Dalmatian Mascots – Nitro & More Magg! – Gregg Racing

For anybody who HAS a Dog they Love, ever HAD a Dog they Loved and, most importantly- one that Loved them back……. This Story is for you!

Nitro Dalmation DogAllow me to introduce you to two Girls who have had a PROFOUND impact on my life:
NITRO~ AKA: Gregg’s Nitro Methane Lawrence & MAGGS~ AKA: Gregg’s Maggie Mae Reagan Lawrence

For those of you who’ve followed our Racing at ANY time and ESPECIALLY if you’ve EVER been by our Pits in the last 15 Years, you’re WELL aware of our love for Dalmatians- actually, for the FIRST 15 Years, it was actually DalmatiaN- as in ONE! THEN, that all changed……………………

Maggie and Daisey-1You see, in 1996, BEFORE Disney introduced the Movie “101 Dalmatians”, Robbie and I went together and picked out the most WONDERFUL Puppy- actually, in fairness- SHE picked US, as I knelt there looking over a large litter of one of the cutest sites in the world- a bunch of goofy Dalmatian Pups- and then it happened- She climbed into MY Lap- it was Love at first site. I can feel the Tears welling up even NOW, all these years later, just thinking about it! OMG, did she weave her way into our Hearts! So, She picked us and it was SET! We registered her with the AKC- “Gregg’s Nitro Methane Lawrence”. Nitro Dog, for short, went EVERYWHERE with me, traveling with me to make Sales Calls for YEARS riding “Shotgun” in the Dually. I’m QUITE confident that She TRULY BELIEVED that the Dually REALLY DID belong to her- although (for complete clarity) – she actually never did make even ONE payment on that Truck! But, to HER, it was Home away from Home, stocked with Fresh Water in a “Spill-Proof” (kinda’) Bowl; 2 or 3 reserve supplies of more Water; Her Bed- Two- one Front AND one in Back, Dog Treats (Yep- PLURAL) and several of her favorite Toys. We were CLOSE, although I never wanted to admit it, but HOLY CRAP, Batman, I had truly Bonded with Ole’ Nitro Dog! Nitro had heard all my woes; she’d been with me in all the good times and had Loved me faithfully through all the bad times. Since the earliest days, I’d taken her in for EVERY shot, extra checkups, medical needs and wants, hopes and dreams to Hoffman Veterinary Clinic on Lancaster Avenue here in Salem, Oregon. Dr. Shimek and I became friends over the years, although Nitro never seemed to bond with him NEARLY as much as I did. (I think this had SOMETHING to do with the fact that EVERY time he saw Nitro, he shoved a Thermometer up her butt! I know that would affect MY desire to bond AND even to want to come BACK, if I were her!!) Nitro NEVER lacked for care, she received the very best food, $100.00 a gallon Shampoo (she had a “Skin Condition”) and even special “Ear Cleaner”. She lived a long life, receiving an exceptionally “Clean Bill of Health” at each and every visit, even outpacing her Breed’s Life Expectancy by years. Until………

In April of 2011, just shy of her 15th birthday, Nitro had a seizure and Robbie and I KNEW something was seriously wrong. I reluctantly took Nitro Dog in to see the Doc. After YEARS of providing me GREAT news, against all odds, today was different. Dr. Shimek was now somber and even he began to choke up just a bit, as he told me that he feared that Nitro had Cancer- and if he was correct, it was a fast growing type. The diagnosis came back the next day and the News was VERY Bad. I will tell you that this Big Tough Nitro Racer- Cried. I remember distinctly looking into those Big Brown eyes, as I could see the Pain growing in her each day as she became weaker. I knew we wouldn’t have long. I hurt profoundly too.

My Mom also knew the inevitable was coming and she wanted to step in and try to bring some much needed joy to our lives. What brings more joy than a puppy! She called me one day, SO EXCITED and told me, “I wanted to surprise you, but I CAN’T wait- “YOU NEED TO COME UP WITH A NAME FOR YOUR NEW PUPPY!” There WEREN’T any Dalmatian Puppies anywhere in OREGON, so she’d found one back on the East Coast! While I wasn’t sure I was ready for another Dog yet, I knew I’d better GET ready, ‘cause she was a commin’! My Mom wanted to have the new Puppy to have time together with Nitro Dog, for Nitro to “train” the new Puppy- but time was so short.

The day came and we went to the Portland Airport to pick up our new arrival- who was arriving on a Red Eye flight! When we saw the Dog Crate and opened it- to our utter amazement, there were TWO Dalmatian Puppies in it! My Mom was SUCH a softie that she’d ordered TWO Puppies- one for US and one for HERSELF!! So, immediately, we went from ONE Dog to THREE! We named ours Maggs in keeping with our Racing theme. Mom named hers “Daisy”- not having QUITE the passion to name her DOG after A/Fuel Dragster components!! Go Figure!!

Hoffman Sign- 2011-05-13Upon arriving at our Vets office, Hoffman Vet Clinic, for Maggs first visit (and the obligatory “Thermometer up the butt probe”- for Maggs, obviously!), we were welcomed, with the most wonderful surprise – The staff welcomed Maggs arrival by announcing it to the world, or at least to all those who traveled on Lancaster Avenue for about a week, by changing their reader board sign to read “It’s a Girl! For Gregg & Robbie” We were STUNNED & Overwhelmed! We Love those guys! Everybody should be so blessed to have a Vet like Dr. Shimek at Hoffman here in Salem! WOW! I’ve included a Pic of the sign they did for us, as it meant so much to us!

One of the Pictures in our Photo Album shows a VERY small Maggs the Dog on our Bed with a very sick Nitro Dog. We had them together for 3 days before Nitro’s time with us was at an end. Nitro has a virtual “shrine” here on our property. Although deeply personal, I’ve also opted to share a picture of the board I used to cover her in her grave, on which I wrote a deeply personal message. I’m sharing it here with you all, as it means something to us, as I suspect it will to anyone who has walked through similar circumstances.

Christmas of 2011 saw one MORE addition to our Dalmatian family as Santa HIMSELF delivered yet ANOTHER addition to our brood. My Bride, Robbie now has her OWN hound Dog, aka, Dalmatian Puppy. Owing to the Christmas delivery, she was named “Holly” Dog.

 

We miss Nitro constantly, however, our lives are QUITE full of Maggs & Holly who are the BEST of Buds, as they romp and chase each other ENDLESSLY- our manicured Yard notwithstanding. Okay, so it was NEVER COMPLETELY “manicured”, but it was a HELLUVA’ lot nicer than it is NOW!! But, our home is FULL of two Dogs who Love us unconditionally EVERY day, good times or bad, as we Love them too. I’m thinking that’s the way God designed it. Probably what he had in mind for US too, huh? May we Love each OTHER just the way Nitro, Maggs, Holly & Daisy Love us- Unconditionally, Faithfully and always FULL of UNRESTRAINED Joy to see us!

To those new to Gregg Racing- we are all about RELATIONSHIPS- so Thanks for checking us out! We are THANKFUL for YOU!

Gregg Racing~
Good Times with
Good People (and Great Dogs!)
At 260 MPH!
With a Dog’s Love~ Nitro Gregg~

New Car Arrives – Gregg Racing

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So ~
There’s a Hellova’ “Back Story” that will follow soon, as Gregg will be sharing the details of how our New Car actually came to be! Please allow me to ‘whet your appetite a bit here- Our story will begin with a trip to the 2011 IMIS show in Indy that Gregg and Jerry Darien attended after researching options to actually BUILD twin cars. By the time we’re done with our story, we’ll be speaking of Bob Vandergriff and his Crew Chief Rob Flynn, along with Robert Hight (and the John Force Racing Organization), and then we’ll conclude our journey, (‘er…..That’d be the 11 month saga we’re speaking of here, NOT the band from the 80’s! Lol!!!) with none other than Joey Severance!! We now have our new Chassis, and it is a virtual “Twin” to one that Jerry Darien has! More about that to follow also! Please stay tuned & we’ll fill you in on this IMPROBABLE story!! Relationships MATTER, in WHATEVER you’re doing – This is CERTAINLY true in Drag Racing!!

Gregg Racing ~
Good friends & Good Times at 265 MPH!!

Norm Christensen Memorial | Gregg Racing

Norm- at our House- Year End Crew Party- 2007


October 12, 2011- A Day Of Sorrow~

To all Friends in our Racing Community- Today we lost a Giant in our Sport of Drag Racing. We are grieving the passing of our dear friend Norm Christensen. Norm was a Giant in many ways- there are few people I feel I can look up to, both in stature and in character, but Norm was one I definitely could look up to in both ways. A very tall man, he also stood tall in our racing community as one of GREAT character! He has also worked on, or has been the Crew Chief on a great many high-end Top Alcohol Funny Cars, Top Alcohol Dragsters and A/Fuel Dragsters over the last couple decades. Most recently, Norm was the Crew Chief on Greg Ashwell’s NAPA sponsored Top Alcohol Funny Car.

Norm and I go way back – as we’ve worked together for years, strategizing on tuning ideas for my Gregg Racing, “CBM Means Business” A/Fuel Dragster that we campaign.

I have SO many “Norm” stories to share with you all- but for today, just one quick one – Norm and I headed to Mission in 2007 to run our Car as a last minute idea- with zero Crew (just me and Norm) for an NHRA National Open race with Gary Eickmann and his A/Fuel Nostalgia Car! GAWD, what were we THINKING!! We worked SO hard!!!

Mission – 2007 Gary’s Crew on the Left, My Crew? Me & Norm!


I am PROFOUNDLY sad as I have lost a very dear friend. Our hearts go out to his bride, Vicki as we will be continuing to pray that God’s peace finds her uniquely during this most difficult time.

A memorial Service will be held in his honor at the Wilsonville Holiday Inn, Saturday October 22nd, beginning at 2:00. At the end of the Service, I will be sharing a few brief (but pretty darn cool) memories of Norm, along with a short video presentation. After the Service concludes, there will be a time for those in attendance to visit with each other as refreshments are served. This portion will wrap up at 5:00.

Norm will be missed,

Gregg & Robbie

Gregg Racing | Robbie and Gregg | About Us

There's SO much emotion in what we do!



We put EVERYTHING we have into EVERY run and we know the risks we take.  This Car simply IS dangerous!  It can kill you! We know that!  We’ve lost friends in their A/Fuel Cars.  So, Robbie and I spend time together before every Run.

Robbie and I share a few private moments before make our runs.



Track photographer extraordinaire, Andi McFarland caught a couple tender private moments between Robbie and me prior to a Run.  These two photos uniquely capture one tender moment between Robbie and me.

Gregg


NAPA Day Woodburn Dragstrip | Gregg Racing

Talking With Jerry While In Car


A Quick Update~

It’s been a great year for us here at Gregg Racing- our Performance has improved substantially, as we’ve had the privilege of having JERRY DARIEN join us for a couple outings over the Summer.  His knowledge and experience are unparalleled- and he doesn’t believe in “using up Parts” to go fast.  During our last outing, we made 3 pulls in the 5.40’s, and we went over 264 MPH, which hasn’t happened in many years (since the days we had 100% Nitro).  The amazing part is that we could have reused 85% of our Spark Plugs and Rod Bearings.  The Motor is finally “Happy”.  Now, we’re working to “stick” all the Power we’re making to the Track- which is NO easy task!  But, this is why I’m writing today- we have one more opportunity before we drain the Nitro out of Her and begin our Winter maintenance- and we wanted to invite you to join us!

Signage on our Rear Wing

NAPA Day at the Races- Friday, September 30th, 2011

All of us Nitro Junkies are ALWAYS looking for an excuse to hear that Nitro Cackle and to have our senses assaulted one more time and WE FOUND IT!  The CBM Means Business; Gregg Racing A/Fuel Dragster Team has been invited back out to our home track of Woodburn Dragstrip by our long time Crew Dude, great friend and NAPA Staffer, Keith McCurdy for the NAPA Day at the Races on Friday the 30th of September.  They have a number of Hot Rods that will be “strutting their stuff”, but they were looking for a “Big Car” to kinda’ showcase the event.  As much as we love to Race, my Bride and I had to do some serious talking, as, well- we were SUPPOSED to be at the Oregon Coast for a very long weekend, since October 1, the very NEXT DAY is our 6th Year Anniversary!!!  Do I have a GREAT Wife, or WHAT?!!  Keith has sacrificed a TON for us over MANY years, so if Robbie and I have to post-pone our Beach trip for a bit to help him, then we decided that’s what we needed to do!  I’ve said for a LONG time- that as COOL as our Hot Rod is- and it’s REALLY Cool- It’s all about the Relationships you build along the way!  So, Keith- this one’s for YOU!  Here we come!

 So, please join us Friday the 30th at Woodburn.  We expect to be making a couple hits between 12:00 Noon and around 3:00 PM or so.  Please come be part of the Team and Family for One More Hit of Nitro!  I’ll post after the event, but as always, you’re BEST option is to come join us- ESPECIALLY since this will be our last outing for the Year!

Fondly,

Nitro Gregg

Another Wheels-Up Launch Being Cheered on by Clutch-Guy, Crew-Dude Jake!