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Race Card #98-THINK! WHM?

There's one or two restored Fred Lorenzen race cars around these days and they have this little message painted on the dash just under the speaker grill. For a long time when I was much younger I wondered just what that meant.

Being such a good detective, I immediately figured out that the "HM" part had to stand for Holman Moody who owned the cars. Well, like a lot of things since then, I couldn't have been more wrong. Later in life I actually got to meet both Fred and Ralph Moody and got the straight story on that little piece of instruction that came with every one of Fred's cars.

One of Fred's first races with HM was the Spring convertible race at Darlington. Ralph had coached him on how to beat Curtis Turner if it came down to a late race battle. Now Moody, being a long time driver before he became a car builder, was better suited than most to guide his driver in the best way to bring back more than just the steering wheel at the end of a race.

He had told Fred to keep trying Turner on the outside until the last lap or so and then fake Turner and duck inside and pass him when he moved up to block. Well, Fred was trying it his own way and getting nowhere and Ralph was in the pits pointing to his head everytime Lorenzen came by. When he made his next pit stop Ralph got the message to him in no uncertain terms....THINK Boy, What the H#$'* the Matter?

Fred calmed down and got with the program. Sure enough, as the race wound down it came down to Fred in the Holman Moody Ford and ol' Pops in the Wood Brother's ride. Lorenzen kept trying Curtis on the outside and Turner kept shutting the door and sticking him in the rail. This went on until the last lap when Fred made a move to the outside again. But when Curtis moved up to block him he almost got in the rail himself because there was nothing to lean on. Lorenzen had ducked to the inside and was gone. Turner couldn't catch him in time and Fred won his first of many races in the soon to be famous white #28 Ford.

I seem to remember a lot of so-called experts, they seem to come from nowhere these days, that made a lot of noise about a scene like that in "Days of Thunder" being impossible and unrealistic. If Turner hadn't stuck that AeroCommander into that golf course they could ask him just how "impossible" it was. But I'd like to watch if they did. Don't know how long ol' Pops held a grudge but after the race he did catch Lorenzen and traded much paint and the powers that be had to chase him down and not so gently convince him that what he had planned for his part of the victory lane celebration might not go over very well with the establishment or the sanctioning body.

Now, tell me again how much better and exciting racing is now because of all the money and glamour and rock stars singing the National Anthem. Oh yeah, be sure to wake me when you're finished so I can watch some real racing on tape with real stock cars and real individuals driving them. Go ahead and flame me if you want but it's real hard to scare someone whose "flame suit" is a pair of white slacks and an Autolite t-shirt with a deck of Luckies rolled up in the sleeve. LOL

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