“Just got this AWESOME story from drag racer Dave Crane.
The perfect Walt Arfon’s tribute story, gives me goosebumps to read this.
Dave gave me permission to share it with you.” Paula Roth
In 1962 I was the flagman at Martin 131 and flagged Walt’s jet car with Nook Bakewell
driving, against Bobby Walters in the Violent Vender top fuel car. I stood off to the
side the dragster was on, in the grass, to avoid becoming a crispy critter.
Nook’s instructions were to point the flag at both drivers, get their nods of
approval, put the tip of the flag to the ground and count 1001, 1002, and lift
the flag. When the flag touched the ground Nook hit the afterburner and 2 seconds later
when I lifted the flag both cars left together. After they passed by I went to the
center of the strip to watch them. What a sight ! A ball of flame in lane one and
nothing but tire smoke in lane two. The jet passed Bobby at the 3/4 point and the
force of the jet engine caused the front of the digger to go into a wheel stand. Bobby
never lifted. Front end in the air, front wheels flopped over, and tires still
smoking through the lights.
Just more of the stuff you’ll never see again.
A precious memory.
Dave owned and operated an extremely cool drag racing museum.