My introduction to racing began in 1966 when I was 15 years old.
I was baling hay on my Uncle’s farm when my friend Doug drove into the field to let me know that he could use his Dad’s car on Sunday. We decided we’d drive into Edmonton and go to the drag races at Edmonton International Speedway. I was thrilled at the idea of seeing real drag race cars. So that Sunday four of us headed out for the hour drive to Speedway Park.
I remember getting out of the car to the sounds of the roaring engines. As we went through the pits, there was a large group of people around one dragster in particular. We were several rows back in the crowd and I could not see who the driver was. A total stranger turned to me and said, “That’s Don Garlits!” As we worked our way through the crowd to get closer, Don suddenly spoke, saying that he had a signed picture to give away. He pointed in my direction and said, “Hey Kid”… and I thought that could never be me. But he was looking right at me. He said, “Yes you there, come here.” He shook my hand and gave me a picture and I was just overwhelmed. I froze on the spot. Don finally said, “Got any questions?” I said, “I think it would be amazing to own a race car like this.