CHAPTER TEN – Zoom Zoom Zoom  Go To Main Table  Go To More Book Chapters

Heroes of the Mud

                By George J. Kimble


Late fifties and early sixties

There were places oh so nifty

Little rings wound so tight

They ran the dirt on Saturday night


Remove the fenders and blueprint the block

Weld up a roll cage and call it stock

Lots of iron front and back

Local heroes run these tracks


Groove their tires to get some bite

Brightest paints stand out at night

No big sponsors in their story

These guys run, just for glory


Quarter mile tracks in the dirt

Big men wearing jeans and T-shirts

Places where young men get their start

Lust of victory in their hearts


At locales like Dunkirk and Waterloo

These men had their battles to do

Earl Bodine and Jackie Soaper,

And Chubby Chandler at Chemung were super


Selins Grove, Towanda and Dundee

Just plain folks would come to see

The great racers of the U.S.A.C. circuit

Irish Jack Murphy, Noland Swift and Harry Pruitt


I was just a small boy then

But every day I longed for the weekend

Pop, big brothers and I would go

Then ol’ “39” behind the Buick we would tow


He picked the number like Jack Benny

Pop was past that age and plenty

Younger men drove his cars

A couple of them became big stars


One young man I recall

Who seemed a notch above them all

He won the championship in modified stock

That man was called Gordon Johncock


My fondest season was when Pop built the Eagles

These were cars with rear engines that were “legal”

Spoiler up front and wing in back

These were built for the Macadam tracks


Now I turn on the TV and watch my Heroes’ kids

Speed around the tracks and try not to skid

These are the great drivers of Nascar

Man this sport has gone so far!


My friends looked up to baseball stars

And couldn’t fathom what I saw in those cars

They probably thought I was a dud

All my Heroes played in the mud


As sure as God made men from clay

I remember those golden days

Dirt tracks are in my blood

And all my heroes were made from mud

The Test

                By George J. Kimble


Like vultures around and around they circle that track

Nittering, nattering, a darting attack

So many growling howling competitors a pack

The Jackals the Jaguars the Cobra that spat


Pieces and parts disemboweling some

Blistering tiger paws and on they run

From high noon past the setting sun

The chase will grind on until one day is done


The Porsches scrambled and shrieked and spun by the side

The Ferraris like a prancing horse in fits just died

Lotus and Mercedes on turn one in flames collide

Through anguish and smoke and debris one Corvette did slide


Like a glistening gem on a sand laden coast

Daytona’s road straights and sinews demand the most

Endurance of twenty-four hours the banners menacingly boast

As the flags of checkered unfurl all but a few will be just ghost


On the altar in front of racing’s majestic court

On the podium arises the king of this sport

From lands and countries afar the enthusiast exhort

The winner, the champion, the blue and white Corvette Gransport


A Different Battle Scene

                By George J. Kimble

In 1966 we took a little trip

Across the Canadian border to the province of Quebec

We took a little oil, and we took a little gas

And we took some Good Year tires, and we took a little cash


The “General” said, “We could take ‘em by surprise”

If those tires would stick, and we didn’t try to slide

Ol’ Mosport was a really slippery track

So we mounted up some rain slicks, and made another lap


‘bout this time, the rain was pourin’ down

We doubled up the wipers, and made another round

Bumps in the corners started shakin’ things all loose

Our left rear shock nearly brained a grazing moose


Through three more turns our Corvette had to limp

We were caught on TV, with pictures from the blimp

We didn’t know for sure how bad was the bust

On a loyal pit crew, we had to lay our trust


We pitted real quickly, when it began to thumpin’

Everyone else got out kinda slow

We started passin’ Porsches like they weren’t a runnin’

We didn’t believe, that was as fast as they could go

We ran through the esses, and we ran through the corners,

And we ran through the nineties, where the Jags couldn’t go

We ran so fast that we began a lappin’

The fans all said, “We were puttin’ on a show


We pulled into second as a Lotus left the road

It flipped and it flopped and it looked just like a toad

And the team for them Porsches was all set to crow

When the white flag dropped with one more lap to go


On his rear bumper, we set the Gransport’s sights

And just kept pullin’ closer, through the left and rights

We stretched out our necks, to see the pit board sign

As the two battlin' heroes came across the line


We roared o’er the hills and down through the hollow

We gave it all we had ‘cause we didn’t want to follow

The margin of victory surely was real thin

As our Corvette passed him just in time to win


If you can’t remember this little bit of history

The legends of Gransports might be just mystery

We asked for no mercy and gave out no pity

Maybe you’ll remember the Gransports, from this little ditty


So we fired our engines and we kept on a racin’

And there wasn’t any tracks where we wouldn’t go

We ran at Lemans and we ran down at Sebring

And we even ran a race down in ol’ Mexico

And we ran so fast that nothin’ could catch us

And the fans all came out, to see the Corvettes go


                By George J. Kimble


From an ideal a team was fashioned

Dedicated to racing with a passion

Four hardy soles, four men of action

To challenge the world would be their satisfaction


They knew that there wasn’t much time

They had to hurry to complete their design

Respect for American cars was in decline

They’d race in Europe from England to the German Rhine


At events like Karlskoga, Lemans and Nurburgring

The winners were Mercedes, Lotus and Citron things

So onto the Continent a Corvette they would bring

Confident the Corvette could deliver a sting


They worked many nights, their fingers to the bone

They painted the Corvette blue and white two-tone

With no factory help they were on their own

The first big race was to be Silverstone


With no time for testing they would tempt their fate

To face Moss, and Villenuve and the legendary greats

Onto a boat the Corvette was packed in a crate

Then because of customs the car arrived late


Depressed, they left England and headed to France

On the Continent no one gave them a glance

All the big boys didn’t even give them a chance

They weren’t waltzing Matilda. This was the big dance


On they pressed to improve the car

They tuned the suspension with a larger sway bar

Bigger brakes were mounted so they could stop hard

Then vents were ducted behind the tires


Bolted on koni shocks to make it more stable

And a 37-gallon tank was mounted with aircraft cable

Now at Lemans they were ready and able

As they filled out the papers at the registrars table


A sleek machine of exceptional grace

Radically modified to win the race

In the time trials it set the pace

The Corvette was driven by an Ace


During the race their confidence was growing

Twelve hours down and the Corvette was still going

After dark one headlight stopped glowing

They finished the race without anything blowing


American pride swelled up in their chests

With a great honor they had been blessed

All the Europeans humbly confessed

That mighty Corvette had them impressed


Now it was long ago in 1960

That Corvette team performed with such dignity

American daring against European Society

I tip my hat and salute the Corvette team Camoradi






The Winner That Lost

                            By George J. Kimble


It all got started when he was very young

He was a competitor marching to a different drum

He was something, a phenomenon on wheels

He was blessed with a touch, a natural feel


He started out winning, driving a go-cart

He was ruthless, a predator at heart

At age 16 he drove his first sprint

He won everything, everywhere he went


No sponsor would back him or give him a deal

He was an intimidator; he had no public appeal

Traveling the country, he beat the local heroes on their own track

He ignored their jeers and even painted his car black


He was a nightmare; the fans loved to hate

He came to your track intending to dominate

He would spin a few hot laps at a torrid pace

Then at the end, he would sling mud in your face


He won in the Northeast and he won out West

His reputation was growing; they called him the best

Romance was not part of his tortured dreams

He dreamed of winning in his racing machine


Like a bounty hunter the circuits he would roam

All the time he prowled, solitary, alone

No helpers, no soul mate, no place to call home

Never a smile or kind word at any speed drome


Then it happened, His life was forever changed

He noticed a girl smiling and felt very strange

He never saw anyone do that before

She came to the pits and knocked on his trailer door


Where ever he went on his racing mission

She would suddenly appear like an apparition

Although he kept driving and winning often

His technique was changing; his style had softened


While towing his racer in a driving rain

A careless driver crossed into his lane

He tried to avoid it, but the tires slipped

The trailer he was towing turned and flipped


There was no witness, and no one to blame

The trooper at the scene, said it was the rain

It was reported, in the newspaper, near the back

An unknown driver was killed leaving the racetrack


The girl's sister found her reading and crying

She said she loved him, and she wasn’t lying

I don’t know, but I’m fairly sure

His style had changed because he loved her


When I’m at the track and the race is called due to rain

I choke back tears and try to clear my brain

His drive to win had an awful cost

But most of all I mourn her loss


He won everything except his fate

He never kissed her; they never did date

Now she cries whenever it rains

Because she is the only one that remembers his name

Circuit Rap

                By George J. Kimble


No tell, Motel

Slick Chick,

Puttin’ on lipstick,

Back step, gotta prep

Pullin’ on a dip stick

Nightmares, who cares

Outta the groove, busta move

Too tight, too loose

Pit crew, that's you

Speed kills, gives her thrills

No sweat, you bet, no regret

Motor drones, girl moans, you’re alone, call home

Pack it up. Pack it in

Take your best shot. Try to win

Tires turn, rubber burns, you learn

You cry, mystified, she likes another guy

Road show, gotta go, no time for the ho

Saturday night, wound tight, Bullring another fight

Banked steep, dive in deep, you beat the other creep

Checkered flag, what a drag, you’re still dancin’ stag

Heart’s broke, life’s a joke, recalculate bore and stroke

No glory, simple story

Just a wrench, on the bench

Loose lug, no hug, let her go with a shrug

Off course, no remorse

Hit the wall, awful force

No tell, Motel

Her racing thing has gone to hell

Super Stock Racer

                By George J. Kimble


Way up in New York’s evergreen woods

A trailer up on blocks precariously stood

Out in the yard lay several cars

A couple looked like they fell from Mars


Rusting and battered hulks from the past

Everyone out there with busted glass

Little of creature comfort around this place

This is not about trailer trash, but about a man born to race


He could drive anything with wheels

Around here, he’s what they call, “the real deal”

“That boy would race anything from the time he was small”

“Bicycles, tractors, dirt bikes, go carts, he raced them all”


He was sixteen when he went to work in a lumber yard

He didn’t like the work, it was too damned hard

The boss saw him racing a forklift and he got fired

He told his daddy, that he had just retired


He had nothing, not a penny to his name

Somehow, he figured racing would be his claim to fame

Pastures, fields, dirt tracks, short tracks, high banks, paved

Every where he went the folks just raved


Along about then some folks with big time money

Decided they would recruit “Little Brownie”

They hired the best mechanics and built up a team

They constructed for him, a Super Stock Racing Machine


It had a sponsor’s name on the side

Little Brownie had a big time ride

He was a competitor so lion hearted,

He was always in the money, no matter where he started

Drive hard, deep into the turn

Never give a thought of crash and burn

He was amazing, cunning, and daring

To him the lead, wasn’t at all, about sharing


He ran World of  Outlaws then Silver Crown

Open wheeled machines, world renowned

He lapped the country on hundreds of tacks

He was a success and would never look back


But time and age are the same for every man

They respect nobody’s plan

The edge gets dull and harder to find

Those wrecks and injuries start to haunt the mind


As he aged, his skills became more corroded

His sponsor’s love for him slowly eroded

On the circuit, he was distinguished

His fire is low, but not extinguished


His eyes sparkle; his head is gray and his body frail

And to any passerby he will tell his tales

He will tell you, as around the yard he limps

He saw fame, but just a glimpse


He told me this and I’m sure he knows

“A racing life is a hard row to hoe”

“Some end up healthy”

“Some even end up wealthy”


“Some just slowly fade away”

“Some even leave a family to grieve and pray”

As he speaks, it all becomes abundantly clear

He followed his dream for many, many years


He pulls up a rocker to lighten his load

Love for Brownie was an Oval Road

Seated on his porch next to a broken down AMC Pacer,

Is what remains of  “The Super Stock Racer”