Drag Illustrated Issue 171, September / October 2021 - Page 64

DIALED IN before him did . Kurt was only 14 years old when he first raced the truck . “ He won the first race he ever entered at Shuffletown !” Frankie beams .
Kurt raced the truck for about five years , and eventually took a seat in the family Camaro and proceeded to win five championships in the PTRA 7.0 class , plus a host of other event wins . Most recently , while this story was being put together , Kurt and the Camaro once again landed in Mooresville Dragway ’ s winner ’ s circle .
In 2022 , Frankie will have owned the Camaro for a half-century , and while there ’ s hardly been so much as a scratch put on the car at the track , they nearly lost the car in a fire two years ago while it sat in the trailer at home .
“ We had just won the race at Mooresville Dragway on Sunday and we didn ’ t come home until Monday morning . We were sitting at the table eating dinner when we heard this crackling sound . About that time somebody was beating on the front door , shouting ‘ Your motorhome is on fire !’” recalls Frankie . “ I ran out the back door and the whole side was burning , and it exploded before I could even get to it !”
The fire department arrived within minutes and Kurt arrived at about the same time . By now the fire had quickly spread to the trailer with the Camaro inside . “ We kept telling them to spray the trailer because we had a race car inside !” Kurt told them we must get the car out , but the fireman objected , saying he must first go to his truck and get his oxygen meter to check the levels to make it was safe .
As soon as he turned his back , though , Kurt sprinted to the trailer and began unhooking the car ! “ Another fireman actually took off his gear so he could navigate the tight squeeze past the golf cart and he helped me get the car out ,” says Kurt . “ Had we not done that , the car would have burned up ,” Frankie adds . “ Luckily , we had good insurance ... we replaced the motorhome and then ordered a nice trailer from Jeff Pittman . We still have the Camaro and nobody got hurt !”
Many people have tried to buy the Camaro over the years , but Frankie won ’ t let go of it . Kurt feels the same way about his beautiful 1970 Nova he bought six years ago . “ I plan on keeping the Nova as long as dad has kept the Camaro !” Kurt insists .
These days , the Flanagan ’ s are a familiar fixture at their local Mooresville Dragway , and occasionally Union County Dragway in South Carolina . Kurt ’ s wife , Michelle , is always by his side at the track and Kurt ’ s sister , Kelly , and her husband , Dwight , come to cheer them on . Frankie and Miriam save a spot in the pits for their friend ’ s camper .
Each week , they load up the race cars and gather up their pooch , Ozzy , and meet their kids and friends at the track . “ We ’ ve spent many happy weekends at the track together , and it ’ d be hard to pick a favorite memory , but one thing ’ s for sure : we ’ re gonna keep doing it for as long as we can get up and go , and can still afford to buy diesel fuel ,” Frankie laughs . DI
64 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 171