You know those days when gale-force winds require you to walk around at a 45° angle? When garbage, dirt, and the occasional farm animal seem to be on a collision course with your newly-waxed Pontiac? When not-right-in-the-head magazine editors refuse to take heed in extreme weather forecasts and decide to schedule a shootout anyway? Well, April 9 was one of those days.
Our shootouts are usually more than a month in the making, and as the big day approached our apprehension turned to outright disgust. The Weather Channel had forecasted a wet week leading up to the big event, and it appeared that our window for wreck-free racing was a small one. Fearless leader DeMauro knew that Tuesday would be our best hope for a storm-free shindig, so the order came down to let our four contestants (down from seven due to mechanical problems) know that we were go for liftoff. Unfortunately, that term was something that could have been taken literally for some of our faster participants. When we rolled onto the sticky flat surface of Englishtown, New Jersey's Raceway Park, the temperature was around 60°, humidity was in the low 70s, and a 20-mph headwind was there to greet us.
Braving the elements on this day were Wayne Garrison, James Horton, Joe Veasy, and Joe Anderson. These four cats weren't sure about snatching a personal best time from the jaws of Mother Nature, but they gave it a shot anyway. Garrison brought a high-9-second '69 Goat in Judge trim, Horton's '66 Tempest was aiming for some high 10s, Veasy was dying to hit the 13-second zone in his '69 GTO--also in judge robes, and Anderson's '67 Goat was reaching for low, low 12s. It was going to be an interesting day, so once our photos were taken, we hit the track and gave the headwind our best shots.