The HFP Drag-Racing Fund-Raiser had the potential of being extremely successful, and could have raised several thousand dollars. Let's just say it was partly successful.

For background purposes I'll explain that I was racing a 1963 supercharged Studebaker Lark that has a reputation of being one of the fastest stock Studebakers in drag racing today. The engine was built by one of the finest Studebaker engine mechanics in the country, and the car many times has achieved quarter-mile runs in less than 14 seconds!

We promised to make at least ten passes in the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drags at Mid-Michigan Motorplex in Stanton, Michigan, this past weekend, and we asked for pledges ONLY ON THOSE RUNS REACHED IN LESS THAN 14 SECONDS.

On Friday, here's how we fared:
Run #1 13.936 @ 101.24 mph
Run #2 14.027 @ 101.30 mph
Run #3 14.091 @ 100.88 mph
Run #4 13.805 @ 102.84 mph
Run #5 14.058 @ 101.26 mph

By the 5th run we discovered that the rear fuel filter was clogged, so we quit for the day. We were excited, because a quarter mile pass at 13.8 and 103 mph is very respectable in any pure-stock event, and every pass was only a split-second away from the 13s! Plus, our speed consistently topped 100 mph on every pass.

So on Saturday, before pulling up to the starting line, we installed new front and rear fuel filters, new spark plugs, a new supercharger belt, and we added fresh racing gasoline. The car and driver were ready, not only to impress the audience, but to raise critically needed funds for HFP.

Saturday mid-morning...my launch was a good one! The car was all and more than I had expected! But, as I shifted into third gear, a sound similar to an explosion! The drive shaft had broken right in two! A two foot section flew down the drag strip, transmission fluid drizzled over the final third of the drag strip, and we held up racing for a half hour until the track could be restored.

I came home with a broken car and a broken heart.

Our total expenses for fuel, parts, food, lodging, travel and pit crew were less than $600. We should have done very well.

But as it stands, for all of our wonderful HFP supporters who made pledges on 10 runs...be advised that we made only 5 runs, and we were below 14 seconds only twice.


We'll also ask if someone would be willing to help with the expenses. That way, every cent raised will go toward our work with prisoners.

Thank you for believing in the car and the driver.

Just wait until next spring!

Doug Tjapkes, President
P.O. Box 687
Grand Haven, MI 49417


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