2023… what a year we’ve had. There’s been a lot of scary things happening on the world stage and plenty of scary things here in America, but I guess you can say that just about every December. The great distraction for us Car Guys and Car Gals is the passion we have for these mechanical marvels. I’ve tried to understand why I can’t help to notice any cool or interesting vehicle l might see. Maybe it’s the momentary break from reality against a sea of cookie cutter cars and trucks that clog our streets and freeways. Don’t get me wrong, most of these modern vehicles are way better than the vehicles I grew up with, especially the performance vehicles. A 450 horsepower Chevelle SS from 1970 was lucky to get 10-12 miles per gallon cruising at 65 on the freeway. A modern 500 horsepower Corvette would get more like 25 to 30 miles per gallon today, and it’s a much cleaner, less polluting, more reliable car with air conditioning and cruise control. Interesting side note, a fully restored numbers matching 1970 Chevelle SS 454 would actually cost as much or MORE than that brand new Corvette. Why? Because it was a super cool car in 1970 and it’s still a super cool car today.

In my never-ending {thankfully} Car Nut Ball life, I’m now way over budget on the 1970 Camaro build and it’s still not finished as the Street/Strip car I envisioned. For the Arizona street part, it has to have air conditioning, a working gas gauge, and a few other upgrades that all require more money. For the strip side, it will need some upgrades to the rear suspension to alleviate the wheel hop I experienced on the first and only burnout l’ve done in the car. At this point, l’m not sure what the future is for me and the Camaro, but I don’t think I can keep moving forward on the build money-wise. You have to be sensible sometimes in your Car Nut Ball life. The local drag strip is staying open at least through 2024 and even though I’m 72 years old I still love to go drag racing and want to be ready for the new bracket racing season, so, I purchased a ratty but running and driving Dodge Dart with a small block V-8 engine, that will become my drive to the track race car.

Speaking of racing, here are some national and local results; In the NHRA Camping World series Congratulations go out to the 2023 Champions. Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel his first championship. To Matt Hagan in Funny Car, his 4th championship. To Erica Enders in Pro Stock her 6th championship. And to Gaige Herrera in Pro Stock Motorcycle his first championship. In the NASCAR Cup Series Ryan Blaney clinched his first Championship at the Phoenix race in November. Ross Chastain won the race. In the Xfinity Racing Series, Cole Custer won the Phoenix race and the Championship. In the Craftsman Truck Series Ben Rhodes took the Championship. Christian Eckes won the Phoenix race.

Arizona racers really cleaned up at the Div. 7 NHRA Summit Racing Series Finals in Las Vegas. In Super Pro, the Tucson Dragway husband-and-wife team of Chuck Hawk Jr. and wife Cindy met in the final round where Chuck’s dead-on 5.00 (8th mile) gave him the win. In Pro another Tucson Dragway racer Sean Brewster got the win. In Sportsman it was Wild Horse Pass racer A J Crader taking the win over fellow WHP racer Dave Muller. In Motorcycle Michael O’Neal from Sacramento Raceway took the win. Tucson Dragway also claimed the Team Championship and Wild Horse Pass finished 3rd. Because the drag strip at Wild Horse Pass is staying open in 2024 and hopefully beyond, l’m again excited to keep racing as part of the team. We at Roddin’ Arizona wish everyone a Happy and Safe Christmas season. As always the January issue that starts our 35th year will come out a few days late in January.