I really enjoyed this interview. In the late 1950’s, early 1960’s, a rare breed of automotive hot rodders were born. One of the greatest of these is a man named Gary Watson. Gary raced A-Fuel dragsters back in the 1960’s and ultimately went on to build and innovate exhibition race cars call “Wheel standers.” These were high power race cars designed to entertain drag racing fans with 1/4-mile wheel stands.
Have you even run your car up to 120 mph? Remember that thrill and excitement of speed? Imagine doing that on two wheels, door to door with a competitor…. that’s wheel standing during the barnstorming days of the 1960’s-1970’s.
Gary Watson, now 83 years old, was a mentor of my father, Randy Curtis, another of the OG Wheel standing driver cadre from the same era. I always love hearing stories from their racing careers. Traveling all over the country, into Canada and even Mexico, Gary Watson was the consummate showman. Gary ran multi-car racing operations and taught his drivers to always strive to remember why they are driving, to make a living and entertain their customers. Gary always had a talent for innovating the business of racing and giving the fans a great show.
This interview traces back over the touchpoints in Gary’s career as a racer. Even if you are not a race-fan or nostalgic drag racing buff like me, Gary’s career is an example of what it takes to be successful in anything.
I especially enjoyed the pearls Gary shared during this interview on preparedness, not just for racing but in life generally.
Gary was warm, and gracious with his time. He is a great storyteller and is a huge reservoir of racing experience and automotive racing history.
I hope you will enjoy this interview with Gary Watson, The Texas Wheel
Mentioned in this Episode:
- Gary Watson Backstory
- Early Racing Career–A-Fuel Dragsters
- Discovering exhibition racing
- Hitting the Road, racing across the US, Canada and Mexico
- Lessons learned from Racing
- Preparedness, Attention to Detail
- Running a Racing Team
- Brand Building
- Closing Remarks, growing the sport of Drag Racing
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