Mechanic Fournier lets Chevelle drag him into racing


August 08, 1993|By STAN DILLON

Kevin Fournier has been around automobiles and drag racing all of his life, but it wasn't until last year, at the age of 34, that he came out of the grandstands and slid behind the wheel.

"I have always enjoyed drag racing," said Fournier. "I thought it was about time that I get on the track myself. I have been around cars since I was 14. I helped work on them and my dad owned a service station. It is something I've been wanting to do."

Last year when the Mount Airy resident felt he was ready to go racing. He began looking for a car and spotted a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle.

"The car caught my eye. It was the same year as the first car I ever owned," said Fournier. "I stopped and asked about it but didn't buy. Six weeks later the man lowered his price and I brought it. My dream started to come all together."

Instead of driving the car home, Fournier drove it straight to 75-80 Dragway in Monrovia.

"It was a turn-key car," said Fournier. "I brought it, raced it and killed it all in the same day. I blew the transmission on the third run. It took me three weeks and some mega-bucks to repair the torque converter in it."

Fournier competes in Class II, for cars with elapsed times in the quarter-mile of 12 seconds and higher. Like many drivers, he keeps his car on the bottom edge of the class.

"I like running at the bottom of the class so I can chase the other car," said Fournier. "I noticed that the top guys in the class raced at the bottom. They run as close to 12 seconds as they can without going under."

The tougher the competition, the better the rookie driver likes it. Four weeks ago, Fournier beat the No. 1 driver in points and sent him to the trailer on the first round.

Consistency is important in drag racing. To win, it takes a good driver with good reaction time and a dependable set of wheels. Put that combination together with some good racing luck and you are going to have good results. But Fournier refuses to take any of the credit for his early success.

"The car is the reason I am doing so good," said Fournier, who currently is running in the top 18 in points. "It is so consistent. I have a 400-cubic-inch stock small block, nothing exotic, just very dependable."

Although he is a rookie driver, Fournier is not a rookie when it comes to working on the car. He has been a mechanic at Coleman Cadillac in Bethesda for over 10 years. He does all the work on the car himself.

Fournier has sponsorship help from The Gun Rack in Burtonsville and Montgomery Hills Car Wash in Silver Spring.

Now more than halfway through the season, he is pleased with his performance so far.

"I am not unhappy with the way things have gone," said Fournier. "I have gone to the fourth round four times. Of course I would like to win, but I am not unhappy with how the season has gone.

"I am looking forward to that first win. My goal now is to finish in the top 16 in points and make the team to go to the Bracket Finals."

Raceway results

It was a big weekend for the former Woodbine resident Cris Eash in sprint car action. Last Friday night, Eash started eighth and took the lead on the 10th lap to win his first of the season and seventh of his career at the Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. His brother, Darren, of Woodbine finished ninth.

Last Saturday night, Cris Eash won his seventh feature of the year at the Selinsgrove Speedway while Darren placed third at the Lincoln Speedway. In other action at Lincoln, Westminster's Randy Zechman finished sixth in the semi-late feature with Howard Williams of Westminster 10th. Corky Stull of Westminster was third in the thundercar feature and Ken Murfin of Union Mills finished fifth.

Gary Stuhler of Westminster continued his winning ways as he won his sixth late-model feature at Hagerstown last Saturday and pulled off his second win in two trips to Selinsgrove Speedway in a special Sunday night show. Don Zechman of Westminster followed Stuhler at Hagerstown in ninth and Mike Harrison of Mount Airy was 10th.

In other oval track racing, Ernie Jones of Westminster was sixth at Winchester Speedway, Brad Green of Westminster placed fourth last Friday and second last Saturday in the four-cylinder class at Potomac Speedway.

Steve Owings of Westminster was second in the micro-sprint feature at Trail-Way Speedway last Friday. In the thunder eight-cylinder feature, Gary Herman of Manchester was second, Stull of Westminster third, Mark Shorb of Westminster seventh and John McDonough of Finksburg ninth. Matt Barnes and Jeff Young of Westminster finished third and fifth, respectively, in the four-cylinder feature.

At 75-80 Dragway, Chuck Taylor of Westminster earned his NHRA Type A dragster license last Friday. Chris Hruska of Mount Airy won Class II over Jamie Talbert of Taneytown. Last Saturday, Ray Lewis of Woodbine won Class I competition and Roger Jorss of Sykesville was runner-up in Class II action. Marvin Ford was runner-up in the motorcycles.

At Mason-Dixon Dragway, Scott Lowman of Woodbine won the Heavy Division and Marvin Ford of Westminster was runner-up in the motorcycles. Gene Belt of Taneytown went to the semifinals in the motorcycles.

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