Even though it was illegal, nitrous oxide was the temporary power source of choice for som
We made the flight. Personally, I think a warning is a lot more effective in many cases than a ticket. To this day, when I drive in the Talladega area of Alabama, I watch my speed. Per chance I get stopped by the same officer, I can't expect another break.
The Bottom Line
Before Darrell Waltrip moved up to Winston Cup [in 1972], he was almost unbeatable at Nashville Speedway. The promoter wanted somebody who could beat him. So I took the old Dodge powered by a 426ci Hemi engine that I was driving for Beetle McMahon of Sevierville, Tennessee. Sometimes Darrell and I would run most of a 35-lap race side by side, and then I'd get underneath him and win. This went on for about four weeks.
Before the next race, Darrell's car owner told him that if he wouldn't allow me to get underneath him, I couldn't beat him, so he should get on the bottom and stay there. Speculation around the pits was that if Darrell didn't win the next race, he might lose his ride. He won the pole that night. Lo and behold, I discovered to my surprise that the old Dodge actually ran better in the outside groove than on the bottom. It wasn't bound up as bad and carried more momentum. I'd pull past Darrell, and he wouldn't budge from the bottom lane. I ended up winning the race.
Darrell's owner had seen enough and protested my car. At that time, each protest was separate, for instance, the engine size and carburetor each carried a fee. My engine size was OK, and I knew everything was legal. The car owner also owned a beer distributorship, and we stood around and drank his beer while inspections were made. He protested the carburetor and paid the fee--then the fuel cell. I made him a $100 side bet on both, and he lost. Even the inspector asked why he protested the fuel cell after a 35-lap race. Well, the owner said he wanted that car dismantled with the hope that we'd never get it back together like it was. In race purse, deal money, and side bets, I grossed between $4,000 and $5,000 that night and got all the free beer I wanted.
Remembering Marty Robbins
I met the late Marty Robbins at Nashville Speedway through former drivers Elmo Langley and Neil Castles. Marty wanted to take us to the Grand Old Opry that night. I was really tired, but I'd never been to the country-music show. As a youth growing up in Wisconsin, I had listened to the program regularly on the radio. So I went.
Marty introduced us to some other big stars before he went on stage and sang. He rejoined us while the people were screaming and hollering for more. He went back and performed another 30 minutes. Then he took us to dinner. What a great guy he was. I've never known a celebrity who was more unaffected and down to earth.
I Was the Turkey
Bill Jordan, the owner of my sponsor, Realtree, invited Dwayne Leik, my public relations man, and me on a wild-turkey hunt near Columbus, Georgia. I set out with Bill, and Dwayne joined David Blanton, a Realtree employee. We were accompanied by a camera crew to capture the action.
To shorten a lengthy story, the battery in the golf cart that Bill and I were riding went dead. He told the cameramen to stay with the cart--a blessing in disguise--and we would get a truck and trailer to pick it up.
On the way, we decided to check out a field we had hunted earlier in the morning. Bill gave a call, and two toms appeared walking toward two hens, which are protected by law. After walking around the 20-acre field and into a stand of pine trees to get behind the turkeys, I got within the legal 40-feet shooting range.