American Jet Cars
Stories & Comments
Dave Crane

“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.

 Paula Roth
Paula Roth

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