sport, a lot of the fun went out."

Bill Stephens covers NHRA for ESPN.com.
 

FC138fan

Nitro Member
#20
If I remember he didn't like how TV made it out to be. He and Jim got along well and parted ways mutually.

I think once he got out he started having the time of his life. Tragic his life was cut short because like I said he seemed very happy. Susie is a wonderful and sweet person they were perfect for each other. Great family too, I have nothing but nice things to say about all of them.