Woodburn Dragstrip Season Opener – Gregg Racing


This Post was ready to go shortly after the conclusion of the Woodburn Season Opener, however, the accident in Mission (see Post- “Stan’s Unlucky, Lucky Friday”) took precedence.  That behind us now and Stan on the mend, I did want to report on how our first outing went, so…. Here Goes!

2012- Season Opener~  May 19-20 

We had a major thrash getting our old Gal ready, as we were making plans to have a new car for this season.  After countless hours of devoted work from Stan and Mike along with help from our faithful Clutch Guy Jake, we finally arrived with VERY high hopes for the 2012 Season Opener at Woodburn where we were pleased to have our whole team together again for the first time this year.  An acknowledgement of the Team it takes to put this Show together seems very appropriate here-

  • Stan Wise ~  The one who knows more about where everything goes on this program almost than I do.  Dedication, Passion and Faithfulness OOZE out of Stan.
  • Jake Vaage ~ Kick Butt Clutch Dude- This guy KNOWS how to make a Clutch Flat- That’s “MISTER Flat” to you!
  • Mike Cady ~ Our 10 Year Groupie, Now Crew Dude who’s doing an AWESOME job- Pure Passion.
  • Keith McCurdy ~ We’ve been doing this together a VERY Long time- Great Friend, and a WEALTH of Engine Building Knowledge.   Very Cool Cat Under Pressure.
  • Shelly (LouLaBelle) Kinney ~ My Niece and our Data Entry Specialist.  She enters all the VOLUMES of Data this Car generates into a VERY Cool Spreadsheet I developed.  Tedious and Important Work- She’s VERY Good!  Now, she’s learning Motor work!
  • Mom (Irene) ~ Feeds us all as if we were at a 4 Star Restaurant!  Unbelievable Food- and its WONDERFUL to Race with your Family!
  • Robbie (Gregg’s Sweetheart & His Bride) ~ Packs the Chutes, Fuels the Car & Cleans the Oil Pan.  She knows more about what to look for in the Bottom of an Oil Pan than 90% of the Veteran Racers I’ve been with.  She makes my Racing worth doing- Faithful & NEVER Complains.  I should be more like her!

That’s our Team- These People invest COUNTLESS Hours on our A/Fuel Dragster Program and make it all possible.  We have a Car that consistently is safe and that “nothing falls off of”, all because of the hours invested by these people.  I owe them a debt of gratitude and wanted to express my Thanks Loudly here!

On to The Season Opener~

Woodburn Season Opener-2012- Launch

The Car has a fresh Motor this Year, with new Sleeves, new Rings and the same Tune-Up it had when we ran the 5.420 ET 264.39 MPH last year.  I knew that having a fresh, tight motor would make MORE power, but no one could help me determine how MUCH more.  Our first hit of the year showed this to be true, as we went “up in smoke”, completely blazing the tires.  I have one Pic of that Run I’m posting here that is telling, in that is shows the front tires off the ground, so it WAS trying.  If it had the front tires up (as it did), transferring the weight to the rear tires and STILL smoked the tires (as it ALSO did), then, well, then we were simply WAY off in our Power to Clutch settings.  Darn.

Compression and Clutch changes were made and we’re ready for Sunday and…….., and…… and I want the WEATHER Man’s Job!!!  That’s the job where you can be wrong 60% of the time and STILL keep your job and get paid pretty handsomely!  The forecast was for a pretty nice day.  We woke to anything BUT a pretty nice day!  The constant rain forced them to call the event, leaving us to only wonder what coulda’ been!  Darn!  Nothing’s hurt and we’re ready to go!  We will schedule an Outing to come back and Test soon.  Stay Tuned, as we’ll announce when we’re coming back for testing…….

Stan’s Unlucky, Lucky Friday in Mission – Gregg Racing

Stan Wise

~ Mission, BC Canada May 25-27, 2012 ~    

I have chosen not to travel this year, owing to substantial investments made into our Racing Program this year.  An announcement of major significance will follow later this week.  I would first like to speak to an event that occurred this past Weekend at a West Regional event held at Mission Raceway Park, Mission BC Canada.  My Key Crew Guy, Stan Wise, went to help another race team- the Dave Germain Top Alcohol Funny Car Team.  Dave has been a friend for many years and needed a hand from a seasoned Crew Dude.  Getting Stan to agree to go racing is much like getting an alcoholic to take another drink- not too tough!  🙂

We often talk of Drag Racing being a dangerous sport, all the while not really thinking that anything bad is going to happen to us.  Well, guess what?  Friday was NOT Stan’s lucky day.  In a very unfortunate Starting Line incident, as Stan and the other Crew were attempting to Start Dave’s Funny Car, with Dave strapped in the Car, ready to make his first Qualifying Pass, an accident occurred where, once the “Mag Wire” was pulled, which would allow the Motor to come to life, the Motor revved way up, causing the Car to lurch forward.  Each of the Crew was affected in this incident, but sadly, Stan took the worst of it, as his right foot was caught between the Header of the Car and the ground.  This resulted in a pretty bad break in his ankle and leg, requiring surgery.  (See Pic)

Stan’s Broken Leg & Ankle- OUCH!

Pulling the Mag Wire should allow the Motor to Start.  The Motor should NOT, however, rev up.  Obviously, I was not there, so I’m not sure why the Motor revved up.  Dave was kind enough to call me to discuss the incident with me.  Ultimately – it was an accident.  I wanted to be very clear that it was NOT possible for the Driver, for Dave, to have prevented this accident from occurring.  Dave did all he could do and that is that.  My understanding is that they are working to determine why the Motor revved up as it did.  Clearly, this should not be.  What is clear is that it was an accident.  We understand going in that what we do is dangerous.  We do all we can to minimize the danger, but ultimately, we cannot eliminate it.

What I do want to speak to is how this situation was handled immediately after the accident.  Stan has been with me since 2008 and has been the most faithful, hardworking and dedicated Crew Guy we’ve ever had- especially in terms of hours invested in our Program.  He has become not only an invaluable member of our Race Team and a big part of the future plans we have made together, but he has woven his way into our Hearts- for both Robbie and me.  So we have found ourselves feeling quite protective of him, understanding we do NOT own him, nonetheless, we have shared a LOT of Nitro together over many years and have become QUITE close.

   ~ Dave & Kim Germain ~

Then I began to learn about what Dave and his wife, Kim, were doing to care for Stan after the accident.  From the Fundraising that began at the Track (where I understand that by the end of the Race over $6,000.00 was raised to go toward Stan’s Medical costs- ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!), to how Dave had contacted DRAW (the Drag Racing Association of Women- a charitable organization within the Drag Racing community whose motto is:  “Fast Help For Fast Friends” their sole mission being to provide financial and emotional support to qualified individuals involved in a drag racing accident at a track.  This organization is helping Stan and we strongly encourage you to check out their website at:  DrawFastHelp.org and to participate with them as you are able.) Then there were the countless hours spent at the Hospital with Stan, while STILL trying to run the Race, so this meant back and forth trips from the Race Track to the Hospital- up late- and up early again, then offers of assistance with medical expenses.  I had offered repeatedly to come and get Stan to bring him home myself, but Dave drove his Truck and Trailer home after the event (I understand that Dave lives about 90 minutes South of Seattle) and then he returned in his personal rig with a Bed made up in the back for Stan to ride home in as comfortable as possible.  I’m sure there are many details I’m not even aware of, however, I simply wanted to acknowledge those that I was aware of and offer a Heart Felt THANK YOU to Dave and Kim Germain for taking such good care of my adopted Kid!  I know that Stan was overwhelmed with gratitude for the response that came by way of the donations from the Track and that which is now coming from DRAW.  He is intensely proud to be associated with such an incredible Sport where those in it look after one another so profoundly.  Dave and Kim Germain exemplify that model and I am deeply grateful to them.

Gregg Lawrence