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JULY 24.

1976

AUTOWEEK

PAGE 3

Technology Does Not Have Sole Jurisdiction At Drags


NAPA, Calif.-Homo sapiens are strange and fascinating creaturesespecially when it comes to the mind and superstitions. Very few people are willing to admit they believe that black cats, walking under a ladder and the like are bad luck. Frank Bradley belonged to this group. But the talented Top Fuel dragster driver has revamped his thinking to the pOint where he says, ''I'm not sure there is anything to it (superstition), but why push it." It doesn 't take but a few minutes of conversation with the present Top Fuel point leader on the Winston World Championship series to understand why his thinking has changed. "Everyone is superstitious," said the bearded Bradley, who has been a regular on the National Hot Rod Association circuit since 1964. "They just won't admit it. "I didn't think I was. Then I started hanging around some circle tracks in upper California. And man, are those guys superstitious. Being around them was a psychological upheaval." Listening to the stock car drivers talk about their convictions that certailL... things, like green cars and peanuts, are destined to cause bad 1uck started Bradley on the road to believing the same things. The convincing blow happened "seven or eight years ago." He started carrying lawn chairs ("green ones") to the drag strips. He didn't think anything about it as his luck went from bad to horrible. Then he decided to get rid of the chairs. "As soon as we did, our luck changed and we started winning," said Bradley with still an unbelieving tone. A few years later while at the NHRA Winter Nationals in Pomona, Calif., he said to himself 'If I win, I'm going to church.' He won-and went to church. But at the next event at Phoenix, he worked on his dragster instead of going to church. "I lost in the first round (of final eliminations). Three times I went to church that spring and three times I won. I guess I should go all the time." Last year at Michiga,n during a NHRAWinston World Championship event, he was bragging about how well everything was going. Then he watched as a young boy ate peanuts beside his dragster with the shells falling into the long, slim machine. "I knew peanuts were supposed to be bad luck, but I didn't say anything to the boy," said Bradley. "1 didn't want to caus e any stir. But 300 feet down the strip, the coil fell off." He pauses before he adds in a very unconvincing tone, "there is probably nothing to it. But the thought is always there." . Bradley, who raced outboard boats before settling on a drag racing career, feels anyone who claims he is not superstitious is failing to admit the truth. Designer of broadcast anterna mount to be used in NASA satellite track of antique auto race. Ed Schuler. To prove his opinion, he tells a story Morrison. III ,. stands beside 1914 Dodge Touring model he drove from Illinois to Maryland in early tests , about Jim Bucher, another Top Fuel driver on the NHRA-Winston mrcuit. "Jim said he was not at all superstitious," said Bradley with a sly grin. "So I asked him which side of the car he got in on. He said 'it doesn't really matter.' "Two years later at Pomona, Jim hadn't qualified. I walked up to him and asked him if he was going to get in on the right side. He looked at me and said 'there A 1914 Model T Ford entered in the No information can be relayed from might be something to it and I'm not American Bicentennial's Around-theGoddard to the Model T since the tracking qualified. So I'm going to get in on the left World Auto Race has teamed up with a . package carried by the car is capable only side just to be sure'." NASA satellite in a unique tracking of transnlissions. Bradley smiles, letting the impact of his experiment. The RAMS is normally used to collect story eliminate any doubts the listener The Ford is one of 12 antique cars and transmit temperature. pressure and might have been having. competing in a 60-day point-to-point Then he decides to add the superstition rally from Paris across Europe, Asia and other environmental data from clincher. "Every time I've said I've never the Unites States to New York City as an instruments carried aboard moving had this or that problem, I have that official event of the National platforms such as balloons and buoys. problem. Everyone believes in this Bicentennial celebration, All of pre-1915 Two successive balloon positions, as superstition. " . vintage, the cars will travel the relayed through the satellite, permit approximate route of the Great Race of calculation of the wind velocity. 1908 in a reversed direction, . "While our RAMS experiments with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, balloons and free-floating buoys are is conducting the highly successful, the auto race offers the The 23rd Annual Macau Grand Prix, Greenbelt, Md" tracking experiment to help evaluate a opportunity to demonstrate the system Asia's premier motor sports event, will research system normally lJ,sed for the for ground tracking applications. where be held Saturday and Sunday, November remote collection of environmental data transmissions may encounter various 20 and 21st. _ kinds of interference." said Goddard's The annual event, now officially via satellite, Dri ven by Robert H. Pickard of Adelphi, Charles E. Cote . accepted as part of the international Grand Prix circuit, is expected to draw Md., the Model T is equipped with a 30"Use of the RAMS during the race also the biggest lineup of European, Asian and pound electronics package. This rugged, provides additional data on system self-powered unit transmits the ground Australasian top drivers in its history. accuracy." Cote added. speed of the moving car to the. Random Access Measurement System (RAMS) Pickard, 43. has been an active memb e r' carried by NASA's Nimbus-6 of the U.S. space effort since the ear ly meteorological research satellite. days of the U.S . satellite Vanguard. As a Nimbus-6 orbits the globe from pole to specialist in radio communications. he Continued From Page 1 pole every 108 minutes., Due to the has played key roles in researcll projects rotation of the Earth, the satellite covers that laid the groundwork for today's The Cosworth Vega has been approved by 1M SA for use in the the entire globe once every 12 hours . All global satellite co mmuni c at i ons Radial Challenge and the car will run at a weight of 2600lbs, not information collected by Nimbus-6 is systems. He presently occupies the 2300lbs as previously reported. . ' relayed to Goddard through an Alaskan position of project manager for a major NASCAR's Rookie Of The Year competition is being led by ground station as the satellite passes meteorological/communi c ations Skip Manning, with Neil Bonnett second, Jimmy Means third, over the north pole at the end of each satellite system ca.lled the Geosta.tionary Earth orbit. Operational Environmental Satellite . Terry Bivins fourth, Darrell Bryant fifth, Baxter Price sixth, and

Weather -Satellite Will Track Great Race R eru n

Macau GP Set

LATE NEWS

John Utsman seventh. Manning, by the way, is the only GN driver hailing from Lousiana. 1MSA's Aug. 15 Formula Atlantic race at Pocono has been scrapped because of a lack of sponsorship. A race for F-At cars has been scheduled to replace it, and that will go Sept. 19 at Road Atlanta. No sponsor there yet either, but prospects are said to be good. ' Amos Johnson on 1MSA's relaxed restrictor plate rules: "Both (Nick) Craw's BMW and our Pacer should be back up at the front, bu tit won't be any sort of runaway. Nobody' s gonna run away from things because they feel like they'll be restricted if they do." Sources at STP say that company continues to be very interested in running a USAC Champ Carnext year "if we can find the right kind of team, one that is innovative, one that will make up the right kind of combination." Ferrari has confirmed that its twin engine failures at the French GP July 4 were the result of identical crankshaft breakages-both due, .it is thought, to improper machining. Result? A whole gaggle of finished, but suspect, crankshafts have been tossed into the ash can. Rumor Of The Week: A Camel GT program is being planned by a manufacturer not now participating in Camel GT. The program probably will be run by a team which participated in the CanAm. Las Vegas, Nevada interests are said to be talking with a major sanctioning body in order to secure a professional racing date for a new track being proposed for construction in that city. Another new car for 1MSA's Radial Challenge: look for a Fiat 124 at Talledega Aug. 7.

Evans Leads In Overall SCORE Points Standings


The world's fastest trucker. Walker Evans. currently holds the lead in the race for the 1975 SCORE overall points championship. Evans has driven his much-modified Chevrolet pickup to Class Two wins in both the Parker 400 and SCORE-Bilstein Baja Internacional this year, earning 445 points. He was . the sepond-place finisher among all four-wheel vehicles in both events, beating all Class One cars except the eventual winner. The 38-year-old Riverside (California) contractor is a teammate of Parnelli Jones. Evans will be gunning for another victory to lengthen his points lead in the 4th Annual SCORE World Off-Road Championships at Riverside Raceway August 20-22, the wild and wooly event that brings Baja-style racing to a course where spectators can watch every bit of the action. He was a runaway winner last year in Class Eight (production pickups and other utility vehicles). Evans and Parnelli then decided to lighten and modify the Chevy Silverado pickup and move up to Class Two, the unlimited twoseater class normally populated by very buggy-style machines with aircooled rear engines. - Evans had already been running with many of the faster cars and the class change-under the SCORE procec;lure which starts faster classes first-would give him earlier starting positions and less traffic to pass. The plan obviously worked. Motorcyclist Larry Roeseler is Evans' closest competitor in the overall SCORE points race. He and co-rider A.C. Bakken . copped first .overall and Class 22 (unlimited motorcycle) wins both in the Parker 400 and SCORE-Bilstein Baja Internacional for a total of 434.5 points. ' (Under the SCORE system, points are awarded only to a driver/ rider of record. They are computed by a formula that takes into considerati.on finish position and relative performance withina clas s , plus the number of class entries.)