Don Johnson

don in chair

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Thomas E Loughlin Jr
@thomas-e-loughlin-jr   9 years ago
Enjoyed interviewing you for the Utica Observer Dispatch during your appearance at Lothar Stahlberg's Datsun dealership here in Utica. Thanks for letting me sit in the car... Yes I have a tearsheet of the article/photo and do have permission to post...so that should be forthcoming after I "mine" it. Always a TF fan, I promoted what I believe to be the last independent Top Fuel open competition in the East. the 16 car DRAGBEAT Magazine Top Fuel Championships at ESTA Safety Park Dragway in Cicero NY in the mid 1970's. At the event, Rolland Schmidt, track manager, decided to let all 16 cars run (and pay all)...and we were in 7th heaven. The two years it ran, I believe 75 and 76, The expansion of the fields meant that the race profit margin for the track was a little thin...afterward, Schmidt and I enjoyed a good laugh as we determined that profit margin was 74 cents....but making money on an open 16 car top fuel show in OCTOBER in Central New York was pure magic...and the guys at ESTA loved racing more than money (and still do) and got one heck of a show out of the field. It was one of drag racing's classics. Tom Loughlin Jr, Utica NY Publisher DRAG BEAT Magazine and DRAG BEAT...the FIRST all drag racing column to appear regularly (weekly) in a major daily newspaper -the Gannett chain Utica Observer Dispatch
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