Jack Did you ever get any Sponsor Money?
Yes my main sponsor was Witco Chemical. They manufactured Amalie pro Pennsylvania racing oil they also produced Kendal oil they came they came over and talked to me at Bristol Tennessee when I racing there.
Bob Zogle in charge of their racing program asked me if he could put a decal on my Go Kart. Bob said they want to do something as far as sponsorship went next year because they spent their advertising money for the year But we will paint truck, van, and Go Kart They also provided racing uniforms for me and the crew That really made my operation look professional They put my a contingency program were ant time a magazine or news paper would do an article and you could see their Amalie decal they would give me fifty dollars.
The next year Amalie gave me $10.000.00 also another company by the name of Proctor Press Inc. in Dallas Texas printed ten thousand four color handouts hand outs, calling
cards, and letter heads.
I truly believe if you still raced your Go Kart you could out draw any big name racer at any track in the country.
I brought the kart out to California to talk to Wally Parks the President of NHRA and Jack Hart, to try and get the Rocket Kart licensed so I could run on NHRA tracks. They said it was too dangerous and risky to license it so I never did run on a NHRA track. While I was out in California I ran the Kart at Orange County Raceway, as you know every just about every big name in racing was there that night, and the spectator stands were full. I remember that you were there Ky, and you said how fast will this thing go? And I said, I don’t know? And you said let’s find out, and then you cranked up the regulator to where I was afraid the tank was going to blow up. I don’t remember the speed but I did go faster than any Dragster or Funny Car that night. “Yaw Ky them were the good old days”.
From there we went up to Fremont California I head Glen Blakely install some pieces of titanium under the kart so they would drag on the ground they would make a show of sparks as I went down the track. After that run I had spectators come running up to me and said they thought the Kart blew up and I was going to crash.
Jack what was the quickest you ever run with the peroxide Kart?
The quickest run with the peroxide Kart was at the AHRA Spring Nationals in Phoenix Arizona. You see if I wanted to go quick I would hold the fuel pedal down until I ran out of fuel. If I wanted to go fast then would hit the pedal, than lift and coast for a second then I would hit it again I would drive it all the way through the timing lights then I would get a high speed but my E.T. was not as quick. So at this event I had the 1500 lb thrust motor in it and I made three five second runs 5.90 5.95 and 5.99 E.T.
Jack did you every have any close calls with the Peroxide Kart?
Yes one that I can think of right away was at a track in Ohio. I drove my Van down it to check it out before I ran my Kart down it. The track was extremely bumpy and the two lanes were separated by a grass medium. I thought if I let some air out of the front tires it would make the rides softer. I decided two run on the left side thinking it was a little smoother. Well the Kart started vibrating violently, and I drifted right over the grass medium the tall grass was flying all over the place. It looked like I took a lawn mower and cut a perfect path right through the medium. Everybody thought I got hurt. A reporter came over to me and asked me if I was scared? I held my hands out and, I wasn’t even shaking at all.
How did your unique driving suit come about?
I was racing at Rockingham Speedway and I met Bill Fredrick’s and John Paxton, John worked part time for Diest Safety equipment where try made Drag Chutes, and racing fire suits. John told me the drag chute I was using was too big to use on my Kart so John suggested we meet out in California and he would introduce me to Jim. We went up to his shop in Burbank to show Jim the chute that I was using Jim said he would build the right size chute for my Kart. He also was concerned because there was no roll bar on the Kart. I had no protection if I ever crashed so he suggested that he would build me a fire suit with two parachutes built into it, so if I ever came out of the Kart at speed the chutes would come out and hopefully would stop me from getting seriously hurt or even killed.
Over the years Jim built this same set up for boat racers and they worked every time when a boat would crash. Saving the drivers life. Jim told me that he had never tried one on land before, and said we should test it before I went back on the racing circuit.
Jim said he knew where there was a grassy area that we could test it. I ask Jim how were we going to do it and Jim said that he was going to have me sit on the back of his Pontiac station wagon and go a 100 mph and all I had to do was jump off. And hope the chutes opened up. Luckily it rain out all the time I was out in California so we never did get a chance to try it out and I was never unlucky enough to never crash my Go Kart to see if it worked.
Jack I truly believe, if you still raced your Go Kart you could out draw any big name racer at any track in the country.