First Championship 1989 Hobby Division2020First Championship 1989 Hobby Division

1989 was my 21st season racing. At that time I had missed 17 nights from 1969 to 1987 with engine issues, getting to the track, not having the car fixed in time and a 2 night suspension in 87′.
I had some good seasons early but my best was 1989. Ron Clements had built me a new chassis and we put the rest together. We had one feature win in 89 along with 3 heat victories. It was a very good year consistent wise for us.
We won Hard Charger for passing the most cars in all 30 race nights, Best Pit Crew, the Twin 25’s and our first Championship. The Hobby Club had over 24 cars every night, and top points cars started at the back of the feature with only Consi cars behind us, not like today with top cars starting every night near the front or mid way at worst.
If this was only a 10-15 race series, like many today, I may not have been the Champion because I did have bad luck a few nights including a blown engine in the Mid Season Championship. When the engine blew, that took me and a few of my racing buddies hard into the wall in turn one. The top 24 in points were guaranteed to start the Mid Season feature. We hustled to change the engine, (thanks to Don Shaw for loaning us the engine) and fix the damage before the feature so we could start. We got out for the race okay and though I couldn’t steer the car very well, we finished 20th. We won the points by 4 over Ray Hughes, so by not starting that feature we would have lost the title.
Another tough night was when one of our crew members didn’t put the gas cap on tight. When I pulled on the track, the starter, Ding DeLeeuw saw gas leaking and motioned me off the track. I went to the infield and one of the track staff handed me the cap. He wasn’t allowed to put it on so I got out and put it on as fast as I could. I jumped back in my car but they threw the white and sent out the bubble car before I got my belts done up. They gave me very little time to fix the gas cap….I was upset with that deal, overall points leader given no time to make a small quick repair. In that race we didn’t get any feature points.
It’s one thing to win a feature, but there is no comparison to a Championship. Overall it was such a great year for my team, not easy but very rewarding. 1989 was my second year as a Christian, making the promise, that God gives the desires of our heart, come true.
I’ll post more soon.
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