From somebody who was there, we present...

Green Valley Memories
All photos and text © Dave McNurlen 2001

I used to live (nearly) at Green Valley Raceway during the early '70s. My Pentax and I were always out there taking pictures. Every Saturday for several years I used to take the wrecker from the dealership I worked at out to the Valley. I was the official wrecker and I was usually parked at the starting line or at the top of the hill with the ambulance.

The top of the hill was the greatest place to watch the races because there were big trees to park under, we had our own PA speaker, and there was always a breeze to cool the Texas heat. Thank God no serious crashes occurred while I was working out there because it was just me and that ambulance. Sometimes a fire crew would be there, but not very often. I'd put a fire extinguisher from the dealership body shop in the wrecker before heading out, and that was it.

The last race I worked with the wrecker was the 1975 IHRA Nationals. If it was a funny car, I took a picture of it. From Cogo Eads to Kenny Bernstein. Your web site might be the reason I took them.

Dave McNurlen

One thing we don't have, though, is photos for sale.
Most the photos on this site are unpublished, and are the copyrighted property of the individual photographers.

Check the Links page for photographers, and their contact information...

If there's something you don't see here, and you've got pictures of it, either scan 'em and send 'em in, or e-mail me and we'll work out something. Link is at the bottom of each page.


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Pusch & Cain Mustang staging against CKC Vega- Green Valley, broiler seats in the background.

Here's the Pusch& Cain Mustang legging through the Green Valley lights about 1972. This car didn't run an injector scoop hence the small windshield hole. Good rear tire distortion here. Note the single guard rail and telephone pole light stands on other side of track. Doubtful if these days a photog could get this close to the track on top end.

Ray Motes in the Pusch & Motes Satellite at Green Valley 1974.

Ussery & England foreground, Ben Griffin background, the day Evil Knievel jumped some buses at the Valley in 1974.
The scaffold and camera in the background was because the jump was covered live on national TV. The crowd that day was massive.

Ira Hollensbe Super Star Mustang about 900 feet out at Green Valley.

With the wall of the Green Valley Race City Drag Racing Hall of Fame behind it, the body is down on the King Camaro,
and the starter is going back in the trunk of the Ford Galaxie tow car. Looks like a light load in the tank from the flames.

Gene Snow, Green Valley. Look at the flames on that thing and he hasn't lit the first bulb yet!!

Bill Rogers in the Travelin' Texan 426 Chrysler Vega panel in night qualifying at the Valley 1973. The car ran out of Odessa, TX.

Flash Gordon Mineo Vega in night qualifying at the Valley 1973.

Lynford & MacLamore at top of Green Valley shutoff area being pushed the last few feet around the corner.

Whitted & Custy Mustang inching into the beams at the Valley.

Richard Tharp driven Blue Max on the line daytime at Green Valley 1973.

I seem to remember somebody saying Cogo Eads was his favorite funny car drivers name, so here's Cogos car before Cogo got his name on it, 1972. This was shot from the "Broiler Seats" at Green Valley. These were bleachers closed in with tin on three sides with the "safety fence" visible in the foreground. The front row couldn't have been more than 6 feet away from the edge of the track.

Dean LaPole in King Camaro starting burnout at Green Valley 1973.

Ben Griffen Mustang, top of the hill with chute out.

Closeup of David Ray in the Mike Burkhart red car losing the blower against Danny Miller at Green Valley. Satin finish on photo doesn't help.
Broken right side of windshield can be made out, and blower angle.

Aftermath of David Ray losing the blower in the Mike Burkhart red car at Green Valley.

Full shot of David Ray after losing a blower against Danny Miller at Green Valley.

Dave Ray sez..."This is the run AFTER the shot below. It tossed the blower (semis finals) except I thought it was against Custy."

David Ray charging the Green Valley lights in Mike Burkharts Red Vega. Injector wide open, tire distortion, no chute out.

Got an e-mail from Dave Ray hisself...says Dave, " All four pictures (above) are of the same day. April 4, 1973.
In this photo, I set a new track record, both ends, at 6.50 flat 219.00.

In the final Snow set new MPH record at 221, and won the race. Blue Max and King Camaro and Jim Nicoll were there, all lost."

After the Richard Tharp-driven Blue Max had made its pass, the push truck wouldn't start.
Jim Nicoll driving the Speed Equipment World Vega came over in his firesuit and boots to help fire the truck up.
They messed with the battery and it started.

This is one of the Pusch & Cain Satellite about to go into the nets at the top of the hill at Green Valley in 1973. The "safety nets" were old rotted cargo nets strung on steel cables between wooden posts. This was the second pass on the car, and the first full pass. The car obviously couldn't stop and hit the nets at about 50mph.

Below, is another shot of it after it "stopped" in the nets. I saw the car the next year painted the same way except it was just the John Pusch car

Here's the finale shot of the Pusch & Cain Satellite going into the Green Valley nets. Just to the left of the unidentified man running to the car, a net support post is leaning at a 45 degree angle where it's been pulled over. Before the racing could restart, the nets would have to be repositioned and the support posts realigned.

Lots of cars would avoid the nets by making the tight left turn at the top of the hill and heading for the grassy field to the left of top end. There was a barbed-wire fence over there too and some cars would go through that. This was one of two cars I got photos of going into the nets.

Blue Max with Richard Tharp staging at Green Valley.
Big flames mean spectators in the Broiler seats behind are probably getting a double dose of nitro fumes and noise.

Terry Ivey Duster at Green Valley 1973.

Mike Burkhart boiling the blue car at the Valley.

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Know something I don't about any of these pictures?

Shoot me an e-mail!

Jim Sorenson

(206) 632-4969

The Funny Car Pages are copyright Jim Sorenson © 1999-2001 all rights reserved.
All copyrighted material herein is used with the permission of the copyright holder, and may not be used in any way or in any form without express written permission.