MOROCCO, Ind. June 18th - The paradox was why did such a good physical facility and marketing location have so very few people in attendance.
In a non-scheduled marketing sample, Nostalgia Super Stock Inc. sent a 10-car field to U.S. 41 International Dragway June 18 for an exhibition show.
The quarter-mile drag strip, built in 1992 according to track manager Tim Ringer, has one of the longest shutdown lengths (about 1/2-mile) and overall lengths (3/4-mile) has been under new ownership and management for approximately a year.
“The property had not been maintained for a while, for example, the bleachers on the west side were overgrown and not even visible, so we had to uncover those,” said Ringer. “This is going to be a step-by-step rebuilding process that will take some time. We need to recover our market.”
The corporation ran five sessions between 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. CDT, starting with 10 cars and finishing with six.
The closest race happened in the second session as Ryan Eads in the ‘Nightmare’ 1964 Plymouth edged Wayne Keimig’s ‘Kansas Comet’ 10.37 to 10.41 in the second pair.
Newcomer Ryan Eads, Emden IL in his 64 Plymouth Nightmare getting in a time run
Then a frustrated Keimig put the Comet in the box. “This has been going on about a month, it just breaks up above 6,000 rpm,” he said. “It might be the ignition box so I’ll replace it but if that’s not the fix, it might be the valve springs. Hard to believe but I need to find the problem.”
The Home Wrecker, Dan Hradisky of Chicago IL, Kansas Comet, Wayne Keimig from Atchison, KS
and Hard Days Night, John Rousset of Columbia MO are shown lining up in the staging lanes at U.S. 41.
A great collection of muscle from the “Big Three”, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
In the next pair, John Rousset in the ‘Hard Days Night’ 1964 Plymouth and Milt Schreindl’s ‘Full Tilt’ 1965 Dodge squared off, with Rousset prevailing 9.96 to 10.02, then 9.89 to 10.03 and 9.97 to 10.05 in session four. Schreindl had gone 9.91 at 132.48 in session one.
Rousset came up for session five but the motor would not start at the ready line. “Might be the battery or the starter,” said Rousset, who installed a new motor a month ago. “I don’t think it’s more serious.”
Milt Schreindl, Waterford, WI in his Full Tilt 65 Dodge launching against the old reliable
Hard Days Night 63 Plymouth of John Rousset from Columbia, MO.
These two cars just can’t get enough of each other as the Chevy Home Wrecker of D. Hradisky
and the Plymouth Crazy Addiction of M. Bittle clash one more time.
MOPAR vs CHEVY in a wheel lifting launch. Marty Bittle of Belleville, IL in the purple 65 Plymouth
and Dan Hradisky Chicago IL in his maroon 63 Chevrolet.
Dan Hradisky’s ‘Homewrecker’ 1963 Chevrolet posted his consistent 10.60’s and Mary Bittle’s ‘Crazy Addiction’ 1965 Plymouth was steady in the 10.50’s.
John Grinwald again brought out his 1965 altered wheelbase 1965 Dodge ‘My Gold Digger’ and went 8.7370 at 153.68 in the first session.
“I like this track,” said Grinwald. “The car moved around a little but the surface is smooth and shutdown is great. There’s a little park-like area off one of the turn-offs. You can sit in the shade, take off your gear and have a break. We used up some gas, it’s a drive back to the pit.”
The ‘Asphalt Angel’ 1963 Plymouth with Rich Berlisk driving went 9.7054 at 136.58 in session one and then edged up to 9.78 as the air stayed at about 2800- foot density altitude but got a little more humid toward sundown.
A solo pass by the Asphalt Angel 63 Plymouth owned and operated by Rich Berlisk of Merton, WI.
Mike Singleton and the ‘Resurrected’ 1964 Dodge continued to work out the rebuild glitches with a 5.5839 at 122.06 half pass in session one and an 8.9673 at 152.06 in a session two full pass.
“The car looks and drives great but it picked up 40 pounds on the nose,” he said. “I’ll need to scale it and can’t do that here, that obviously needs to be done back in the shop.”
A definite highlight was Jeff Wick’s continued progress in the ‘High Voltage’ 1964 Ford replica Thunderbolt with 9.0588 at 132.60 in session one. “Now I’m confident the car is going to go out and not up when I drop the hammer,” said Wick. “So we’ll keep working it and get better.”
(L-R) Starting line staff member Jim Ruch of Kenosha WI, shown here getting the Asphalt Angel into a good spot to flap its wings and launch. - As the day is coming near the end with a beautiful sunset in place, the group gets into the lanes to take one more shot at the U.S. 41 Morocco, Indiana quarter mile.
The next project for the IHRA-sanctioned track, which is approximately 60 miles south of Chicago and has about half paved and half grass pit area on flat ground, is laser leveling and then polishing the already smooth surface. “We’re going to build as we can,” said Ringer. “We’re committed to improvement.”
NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD - By Bob Wilkiewicz; Photos by Jordan Wick