Topic: auto racing
If you haven't noticed already, I love MUSCLE CARS and auto racing. NASCAR seems to get all of the attention these days, but the type of cars and racing speed that I really enjoy is usually found in the NHRA Championship Drag Racing circuit. Here are the profiles of two American racing legends.
Kenny Bernstein became a full-time professional Funny Car driver in 1979 with the Ray Alley owned "Engine Masters" Ford Mercury Cougar. Bernstein won his first Funny Car championship in 1985, and in 1990 began to drive in the Top Fuel Dragster class.
He became the first driver in any class to exceed 300 MPH in competition, and won his first Top Fuel championship in 1996, becoming the first driver in NHRA history to win a championship in both of the nitro classes.
Bernstein retired in 2002, but in September 2006 announced that he would return to racing in the Funny Car division the following season with the Monster Energy Dodge Charger. His return to active competition was not as successful as he had hoped, and he returned to retirement after the season ended. Check out Kenny's official website here >>> Kenny Bernstein Racing.
Gary Gabelich, a San Pedro native, began his racing career as a teenager, winning first place in the stock eliminator drag racing class at Santa Ana at age sixteen. At age nineteen he won the world's first jet dragster race, topping 250 MPH.
He was the first man to break into drag racing's seven-second bracket, driving a Double A Fuel dragster at 7.05 seconds in 1967. He drove the Beach City Chevrolet Corvette funny car to speeds over 200 MPH, a first for a Chevrolet funny vehicle powered by a liquid gas-hydrogen peroxide rocket engine.
On October 23, 1970 Gary set the land speed record on a dry lake bed at Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah with his rocket-powered vehicle "Blue Flame". He achieved an average speed of 622.287 MPH and a peak speed of 650 MPH, a land speed record that existed for almost 13 years.
Gabelich was seriously injured in the crash of an experimental 4 wheel drive funny car. Gabelich died in January 1984 in a motorcycle crash.