Gary Lambert Memorial 3
County International Raceway
Gary and I
have spent many many weekends drag racing at various drag strips over
the years and had a bunch of great times at them all. Some of the tracks
that he raced at back in the 70ís and early 80ís were Ontario Motor
Speedway, Irwindale Raceway, Carlsbad Raceway and Orange County International Raceway (OCIR).
All four of those tracks donít exist anymore.
one time in particular about one of those trips. When we arrived at (OCIR)
one morning, we unloaded the car and proceeded to warm it up. The warm
up procedure was to drive the car down the return road and then back
again to get all the fluids warm along with the engine. One of the
things that Gary liked to do was run the car hard through first and
second gear on the way back to make sure everything ran right. Four
speed transmissions were the norm back then and Gary was very good at
not missing any gears with it.
is only ďoneĒ seat in a racecar, which meant Iím in a crouched
position, holding onto the roll cage while weíre doing this little
warm up. Holding on to the roll cage while the car is under power is a
whole new ball game if youíve never done it before. Just to let you
know, Iíve had my hands come loose from the roll cage and when your
head and back hits that steel tubing in the rear of the car, it hurts,
looked over at me and said ďreadyĒ to which I replied with a head
nod then he matted the pedal. It doesnít take very long to do this
little blast and when we were through, he would push in the clutch and
let the engine idle. Now this is where the strange part comes in. While
the engine was idling, we both heard this LOUD noise coming from the rear
of the car. We both looked at each other for an answer (like one of us
knew what was wrong on the outside of the car). Gary slammed on the
brakes and we both jumped out and ran to the back of the car looking for
the problem. What had happened was while we were doing the
first-to-second gear warm up, the tires must have grabbed pretty hard
because it was the wheelie-bar wheels that were spinning. The spinning
of those wheels were resonating through the whole car making all the
sheet metal vibrate. Well we both laughed once we found out what
happened. The wheels on the wheelie-bars had contacted the ground, which
meant the front tires were off the ground and that caused the wheels to
spin fast enough to make all that noise, which was enough to scare us. I
guess Iíll never forget that moment that seemed like the whole car was
falling apart all around us.
season, Gary put a name on his car and if you can't read it very well,
it says "Hairy Gary" on the door. The paint was done a little
differently and a new scoop was added too.
|Another year goes by and Gary renamed
the car to "Limey". The green color is suppose to be unlucky
in the racing world and a lot of people didn't have a hint of it on
them. Not Gary, his whole car was green and it didn't bother him a bit.
As the years went by, people didn't want to race him because he was so
good at leaving the starting line.
Here you can see Gary, right at home with the front-end
in the air, just where he loved it to be.