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Photo: Hal Crocker

My first racing was in motorcycles on a Triumph 350. That would be in 1958 while I was in Japan serving with the Marine Corps. They were good times in between many bad times, the racing was very amateurish, but very enjoyable all the same. After being home for around two or three years I got my hands on one of the first racing BMW 700s that was imported into the U.S.—that would be around 1964. I played around with that for a few years just working my way up the racing ladder. I travelled around the country with one of my good buddies with just a van and trailer. I beat some of the big teams and factory prepared cars along the way—great times!

A couple of years later, I prepared my own big-block Chevrolet Camaro, it had a 7-liter engine, and entered my first IMSA Camel GT race at Mid Ohio, I think that was in ’72. It wasn’t the best race I’ve ever had and I finished way down in 20th, with Ronald Austin as my teammate. I needed more time to work on the car before the race at Talladega. I’d made good progress and finished 4th. My next race was at Daytona International Speedway, in November of ’72. I was up against some strong opposition like the big Corvette and Porsche teams. Somehow the race finished and they took Tony DeLorenzo to Victory Circle. Then I was told, after they’d figured out all the scoring, I was the winner. The celebrations were all finished by then, but I got the money.  I won again at Daytona in the the Paul Revere 250 in ’73. I dominated the race in the Camaro, leading all but two laps to outdistance the factory Porsche Carrera of Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg. It was a sweet victory.

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