GDR Feature: July 2009 Race Car of the Month - Walt Haas
Here is GDR's first ever Race Car of the Month. Be easy on us, this is a new thing and we hope you enjoy!
July's Race Car of the Month feature is on Walt Haas. In the beginning we invisioned this being Race "Car" of the month, but after visiting Walt, it quickly became Race Cars
of the month, considering Walt has quite a stable of rides that he races with.
Walt Haas is a retired young man who started his career as a Meat Cutter at the grocery store, and after putting in his 30 years, retired as the Vice President of the Meat Cutters Union. With all that time put in, maybe we should let him select our cuts for the BBQ's in the pits? He has one daughter, Colleen, and one son, Walt Jr. On top of that, he is probably one of the friendliest man I have ever met.
We all know Walt Haas from the very competitive 12.0 Index Class, and personally I met him at the track when I had a very important question for him.. Ever see pictures of Walt launching in the Hemi Wagon? He always is doing his trademark Muscle Flexing as he lets go of the trans brake with his entire arm. The first time I saw this, it puzzled me, and finally I had to ask him what he was doing and he was kind enough to explain it to me
I had the pleasure, as you will see, to head out to the Haas Racing headquarters and check out all of Walt's rides. His garage is plastered (seriously, the entire wall) with pictures of his various cars over the years doing wheelstands, headed down the 1320, or of the entire team in the Winner's circle. Walt certainly loves racing, and has made it a family affair as his son Walt Jr. also races. His love of racing dates back to well before I was even born, it was cool to see such history be displayed in Walt's garage.
Walt is a die hard Mopar fan, as he describes when we asked him what his earliest memory of drag racing is. His collection is completely Mopar except for his Red 1993 Corvette. He has had a Red Corvette since the 70s, as he admitted he just likes the car, but the rest of his Mopar buddies HATE Vettes!!
The boys over at Fonse Performance have donated a dyno session for the Race Car of the Month feature -- due to Walt and my own crazy schedule, we just haven't had the chance to get the dyno session in yet -- it will be soon, I promise! When that's done we will be updating this thread.Q&A:
Q: What is your earliest memory of drag racing?Walt:
Watching All the Hemi's Show up at Atco for a divisional race. I liked Chevy's at the time. I owned a Track Record holding F/MP 64 Biscayne in 1970 and 71...At that race the Hemi's Won everything in sight...I knew I had to have one. Chevy's and Fords didn't have a chance, they were destroyed by Ronnie Sox, Kenny Montgomery, and Ed Hamburger in a 340 Duster... The 64 was sold the next day.... Nothing But racing and restoring Mopes, for the next 30 plus years...Until the wagon...
Q: What made you get in the driver's seat?Walt:
Driving a Race Car is all I wanted to do since I was in grade school...
Q: What is your most favorite memory drag racing?Walt:
Lil Walt and I in the Finals of a Gamblers Race in 2004...Both The Wagon and The Purple Duster in the winners circle. Doesn't matter who won. Was the best Winners circle ever!
Q: Where have you raced?Walt:
: Too many places to list, anywhere from Jersey to Maui. I am proud to say we have won races at Atco, Cecil County, E-Town, Maple Grove, US 13 Del Mar, South Mountain (Now 1/4 Aces),Island, Strato Rods at McGuire AFB, and a R/U at Pittsburgh in Pro Eliminator just a few weeks ago....
Q: What's your favorite track?Walt:
Q: How important is family and racing combined together?Walt:
Q: What do you like most about heads up racing?Walt:
The Competition! Where else can a guy in his 50's compete with guys 30 years younger. And not get hurt...
Q: How much time do you spend on race car maintenance?Walt:
A Lot!...We come to the Track to Race, not work on our stuff. People come up to us all the time and say we never open the hood...Just happened out in Pittsburgh. Guys were coming up to us all day asking the same thing...It was hot and humid, the air was at 4,100 Feet... We were double entered. Hot lapping, going 13 rounds in 2 classes...Yep, hood never opened. We wouldn't have it anyother way...
Let's check out Walt's RidesThe CarsClick here for the full photo gallery Car: Black 1970 Duster
Engine: 451 Low Deck
Trans: TF w/ 4.88 Dana
Best ET: 9.57 @ 143 (2900 lbs w/ Driver)
Accomplishments / Comments: On many magazine covers and features, such as Mopar Enthusiast, Chrysler Power, and Mopar Performance Catalog, just to name a few. The first perfect run recorded at Atco while running the Super Pro Class. US 13 Dragway Pro Eliminator Winner, Morris Masonry Summer Shootout race. Car: Purple 1970 Duster
Engine: Original 340 416" Pump Gas
Trans: TF w/ 4.88 Dana
Best ET:10.73 @ 123 (3400 lbs w/ Driver)
Accomplishments / Comments: This car has also been featured in several magazines. 3 Time Winner at E-town Mopar Nationals, Super Pro, and King of the Hill (10 Round Race). Been racing this car with Bob Severino since the 70's...Both 4 speed and Automatic. trans. 2006 12.0 Index Atco Track Championship Car: Yellow 1970 Duster aka "The Banana"
Engine: Original 340
Trans: 4 speed 4.30 Gears
Best ET: 11.82 @ 113 (3450 lbs w/ Driver)
Accomplishments / Comments: Walt Jr. primarily drives this car. At the 2008 Mopars at Carlisle race, both Walt and Son took a Double Win, in Pro Eliminator AND Street Eliminator at Quarter Aces Dragway. Walt Jr. has earned 2 track championships in Street Eliminator at Atco Raceway. Winner at first Nostalgia Super/Stock Race at Atco. Car: 1972 Dodge Challenger
Engine: Original 340 w/ Air Conditioning
Trans: Stock 3.91 Gears
Best ET: 13.70 @ 101 (3870 lbs w/ Driver)
Accomplishments / Comments: "This car has only gone down the 1320 4 times. 2 of those were wins at a Gambler's Race at Atco, and one Runner-Up. Made it to the Finals at the 2004 Fastest street car PRO Edelbrock series at Atco...The final round was televised on ESPN...For some reason, I shoe polished "Ronnie Sox" on the window for the Final round. Ted Jones and Bret Kepner announcing for ESPN, went nuts when they saw it. Go figure. Still have the tape." Car: 1982 Chevy Wagon
Engine: 350 Chevy Crate Motor, Pump Gas
Trans: 4.56 12 bolt PG
Best ET: 11.70 @ 115
Accomplishments / Comments: This car has won a lot of $. May 2005: 3 wins in 5 days, with 2 different drivers, in 3 different classes: Gambler's, 12.0 Index, Street Eliminator. Also, they finished runner up in the following Tuesday Gambler's race. They thought that 3 wins and a runnerup in 8 days was they best they could do, until May 2006 came around. In Six consecutive races, Walt had 4 wins and 1 runner up, and another final where they had to split the winnings due to curfew. That's 37 consecutive rounds, with 36 win lights coming on. Walt did this in four different classes; Pro Elminator (Win), $5000 Super Pro (Runner-Up), Tuesday Gambler's Race (2 wins), 12.0 Index (1 win, 1 split). 2007 12.0 Index Championship at Atco Raceway. Car: 1993 Corvette
Best ET: 13.80 @ 99mph
Acoomplishments / Comments: Walt just likes Red Vettes! He's had one since the 70s and his Mopar buddies HATE them!Walt would like to take the time to thank his sponsors and crewSponsorsJohn Cope, Cope Racing Transmissions, Lowell IN
Bob George Racing, Eighty Four, PA
Vince's Machine Shop, Lindenwold, NJ (856) 782-9467DJV Photos
Speed Shop @ Atco Racewayabodyjoe.com
Cuda Dan's Welding and Fabrication Service - firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Crew
Without these guys he would not get out of the garageNeal McGrory
...Machinist, Engine Builder, The King of Maintenance... AKA. The Perfectionist.Bob Severino
...Nothing Bob Can't do... Never blinks when it's time to work on the cars...Original owner of the Purple Duster. Currently does all the Transmissions. And just about everyone else in this area who runs a Torque Flite. Another Stone Cold Perfectionist....Rob Girgenti
...Hard Worker... can fix anything but a broken heart.