"It's the Pits"


"Dave, Dave and Dave"

Somehow I ended up with 3 guys named Dave, sending a whole bunch of pit shot of famous, near-famous, and downright obscure funnies. So, what better than a whole page devoted to pit shots?

Thanks to Dave Covington, Dave Esqueda, and David McFee.

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Most the photos on this site are unpublished, and are the copyrighted property of the individual photographers.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.

If you've got any info, please e-mail me. pits1@mysterion.net

And try out the Search feature!
Just type in what you're looking for (one or two words, spelling counts) and a list of pages should pop up!

Blue Max
Well, may as well start out with one of the biggies...Harry Schmidt's Blue Max Mustang
shoed here by Richard Tharp. Have no idea who the girl is, though...

Dave Esqueda Photo

Omar The Tentmaker

Omar Carrothers, otherwise known as "Omar The Tentmaker". Omar ran from out of the midwest somewhere (brain fade), but here is captured at Fremont Raceway in Northern California.

Dave Esqueda photo

Butch Kernodle

Now, from North Carolina, come these shots from Dave Covington, taken at Rockingham Dragway.

Now, if I were a betting man, I'd say that's the old Stone, Woods and Cook "Dark Horse 2" Mustang, which Doug Cook crashed heavily in at Alton, Illinois. Matter of fact, it even says "Dark Horse 2" on the quarter panel...Hmmm..and who's Butch Kernodle?

Turns out Butch Kernodle still drives Funny Cars today. Alcohol Funny by the name of "All-American" on the IHRA circuit...

All the Dave Covington shots are Injected Funnies, from the East Coast Funny Car Circuit, not IHRA, since IHRA didn't even exist until 1971...by the way, if you were wondering...

Dave Covington photo

Chevy Duce

Another of the IHRA funnies...and I have no idea who ran the "Old & White" Nova...
But I do now...Tommy Old and "Pop" White. This is an ex-Jungle Jim Nova...previously owned by Gene Altizer.

Thanks to bloodhounds Steve Gruenwald, R. Turris, and larry g. smith

Dave Covington photo

Durachrome Bug

Warren Gunter's Durachrome Bug, at Irwindale Raceway.

This was more of a fuel altered type of car, with the short wheelbase and all. Provided for some interesting rides...

Dave McFee photo

LA Challenger

Marv Eldridge made his mark with his Corvette roadster funny. But now for something completely different, here's Marv's LA Challenger...at Irwindale, Marv Ran this on the Coca-Cola Funny circuit in the early 70's.

David McFee photo

Bounty Huntress

Another Dave shot (joke!), Shirley Muldowney's Bounty Huntress Mustang at Fremont.

Dave Esqueda photo

Broadway Freddy

Now here's a rare shot...Broadway Freddy DeName, from New York City.

Freddy had some connections, and was quite a character. Unfortunately, he's no longer with us.

Dave Esqueda photo

funny corvair

Back at Rockingham, we find this Corvair Funny...No info at all,until now. Seems that this is Gene Altizer's injected Funny Car.
(Gene Altizer of gasser fame)
And...it's the ex-Malcolm Durham Strip Blazer Corvair!

Thank you, Mr. Naprstek!

Dave Covington photo


North Carolina again, with Kosty Ivanof's Corvette funny, "Tuff Enuff".

Dave Covington photo

Mazmanian Cuda

"Big John" Mazmanian's 70 Cuda in the pits at Irwindale. John had some of the nicest looking cars in drag racing, and some of the toughest on the West Coast. Never traveled a whole lot with the funny car like he did with the A/Gas Supercharged cars, running mostly West Coast events.

Dave McFee photo

Maz Cuda

From another angle, check out the beautiful candy red paint, and the gold leaf lettering. Big John spared no expense on his racecars...
This car was later sold to Parnelli Jones and ran as the Vels/Parnelli Jones (duh) Barracuda funny, with Danny Ongais behind the throttle.

Dave McFee photo

Jerry Ruth

The King of the Northwest, Jerry Ruth and his Pay 'n'Pak Mustang funny car.
Jerry was one of, if not the first to win his division in both AA/FD, and AA/FC in the same year.
Taken here at Fremont by Dave.

Dave Esqueda photo

M/T Stang

Mickey Thompson's Mustang Funny, driven at this time by Henry Harrison.
This is the car that the JoHan Mustang funny car model was designed after.

Have you noticed that all the cars on ramp trucks so far are Mustangs? What up with that?

Dave Esqueda photo

Finagler Cougar

Finally, a car I recognize. There was an article in Super Stock and Drag Illustrated magazine about "my first drive in a funny car".
This was the car the author drove for his licensing runs...Somebody out there will pop up with the dates on that article, I'm sure, saving me from digging thru all those issues myself! Ha!

And for sure the date pops up! It's in the February 1969 issue...thanks, Erik!

And an e-mail from one Charlie Gilmore adds more facts...

"The car ran on the East Coast Fuel Funnycar Circuit operated by Smoker Smith.
Jeff Foulk was the driver and I mixed the brew.
The car was powered by a small block Ford engine and we ran fuel loads in the high 90% range with some other secret ingredients.
The photos shown at Rockingham were from '68 or '69.
Our little screamer ran a best of 8.20 at 172 mph and we were competitive against much larger engines due to Jeffs' driving,
and the fact that the car would cover the 1/8 mile a lot faster than the Hemis and BBCs."

Thanks, Charlie!

Dave Covington photo

PureHell Demon

Rich Guasco's Pure Hell Demon.

Dave Esqueda photo

Ray Alley

Ray Alley's Mustang.

Dave Esqueda photo

Hippie Hemi

Another of the mystery IHRA cars...I've seen later versions of the "Hippie Hemi", but have no clue here...
looks like the "Jolly Green Javelin" in the background.

Survey says...this is more than likely the ex-Sox and Martin "Baccaruda".

Dave Covington photo

Gene Snow Challenger

Gene Snow, with his Rambunctious Challenger at Irwindale...note stylish pit monkey checking out the operation...
the non-stylish fella working on the motor is long-time funny car wrench Jeff Crowther.

Dave McFee Photo


I believe this is the Dekker and Ward "Assasination" Cuda funny, out of the Colorado Rockies. Was Guzman still around at this time?

Dave Esqueda photo

Bays and Rupert

Richard Bays, and Frank Rupert's Vega funny, at Fremont...

Dave Esqueda photo


Okay, now who the hell is Jumping Joe? Another of the North Carolina series...turns out Jumpin' Joe
is Joe Weis, father of former IHRA standout, Scott Weis.

Dave Covington photo

Boss's Hoss

A Dave Esqueda photo, of his favorite driver, Cogo Eads, and the Boss's Hoss Barracuda funny.

This car gained it's biggest fame, by schucking the entire rearend out of the car at a naional event, in front of all the premier drag racing photographers...made all the magazines at the time...

Forget the above sentence...I've been corrected...it was Eldon Huffman who shucked the rearend at Indy...

Dave Esqueda photo


Yeah, even the Fuel Altered guys got into the funny car thing...Hairy Burkholder, of Burkholder Bros AA/FA fame, was a partner on this fine Barracuda at Fremont Raceway.

Dave Esqueda photo

Whipple and Mr. Ed

Dave Esqueda photo

Mr. Ed

Mr. Ed Charger, Kelly Brown in the drivers seat.

Dave McFee photo

Super Javelin

My spies tell me that they think this Javelin was owned and driven by Charles Lee...

Dave Covington photo

Pisano Corvair

Joe Pisano's Corvair Funny, taken at Irwindale...

Dave McFee photo

Pisano Camaro

Pisano and Matsubara Camaro...Most of the Pisano cars ended up destroyed by some turn of fate...this one no different.

Dave Esqueda photo

Red Vega

They kept building new cars, though...and then either burning them up, or crashing 'em.

Dave Esqeuda photo

Yellow Vega

Finally some big time sponsorship! Yeah, they crashed this one too. See page 8 for a shot of this body outside of Don Kirby's shop...

Dave Esqueda photo

Mr Norm

Of course, as any fool can see, Mr. Norm's Super Charger. Irwindale Raceway, surrounded by pit monkeys...

Dave McFee photo

Dunn RE Cuda

The first paint scheme for the Dunn and Reath rear-engined Cuda...

Dave Esqueda photo

Dunn and Reath FE Cuda

The front-engined Cuda of Dunn and Reath, which preceded the RE car.
This was a real strong runner, with a direct drive setup, and won a bunch of races for Big Jim Dunn.

Dave Esqueda photo


Another of the Rockingham series...the She-Devil Cuda...does anyone have ANY idea who these east coast guys are?

Seems someone does...Joel Naprstek, ace S/S and A/FX spotter and artist deluxe comes up with this...

"Bill McDuell. He was a big Ford racer prior to this. He had a '64 A/FX Comet called "The Ultimate A/FX" in '64-5,
then bought the ex-Tom Grove "Charlie Horse" A/FX '65 wedge Mustang when Grove got his stretch car.
The Charlie Horse became McDuell's first "She Devil" car.
I'd bet that this She Devil 'Cuda is the ex-Butch Leal CA Flash Logghe car."

There ya have it.

Dave Covington photo

Smokey Joe

Joe Lee's Charger funny, don't know much about Joe, just that he was from down San Diego way...

Dave Esqueda photo

Pete's Lil Demon

Pete's Lil Demon, driven by Dr. Leroy Hales...

Dave Esqueda photo

Lil Demon

Well, it looks as though the Lil Demon has gotten a new paint job here. Note the purple anodized panels that match the paint in the photo above...

Dave Esqueda photo


The more I see of these injected cars, the more baffled I get. The Swinger Camaro, who owned and ran it, I have no clue.
But now there is a clue. The Carlton Bros..... Rockingham Dragway.

Dave Covington photo

Shakey Pinto

Ron Williams, from the Bay area, a former drag boat guy, ran this Pinto funny.
Unfortunately, it wasn't a very successful transition.

Dave Esqueda photo

CKC Vega

The Texas based Vega of Fritz Callier. CKC stood for Callier-Kristek-Cortines, all Texas racers, Fritz drove this,
Kristek took care of the motors, and Cortines (Buddy), was better known for his Top Fuel exploits.

Dave Esqueda photo

"It's the Pits 1"

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