by Susan Wade, Photo by Roger Richards Wed, 2019-03-20 16:14
Joe Amato can’t sit still. The five-time Top Fuel champion says, “The glass is half full for me.” And every day brings a fresh idea or challenge or adventure. “I’m retired – but I can’t be retired,” he said. “I need to get up in the morning and have something to think about. You can play only so much golf.
“I’ve got a couple of land-development projects,” Amato said. “I’ve got seven shopping centers that I bought and rebuilt. I like to buy old stuff that’s beat up and fix it up and rent it. It’s fun.” The first property he took on is a 200,000-square-foot, 25-acre strip mall at Edwardsville, Pa. “Right in town. It was a total dump,” Amato remembers. “Now it’s 95-percent filled.” He says, “It’s just something to do.”
The fact Jim Campbell qualified No. 13 in the Funny Car order at the recently completed NHRA Gatornationals was a genuine accomplishment. His left hand still is mending from a stab wound he incurred in his hometown of Huntington Beach, Calif., just after the Phoenix race.
Campbell was reluctant to talk about the incident in which he and other patrons chased a wild attacker who had stabbed fellow diners then bolted from the restaurant. But he did say he was going to be fine and was just glad to help and do what was right.
The NHRA’s “Unfinished Business” promotion seemed like anything but unfinished business by the time Saturday was over, thanks to the shenanigans of Funny Car pioneer Ed “The Ace” McCulloch and “Professor of Pro Stock” Warren Johnson.
The eight-car field of legends racing in identically prepared Toyota Camrys at the 50th edition of the storied Gatornationals was supposed to cap a year-long celebration of drag racing’s pioneers, heroes, champions, and tough guys. Maybe that should be wise-guys.
NHRA COMMUNICATIONS, Photo by Roger Richards Sun, 2019-03-17 17:00
It was a final round for the record books today at the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals between E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing series presented by Hoosier Tire and Jerry Bickel Race Cars racers Todd Tutterow and Steve Jackson.