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Featured Magazine Article

From Mopar Chrysler Power & Performance Mopars, July 1997
Story by Chip Horton - all rights reserved.

It Only Takes One!

Greetings CP readers. I am semi-retired from drag racing now and whenever I do go to the races, one thing all of the Mopar racers especially like is Mopar race stories. Here are three of my best. The first story is a fight story, the second is a Chevy story, and the third is a Ford story.

My first story goes back to 1973. My Mopar had won eight first places in a row at Vidalia Drag strip and I was going for nine. A friend of mine, Herbie Prince, met me that Sunday morning and rode out with me.

The brand X guys already hated me then, and I wasn’t helping much by telling them that Ford and Chevy were like ugly women, cheap and easy to get!! When first round was called, my Mopar was as usual in the front of the line, and I pulled right out on track. I sat there and nobody else pulled out.

In those days I raced with my window down. After a couple of minutes I heard the announcer say, "If somebody doesn’t pull out, we’ll just give him first place." I sat there trying not to laugh when a big commotion broke out behind the tower. Everybody ran back there but me. (You see I lost my leg in a motorcycle accident when I was a kid so I don’t run too fast these days…) I waited and waited and finally a Chevy pulled out. Round one was quickly over…I had won again. When I was pulling back into the pits, Herbie was laughing so hard he couldn’t talk. When he finally calmed do enough to speak. I asked him what had happened? He told me that no brand X racer wanted to run me, so they decided to flip a coin, and odd man out until one was left and the one left would have to race me.

To make a long story short, they all got into a fight, accusing each other of cheating on the coin toss. I knew right then and there that brand X racers were in deep trouble in the future when it came to my Mopar.

Story number two happened in 1985. I was going for my 12th straight championship in a row, and I was racing at Savannah Drag strip. This bunch of racers hated me and my Mopar worse than any bunch I had ever met. Halfway through the year I had to miss several races, and when I got back to race again, I had fallen out of the top ten in points.

This bunch of brand X racers were finally happy to see me because they figured some of them were finally going to beat me. Little did they know that I have absolutely no quit in me.

I started working my way up in the points, and with three races to go, all I had to do to win my twelfth in a row, was no rain and win all three first place finishes.

I won the first race. Then I won the second race and then there was one to go. There was a father and son two-car Chevy team still ahead of me in points and they really despised me and told me so.

Round one it was the boy. Round two it was the father. Since I had already put them both out, and all I had to do was win the rest of the race. Each of the next three rounds the whole place was pulling against me. They all seemed to forget that even though I was the only Mopar at the track, it only takes one. Mopar prevailed and I won my twelfth in a row!

After the race the father of the two-car Chevy team came over toward me like he wanted to fight. He came within two feet of me, stopped and rubbed his eyes and face with his hands, and said, "I just want to ask you one question."

I said, "Go ahead."

He asked, "What church do you go to?"

My third story is from 1992, and it happened at Southern Dragway. When I changed to Southern Dragway after leaving Savannah, I met a whole new batch of racers for the first time. I think they probably knew who I was by the look on their faces when I pulled through the gate. Four or five of them even had enough nerve to tell me I was in deep trouble because they knew how to drive there at that track. It only took me two years to teach them it only takes one Mopar!! My Mopar won back to back track championships my first two years.

One of the races who had told me that they knew how to drive was a Ford racer and he seemed to take my success very, very seriously and personally.

The last part of this story was told to me by a Mopar racer who was at his neighbors: This Ford racer had told his wife and friends that no matter what; he was going to beat my Mopar. Over my first two years at Southern, I ran him around fifteen times and he hadn’t managed to beat me yet. Another neighbor of his came over and told him he had seen a magazine in Brunswick, GA that had a "how-to" foot brake race article in it. The Ford racer and his wife left in the middle of the night and made the 60 mile trip to a truck stop in Brunswick to buy the magazine.

He found the truck stop and after a lot of looking, he finally found the magazine. He couldn’t wait and with trembling hands he opened the magazine. It was then that he realized his worst nightmare had come true. He found out that it was I who had written the article!!! He quit racing and, people say he’s still not right…

Hope you enjoyed the stories and if you’ve got any of your own, why not send them in.

Always remember it only takes one Mopar!

‘Till next time.

Chip "Die Hard" Horton


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