Where Jack Crashed
Was delighted to read about the best year in drag racing history—1966—in the Sept. 2017 issue (“Power Struggles”) of my favorite magazine. One glaring error popped out, though: Jack Chrisman’s earth-shaking, topless, blown Cammer-powered Funny Car burned to the ground after running off the end of New York National Speedway way out on Long Island, not York US 30, at the Super Stock Nationals. I know because my father was driving us (I was a car-crazed 13 at the time) into the parking lot the day it happened, and I still remember the plume of black smoke rising from the thick woods at the end of that iconic dragstrip. Jack escaped the conflagration unscathed, thank God, and the rest of the weekend was truly heaven on earth for Funny Car fans. It was one of the few major events ever held where the cream of the crop of steel-bodied, altered-wheelbase, injected, nitroburning steel/fiberglass hybrids, and Mercury’s first collection of tubechassied, flip-top Comets, were all running on the same weekend. It was truly the greatest drag race I have ever seen, before or since.