Hi Fans. I’m excited to say we will be racing at Bristol on Father’s Day weekend!
Thanks to some of my friends support we will be running my B.R.A.K.E.S. car with the picture of Jon & James on it, I figure there is just no way we can lose running that car on Father’s Day and having Jessie with me. And of course I love racing at Bristol. I won my first ever race there, beating Kim LaHaie in the final in 1992 and then managed to win at Bristol every year for the next six years straight, I was also the first to make a four-second run at Bristol and the first to make a 300-mph run at Bristol. So to say it’s one of my favorite tracks would be an understatement!
We are still hard at work to find sponsorship support to be able to run the car full time, we have been right down to the point of the dotted line a couple times!
Quite a bit has happened since my last blog so let me get you up to date!
We had several great B.R.A.K.E.S. events around the races at ZMax Dragway and the 4 Wide nationals. First was an awesome charity golf tournament that raised enough funding to send about 75 teens through the BRAKES driving program! Many thanks to all our friends that came out and played including Marcus and Anna Lisa Smith from Charlotte Motor Speedway and ZMax Dragway, Pro stock Champ Allen Johnson, Ron Capps, Matt Hagen, Greg Anderson, Clay Millican, Bob Vandergriff, Matt and Angie Smith, Rickie Smith, and my super Hall of Fame buddy Bobby Allison. (I’m sure I forgot about someone, so I apologize in advance).
At the end of the day the golf team led by Johnny Gray’s crew chief Rob Wendland took home the top shot! Thanks to NHRA President, Tom Compton for helping present the cool Wally replica awards that were made for us by the crew at Outcast Customs!
Then on Saturday morning at ZMax we had a pancake breakfast, and as usual John Force charged up the crowd! He and Antron Brown could make millions just being standup comics! Thanks to all the racers that came out to support the BRAKES charity including Allen Johnson, Larry Dixon, Blake Alexander, Leah Pruett, John Force, Antron Brown, Terry McMillen, Bob Tasca and Jason Line. We have the pancake breakfast every Saturday morning during the races at ZMax so if you are coming to the race be sure to not miss the breakfast!
I had a great time throughout the weekend joining Alan Reinhart in the tower and commentating for the Nitro sessions throughout the weekend, Thanks to Alan and Jim Trace for making me feel welcome! I had a great time taking my hero Bobby Allison to the 4 wide race. He said that he had not been to a drag race in over 40 years and that it had changed quite a bit! Thanks to hall of famer Don Schumacher for taking the time to show Bobby all around his compound at the races, Bobby was very impressed.
We had my 23rd annual open house and car show at Doug Herbert Performance Center here in Concord, NC. It was a great day! My buddy, NASCAR guru Don Miller ended up winning the best of show with his incredible Plymouth factory race car.
Last week I was invited to Kyle Busch’s shop for his annual open house and car show, while I was there I ran into my good friends and hero’s the Gwynn’s. Its always great to see them!
Our friend Courtney Hansen came by the shop the other day to say hi To Ginger & I, always great to see her! I think Ginger has her getting on green juice… Oh Yum…
To start off the Summer I had a chance to take Ginger and Jessie to the beach. We had a great time hanging on the beach, catching some fish and relaxing.
Now it’s time to start getting focused on Bristol and getting the fuel car down the track! Have a great summer and I will be back to update the blog again soon, until then keep the shiny side up!
Hi fans! I was hoping to be able to make a big announcement but unfortunately I don't have it yet so I will go ahead and bring everyone up to date with what we do have been doing since my last blog update.
We are continuing to work hard and I am sure that we will be back out racing NHRA Top Fuel soon ... very soon!
Jessie and I had fun going to a Carolina Panthers game while wearing our custom jerseys from my buddy Jason, Stroker Ace Kid. I think our team has potential with Steve Smith and Cam Newton but they just have not shown much of it yet.
We had a great visit here at Doug Herbert Performance from my buddy Rusty Keen and his squadron of T-38 Air Force pilots. Rusty (Shredder) was the guy that flew me in the USAF Thunderbirds F-16 and we have remained friends ever since -- very cool! They did the fly over at the fall NASCAR race here in Charlotte so Jessie and I had a chance to go out and check out the airplanes while they were here. I love airplanes and our US Air Force pilots are just awesome!
With Kyle Petty at Ride to Victory!
One of the things we look forward to every year is going on Kyle Petty's charity ride in memory of my buddy Click Baldwin. It's a great time and always fun to support Kyle, Diane Baldwin and Victory Junction gang.
For the past few months I have been lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time with my old buddy Bobby Allison. Bobby had been friends with my dad from way back in the 1950s when Bobby was just a little circle track racer from Miami. My dad was one of Bobby's first sponsors, pretty cool to have such a legend for a friend! Bobby has a Buick V-6 engine that he is building for a project car so we have been trying to help him and get this engine running good before he puts it in the car. We have the Buick running on the dyno and now it’s getting ready to go in Bobby's car. I will keep you posted on this project.
Also had a fun time with Bobby and Judy at his birthday party! Coincidently his favorite place is a place up in Mooresville called "Big Daddy’s" -- no it’s not that “Big Daddy” but it is a fun place to eat.
I was going through some of my dad’s old stuff and found a few pictures from the early 1950s , some of them were my dad and George Barris working on a car that they took to Bonneville in 1952. Those are some cool old photos!
One of the most fun things that we have done over the past few months is put together this fun "Harlem Shake" video at zMax Dragway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVuIhsr4Khw
Today was actually REALLY busy! This morning we were invited to take part in the "Big Show" with John Boy & Billy. It gave us a chance to talk about the four-wide race coming up at zMax Dragway and also to let everyone know about the B.R.A.K.E.S. events that we have going on during the race. The charity golf tournament will be Thursday the 18th and then our pancake breakfast will be in the pits at zMax on Saturday morning. Info on all these events at the website www.putonthebrakes.org This weekend we will be at the Auto fair event over here at the Charlotte Motor Speedway so if you are in town come by to say hello. And if you are coming in town for the 4 wide race be sure to come by and say hi, my shop is less than a mile from Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMax Dragway.
That's about all that I know for now. I will post another blog as soon as I have some good racing info.
Sun coming up at the salt flats
Hi blog fans! We have had a few things happen since my last blog entry so let me try to bring you up to speed.
I continue to work really hard on funding to get the Top Fuel car back at the track full time. As I write this I am really close to finalizing a deal so stay tuned.
One of the most fun things I have done is I made a trip to Bonneville for Speedweek. If you have never been to Bonneville I would highly suggest adding a trip to your “bucket list.” My buddy and premier fabricator Pancho Weaver went out with me. He is the guy that is building the “Unlimited Streamliner” car that we are building to go after the world land speed record, hopefully next year we will have the car ready. I was actually planning on driving “Fast Freddie” Fred Dannenfelzer's Blow Fuel Lakester; unfortunately, Fred spun the car on his first attempt and that put his car out of competition for the rest of the week. Luckily, my friends Don & Donnie Stringfellow hated to see me not get a ride in his Plymouth; it was great and gave me a good chance to get some runs in on the salt flats.
I had a chance to see a bunch of my old racing buddies at Bonneville, I ran into Bret Kepner, Les Davenport, Jason Line (who drove his way into the 200 MPH club), Wayne Jesel , Eric Studor, Valerie Thompson, and even Olympic speed skater Allison Baver!
I have been going to several track meets lately. Jessie has been running on the Cross country team at her school. She is a great little runner! She asked me if I would do some running with her. I actually used to be a good runner! I had to tell her that I was like a 1 ton pick up built on a half ton chassis. At least I got a laugh outta her!
On the home front I am staying really busy here at Doug Herbert Performance Center. Especially the past couple weeks with the NHRA races and this week with the AutoFair at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Last weekend we had the NHRA O’Reilly Nationals here in my back yard at ZMax Dragway. In conjunction with the races we had some great BRAKES events going on here. I want to say THANK YOU again to all my friends that made last week’s B.R.A.K.E.S. with Doug Herbert Golf & Dinner events such a great success! Special thanks to Bob Frey, Mike Neff, Dan Hood, Clay Millican, Mark Pickens, Steve Torrence, and Shawn Langdon (who went on to win his first national event as a pro on Sunday), Tony Schumacher , Alexis DeJoria , Khalid alBalooshi and my Pro Stock Motorcycle buddy Steve Johnson.
Also my NASCAR friends two-time Nationwide champion Randy Lajoie, legendary NASCAR crew chief and engine builder Waddell Wilson, and multi-time Legends series champion, Clay Hair.
Also my MRN Straight line buddy Marty Hough and PRN’s Doug Rice; some of my local friends Kevin and April Locklear from the hit television series Outkast Customs; and my VIP’s Rodger and Karen Comstock, John Bickford , Tom and Joan Kalimanis, and Coca-Cola’s Mike Adams also took part in the festivities. Also a big thanks to Rudy Reuttiger for his inspirational message! I am sure I forgot some people on this list and I'm sorry in advance.
For more info on BRAKES please visit the charity web site www.putonthebrakes.org
We have schools this weekend at ZMax as we do every month. Special thanks to Bruton and Marcus Smith and the entire Smith family for allowing us to use this incredible facility to train teens on how to be more responsible drivers. More than 8,000 teens from 19 states trained so far!
I will keep everyone posted on my sponsorship progress! Until next time, be good!
Hello blog fans! Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, let me try to get you up to speed…
The sponsor search continues. I am confident that we will be able to announce a new sponsor to run the entire 2013 NHRA series in Top Fuel. Stay tuned for details, and I will release them as things transpire. The NHRA will be coming back to my home track next month, and we are working full time to try and finish up a sponsor for the race September 13-16 at the awesome zMAX Dragway! Also, don’t forget on September 14 BRAKES will be hosting a morning golf event that will be open to the public. Everyone will have a chance to play golf with their favorite NHRA and NASCAR drivers at Rocky River Golf Club, located next door to the zMAX Dragway. On the evening of the 13th, we will have our 5th annual BRAKES charity benefit dinner with all of our favorite NHRA racers. This event will also be open to the public and will feature Rudy Ruettiger from the Notre Dame movie “Rudy” as our guest speaker. Please come and join us for a great day and evening. For details please go to the BRAKES website, www.putonthebrakes.org
Congratulations to new winners Erica Enders and Courtney Force! I have known Erica for years, and she is a great person. I’m very happy to see the success that she is enjoying right now. And Courtney, WOW I am very impressed with her. She does a great job behind the wheel and in front of the camera. Great job by her and her crew chief and my old buddy Ron Douglas!
Even though I have not been racing I have been to some races! I took a ride up to Bristol and spent some time in the tower with all my NHRA buddies and even had the opportunity to commentate with Bob Frey. That was fun, and Bob is always a great guy to hang out with.
Lunch with Bobby Allison
One person who I always love to see is NASCAR legend Bobby Allison. He and my dad were friends from way back in the 1950s, and I am lucky enough to be friends with Bobby even today. He has come by this summer a few times as we are working on a Buick V-6 turbo engine project for him here in the engine shop. I will post the results of this as soon as they become available.
The BRAKES schools are doing great! We just finished up one of the Pomona schools that was presented by the NHRA. So far BRAKES has trained nearly 8,000 teens how to be more responsible behind the wheel. Every day we get letters and emails from parents and teens telling us how something they learned at the school saved them from being in an accident and may have actually saved their life! It’s pretty rewarding work!
I can’t believe that Jessie is already back at school! She just started 9th grade and is happy to now be a high school student. We had a fun summer. One of the best things we did was go up to West Virginia and visit my buddy Tony. He showed Jessie, Peyton and me some pretty fun places, including the good evening ranch where we camped out. What a fun place this was! Lions and Tigers (no bears) but a bunch of really awesome animals that were incredible to see. We also did the bridge walk over one of the tallest suspension bridges in the world. I did not see any jumpers, but apparently bungee jumping and parachute jumping is pretty popular… No thanks!
This week the Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway had their annual fall race season kick off starting with the “Parade of Power”. It was a fun event! I talked NASCAR fast guy Joey Logano into getting behind the wheel of the Top fuel car for a warm up complete with throttle hits! I am pretty sure he is now thinking that maybe driving a fuel car would be fun! I also had a chance to visit with some of my great NHRA pals, Erica Enders, Rickie Smith and Dave Connolly.
More updates coming soon! Stay tuned and I hope to see everyone at the zMAX race in September and at the BRAKES events on September 13.