Dreams can come true at the track

On Motor Sports

August 18, 1996|By Stan Dillon | Stan Dillon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Drag racing is a sport that everyone can participate in, from the occasional racer to the serious competitor. Anyone with any type of car can go to the track and race without prior experience. It is a place where race fans can actually make their dreams a reality.

David Furford is an occasional racer who races on a limited schedule. He has always been interested in racing, but the hectic pace of his military career has kept him from competing on a regular basis. When he is home, he gets to the track as much as he can and looks forward someday to getting the experience he needs to become a top competitor.

Two years ago, Furford went to the drag races at Capital Raceway in Crofton. By the time the night was over, he had taken a couple of runs down the quarter-mile in his friend's 1994 Ford Cobra. It was an experience he hasn't forgotten. Since that time he has been looking forward to the day that he can race every week.

"It's a lot of fun. It's something I have been wanting to do. It was kind of a thrill to do it," Furford said. "Just a chance to go out, spin tires, whatever, and have a good time. I really enjoyed it."

Furford purchased a 1969 Corvette five years ago when he was stationed in Florida. He had no intention of racing the car, but did want to make it a fast street car.

"I never expected to be able to afford an older Corvette," said Furford. "I saw the car on the lot and just stopped to look at it. It looked in good shape and found that it wasn't too expensive, so I bought it. But like any old car, I kept finding a lot of little things wrong that I had to repair."

Furford has spent countless hours working on the car. He has rebuilt the motor and strengthened the suspension so the Corvette will handle well on the road as well as on the track.

But this is the kind of work he likes to do.

The 30-year-old Sykesville resident feels that he is not ready for -- competition, so he prefers to race on special nights set aside for practice and tuning. He has been racing on Friday nights at Capital Raceway, when drivers like him get the opportunity to make a lot of practice runs to improve their skills without any pressure. It is a good way for beginners to get experience and learn more about racing.

"All I want to do now is make time runs," said Furford. "I am not ready to race anyone yet. I need to run the car, get to know it and practice on the light. Reaction time is my weak spot. I need to really practice with the light and be consistent before I think about racing anyone."

Even though Furford doesn't race every week, he spends all of his spare time working on the car. He is always finding ways to improve the car's performance. The Corvette is powered by a 350-cubic-inch engine and can turn the quarter-mile in 13.07 seconds and 96 mph.

"I've got the car to the point where it is a good reliable car," said Furford. "There's a lot more I want to do to it. There is always something to improve on it, always work to do. But I like the challenge of making the car go fast. I want to get special port fuel injection for it, but that's going to have to wait a while. I am going to save and get all the nice stuff for it."

While Furford feels he is not yet ready for weekly competition, he keeps working toward the day when his military commitment is completed and he has the time to enjoy life in the fast lane. When that time arrives, he will be ready.

Weekend results: In drag racing last weekend at 75-80 Dragway, Chuck Taylor of Westminster went seven rounds and was runner-up in Class I. Joe Bounds of Woodstock was quarterfinalist. Class II was won by Chris Hruska of Mount Airy, with Roger Jorss of Westminster finishing in the runner-up spot. Mike Creaghan of Mount Airy was semifinalist. Steve Cavey of Westminster was quarterfinalist after winning the Central Maryland ET Nationals two weekends ago. Mike Stambaugh of Union Bridge was also a quarterfinalist. James Durr of Woodbine was runner-up in the street class. Mark Hoff of Westminster won the motorcycle division and Marvin Ford of Westminster was runner-up for the second consecutive week. Tony Vaugh of Mount Airy won the new Pro-Stick Class over Mount Airy's Harold Duffin. Tony Braglio of Woodstock won the Class II Jr. Dragster division at Mason-Dixon Dragway.

Cris Eash of Woodbine took the lead on the 21st lap to win his seventh feature at Lincoln Speedway last Saturday night. Eash finished fourth the night before at Williams Grove Speedway. Jesse Wentz of Manchester was 11th. Don Zechman of Westminster won the semi-late feature, son Randy was sixth and Greg Messersmith of Westminster was eighth. In late-model racing, Gary Stuhler of Westminster won the Paul Johnson Memorial at the Winchester Speedway. Rick Jones of Westminster was third. Stuhler also won at Bedford Speedway. Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead finished ninth at Hagerstown Speedway. Kenny Dillon of Owings Mills was sixth in the pure stock feature.

Pub Date: 8/18/96

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