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Honoring the great Drag Racers of the day 1900 - 1973    
HARRY HAPPENINGS.................click here  
Mike Summers passes................................  

Longtime Maple Grove Raceway starter passed away this week after suffering a stroke several months ago. He was released from the hospital/rehab and was living at home with his wife Teresa. Mike also did stints as the starter at Cecil County Dragway and Numidia Raceway. Mike excelled in being very conscientious making sure the track was always in top condition dedicating himself to the safety of the racers, plus providing a superb track. Mike also did backup at some NED 1 and the NHRA Keystone Nationals. He was a 2015 Drag Race Hall of Fame.com Inductee for his many contributions to Drag Racing.

Needles to say, Mike was very well liked and will be missed by many! Our condolences to Teresa and family. (5/23/2024)

Final List of 2024 DRHOF.com Inductees...........  
The final list has been chosen for 2024; Al Hanna (well known for jet cars, but long history starting with a Super Stock Fairlane in 1966, the a variety of Funny Car a top Fuel dragster prior to moving to jet powered race cars in the late 70s!), Mancini Family (well known Mopar racers and parts suppliers) Jeg Conklin Sr.( leader of "Jeg's" dynasty and parts giant. Longtime racer), Wally Lynn (racer and engine builder) and late inclusion "Cousin Brucie" radio announcer from the NYC area 50-60s, also raced at historic Island Dragway in New Jersey. (2/25/2024)  
CARL WEISINGER passes...............................  
Longtime track operator and Super Stock racer Carl Weisinger passed away on January 18th. Carl operated Orlando Speed World Dragway in Florida and was instrumental in conducting many great events at the Florida based facility. Carl campainged several cool race cars over the years his last was a super detailed SS/JA Plymouth. Carl was also the originator of the highly anticipated/successful "Orlando Street Nationals", which was on the forefront of "Street" racing! Carl was 78 years old. (1/22/2024)  
Additional Inductees added to 2024 DRHOF.com list.............  

Two more inductees have been included for 2024 starting out with Jeg Coughlin Sr, whom needs no introduction to drag racing enthusiasts. Jeg Sr.the patriarch of a drag racing dynasty including sons, grandsons and of course himself! Jeg has and family have been racing for the past seven decades.

Secondly, Ron Mancini of Mancini, a noted racer Ron has been a dedicated Mopar racer/supplier since the early 1970s and one of the founders of Mancini Racing Corporation in Michigan.(1/18/2024)

BIG DADDY DON GARLITS Turns 92..................  


We wish Don Garlits (NHRA number #1 Racer of all-time) a Happy 92 Birthday! Don racing since 1955 has been at the forefront of many innovation in the sport, plus, plus won three NHRA World Championships and scored 17season titles and 144 national event wins in Top Fuel! Considering he has had several life threatening incidences while racing, like the clutch explosion the severed part of his foot (1970 Lions Dragway) and the blow over at the SummerNationals (1986). Although credited as the first rear engined dragster, actually he is the first to turn it into a winning combination and getting the 426 Hemi to be as competitive as the older 392 Hemis.(1/12/2023)

Roland Leong "THE HAWAIIAN" has died...........................................  
One of the most prolific NHRA Funny Car car owners, Roland Leong has died after a long illness. Leong, who campaigned Top Fuel dragsters in the mid-60s and won the Winternationals and the U.S.Nationals in 1965 with Don "the Snake" Prudhomme driving, the again in 1966 with Mike Snivley as a driver, In 1969 he switched to Funny Cars with a host of different drivers throughout the years with his well-known "Hawaiian" Funny Cars. Roland passed on 12/29/23.
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Paula Murphy passes at 95.......................  
Paula Murphy has passed away at the age of 95 after a storied career in all forms of Motor Racing! Touted as the fastest women race car driver she was the first women to achieve an NHRA Nitro license! Paula also drove all forms of race cars from NASCAR, Bonneville, NHRA Funny Car, Indy Car plus a Rocket powered dragster. You name it and she drove it! (12/22/2023).  
Don Schumacher dies.........................  

With saddneass we announce the passing of Motorsport mogul Don Schumacher of cancer. Don the proprieter of DSR Racing, plus running the well-known Schumacher Electric Company.In the 60s and 70s Don campainged a variety of Funny cars winning the F/C category the NHRA Nationals at Indy in 1970. Don also was instrumental in building a variety of race teams for DSR Racing and scoring 19 NHRA World Championships, most notably Top Fuel with his son Tony driving the Army sponsored T/F dragster! Along with "Stardust" F/C one of his most prolific race cars was the "Wonder Wagon" a Vega panel wagon. Don was also involved supporting many charitiy organizations. Needless to say, the Industry will miss his ongoing contributions to motorsports. Incidentally., DRHOF.com's, George Case, worked with him and his DSR Team developing the two Top Fuel drasters for Yas Marina Motorsports in Abu Dhabi, UAE. note: Tommy Johnson, Jr and Rod Fuller were the drivers for the team cars. (12/21/2023).


2024 Drag Race Hall of Fame. com Inductee process started.........................  
Although we have a couple of months before 2024 arrives,DRHOF.com's Harry Laplatte has nominated the first candidate Wally "Lynn" Thurman! Wally, who passed away in 2008 was in the entrenched in the background of Drag Racing, first building his own race cars, then opening his own engine shop "Wally Lynn Competition Engines" in NJ. In 1977, he retired and moved to North Carolina near his daughter. In NC he started and operated "Economy Carburetor Ignition" until the early 2000s.(11/12/2023)  
Passing of NHRA Stocker standout SKIP ASAY..............................  

Although this comes late, Skip Asay passed away July 15, 2023. We do not have details (please provide if you know) of his death. Skip was a hardcore Junior Stock race from New Jersey running a series of small-block Chevrolet's. Our condolences go to his family and friends.(10/29/2023)

Skip's daughter Christine gave us a little update and recalls in her younger days how much she/they enjoyed going to the track with her Dad!

JOEL "MR. MOTION" ROSEN passes...........................  
It is with great saddnes to state that Joel Rosen passed away on October 10, 2023. Joel well known from his business "Motion Performance on Long Island, NY was one of the originators of modified Chevrolet muscle cars working in collaboration with Baldwin Chevrolet built some of the "baddest" street cars of the era! (10/13/2023)  
ISLAND DRAGWAY Last Surviving drag strip in New Jersey....................................  
The closing of ATCO Dragway in New Jersey leaves only one drag racing venue remaining in the state Island Dragway! Island Dragway located in Great Meadows, NJ is just about an hour away from Allentown, PA (41 miles). The track is historic being well known for Big Daddy Don Garlits recording the first over 200 mph speed in his 'Swamp Rat VI" dragster back in 1964. Island Dragway has gone through a variety of ups and down since then, closing then reopening and now run by granddaughter Melissa. Melissa DeMarcky, also known as "Island Girl" grew up at the track with Mom, Kathy and Dad, Tony DeMarcky operating the families track (Kathy's family). Melissa ran a S/C dragster and started in a JR Dragster back in the 90's, so being well accomplished operating the track knows the ins and outs of drag racing. The other facility to close was Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ that hosted the NHRA SummerNationals. Raceway Park does not conduct drag racing events any longer, but the Motorcross track and Road Race course are still in operation. (8/04/2023)  

KUDOS to the TRAILER RANCH...............................

Our man Harry "the Hat" Laplatte is back on the road delivering the twin-seat dragster of Larry Jeffers Race Cars back to his shop in House Springs, MO after a stint at the track in South Carolina. Part of Harry's dilemma was he needed a spare tire and wheel for the trailer. Fortunately, Harry stopped at the Trailer Ranch in Orangeburg, SC, where they provided the tire/wheel combo NO CHARGE! Trailer Ranch is a supporter of IHRA Drag Racing, so if you have trailer needs stop by and tell them Harry sent you!(8/04/2023)  
HERE'S ONE WE MISSED..........................  
We missed Ed Iskerderian's 100th birthday back in 2021, but his 102 is coming up shorty on July 21st! Ed of Isky Racing Cams is one of the originators of racing equipment in the United States. Ed also know as the "Camfather" has been one of the sport's innovators! He was one of the first to realize the advantages of marketing and is credited with logoed t-shirts. He built his well-know roadster (now on display in the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed). He built the tried and true car when he was 16 years of age back in 1939.(07/11/2023)  
CHRYSLERS AT CARLISLE 2023,,,,,,,,,,  
The prestigious event returns to Pennsylvania this weekend July14 - 16th showcasing 1,000's of Mopars! The event will feature many well-known Chrysler luminaries; Paul Rossi, Butch Leal, Marco DeCesaris, Linda Vaughan,Buddy Martin and others (07/10/2023) Event Info  
HARRY LAPLATTE supporting the "NEW" IHRA...................  

Drag Race Hall of Fame.com founder, Harry Laplatte, has been busy working with the folks at the "NEW" IHRA. IHRA are trying to revive the organization and have already enlisted many tracks! On the left is Harry's van with the IHRA logo emblazoned on the tailgate.(04/03/2023)

2023 DRHOF.com Inductee DAVE WREN PASSES.................  

We really don't have much information on the passing of Dave Wren former NHRA Super Stock racer. Dave was a fierce competitor in the late 60/70s running Mopars! We'll try an update as soon as additional information is received. (03/01/2023)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG DADDY............DON GARLITS............................  
A big Happy Birthday to Don "Big Daddy" Garlits. Don born on 1/14/1932 just hit his 91 year. Don of course one of the pioneers of Drag Racing has many accomplishments to his credits. Garlits was the first drag racer to officially surpass the 170, 180, 200 (Swamp Rat VI), 240, 250, and 270 mile-per-hour marks in the quarter mile; he was also the first to top 200 mph in the 1⁄8 mile! Although he wasn't the first to develop the rear engined T/F dragster, he was the first to make the car work. He set the 200 mph mark at Island Dragway, NJ (08/01/1964). Our man Harry Laplatte was there with his Dad on that day.(01/15/2023)  
Dan Jesel One of the leading innovators of valvetrain components has passed away. He was 81 years of age. Dan a racer and manufacturer started racing back in th 60s. He competed in several forms of racing; Drag, Bonneville, etc. Dan started Jesel Valvetrain Innovations in 1980 and become one most respected names in the engine parts business! Dan and his brother Wayne were inducted into DRHOF.com back in 2020. (01/10/2023)  
2016 DRHOF Inductee, Bob Gerdes of Circus Custom Paints fame has passed. Presently, we don't have any details or the cause of his death. Bob a standout in custom car painting and design painted many racer cars from the east coast during the 1960s and 70s! Bob was also inducted into Darwin Doll's "Legion of Honor" in 2019. (01/04/2023)  

Under the tutelage of Harry Laplatte the selection has started for 2023 Inductees. A few names already chosen are Dave Wren (multi-time NHRA winner), Dave Lyall (Ford racer 50 over years), Jim Head (campainged T/F car and then AA/FC), Tommy Grove (original driver of "Melrose Missile" than onto Ford FC) and Dick Housley. The Drag Race Hall of Fame.com's Inductee list began (2011) we have only chosen 5 inductees per year. As always if you have recommendations for Inductees, email Harry Laplatte at laplattehar@aol.com. (12/28/2022)

Jerry Eckman one of the standout stars of NHRA Pro Stock during 80s and 90s sadly succumbed to a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Jerry drove for car owner Bill Orndorff in the Pennzoil sponsored car. He died at the Hospice of Central Ohio. Jerry was 80 years old and passed on Christmas Day! (12/26/2022)  
HARRY LAPLATTE NEWS...................  
Drag Race Hall of Fame.com "Master Mind", Harry Laplatte is currently collaborating with the folks of the new IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) on the possibility of making DRHOF.com part of the organization! Harry with lots of experience with drag racing from his early years of going to the track with his Dad and their 1964 Plymouth Savoy Hemi with the name "Satellite" emblazoned on the doors to working at Moroso Motorsports Park (Palm Beach International Raceway) to the ADRL (American Drag Racing League)  
JUDY " Miss Mighty Mopar" LILLY passes.................................  

Judy Lilly one of the most prominent women drag racers of the 1960's to mid - 70's, passed away (she was 80) on August 9th. She originally raced a D/SP 1961 Corvette, when executives from Chrysler noticed her driving talent and became a top flight Stock/Super Stock racer with their support! Throughout the years she drove just about every Chrysler/Mopar in existence. She won 5 NHRA National championships, along with NHRA Division titles multiple times and Car Craft Magazine "Driver of the Year" three times. (9/7/2022) Additional info

PAT GANAHL killed in nostalgia dragster..................  
Well-respected hot rod and rod and custom author Pat Ganahl was killed last weekend driving his vintage dragster down the 1/8th-mile Riverdale Drag Strip at a club event outside Portland, Oregon. He was 75.(8/23/2022) Additional Info  
NEW DIRECT CONNECTION coming back...........................  

Information provided to us from the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals event is the possibility of a new/revival of the well known and cherished Direct Connection program is in the works! Reportedly Paul Rossi, NHRA Super Stock Champion along with another legend, Butch Leal will be part of the revived program.

At the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, Paul Rossi displayed his recently completed copy of his original Dodge Challenger, which received accolades at show. Paul completed the dusty shell to what you see here. The results are a high quality replica. One thing that Paul wasn't satisfied with is the original car was hand lettered and this one is vinyl letters. Paul plans to have the Challenger hand lettered. Attention to detail! (7/30/2022)

Iconic Drag Track Operator Bill Bader, Sr. has died......................  
One of the most prolific track operators. Bill Bader, Sr. has passed away. Bill operated Norwalk Raceway/Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio, which was originally IHRA later switching the NHRA and becoming one of the top tracks in the country! Bill was known for being in the ticketing entrance lines in a jacket and tie. Another unique selling point was his $1.00/LB. of ice cream. He was a great businessman and always upgraded the facility. because he wanted to make the track more "Family Friendly!" Each season he hosted the Halloween Classic with gigantic car count of (1200-1500 race cars.) (6/27/22)  
Jim Rockstad passes................  

One of the most outstanding track operators, Jim Rockstad, has passed away from a long illness on 6/13/22. Jim was a groundbreaker to say the least and was involved operating and promoting SIR, Seattle International Raceway, now Pacific Raceway. Jim used to promote those awesome 64 Funny Car shows back in the day. Jim leased the facility and learned plenty under the wings of Bill Donor. The two were innovators in the early days of drag racing!

Former VP/GM of Maple Grove Raceway said, "Jim and I became great friends over the years, while attending the NHRA Track Operators Meeting each year and spoke throughout the season on different approaches to racetrack operation/management. Even though we were on opposite coasts many of the things correlated from each others track.Jim was a great guy!" (6/15/22)

Pro Street standout Tony Christian has died............  
One of drag racing's more colorful personalities has passed away. Tony Christian, 74, passed away this morning (June 9, 2022) following complications related to a heart attack. Christian suffered a second "widowmaker" heart attack. His daughter, Heather Kircher, said her father took the situation in stride and was joking with family and hospital personnel right up until the end.Tony also competed in NHRA PRO Stock for several years! (6/12/2022)  
Longtime NHRA Announcer Dave McClelland passes.................  

Without a doubt one of the best announcers in the business passed away today, Dave McClelland! Dave, whom was the lead announcer for NHRA for many years brought a level of professionalism to Drag Racing. Dave passed away of natural causes at the age of 85.

McClelland called his first drag race in 1959 and began broadcasting NHRA on television two years later. He did not retire from the organization until 2003, calling events on ESPN, The Nashville Network, The Speed Channel and other networks during his career (5/22/22)


Koretsky (Captain Chaos) purchases Maple Grove Raceway................  

Veteran NHRA racer Kenny Koretsky and his family, including his sons Kenny Jr. and current Pro Stock driver Kyle, have purchased Maple Grove Raceway, located near Reading, Pennsylvania. The Koretsky family has lots of upgrades planned within the next three years. Good Luck to Kenny, Kyle an Ken Jr.!

Maple Grove Raceway has a long history in Drag Racing dating back to the early '60s. (4/25/22)

Reading Eagle Newspaper info:
Longtime NHRA National Event Starter, RICK STEWART PASSES.........  

Former NHRA Chief Starter Rick Stewart, who inherited the role from the only guy to have ever held it before him, Buster Couch, passed away April 1.

Despite never winning a national event in his nine-year Top Fuel career, Rick Stewart will always be able to boast about seeing more national event-winning runs than anyone in NHRA history. That’s because for 15 years, beginning in 1996, he had the best view at every NHRA national event as NHRA’s chief starter, then hung up his iconic hat at the conclusion of the 2011 season.

Stewart's passing comes less than a month after his contributions to the sport were rewarded when he was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. (4/1/2022)

Harry Laplatte thrashing on Rv for travels as part of "VISIT a LEGEND" program 2022.............  
DRHOF.com's Harry "The Hat" Laplatte has been working feverishly on the DRHOF.com RV/Motorhome to prepare for his excursion this summer visiting as many "legends" as possible! Presently, he is trying to convert a Oldsmobile rear end housing into a heating stove mounting it vertically with axle tube acting as a chimney. (2/11/22)  
2022 DRHOF.com nominations committee starts selections.....  
After a tough year, due to the pandemic, the selection committee has already chosen several nominees for 2022! Leading the fold in Don Nicholson, better known as "Dyno". Don started his career with Chevrolets before switching to Fords. Next is Frank Iaconio from New Jersey, who competed with a 1957 Chevrolet "Banana" before moving on to NHRA Pro Stock and lastly Charlene Wood from upstate New York, became the 5th women to win an NHRA national event (1976 Le Grande Nationals) and take the coveted NHRA Div.1 NED Stock title with her "Tons of Fun" a I/SA Pontiac station wagon in 1975. Jay Howell , another nominee, from Michigan had a long and storied career racing, then building cars for many of the top names in Drag Racing in the 1960's.(1/13/22)  
2022, New Happenings for the DRHOF.com..............................  
Starting in 2022, Marco Decesaris (The American Racing Performance Museum), along with DRHOF.com VP Harry Laplatte will manage the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com website. All information, inserts and photos should be sent to Harry at laplattehar@aol.com or Marco marcosgarage@earthlink.net. Plenty to come in 2022! (12/29/21)  
DRHOF.com's "VISIT a LEGEND" program kicks off.....................................................  

The new "Visit a Legend" program kicked off this week with Drag Racing Hall of Fame's".com Harry Laplatte visiting with Ken Vogt the second owner of the "Bob Ford 1964 Thunderbolt". Harry was able to meet Ken, who lives just about a mile from the DragRaceHallofFame.com warehouse in Jupiter, FL! Great way to start the "visits"

We are seeking support, to fund the visits this year! Contact Harry Laplatte at call or text (561) 301-6840. (9/28/21)

Dick Arons passes...................  
Dick Arons famed engine builder and innovator has passed. Dick was a real standout with his big-block Chevrolets back in the day and pioneer in PRO Stock with partner Wally Booth, first with Chevy the AMC! The duo was well known in the annuals of early drag racing and was second to Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins in the late 60's - early 70's. We don't have any further details of his death other than he died August 16, 2021. (8/17/21) 
DRHOF.com's new traveling RV, "Visit a Legend Program"................  

The Drag Race Hall of Fame.com's Harry "the Hat" Laplatte has secured a RV/motorhome to begin his travels as part of the "Visit a Legend" program. Shortly, Harry and vehicle will begin the journey on the east coast trying to visit as many former racers, etc., that he can.

If you are interested in having Harry/Marco stop by for a chat and talk about "the old days"; please contact either Harry at phone/text (561) 301-6840 or laplattehar@aol.com or Marco at (240)375-4329 or email marcosgarage@earthlink.net. (7/12/21)

Bob Moore 2021 DRHOF.com Inductee.........................  
Bob Moore (pictured left and below) one of the early nominated inductees for 2021 was in late 2020. We put as much information up that we could gather back then, but just found a photo of him on the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com Facebook page and are finally posting it now. Please provide photos and history to Harry Laplatte at laplattehar@aol.com, whenever nominating a person/persons for induction to the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com Legend list. Thank you. (7/14/21)  
Hall Racing Team (Michigan) Special 2021 Inductee............................  
A surprise unannounced 2021 Inductee at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals was the "Hall Racing Team". Marco Decesaris, whom was presenting plaques this weekend as part of the event surprised "Golden Commando" member Jim Hall! The Hall racing team included Jim and his Dad. The duo started drag racing in the 1950's with a flathead Ford. I'm sure this is where Jim got his interest and beginnings of drag racing. (7/10/21)  
2021 DRHOF.com Inductee plaques distribution................  

The plaques this year are a little late due to the pandemic and finalizing the inductees. Marco Decesaris along with Harry "the Hat" Laplatte will distributing the plaques at Carlisle this coming weekend.

Inductee list; Nancy and Charles Wilson (East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame), Bob Moore (Pittsfield, MA), Jack and Anne Armstrong (see below), George Cureton ("Tokyo Rose" Jr Stocker, 1967 World Champion) and Royce Miller from (Maryland International Raceway). (7/4/21)

CHRYSLERS at Carlisle this weekend July 9 - 11...........................................  
This great gathering takes place July 9 -11, at the Carlisle Fairgrounds and features lots of great Mopar displays, cars, personalities and more! Our friends from the "Golden Commandos" and "Ramchargers" will again have prominent display, plus many of the original members will be on hand! DRHOF.com's Harry Laplatte and Marco Decesaris (The American Racing Performance Museum) will be meandering the grounds as well, spreading the "WORD" (drag racing and cars from a bygone era). (7/1/21)  
Jack and Anne Armstrong.....................2021 DRHOF.com Inductee...........................  
Just added to the 2021 inductee list is the Jack and Anne Armstrong Racing Team! Running a 1962 Chrysler with a "Golden Commandos" 426 Hemi. They bought the car off the showroom floor in 1962 and raced it a few years with the 413" Cross-Ram wedge before wanting to go quicker. Hence while most racers went the other way going for a lighter vehicle Jack and Anne went with the heavy Chrysler. One of the stories say with the additional weight of the car the car couldn't spin the require 7' dra slicks. True or not, sounds interesting to say the least. They retired the car in 1965, where it sat for many years. In 1998, Jack decided to get the car back in shape, but unfortunately passed away suddenly. Anne and her daughter Denielle put the car back to pristine condition as you see here. Note: The Armstrong Racing Team was nominated by Jim Hall of the "Golden Commandos" (6/20/21)  
2021 DRHOF.com Inductee nominations begins.........................  
The DRHOF.com committee has already started reviewing nominations for 2021. The first two chosen will be Nancy and Charles Wilson her/their contributions organizing/promoting of the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Henderson, NC The 1962 Plymouth photo is her first racecar. (12/17/20)  
Bob Moore added to 2021 DRHOF.com Inductee list................  
Bob Moore, from Pittsfield, Mass. is the second nomination for 2021. Bob's 1962 409 Chevrolet was quite nortorious back in-the-day. Prior to the 409 car Bob tuned 1961 Chevrolet powered by a 283" engine and driven by Jim Vincent. Bob and Tim Kushi co-owned a 1968 GTO Pontiac Funny Car (421" Pontiac engine) and ran 8.20's/177 mph in thelate 60's. (12/18/20)  
Belated: Neal Hinkle passing.............."The Red Baron" (July 22, 2020)  

We just received notification that Neal Hinkle (2015 DRHOF.com Inductee) passed away from heart surgery on July 22, 2020. Neal was a member of the Legion of Honor (2016) and 2017 Pocono Drag Lodge Hall of Fame. He campaigned a 1961 Corvette in B/SP, a 58' Corvette C/A and the former "Jungle Jim" 1969 Chevy II as a B/A. His B/SP 1961 Corvette was on the main image on the Vargo Dragway Reunion poster for 2017.

He raced for many years concentrating his racing endeavors on the Pennsylvania area; at tracks like Vargo, Pocono Drag Lodge, Numidia, Island Dragway (NJ) and Maple Grove Raceway.

Neal operated a shop in Allentown, Pa, Neal's Performance Center. (6/10/21)


Traveling Man, DRHOF.com's Harry "The Hat" Laplatte..................  

Drag Racing Hall of Fame.com's, Harry Laplatte will take to the road right after the fourth of July to start visiting and chatting with some of the 2021 DRHOF.com Inductees and others; former racers, crew members, etc. discussing the so-called "OLD DAYS" of drag racing or whatever!

Another important issue to let all be aware of is we are approximately six months behind with the 2021Inductee plaques, which are usually presented to the Inductees at Chrysler's at Carlisle each July. We are thrashing on having the plaques produced and will inform the recipients as to the delivery dates as soon as we receive confirmation.

Harry plans on attending Chrysler's at Carlisle, July 9-11 along with Marco Decesaris from the American Racing Performance Museum. (6/8/21)

BULLETIN - DRHOF.com visiting Racers.........................  

Now that the rules have been relaxed for the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to go out and visit some older racer, etc. Both Harry "the Hat" Laplatte (DRHOF.com) and Marco Decesaris (American Racing Performance Museum) plan on "road tripping" this summer and bench racing about the old days and how drag racing and cars used to be! We can't promise we'll stop and see everyone, of course distance and scheduling will help us organize a a satisfactory program, so we can stop and see as many as possible.

If you are interested in having Harry/Marco stop by for a chat; please contact either Harry at phone/text (561) 301-6840 or laplattehar@aol.com or Marco at (240)375-4329 or email marcosgarage@earthlink.net. (6/03/21)

Dan Dvorak Mopar expert passes.........  
We have received information of the passing of Dan Dvorak, well known Mopar expert! Dan a former racer and machine shop operator in Waldo, FL was considered one of the most knowledgable 426 wedge racers/machinist in the country. Dan was a 2015 Drag Race Hall of Fame.com Inductee. (5/30/21)  
Charles (Chuck) Grimsley passes.................................  

Charles (Chuck)Thomas Grimsley born March 29,1932. Formerly of Omaha, Nebraska. Charles passed away on April 24, 2021 in Edgewood, New Mexico. Survived by wife Kathleen Grimsley. Loved by many and will be greatly missed.

Chuck drove the"Rebel Rouser" 1965 Dodge Altered wheel-base built by Ted Detar. Chuck was a 2020 Drag Race Race Hall of Fame.com inductee recipient! (see below) 5/5/2021

Trend gathering momentum, tracks closing..................................  

With the latest closing of Atlanta Dragway it joins Raceway Park (Englishtown, NJ) is the sport of Drag Racing in demise! Also closed temporarily for 2021 is Route 66 in Chicago due to the Covid 19 pandemic. These are just three NHRA National event tracks going by the wayside. We don't whats in store for Route 66 in 2022, but hear the Nhra National event track may also go away. Of course in California many like Lions, Irwindale, Orange County Iternational Raceway (OCIR) closed in the late 60's and 70's due to land values and development projects and don't forget York US 30 in Pennsylvania another well known track of the era.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a burden to many of the smaller tracks around the country as well, sadly. How many will survive, only time will tell., plus the changing and aging of participants. Outlaw racing and No-Prep races are very popular with the younger market. The popularity of television shows like "Street Outlaws" has taken its toll on true Class Racing! (5/5/2021)

Longtime Maple Grove Raceway tow-truck driver, Gene Werner passes .......  
Gene Werner, a twenty-five year employee of Maple Grove Raceway passed away on Tuesday, April 6th, at his home in Wernersville, PA. Gene will be well remembered for his familiar green and white Ford tow truck that sat next to the staring-line! Gene is survived by his wife Sherry, whom was his constant supporter. Gene was also very involved with local fire departments. He retired in 2007 from the family business, Werner Auto Body and Used Cars. Gene was 78 upon his passing. (4/13/21)  
Tommy Johnson Sr.........  
On March 18th, Tommy Johnson Sr. (75) passed away after battling and beating cancer in 2000! He sought alternative medicine that provided him with and additional 20 years of life! He authored a book, "Cancer: The TRUE Story of How I Survived Absolute Terminal Cancer". Tommy a longtime racer in the 60 and 70's and at onetime owned theTommy Johnsons Motorsports Warehouse in North Carolina. He his survived by his wife Sarah and children; Tommy Jr. (Funny Car racer) and daughter Wendy. (4/4/21) note: Sorry, for te belated posting as we just learned of Tommy's passing on (4/4/21)  
Doug Thorley; Header Pioneer and Manfacturer passes..............................  
Doug Thorley one of the premiere exhaust header designers,developers and manufacturers starting in the 1960's passed away at the age of 92 on March 10th of natural causes. Thorley credited with the tri-y header design also raced starting in the early 50's, then progressing to funny cars! (3/12/21)  
LE CRUPI Prolific 1960's Stock/Super Stock Engine Builder passes...............  
Lee Crupi one of the top engine builders in the Reading, Pa area during the sixties has passed away! Lee's engines powered many racers to set NHRA records (12) during the era. He was 84 years old. Lee along with George Weiler, Carl Ruth and Bob Eveland were instrumental in convincing Carl Stauffer, owner of the property of the former Brecknock Speedway (1/2 mile dirt,1940's period) to a drag strip! Hence Maple Grove-Drag-O-Way (aka Maple Grove Raceway) was born. The property also served as a motorcycle track to the Friendship Motorcycle Club in the late 50's. He is survived by his wife Rosemary of 61 years. (1/29/2021)  
Dave Bishop of Competition Photos passes...............  
Longtime NHRA NED photographer, Dave Bishop, has passed away from reportedly Covid 19? We don't have any of the details as of yet. Dave was always on hand shooting images at NED Division One events and a contributor to "National Dragster", plus the publisher of "East Coast Drag News". Dave also supported and sponsored the "Competition Photos Super Comp Circuit". He was not just a photographer, but raced as well, holding records in AF/I, CF/I, C/S and partnered with other racers in NHRA; Stock, Super Gas and Super Comp! (photo from MIR site) (1/13/2021 updated 1/17/2021).  
Darwin Doll passes...............  
Longtime Motorsports Executive, Darwin Doll has passed away. Darwin was 87 years of age. He was formerly the NHRA Division 1 Director, the Regional Director for NHRA Divisions 1, 2 & 3, plus he worked for Roger Penske managing programs. Darwin was also the promoter of the York US30 Drag Race Reunion and Muscle car Madness held at the York, PA Fairgrounds. (12/22/20)  
Longtime Ford Racer Dickie estevez passes..................  
Dickie Eztevez, from Maryland passed from the so called Covid-19! We do not have any of the details of the illness other than what we been told? Dickie ran a orange tribute Ford Falcon "Daddy Warbucks". Dickie was hurt in an accident at Maryland International Raceway helping to repair the scoreboards in 2019.(12/10/2020)  
Longtime NHRA Stock Racer Woodro Josey has died..............
Racer sensation, Woodro Josey passed away 11/21 (waiting for additional info) after battling health issues for a longtime. Woodro, one of the best NHRA Stocker racers competing ran a string of GM race cars throughout his long industrious career! During his racing career he set 62 NHRA National Records, plus 32 NHRA Class wins at National events! Woodro operated a machine shop (Woodro's Machine Shop) for 32 years prior to closing the shop due to illness.(11/22/2020)
New DRHOF.com State Directors announced by Harry Laplatte...............................
Jupiter, FL - DRHOF.com VP Harry Laplatte announced today several new State Directors to support possible additions to the Drag Race Hall of Fame. Albert Bambace, Jr. son of Albert Bambace Sr. ("10 Commandments") continues covering New York, Don Vanderwoude (son of Al Vanderwoude "The Flying Dutchman") the Ozarks, Steve Detar (son of Ted Detar the "Kansas Badman") Kansas, Paul Rossi (former Super Stock racer) California and Wade Laplatte son of Harold Laplatte of "Satellite" fame. (11/21/2020)
Chuck Grimsley presented his 2020 DRHOF.com Inductee plaque.....................
The 2020 Inductee plaques have arrived and Chuck Grimsley will be receiving his shortly via mail Chuck one of the standouts during the 1960's driving the "Pasadena Dodge" altered wheelbase injected Hemi. Chuck and Ted Detar were a racing team. Chuck presently resides in a nursing home in Albuquerque, NM. (7/3/2020)
Gary Dyer added to 2020 DRHOF.com Inductee List..............................  
Gary Dyer one of the premiere racers instrumental in the founding of the A/FX Funny Car and driver of Mr. Norm's Grand Spaulding Dodge race cars during the 60's. He teamed up with the legendary Farkonas and Pat Minick with support from Norm Krause from the Chicago dealership. Gary went on rebuilding blowers (superchargers) opening up Dyers Blower Service in 1969. (6/15/2020)  
DRHOF.com announces additional inductees for 10th Anniversary.........  

Being its the tenth anniversary of the DRHOF.com, we have decided to included several other inductees, whom were heavily involved in Drag Racing during its formative years! The new inductees are Sonny DeCesaris, the co-builder and co-owner of Cecil County Dragway built in the early 60's, along with brother-in-laws, Hugo & Ebby Procopio. The trio also ran Capitol Dragway! Another well known supporter of racing on the east coast is Bob Banning, Sr., who of course ran Stockers, Super Stocks and Funny Cars out of his dealership in Maryland. (2/19/2020)

Jesel Brothers added to 2020 Inductee list........  

Jupiter, FL. - The brothers, Wayne and Dan Jesel have been added to this year's DRHOF.com inductee list! The brothers campaigned the infamous "Yoo Hoo too" starting in 1966 with partner Tony Massari. The car ran several NHRA classes G/SA, H/SA and I/SA as the NHRA changed weight factoring, etc over the years. The brothers went on to compete in Competition Eliminator with a 1974 Camaro, then moving on to a couple of Land Speed cars (Bonneville). Of course the Jesel Inc. name is well recognized in all forms a racing from NHRA drag racing to NASCAR! (1/23/2020)

(partial) DRHOF.com 2020 Inductees........  

DRHOF.com, Jupiter, FL - The committee has chosen several nominees to date; Bil Stiles, Hemi Barracuda, Billy West 1962 Plymouth "The Little Pilgrim", Bob Rossi Competition Eliminator A/A Oldsmobile Acheiva, Chuck Grimsley altered wheelbaseearly Dodge, Dave Reitz mechanic for Bob Banning Dodge, Don Carlton "Mopar Missile", Ernie McDaniels, Gary Dyer "Mr. Norms Dodge", George Reese George' Corvette Shop, Jack Redd "JACK APPROVED", Jere Stahl Stahl Headers, Jim Oddy Gasser standout engine builder, Jules Schoenberger "Paper Lion" Philadelphia Racing Engines/Products, Paul Blevins another Competition Eliminator (Scotto Blevins), Ray Allen 1970 Chevelle SS/EA NHRA World Champion, Tom Snyder driver of the Bob Banning cars Stock up to F/C and Tom Wright! We will be publishing more details on the inductees as we receive photo, etc. (1/06/20)

PHOTO GALLERY 2020 Inductees

Inductees 2020 coming soon....................  


The crew at the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com is feverishly working on the latest group of Inductees for 2020! Marco DeCearis, Harry LaPlatte and George Case are tallying the votes and will post them shortly. ((December 21, 2019)


Short history of the COPO Camaro……………………..


Most people (racers) identify with the COPO moniker presently with the current batch of Camaros, that Chevrolet started to revive in 2011, but the heritage dates way back to 1967. Back in the day Don Yenko of Yenko Chevrolet, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania was looking for additional power that the 396 cubic inch Camaro wasn’t providing! Needless to say, that’s where the 427cubic inch 425 horsepower was born. Initially, Yenko was building the cars, then distributing them around the country through other Chevrolet dealers. The demand became so great, that he approached Chevrolet, who was hesitant to become involved. Special Projects Division of Chevrolet jumped at the chance and the cars for 1968 were available directly from the factory with the 427-engine installed already, supposedly this was hypothetical a “secret” between Yenko and Chevrolet. The success of the program led to the 1969 COPO Camaro, which most recognize and think they were the first “COPO”.

The 1969 COPO’s were delivered to Yenko with the so-called Sports Car Conversion Kit, which consisted of E70x15” tire on Rally wheels, a 140-mph speedometer, and a 1” front sway bar.
Fred Gibb and Dickie Harrell were responsible for seeing the addition of the ZL1 all-aluminum block 427 in the Camaros with an order of 50 cars, but demand opened, and this was increased to 69.

The 5th Generation Camaro reintroduced the COPO signature and went into “production: for 2012/2013 model year and is currently only available to 69 cars in the production run! (8/12/19)

Skip Asay receives 2019 Inductee plaque.........................  

Harry Lap latte out and about the country giving out the 2019 DRHOF.com Inductee plaques. Harry made a trip to Sanford North Carolina to visit with NED1 Stocker standout Skip Asay! Skip ran a trick for the time (1970's) 1968 Chevelle convertible in M/SA out of Raceway Park.

Now retire and living in North Carolina still keeping up with drag racing and looking for photos from back in the day of his race cars. (8/7/19)

ART MARSHALL, a 2013 DRHOF Inductee  

2013 Drag Race Hall of Fame.com inductee, Art Marshall was recognized ans photos displayed in the "Holley National Hot Rod Reunion" event program.

The 1972 Grandnationals marked the last National event win for a front-engined car in Top Fuel, as Art Marshall drove to an unlikely victory in the former Don Prudhomme Hot Wheels machine, beating Clayton Harris, Carl Olson (both of whom red lighted) and in the final, Jeb Allen, who went up in smoke. (7/26/19)

Dickie Estavez recieves 2019 Drag Race Hall of Fame honors.....  

Dickie Estavez was presented his plaque from DRHOF' Harry LaPlatte last night during the weekly gathering at Marco Decesaris' "MARCO'S GARAGE", part of the American Racing Performance Museum in Lothain, MD. (phone 240-375-4329).

Dickie a longtime racer was hurt in a fall last year at Maryland International Raceway, while assisting with some scoreboard repair. (7/17/19)

Roy Hill joins list of 2018 DRHOF.com Inductees......  
One of the prolific characters in drag racing has to be none other then Roy Hill! Roy has been in the game for many years and is without a doubt one of the first to come up with the concept of a drag school to teach people how to drive a race car and help Pro race drivers hone their skills behind the wheel.

Roy was tied closely to race car legends the Petty's of NASCAR fame and through them was introduced to the reigning Chrysler elite, Ronnie Sox and Buddy Martin later becoming one of their crew.

During the late 1960's, Roy ran a Super Stock Mopar, the in 1973, Roy had the Petty's build him his first Pro Stock car a Petty blue and red Plymouth Duster and as they say, "the rest is history!" Roy stayed with the Mopars until 1982 before switching to Ford.

At the age of 72, he is still very active both racing and operating the school.

We are glad to nominate Roy into the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com in 2018. (12/2/2017)

John Warehime claims 2017 422 Allstars season title...........  

John Warehime scored the event win and 2017 season championship defeating 2016 422 Allstars Champ, Aaron Shipley. Warehime had an awesome season compiling four wins and and two runner-up finishes on his way to the title, thats a 57% average! John claimed the 2009 422 Allstars Championship and has been in the top five every year except for one. Congratulations from the DRHOF.com staff! (9/25/2017)

Note: The 422 Allstars Awards Banquet will be held on February 3, 2018 at the Springford Country Club in Royersford, PA.

Greg Zyla a man for all seasons..............  

Greg Zyla, well known in the annals of Motorsports journalism has long been associated with several publications during his career. Many know Greg from his twenty plus years writing for Performance Racing Industry Magazine interviewing hundreds of racers, manufacturers, promoters of the various forms in the Motorsports industry. Greg has had conversation with the likes of Smokey Yunick, Jack Roush, Ed Iskenderian,Tony George, Forrest Lucas, Doug Yates to name a several. His contributions to the sport to say the least is staggering! Greg, now semi-retired, stays active still writing doing "Test Drives" on new vehicles, for The Ledger, plus campaigns a race car with his son Tim, who is the Sports Editor at the daily newspaper, the News-Item in Shamokin, PA and of course garage time with his cherished 1972 Dodge Challenger and 1994 Pontiac Trans Am.

What many might not realize, Greg designed the the Vallco Professional Drag Racing Game back in the early 1980's. The game is still available and for those that are aware of it always enjoyed the competitive action of the game. Sure, its not like the electronics games the world has come accustomed to, but it is great fun for racers who understand the ins-and-outs of drag racing. If interested take a look at Greg's site at Greg Zyla Syndicate & Motorsports. Also on the site is many of the of the articles that were published in PRI magazine.

VARGO REUNION...............A+  

Novemember 5, 2016 - We had heard great things about the annual Vargo Dragway Reunion for a number of years, but this year was the first time we were able to attend. First off, the fabled and now idle dragstrip located in Perkisie, PA is a site to behold nestled in the south corner of the AGA Farms. The farm is spectacular, but the once a year "reunion" is what would definitely light the fire of any automobile aficionado. The track close to a half mile long (including the shutdown are) was lined with vintage race cars, period correct cars, modern muscle cars, trucks high and low, that seemed to just go on and on as far as the eye could see. The event is basically a static display with music via a DJ where the starting line originally was located, but everywhere you looked there were people talking about cars, racing, etc. or in our nomenclature "Bench Racing!" The quality of the cars on display were second to none. Although we did not get a photo of Steve McBlane's awesome Ford truck (pretty sure it was an 1965 F650), that he uses to haul his equally amazingly detailed 1965 Comet nostalgia race car to events is a sight to behold. The big truck is restored and finished to full show car standards and beyond! Other cars that stood out was this 1967 427 FE Fairlane R code, the breathtaking 1963 Plymouth Max wedge car and past DRHOF.com inductee, Joe Gerdelman's twin engine dragster. Needless to say, this is just a few of the astounding cars that were displayed, so mark you calendars and make plans to attend the 2017 reunion. .(11/6/2016)

More photos- Joe Grippo Flickr..........

The American Performance Museum now accepting support................  

The American Racing Performance Museum is ready to accept your support via cars for display, automotive memorabilia and of course financial donations. Cars will displayed at the secure building on the grounds of Marco Decesaris' Marco's Garage located in Loincloth, MD.

For additional information on viewing the present collection or speak with Marco contact the museum at 240-375-4329 EST. (11/1/2016)


8th Annual Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion..................  

Bear Creek, PA (8/13/2016) - The 8th annual Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion saw about 200 drag race vehicles and classic muscle cars on display at this year's event for the spectators to view and recall the "OLD" days of drag racing! Headlining the event was former Top Fuel Champion, Joe Amato, who started his racing career at the now closed facility. Pocono Drag Lodge operated from 1963 through 1971.

Reunion planner extrodinaire, Charlie Hulsizer, was pleased with the participation, but noted that he does not know what the future will bare for the event as the property owner is in poor health and his family is uncertain of their plans with the land. The event raises dollars to pay the property taxes each year.

For more info please Call Charlie at 845-635-3662, or email ecoair9798@aol.com. (8/22/16)

American Racing Performance Museum ready roar..........  

Marco Decesaris has his American Racing Performance Museum/Facebook page up and running. Take a look at some of the cars now in the collection! Marco has been working diligently to get the museum incorporated and now registered as a 501(c)3 designation. The museum is also listed as a member of the National Association of Automobile Museums. The museum is a non-profit organization.

The goal of the museum is to be one of the top collections dedicated to the development and history of Detroit built race cars and include documentation of originality of each vehicle, as well as their lineage. The collection will include famous race cars from Stock through the Pro Stock ranks, plus memorabilia, parts, etc. from the 1960's and 70's.

The museum presently houses a wide variety of drag cars on the grounds of Marco's Garage in Lothain, MD. Appointments are required for viewing of groups of six or less. Contact info; Marco DeCesaris at 240-375-4329 EST or via email marcosgarage@earthlink.net.(8/23/2016)

DRHOF.com hooks up with Marco's Garage  
The Drag Race Hall of Fame.com's, Harry Platte has been out and about of late thrashing on a variety of vintage race machines and classic cars in Jupiter, FL. For the past year or so, Harry has been in continuous talks with Marco DeCesaris about linking Decesaris' museum/car collection with the DRHOF.com. The collection is located in Maryland. All things are now in line and the DRHOF.com shall be housed as part of the Decesaris collection. We are presently seeking 501C3 status for the DRHOF.com, which hopefully will be approved shortly. On that note, we are pursuing donations for plaques, etc. for the 2016 DRHOF.com inductees. For additional and donation information email Harry at; 2016 Inductee- Donation Program (lapattehar@aol.com) or give him a call at 561-301-6840. Also in the works is Harry has been in search of a building to house a collection of Drag Racing memorabilia and vintage drag vehicles. Here's Harry (right) and a building he is in discussion for the permanent location to house the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com. The building here is in Georgia with plenty of space. (3/19/16)  
Happy 50th 426 HEMI engine...  

The 426 cubic inch Hemi was available in February 1964 strictly sold as a race engine. The first Hemis made their way into NASCAR with Richard Petty taking Satellitehis famous #43 to several wins before NASCAR disallowed the venerable engine in competition. The 1964 Plymouth's' and Dodges' instantly became the ultimate race cars of the era in NHRA drag racing circles and still today racers covet owning one of these treasures. Originally built for Super Stock the basic engine has become the standard for Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny426 Hemi Cars as well as the SS/AH Hemi Barracudas and Darts (1968/69). In 1966, Chrysler came out with a milder detuned version called the Street Hemi, which made it accessible to the general public. Prior to the Street Hemi powered cars only a select few of proven racers were able to obtain one of these jewels.

Our own Harry Laplatte's Dad, Harold, purchased a 1964 Hemi Plymouth and campaigned it in the mid-60's. The car, called the "Satellite" ran on the East Coast. Fortunately, the car is now in the care of Wade Laplatte (Harry's brother) in its original form. Take note of the seven inch rear slicks! (2/7/2014)

Who raced the earliest 1964 Mustang?  

Here's what we do know; In late 1964, Ford contracted Holman & Moody to prepare ten 427-powered Mustangs' to contest the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) A/Factory Experimental class in the 1965 drag racing season. Five of these special Mustangs qualified for competition debuting at the 1965 NHRA Winternationals, where they competed in the Factory Stock Eliminator class. The car driven by Bill Lawton won the A/FX class and his connection with TASCA Ford is now legendary in drag racing history. Several other notable driver's including Len Ritcher, "Gas" Ronda, Dick Brannan, Les Ritchey, Al Joniec, Terry Harvey, Clester Andrews, Paul Norris, Phil Bonner to name a few participated. The Mustangs were a replacement for the infamous 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, which were outfitted with the tried and true 427 FE side-oiler sporting dual Holley four barrel carburetors. The 427 cubic inch "Cammers" were originally designed for PelligriniNASCAR to battle against the 426 Plymouth and Dodge Hemis of the era, but both the Cammer and Hemi were outlawed and transitioned into the drag racing, hence the A/FX Mustangs.

Mike Matune did track down the list and article provided by Charles Morris of the ten A/FX Mustangs built for competition; Car Tech Auto Books article HERE

  •     5F09K380230, Dick Brannan
  •     5F09K380231, Show car   
  •     5F09K380232, Tasca Ford (Bill Lawton)
  •     5F09K380233, Performance Associates (Les Ritchey)
  •     5F09K380234, Wickersham Ford (Clester Andrews)
  •     5F09K380235, Al Swenson Ford (Al Joniec)
  •     5F09K380236, Holman & Moody (Paul Norris)
  •     5F09K380237, Paul Harvey/Bob Ford (Len Richter)
  •     5F09K380238, Phil Bonner
  •     5F09K380239, Russ Davis Ford (Gas Ronda)

UPDATE - From what Mike has been able to ascertain, Ron Pellegrini campaigned a 1964 Mustang notch-back with a 427 FE motor in 1964. The drive-train came from the Hawkison 1964 Ford Thunderbolt. More information on the car in the Car Tech article Ford’s 1965 Factory Experimental Mustangs (2/14/2014)


Bob Moore 2021 Inductee..............................


Fred Dink



Bob Glidden's PRO Stock Ford Fairmonts on display at NHRA Four-WideBob Glidden's PRO Stock Ford Fairmonts on display at NHRA Four-Wide

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