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Figbuck Chronicles...


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  • 1 month later...

I just stumbled upon this thread and I'm glad I did! Reminds me of stories I hear from my dad and his buddies. Being 24, sometimes I feel like I was born too late and didn't get to enjoy "the good ol' days"... Not that I dont enjoy Mickey big mouths and some hashish now, but it just sounds better 40 years ago! thanks fig!

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Yeah, i'd like to see you in person at canby, great storyteller, and you have a great grip on what really is, and what really is important. Whatever shitpile of crap you're going through right now, it takes a great person to still tell uplifting stories. I can't believe deleting any of this (which I've read every word of) even crossed your mind. I looked for you a bit last canby, but in my mad scramble to be ready, remembered your screen name wrong. I read so much stuff, catching up on everything, that it all got a little jumbled in my head. I was sure to compliment Wayno on his great storytelling even though I was injured and in great pain, and ready to tell him to keep writing great things until I saw his look of confusion, and knew My harddrive was crashing a bit :). Eh.... 1.5 hrs of sleep, big pain, I tried, maybe next year I'll tell the right guy. .....Or maybe I just did :)

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That is a great line .sunlover; My hard drive was crashing a bit. That is what's wrong with me... corrupted files on my hard drive.


Canby was a trip. I talked to a lot more people that I didn't know, and who didn't know me either, than I did know. I'm not a very social person... no... I'm not a social person at all. Very poor social skills. I don't care what people think of me and I enjoy being alone. Saturday was my birthday. I brought my sleeping bag to stay down there, but I drove home to play the horn and came back Sunday. Next year I will camp for sure.


You know I have this story about going to see McCoy Tyner play with Michael Brecker at the old Yoshi's Nitespot in Oakland, early '90s. I thought I was a hard core fan. They opened the doors at six so you could buy your ticket and 'save' the seat in the nightclub, then go eat unreal Japanese food and Sushi in the dinner house. Come back at five minutes to eight, and get your seat. The shows were always right on time with the second set at ten.


I got there an hour and fifteen minutes early to be first in the ticket line and reserve table 17 in the middle of the balcony. There is a guy already in line with a book, drinks and a snack! Now this muthafugga is hard core. I start talking to him about jazz, records and how many times he's seen McCoy Tyner play. It turns out he is about 12 years older than me and went to medical school in New York in the '60s. He hung out at all the famous jazz and bebop clubs and saw an incredible chunk of music history. I ask him if he saw McCoy play with John Coltrane. He said he saw Trane on a few occasions and was on hand for the famous Live at the Village Vanguard recordings.


I said, DUDE, I FUCKING HATE YOU!! I have been been buying tickets and standing in line for a long time, and have seen a huge chunk of music history... Cream, Hendrix, Doors, Who, Traffic, Led Zepplin, ... and blues and jazz... I would trade 40 years of clubs and concerts to have seen Trane play with McCoy and Elvin Jones one time. I was born in the wrong generation!!


The thing that sucks about getting old is that you remember when there weren't so many people and things were real, not fake. The good old days? I came up working on old houses, real wood, real bricks, real plaster. Now houses are built to look like old houses but stuff is particle board, brick veneer and sheet rock. Fake stuff made to look like the real stuff it used to be. Hollywood makes the same movies over and over again. Styles of clothing keep coming back over and over.


You remember when things were authentic, simple, uncomplicated and easy to do. To think that any of the bullshit that is going on in the world now might be the "Good Old Days"... words fail... it's heart breaking sad. The kid across the street was born in 2002. We have been at war his whole life.

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All interesting stuff.


I like what Ken Keasy said: “The answer is never the answer. What's really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you'll always be seeking. I've never seen anybody really find the answer -- they think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.”


Being for me is in the singular, knowing is in the plural. Plural implies an observer and an observed. Something observed is influenced by the observer. Knowledge. To make that happen a space/time. Duality. You can't observe being because you will change it... all you can do is be... but in the singular you won't know it because that will put you back into the duality of observing.


Words are symbols not things. I just wasted two minutes typing words that can never convey what being is. On top of that I don't have the desire to chase my tail into infinity trying to understand something that is not understandable.


I can be in the singular... I have to sacrifice hanging out here in this holographic dream that we have created and bought so hard into hook like and sinker... calling it reality.

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Words are symbols not things. I just wasted two minutes typing words that can never convey what being is. On top of that I don't have the desire to chase my tail into infinity trying to understand something that is not understandable.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Here we are again, spinning around out in this part of the earth's orbit once again. The wobble is about to turn back the other way and the days will start to get longer again. Seems like we were just here out in this part of the orbit, not that long ago. What a disappointing year. I mean who knows, maybe many of the things I worked so hard to accomplish will eventually work out... but the view from here, now, is failure.


It's hard to admit to failing. Worse, I worked so hard and I feel like my intentions were good ones. I should have had some success. I did play my horn a lot this year and I think I made progress as an instrumentalists and a musician... but all that is so fleeting... if I don't keep playing every day, and try to keep progressing, my chops and "head" chops are lost so fast.


Hind sight is 20/20 as they say. It's hard to draw conclusions about what is actually going down right now, like you can't see the forest for the trees. I have had this feeling for a few years now that my perception of time is speeding up. I also feel like I am at the end of an era. Daydreaming and peering into the future tempered this thought with, maybe this is just a transitional period. A look back from the future might see the beginning of something else.


I go to the library regularly during the wet dark part of the year. We have a great library system in Portland. They get all the new books. I just finished reading Steven Tyler's recent book about his life and Aerosmith. I read Sammy Haggar's book Red last week and Neil Young's 750 page biography Shakey. Earlier I read a book about Van Halen.


What is strange about this is that, I missed most of the '70s through the '90s... and probably beyond... musically, I mean. I kind of paid casual attention to MTV for a second, while cable TV was the new thang, but I was off into straight ahead jazz and fusion... and soul music like James Brown, Bobby Blue Bland, Tower of Power...


Well, let's just say that I probably heard some of this rock stuff on a juke box in a bar or background noise on a construction site radio, but I couldn't tell you any tunes any of these bands ever played or wrote... you know? I never listened to rock at all really after maybe seeing the Dead's Wall of Sound concert, Santa Barbara in 1973. Maybe the last vinyl records I ever bought were Yes, Almond Brothers and the Santana Caravansari album.


Let's just say that at that point, for me, it was Trane, Cannonball, Dexter, Joe Henderson, George Coleman, Sam Rivers, Azar Lawrence, Steve Grossman, Dave Leibman, Bird, Richie Cole, Grover Washington Jr. And guitar players like John McLaughlin, keyboard players like Herbie Hancock, Chick Ceora and Panio players like McCoy Tyner, and drummers like Jack DeJohnette, Tooty Heath and Tony Williams. Blue Note, Prestiege, Impulse, Riverside, CTI labels... I mean, if I have to esplain it to ya, then you ain't gonna git it.


It was really interesting to hear these rock guys talk about being artists, singer/songwriters, and then life on the road and in the music business. Interesting to hear them talk about written and recorded tunes that I have never heard and are million selling or multiple platinum records.


Last night I fell asleep in front of the TV and woke up in the middle of this thing about Pearl Jam Twenty. I heard the name but I know nothing about the band or the Seattle music scene... other than a blip on the Nightly News... that there were some bands up there who wore flannel shirts and worshiped Neil Young or something.


The thing I got from Neil's book was that everything is going to change. Be authentic to yourself and you can roll with the changes. There was a great line from Steven Tyler too; "Life is like a roll of toilet paper, as you get to the end, it starts to go away faster."


It's a trip that I have been feeling that for the last four or five years, that time seems to be speeding up exponentially. Also as all the stuff I have worked for and tried to do for the last thirty years has unraveled and evaporated in the last couple years. I'm left with playing the horn and trying to get real. I'm getting it sorted out a bit every day. Sometimes I have to remind myself to keep breathing though...


I used to do this thing every year. I called it the Summer Sprints or the Sprint. Actually I never said that to anybody, it's just something I invented after eight or ten years. Every year the second or third week in June, I used to ride my motorcycle from the Bay Area up Highway 1, up the coast, through the Redwoods, and up the Oregon Coast to Portland for the World Series of IndyCars. Many years the trip fell on my birthday, so it was sort of a birthday present to myself. There were many years that the Summer Solstice fell during my trip. I spent many of the longest days burning gas and rubber all day long... or watching fast guys drive race cars.


On the first trip I noticed that spending eight or ten hours a day in the saddle, you have this dialog with yourself. When I got home I realized that I had sorted out things that were bothering me and made some kind of decision or plan of attack to fix stuff or move ahead with something. I got to look back at the year to see what had happened, what I tried to do, and how it all looked this time around. I was a yearly ritual for nearly 23 years.


For all that time, I worked my ass off as a contractor and looked forward to the Sprints every year. When I was wet and cold working off of scaffolding in January I would think... a few more months and I will be waking up to saddle up, and shred some asphalt... I will be having the time of my life. There were many days through the years that were perfect days. From the time my eyes popped open until I passed out again... everything was a blast, everything worked out great, I had one of the best days of my life. There were other days through the years that were for sure the best days of my life. They were maybe few and far between, but they happened. The Sprints were always DAYS in a row like that!


I used to ask people, do you remember anything good about 1982 or '92 or '02 for that matter? Mostly they go Huh? I remember going to the races in 1986 and having the time of my life... and '87, '88, '89, '90... you get the picture.


Looking back at this year there was one day where I could forget about all the crap of day to day life, and spent the entire day having fun. That seems pretty piss poor, but at least there was one. If I could tell stories about the Sprints, I wouldn't have to embellish them. They were wild enough. I never really talked about this stuff, because It was something I did by myself, for myself and some of the stuff that happened to me on the Sprints would seem like tall tales anyway.


Tomorrow the days will start to get longer. We have another shot at trying to make some of those "days" be the times of our lives.

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There was a great line from Steven Tyler too; "Life is like a roll of toilet paper, as you get to the end, it starts to go away faster."


Ain't that the truth, one of the many truths of life I guess.


Just got caught up from the august posts to todays. Glad to see your keepin on. :)


That birthday video reminded me...what do I gotta do, to get you to make me a couple of those wooden cars? :cool:

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I try to read all the time. I read magazines, the daily newspaper, the weekly rags and go to the library every week too. The major source of all my reading is dumpsters. There was a dumpster that served the facility my shop was located. I called it the 'Magic Dumpster". I could write stories for days about all the stuff I got out of it. I liked to find hard bound books and specially old books that have leather bindings or cool paper. There is a 25 yard dumpster at our local re-cycle facility that is just for hard bound books... man is it a gold mine of cool books.


I very rarely read fiction. I guess I'm an amateur musicologist, so I read about harmony, counterpoint, composition and arranging. I have been reading a lot of biographies of musicians and composers too. This summer I finished a 600 page bio of Beethoven that was written in 1928 and Q, Quincy Jones Biography, as well as a book on Van Halen. I completely missed most of pop, rock, country... anything commercial from about 1972 on because I was off into Bebop, Straight Ahead Jazz and Fusion. It was a trip to read about all of Van Halen's music and history, but never having heard any of their music... of if I did hear that stuff on the radio of TV I had no idea who it was .


I just finished Niel Young's 750 page bio called Shakey. I mowed through it in four days. It got my attention. Obviously I saw CSN&Y back in the day and listened to all that stuff. Wish I would have seen Buffalo Springfield, but I was just a little too young do that. I was a big Buffalo Springfield fan, I mean that stuff is part of the soundtrack to our lives in the '60s.


I have at least a half dozen friends who I grew up with that worked for Neil, or still work for Neil, at his Broken Arrow Ranch in San Mateo County. For a couple years I lived up on Skyline a few miles down the road and would see Neil in one of his old Corvettes about the same time every morning. I heard all these stories about Neil and the Ranch for years. It was interesting to hear his side of the stories.


The first third of the book I was familiar with the music but I never heard his stuff from maybe '80 on. I formed a much better opinion of who Neil is and what he is about. The book told stories and shared interviews with people in Neil's life, then Neil was interviewed about his version of events. It went along telling all these stories and as I got near the end, I began to wonder how it would finish.


In the last page, all the dots got connected! It was pretty simple. The only constant is change. Everything changes, nothing stays the same. You have to be who you are, do the things you want to do. If people can hang with you fine, if not, keep on forging ahead, be true to yourself and authentic.


So when I look back at let's say just the last 32 years... that was just 1980... I say just, because it seems like yesterday. I had $25K in my savings account, ten or so grand in my checking, I lived by myself in a three bedroom house in a quiet suburb, two car detached garage with a covered carport and fenced backyard. I started my own business, had as much work as I could take. I had paid off trucks, motorcycles. There was no way in hell you could put five bucks worth of gas in a motorcycle tank and my health and dental insurance was $75 a month. I never remember worrying about money... maybe just how to make more of it and faster.


In April 1980 a couple buddies and I drove to Long Beach for the Formula One street race. We found a dead end street near the track and parked the Datsun. It had lumber racks and no camper at the time. We slept in the bed & cab of the truck, then walked maybe three minutes to the track entrance.


F1 WAS AWESOME!! I hate using that word because it is so overworked... but I'm here to tell you that turbo charged F1 cars at speed, have a bone chilling shriek that stops your heart.


In '81 and '82 we realized how dumb lucky we were to find a place to park, the year before. After that we stayed in cheap sleazy motels six blocks away, and partied hard all weekend. Seems that is the way it always is. You never realize how good you had it until the next time or the next year. I think it was like $20 for a three day ticket. A couple years later, the same general admission was $60, then $80 and $100. The same dirty motel room went from thirty-five bucks to a hundred and thirty five bucks... with a two night minimum!


In 1983, the first year that CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) had a race at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey. I was there. I had been following the series on ESPN for a couple years. I watched the Indy 500 in May and had gone to see Mario Andretti win the first CART IndyCar street race at Long Beach in April. It was insane like 110 people on race day! The final race of the year was in October. There were maybe 35 thousand fans at Laguna Seca over three days that first year. The Italian driver Teo Fabi who had F1 and endurance sports car racing experience, won the Indy 500 that year, and sat on the pole at Laguna, although he didn't win it.


The big difference between Long Beach and Laguna Seca as a race venue, was that the paddock was free and open to general admission ticket holders. I think tickets were $12 on race day! To get into the Hot Pit Lane, you needed credentials, but in the first years, most of the paddock wasn't even paved, it was gravel. A few of the 'big buck' teams had enclosed fifth wheel trailers, but race cars were towed in open trailers and guys were wrenching cars on the ground. It was so primitive compared to todays professional race teams.


As a spectator you could stand right there and see the equipment, watch the teams thrash on cars and even talk to crew members or drivers... when they weren't on the clock trying to get ready for sessions.


Who knew any different? To most of the 'track rats' like me, this was mind bending stuff... but hey, it was just the way it was. It was easy and cheap to go to the races for three days. That you could actually be there to watch the drama of practice, qualifying, warm-ups and races unfold during the weekend got addictive for me, really fast.


In the 1984 race season, every Round was televised and even Friday and Saturday qualifying sessions began to be broadcast. If I could set my VCRs right I could have the whole race weekend on tape or tape it from the reruns later in the week. They announced that a new round had been added to the schedule and it would be the natural terrain road racing circuit at Portland International, in Oregon.


How I came to be in Portland started with that announcement. There had been Indianapolis style roadsters raced in Portland in 1926 as part of the National Championship. I think it was on the dirt at Portland Meadows Speedway (RIP). Anyway, the PIR paddock was gravel that first year, and the track by todays standards, was about a primitive as Laguna Seca.


My memory was that there were like 45 or 50 thousand people on race day. Three of the teams entered 'stock block' cars under the rules. That was to keep racing affordable to anybody who could build a car. It was still mostly low budget racing. The top teams spent maybe five million a season. That would be a teams tire bill now.


I spent the next 22 years going to IndyCar races until CART finally folded and open wheel racing morphed into IRL (Indy Racing League).


In these last couple years, I have lost interest in racing. I haven't missed watching the Indy 500 since I was a kid, so I did watch Dario win this May. Good race this year. I follow MotoGP now almost daily on the internet, and a little about American motorcycle road racing, World Superbike... but no more flat track, moto-x, super-x. I watched a couple round of F1 cars because it was on network TV, but I don't know who won the points, or what team won the manufacturer's title this year. I didn't follow Le Mans this year or any of the ALMS series either.


I only know that Tony Stewart won the NASCAR chase with out winning any races, because I stumbled on him interviewed by Regis and Kelly-Lee. I think I watched a couple NASCAR races early in the year when it was on network TV, but one race there, was it Darlington or Talladegga where there was a huge pile up? Everybody knew the 'big one' was going to happen... what the fuck then? I don't want to see crashes... I want to see racing! Not made for TV drama to sell advertising!


So it's done. I'm done. The end of and era... the good old days? Have to find something else to groove on.

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OICS!... boxes or 'em. :rofl:




My trusty VFR. Somewhere way up on the Mendocino coast. It was a spectacular day to say the least. It was a weekday so there wasn't that much traffic, and what ever traffic there was, easily made small in my mirrors. If I was lazy I would just roll the throttle on and the V4 torque would launch me hard, or if I was feeling impatient, I would shift down once or twice, rev it to about ten grand and "Evaporate" on them. In California the solid double yellow line means MOTORCYCLES PASS HERE.




These photos were from the last "Sprint" in '03. I stopped up at Fort Baker on the Marin Headlands for a photo. The weather was one of those very special days where there was a warm off-shore breeze that kept the air warm along the ocean all day. I'm sure you have seen tons of car commercials shot at this place. It took me about two years put my contracting business to sleep and move to Portland, so I commuted a lot. I had just cleaned out my house and was heading up to home in Portland for the first time. I had Oregon plates and and Oregon operator's license. For the first time in 50 years I didn't live in California.




There were carloads of touristas up there. One couple was on vacation and on their way to the Sonoma wine country. I told them that they had lucked out big time. Usually when it is hot inland, it sucks the cool marine moisture off the ocean, and the Golden Gat Bridge and the whole coastline get shrouded in fog. Very few days like this in the year. The great Mark Twain Quote: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". The concierge at their hotel told them a bunch of BS about what to see. I pointed to their map and told the the really cool places to go instead. I don't know about them... but I had the time of my life!


I said, can you take my picture. For the first time I am a tourist in the place I was born.




Man. I loved that bike. It was a truly great road bike and set up right, it was fun on the race track too. The California North Coast is like the endless roller coaster only with spectacular scenery. Everybody at some time in their life, must drive the California and Oregon Coasts IMHO.




I figure that it is around a 700 mile trip one way and a made the trip about fifteen times on this bike alone. That is about 20K miles of pure blasting up and down the Pacific Coast! Maybe another ten times on other bikes too! More fun than is allowd by law! :P




Mario Andretti right at the start of the Portland Round of the World Series of IndyCars. I'm thinkin' these oics were from the 1987 season. If you know PIR... look at how close I was to the track! Now there is and giagantic engineered "catch fence" in the spot where I'm standing. It was so fucking cool be that close. You hear the turbos light as they get into the throttle right there. If you didn't get the old Turn 11 right, you were slow down the drag strip, so driver's were right on the limits of grip right in there too.




Friday morning warm-ups and first qualifying sessions; the team pushed Mario's car out from the paddock into the pit stall, then took the cover off the wing.




Mario in street clothes wanders over to talk with his crew chief and engineer.




Mario says: OK guys, let's start with last years set-up for a base line and let's try to trim her out so we can get down the fron straight with out any drag. In those early years, they ran straight down to the old turn one at something close to 190MPH and pitched it in there. The cars got so fast that they had to put in a chicane down by the end of the pit wall. It's called the Festival Curves now. That is why the turn numbers changed.




I go... "Good Luck Mario!! He say, thanks man! The guy next to him is Mo Nunn. Legendary engineer, Formula One Team owner, Champ Car and IRL owner, with many Indy runs to his credit. Look at this cat. This guy knows fast! Look at Mario; Formula One World Champion, Daytona 500 winner, Fucking 1969 winner of the Indy 500 in Andy Granateli's STP Special, Le Mans winner, 24 Hours of Daytona winner, four time IndyCar Series National Champion! Mario = FAST GUY!!




Shot of Mario in qualifying. My memories are fading. I use to be soo into this stuff. I could tell you stats and history about everything, like one of those guy that know all the stick and ball crap. I can't remember who sat on the pole for this race, but I think it was Mario, because I probably wouldn't have wasted the film. All this stuff was shot with an old Pentax Spotmatic on slide film. I remember he did win the race.

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Aahh! I love the smell of methanol in the morning. The chugging sounds of a cold Cosworth racing engine coming to life... sputtering all out of time at first... then barking to life and straining against cold thick castor based oil to send out the first angry shrieks of power. Then all the teams fire cars off to warm the fluids for the first sessions of the weekend. It's quiet for a while, as the crews push the cars to the hot pit lane and tow tool and tire carts from the team tent for the session.




I talked to many people who I saw at every race for years. One couple that was retired and traveled all over the world going to racing events told me they were flat blown away that the hot pit lane was open to the public. No where in the world is it like that and certainly not any other CART sanctioned events in this country. I surely got thrown out of the old Laguna Seca hot pit lane trying to take pics and see the action many times. In those years, they didn't really have security, except some SCCA Volunteer Pit Marshals, and if you didn't piss them off, and kind of kept out of the way and moving, you were good.


A quick trip down the hot pit lane before Friday's qualifying session: Pancho Carter's car. Indy veteran racer that did well at the 500 and rand some events the rest of the year, but then retired.




Danny Sullivan's car. He did well at Indy, but not in this car because it was a short track tub set up to turn left and right. Indy tubs were set up just for ovals. This was one of the first years teams built dedicated tubs and cars.




He went on to be the pole sitter. Later in the year he dominated at Laguna Seca in this car.




Rick Mear's had an undeserved reputation for only being an Oval racing specialist, but hey man, he cut his teeth desert racing and knows how to do one thing... stand on the gas. I mean he is Rick Mears... four time Indy 500 winner, six time record all time poles and in his 13th start qualified at 224.5 mph. Oh yeah, and four CART National Championships. He hustled this car to sit on the pole at Laguna!! I was standing up on the top of the hill where I always go, when he broke the track record, got the pole... and then on the next lap, lost his brakes and went straight off into the sand trap at the top of the Corkscrew. I was right there and it freaked me out. But, I'm here to tell ya, that Rick Mears could drive...




Fans of Nissan GTX racing will know about Geoff Brabham's record setting and breaking stints in endurance racing. He was another fast guy and had a good IndyCar career too.




Stock block Buicks could be competitive... for the money... with pure racing engines, because of all the boost they were allowed to run in these years.




The start of a full field of turbo charged IndyCars makes a howl that stand all the hair on your whole body on end!! Danny Sullivan on pole, Al Unser Jr. outside...




Mario in the second row with Scott Pruitt his team mate.




This is Mario's winning car in Impound after the race, escorted by a couple crew members, it goes to the CART Tech Marshals for post race inspection.




They remove any body work and spark plugs, ect. so that a number of things are checked to make sure top three cars a legal.



It is so funny to look back at these photos. It is so archaic and primitive compared to pro racing today.




The first year, the paddock was dirt and rocks! If you look closely you can see gravel covering the paddock. But it was not crushed rock but huge 3'' size construction rock covering the whole place. It was like moto-crossing to get tool and tire carts around. A year or so later the whole place was paved. Look in back. Top teams leased a truck and painted team colors on them. There is a fifth wheel and two trailer in the whole paddock. A far cry from the modern transporters they roll with now.




Look at the triangular thigs on the ground. They are digital scales to weigh the cars. WOOO! High teck! In later years CART would have twenty man crews, big-assed transporters. They had big tables that the cars were rolled onto so that they could direct a digital laser onto target points to measure. A computer program would either pass or fail. Al Unser Jr. won the first Portland race in '84 and always went fast here.




Here they roll the car onto ramps and use long templates to check the under tray and wing heights. Still all this stuff was cutting edge in both fabrication and technology. The money hadn't really begun to be spent yet. As in the years to follow... both the track facility and the Cart Series would grow. That scaffolding crap is wha they used for Timing and Scoring. Now there is a three story media tower right there with the timing and scoring on top!! Historic photographs kids!




The third place car was Emerson Fittipaldi. One of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed was Friday morning Qualifying for the '86 Portland race. It was pouring down rain and Emmo went out and gave a master class in wet car control. His years of Formula One experience gave him a leg up over the mostly American drivers that never race in the wet. The cars were running down the drag strip in the 170MPH range, shooting rooster tails of water 40 ft. into the air!! It was a total mind fuck! Never seen anything like it. They run red lights at the rear of the cars for wet sessions on road or street circuits, but if you are behind somebody, you are basically blind at speed. Crazy shit.

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1983, first CART street race in Long Beach. I never took too many or any photos of F1 races. I wasn't into lugging around cameras, film and lenses. I would see guys hauling with five grand worth of gear around all day long. I bet there are stashes of racing photos from these years that are unbelievable. I was more into walking the track during sessions to see how cars were working through different corners or complexes. After a couple of laps watching a car go by so fast you can't even focus on it... it's not really that interesting. I would rather move around the course during the race than sit in one place to watch. Unless it's like Long Beach, where you sit across from the hot pit lane and view half of the track from the grandstands. Street races and road courses and ovals are all different for a spectator.


Mario sat on the pole and won the race. Arie Luyendyk on the outside. Mario ran this circuit in an F1 Lotus and so had some idea of what to expect. Arie, fresh from Formula 3 in Yurrip and winning the American Super Vee Championship, got himself a good sponsor and team, Provimi Veal. He did well at Indy this year and did eventually get his face sculpted on the Borg Warner Trophy. Pace lap shot:





First laps at speed. A group of the leaders looses the rest of the pack. In the 185MPH range, coming down here on cold tires, yikes these guys are good!! The roar of a field of turboed V8s makes your adrenaline flow... Wheee..




Crap, here comes turn one really fast! Damn, this place is slicker 'n snail snot and bumpy too! Plus, all these mutherfuckers are trying to get around me! Mario with a dominating and brilliant drive wins.




Last CART race of the '83 season, first race at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey California. Rolling out onto the pit straight in formation to take the checkered flag. Twenty seven turbo V8s winding up is awesome. I hate that word, it is so over used. Teo Fabi on Pole. This is an historic shot. It hasn't looked like this in a long time.




This series of film is from one of my very favorite places in the world, Laguna Seca! I'm on the outside of the track where it climbs the back of the hill before that little short shoot right at the top of the Corkscrew. It's a place that very few people know how to get to or even know about. This spot has it's own chapters in figbuck mythology.


The photo is from that first CART race in 1983. Italian Teo Fabi's #33 Skoal Bandit/Forsythe Racing Special. Teo sat this car on the pole at Indy as a Rookie, went on to win four races in the last half of the season, including the pole and this Laguna round... which landed him second in the points chase at the end of the year.


Once again kids, this is historic stuff. The old 1.87 mile track. Look how the track has a little kink to it on the other side of the lake. That was the old turn 2 called the "Dogleg". The trick was to keep your foot flat on the floor the whole way through there. Mario managed to loose it out there in '85 and launch his car into the trees. The next year they took a bulldozer and cleared back some run off room. But it was obvious that these cars were way too fast for the track. It was lengthened and reconfigured for F1 cars a couple year after this... but the race organizer SCRAMP never got the F1 circuis to come here. (A long and painful episode for motorsports fans, sigh)





Once the race got going, Teo sort of motored away from everybody... that is how good his car was. Accelerating hard down out of the Corckscrew and through the old turns seven and eight. This is an historic shot too. I don't look like this no mo'. The place where I'm standing no longer exists... no, the place is still there... in the middle of the air... the land and hill were removed fifteen years ago.




Here I'm on the outside of the track in the middle of the Corkscrew. Teo Fabi hammering it hard through the gear box after negotiating the entrance to the Cork at the top. Most of the photos yoe ever see are shot from the inside, looking at where I am. Once again, this place has been changed dramatically. There is a pedestrian bridge here now. The sound of twin turboed Porche 962s or the big naturally aspirated Chevy CanAm cars, Grand Prix bikes, from 500cc IKF Enduro Karts to five cylinder AWD Audi Trans Am cars... the sound that these IndyCars made... uh, well I don't know, words just fail. The sound would reverberate in the little canyon there and sound so badd-assed!




In these first years of CART racing at Laguna, I figured out that the track actually owned the land on the back side of the track. I appeared like it was part of the Military Reservation of Fort Ord. But, I was stationed there twice and knew to talk to the MPs who patrolled the ranges back there, and they confirmed it. Sometimes there would be a hundred thousand people there on race day... all crowded into the inside there. If you look you can see people in the trees. The next years they whacked the trees back so people could see. I would be out here all by myself with way better vantage points. So, now there is a pedestrian bridge.




Bobby Rahal's car. He would go on to Indy Victorys, four straight Laguna victories, the last one clinched the points for his 4th CART National Championship. Rahal... fucking fast guy!!




Mario Andretti's Budwiser Special. Again, hard on the brakes, crank on the wheel and slide it on down the Corkscrew. This place is so beautiful. It's a little foggy, but on the other side of those hills is the Pacific Ocean. On clear days you can see the whole Monterey Bay and the tip of Santa Cruz, 60 miles away. Then you turn and can see all of the Carmel Highlands and turn again, the whole Salinas Valley.




Little Al! Or lil' Owwl as he is know... ha, ha. Fast guy, no doubt. First indy car ride. He and Michael Andretti were rookies this year. Crowd used to gather at the top of the hill out in front there... then run back and forth to see the leaders race down across the finish line and then come back and see them through the Corkscrew complex. Great times!




Al Jr's car in the paddock. He would go in to win the Cart national Championship over his father... 4 time Indy 500 winner... by one point... and score two Indy 500 wins of his own.




Once I literally bumped into Al Unser Jr. coming out of the GI Joe's store at Portland Meadows. He was with his kids and had bought them a plastic wading pool because it was 105 degrees in Portland. What a nice guy to stop and talk to me. All the drivers are pretty cool people when it comes to fans.




Teo's car headed back from post race tech after winning going away. March chassis with a Cosworth. Hot set-up in 1983! Look at the giant Garrett Air Reasearch Turbo!! And they ran like 14 or 15 pounds of boost too! HOT RODS man!




Winning crew! Last race of the year... pack the fucking truck up and let's go down to Cannery Row and chase women.




This guy is blipping the throttle to listen to the turbo light... I guess?... the race is over the year is over... is he trying to blow it up? It was fucking deafening.




These cars were just race engines with big turbos, wheels, wings, a seat and steering wheel. Fairly dangerous cars as we would all find out in the years to come... but fucking fast cars for the rules package they had to build too. Look at how untidy the engine area is... all that piping a crap sticking out in the air stream.




Again Teo hard on the brakes, turbo wastegate chirping like hell, brakes tortured, big assed throttle blips and straight from 6th gear to 1st... crank left on the wheel and stomp on the throttle, so by the time you get the car headed in the right direction... the turbo lights off and you are having to put 850HP onto the pavement and not have the car snap sideways when it hooks up!!!!! YEE HAAWW!




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