|Drag Racing #13 : 1983-1985
|1-DVD : 141 minutes Quality : Excellent
|Some great drag racing action from the mid-1980's, my favorite era! Bob Glidden, Joe Amato,
Kenny Bernstein, Darrell Gwynn, Don Prudhomme, and of course Big Daddy, were all at their peak.
Here we have two complete TV broadcasts of NHRA events.
|1983 Northstar Nationals - Brainerd, MN (88 min)
Rescued from an old VHS tape, this is another great Diamond P Production taped off Chicago TV back in 1983,
with hosts Brock Yates and Steve Evans. The usual Diamond P logos were marginalized, as this was broadcast as
a "Super Sports America" telecast on the now long forgotten SportsVision network out of Oak Park IL. This is
the entire TV broadcast (nearly 90 min) with original commercials. Many Chicago area fans will enjoy seeing clips
of the Chicago Bears, Bulls, White Sox, and other teams. The action on the track was excellent, with Funny Car
legends like Frank Hawley (Chi-Town Hustler), Kenny Bernstein, Ken Veney, Mike Dunn, Tim Grose, Al Segrini,
and Mark Oswald. Also has a few interview segments with Art Malone, who teamed up with Don Garlits to have
a very successful run with the Garlits & Malone dragster. There was no coverage of Top Fuel Dragster, but
full coverage of Top Alcohol Dragster, which featured a young 21-year old kid named Darrell Gwynn, and Dennis
Forcelle, who went on to win the event. In Pro Stock, it's Lee Shepherd, Don Coonce, Bob Glidden, Warren
Johnson (1983 Hurst/Olds), Joe Lepone (Grumpy's Toy), Frank Iaconio, and Don Campanello.
1985 World Finals - Pomona, CA (52 min)
Another great Diamond P Production, this telecast also features the first ever Cragar-Weld Wheel Top Fuel
Classic. This was an event within an event, like the Big Bud Shootout or the Mr. Gasket Pro Stock Challenge,
where the top drivers in their category had elimination runs to take the top cash prize of $30,000. The 8-car
shootout was a non-points event, and the biggest names faced off in elimination runs; Joe Amato, Don Garlits,
Gary Ormsby, Connie Kalitta, Darrell Gwynn, Bill Mullins, Gary Beck, and Dick LaHaie. After this battle of the
titans came the World Finals. A spectacular explosion marred the qualifying effort of Diamond Dave Miller.
Many fans of 1980's NHRA drag racing will recall that Diamond Dave ran an unusual dragster, several feet
shorter than all the other rails in the field. In funny car, it was the year of Kenny Bernstein's Budweiser King,
and the mysterious "terrible towel". The Bud crew had a device mounted to the frame rail that no one was
allowed to see, despite the many efforts by camera crews. In the pit area, a towel covered the device, and
whenever Kenny exited the car at the end of the track, a crew member tossed a towel over the device before
the body was lifted. It made for some great drama. Other funny cars seen are Don Prudhomme's Pepsi
Challenger Firebird, the In-N-Out Burger Dodge Omni, John Force (Coca Cola), Tom McEwen (Coors Corvette),
Al Segrini (Pisano), Tim Grose, Dale Pulde (Buick Somerset Regal), and Billy Meyer. In Pro Stock, a stunning
upset victory occurs when Joe Lepone Jr defeats Bruce Allen (red light) for his first NHRA win.
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