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In Closing-My Final Thoughts Of Lions-240+Races (1 Viewer)

[email protected]

Nitro Member
This past week has brought a tremendous amount of joy and some heartache about my beloved Lions Drag Strip. Thanks for all the pictures, memories, and great comments about this historic strip.

I am sure some of the newer folks have maybe rolled their eyes at these threads and thought there he goes again. I hope some may have felt the passion on this board that some of us felt and more importantly witnessed.

Not a horn tooter here but I feel I have a good grip on all of racing history, not just the 1320 action (whoops, now at 1000') but all forms of racing that I enjoy that I have seen all across this country. Just recently I attended a new track here in the South to now make 144 tracks attended.

But thru them all the one that sticks out by far is still Lions after all these years. Better than the Indy 500, Daytona, Talladega Super Speedway and many other legendary tracks I have been blessed to attend.

Why Lions? Many reasons, in no order and maybe even a ramble here. The era, competition, location, layout, weather, seating, the drivers, the diversity, the incredible events, track staff, food, and the atmosphere at Lions all added up.

The records I kept, the weekly papers, great magazines and the souvenirs all once again added up. The records, wild races, car counts, and even the deaths played a big part. Still to this day I can picture the horrible accident that I saw right in front of dad and me watching a grizzly wreck by John Hoffman in the Snoopy Jaguar, wish I never had binoculars with me.

Another thing that made it great for dad and me was as mentioned earlier was the track staff, got to know the guys that sold us the chili dogs, gave us the invisible hand stamp for the pit pass seats, the guest announcers, Larry Sutton starting, Bernie Mather calling the weekly shows, watching Pappy buzzing around on the Honda Trail 70 or whatever it was. It all added up. Climbing up those poles underneath the tower and watching the races including maybe the best pure run by a Fuel Altered ever by Leroy Chadderton, sitting in our same seats, same section, same exact spot on the race blanket. Having Bill Bailey work on my jacket.

Getting shoed out of the tower on a number of occasions, I would walk in, hang by the door until getting the boot, lol.

But the best was all the events, ever single one of them, was with my father, truly priceless these days in geezerhood. All the friends I made at the track, the last guy I knew from the track since 66 died earlier this year, that is a long time.

Solid records have my father and I going to Lions at least 240 times, no s!%$, that is no bull, might be a little higher. Time and money well spent.

Thanks for the great times from that little piece of geographic heaven located at 223rd & Alameda, Lions Drag Strip..."DRIVE THE HIGHWAYS-RACE AT LIONS."

[email protected] it is time for some Jack Daniels Rye Whiskey over easy ice!
Talladega Short Track Announcer
 

Gone Dead Train

Nitro Member
The ill-fated E-Type Jaguar body Nitro Funny Car
Owned by Sheldon Konblet
Driver John Hoffman
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Cliff

Nitro Member
Wow... "never before seen photos", to me anyway. Does anyone know if the body survived the crash? I seem to remember this car w/o a blower motor. Maybe it was another car that looked like this one. Or, just possibly, the memory ain't what it used to be. heh
 

Gone Dead Train

Nitro Member
Wow... "never before seen photos", to me anyway. Does anyone know if the body survived the crash? I seem to remember this car w/o a blower motor. Maybe it was another car that looked like this one. Or, just possibly, the memory ain't what it used to be. heh

Cliff, if my memory is right. I read somewhere a few years ago about the car. And I think and
this is a big think that Larry Sutton was commenting on the car? I believe someone said the car
was dangerous and should never have run. Maybe Larry Sutton can chime in and tell us if
I'm even close on this.
 
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sutton

Nitro Member
The day of the accident John made the first run without the jag body making a complete run. The car had been a very bad handling car and they wanted to test a run without the body. on the final run of the car it started moving left and John was correcting to the right when it made a sudden right turn and went thru the fence on the right. after the accident we found that the body was pushing down on the front tires and when John was correcting hard he Findley overcome pressure the on the tires causing the accident. the tires had almost worn thru the fiber glass in the area of the tires in one run.
John was a great guy and had driven dragsters for along time (Blackie carbon gas dragster) and others. this loss hit me hard.

Larry Sutton---Lions Starter
 

Cliff

Nitro Member

This has photos of the Jag. Also, didn't realize that car owner Sheldon Konblett also ran the Peanuts Ford LTD funny car. Story I heard about the Peanuts car was that it was a one off body used by Ford for a commercial. Body was put on a mountain top & after that, was sold and Kinblett got it.
 

ocdart

Nitro Member
Thank you Mark, and all others that contributed. This has brought back a flood of memories from those wonderful days growing up in SoCal.
I haven't thought of Bill Bailey and his at-the-track embroidery business in many years!
Thanks again!

Bill-BaileyFontana-NHRA-006-.jpg


 

[email protected]

Nitro Member
The one thing about the Snoopy S/XS was how it did burnouts. The car did tire warmers kinda like Barker did with the S&M Psycho Mustang. The car would hit the gas and boil the hides furiously but seemed to never gather a whole lot of speed like the other Funnies. That whole ride to me was unique but very odd.



[email protected]
 

Dragracer

Nitro Member
The day of the accident John made the first run without the jag body making a complete run. The car had been a very bad handling car and they wanted to test a run without the body. on the final run of the car it started moving left and John was correcting to the right when it made a sudden right turn and went thru the fence on the right. after the accident we found that the body was pushing down on the front tires and when John was correcting hard he Findley overcome pressure the on the tires causing the accident. the tires had almost worn thru the fiber glass in the area of the tires in one run.
John was a great guy and had driven dragsters for along time (Blackie carbon gas dragster) and others. this loss hit me hard.

Larry Sutton---Lions Starter
I became friends with Johnny at Cerny's Paint where he hung out quite a bit. He was told by some racers and drivers not to drive the car that it was unsafe. Johnny unfortunately decided to drive it anyway.
RIP Johnny Hoffman
 

ZWeinstein

Nitro Member
I am sure some of the newer folks have maybe rolled their eyes at these threads and thought there he goes again. I hope some may have felt the passion on this board that some of us felt and more importantly witnessed.


Talladega Short Track Announcer

Hey it is great to read the passion others have for the sport and it is always good to brush up on history. I hope 30 years from now I'll be on here talking about my memories of Firebird and other tracks in other forms of racing I call home.
 

vegasnitro

Nitro Member
Hey it is great to read the passion others have for the sport and it is always good to brush up on history. I hope 30 years from now I'll be on here talking about my memories of Firebird and other tracks in other forms of racing I call home.

I feel the same about the Strip at LVMS. I love that place.
 
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