He is a great local driver know far and wide. He will be missed by many,many old and new racers for the mark he left on their lives and a few on the sides of their cars while passing.
REST IN PEACE MY FRIEND !!
I just spoke with Delma and he is at home resting. He sounded really good and as always joking and laughing about his experience. I told him lots of people were still pulling for him to win this particular race. He was surprised when I told him about all of the fans and friends that still cared about him. He said to tell everyone thanks for the good wishes.
For those who dont know Delmar Cowart he was a one man team from Savannah Ga way back in the 60s. He gave it all with the two bucks he had, and would you know he was a happy camper when finishing last or better. That mostly green and white car with the number 0
on it was a trooper. Bottom line Delmar had a heart attack Fri but the good word so far is he is doing good and is expected to go home shortly
At least he knew how to shave back then and definitely had more hair. Now that he has seven door stops I wonder what his expectations are for the new year, and Chad? Well he is going to be in a league all his own next year.. Time will only tell. Merry Christmas you two, And a Happy New Year...
In 1965, Southern California drag racer Dandy Dick Landy was fielding one of the fastest match racers in the country, an altered-wheelbase Dodge Coronet. These early funny cars were known for their tricky handling, and Landys tow rig looks like a handful as well. Note the long-wheelbase, single-axle trailer the 65 Dodge Custom 880 station wagon is pulling: Now, theres some tongue weight. How would you like to wrestle this across country on 2laneroads?
Craig King, of J.P. King auctions off the Montgomery Motorsports Park on Tuesday. (Photo: PHOTOS BY MICKEY WELSH/ADVERTISER )
A longtime racer bought Montgomery Motorsports Park at an auction Tuesday and said things will keep rolling along once he takes over the drag strip.
David Elsberry bought the 138-acre racing venue off North Boulevard for $430,280. He said he's been racing there for more than 20 years.
"Basically, the people that everybody's dealt with will be the same, but I'll be active also," Elsberry said after the auction.
Stallings and Sons construction president Rick Stallings bought 249 vacant acres around the track for $2,500 per acre, a total sale price of nearly $630,000 with fees. He said he planned to sell the properties as developmental land.
The properties are zoned for everything from an industrial park to an airstrip. Former owner Jimmy Easterling said there are a lot of possibilities for the land around the Motorsports Park, and that he'd like to see it turned into a family destination like a water park and campground.
Elsberry said he was interested in the neighboring land but wasn't willing to outbid Stallings.
"I needed those, but I didn't need them that badly," Elsberry said. "I needed those at about $1,200 an acre. I didn't need them at $2,500.
"Right now we're gonna worry about that quarter-mile strip."
The NHRA-sanctioned racing venue has been open for nearly 20 years. Upcoming events include the Million Dollar Drag Race in October, which last year paid a single winner more than $200,000.
It also hosts concerts and other community events.
Easterling said he knew he was taking a chance by auctioning the property with no reserve but that he hoped to bring in more bidders and generate more interest by not setting a minimum price.
Bidding opened with auctioneers asking $10,000 per acre, and the asking price dropped to $2,500 per acre before anyone placed a bid.
Easterling, a Clanton resident who is retiring and selling off his businesses, said he has invested more than $5 million into the properties over the years and was disappointed in the total sale price of just over $1 million for all of the land.
"I gave it away, but that's the way it goes," he said.
One year ago today, the motorsports world lost one of its great characters, EJ Potter. We look back at a truly singular individual.
Elon Jack Potter was born on April 24, 1941 in Ithaca, a tiny town 120 miles northwest of Detroit, nearly dead center in the Michigan hand. He lived on the family farm all his lifewhen he wasnt out touring the world as the Michigan madman. His father was both a farmer and a chemistry professor, two trades that explain a lot about EJs unique ensemble of talents.
As a teenager EJ experimented with farm machinery and motorcycles, including a Harley flat tracker and a Vincent Black Shadow. In 1960, only 19, he built his first V8 bike, cutting apart a Harley big twin with a torch and wedging a 283 Chevy within the frame tubes. After attempting to cobble a centrifugal clutch, he gave up and hooked up the Chevy direct drive.
When the local police ordered the mechanical menace off the streets, EJ hauled it to a local drag strip where, by pure chance, he met Art Arfons. The Green Monster racer told EJ that if he could manage not to kill himself, he could probably made a good living doing exhibition dates. Art generously loaned EJ his little black book of drag strip promoters and a career was launched.
EJ built a total of seven Chevy-powered bikes, the first three known as Bloody Mary and the last four also raced under the Widowmaker name. They were refined over the years but all employed the same basic schtick: EJ started the engine with the rear wheel propped up on an axle stand. With the revs up around 5000 rpm or so, he rocked the bike off the stand, smoking the rear tire the length of the track, steering with the throttle, and crossing the finish line at 155 to 160 mph. Fans couldnt get enough of the colorful act. Those who saw it wont forget it.
After surviving over a dozen years on the road with this show, EJ retired the two-wheelers and launched a second successful career as a tractor puller. All the tractors were powered by WWII-era Allison V-1710 aircraft engines, a lifelong passion for EJ (his daughter was named Alison). Fabricated with theatrical roughness, the pullers carried the names Tractor, Ugly Tractor, and Double Ugly, and won two national championships. Along with the bikes and tractors, some other EJ Potter productions:
A three-wheel motorcycle powered by a Fairchild J-44 jet engine that originally powered a cruise missile. After crashing the 200 mph trike, he sold it to Evel Kneivel.
Nightmare, a 1957 Plymouth four-door sedan with an Allison V12 engine, a tugboat clutch, and a Chevy one-ton truck rear axle. Driving the Plymouth from the back seat, he ran the quarter at 145+ mph.
The Super Slot Car, a gutted English sedan with a giant electric motor that got its juice via cables laid the length of the drag strip. An Allison aircraft engine (what else?) powered the generator.
Nightmare Too, a Dodge Dart station wagon also powered by an Allison V-1710. When the Darts exhibition career was over, he removed the aircraft engine, welded the floor pan back in, reinstalled the stock drivetrain, and put it back on the road for Mrs. Potter to drive.
You can find some of these creations in the slideshow below. For more, see EJs wonderful autobiography, Its out of print but worth the searchwith his dry, self-mocking humor, hes just as much fun to read as he was to watch. EJ passed away at age 71 on April 30, 2012, due to complications from Alzheimers Disease. We wont see his likes again.
Bloody Mary 2
Allison Dart under construction
Widow Maker at speed
EJ Potter Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary 2 Autorama Extreme 2009
Bloody Mary 2 intake setup
Nightmare Allison-powered 1957 Plymouth
EJ Potter Bloody Mary 3 on stand
EJ. Potter Widow Maker engine front