Was it pub­lic­ity or a pre­dic­tion?

The closely fought bat­tle for the A/drag­ster ti­tle at the 1959 NHRA Na­tion­als came down to a duel be­tween Kenny Lind­ley’s Miss-fire III and the Sidewinder II, one of two rails with east/west-mounted su­per­charged Hemis fielded by Chuck Jones, Wayne Reed, and Joe Mail­liard.

As Bob Pen­der­gast ex­plained in his cov­er­age of the “Mo­tor City Spec­tac­u­lar” (HOT ROD, Nov. 1959), Jack Chris­man was driv­ing both Sidewinder­s on that long Septem­ber week­end but mis­tak­enly elim­i­nated him­self in Sidewinder I—con­sid­ered the faster of the two—when on a bye run he turned out of the lane when the en­gine’s chain guard came off rather than fin­ish­ing the pass.

That sim­pli­fied Chris­man’s week­end, and in the Sidewinder II he beat all comers to reach a class fi­nal Pen­der­gast de­scribed like this: “The die was cast just 9.68 sec­onds af­ter Don Hamp­ton [in Miss­fire III] and Jack Chris­man leaped off at the flick of starter Leo Er­rara’s flag with Chris­man’s Sidewinder sail­ing through the traps out front at 153.06 mph.”

So was it a pre­mo­ni­tion or co­in­ci­dence that, a month prior to the Na­tion­als in Detroit, Eric Rickman shot pub­lic­ity stills for the up­com­ing race with the cars that would be­come A/drag­ster fi­nal­ists? And can any­one please help us iden­tify the name of the young woman wear­ing the Miss Hot Rod sash? —DREW HARDIN

Hot Rod Deluxe (ISSN 1546-5063), May 2018; Vol­ume 11 Num­ber 3, is pub­lished bi­monthly by TEN: Pub­lish­ing Me­dia, LLC, 1212 Av­enue of the Amer­i­cas, 18th floor, New York, NY 10036. Copy­right 2018 by TEN: Pub­lish­ing Me­dia, LLC. All Rights Re­served. Printed...

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