Force and Hight Enjoy Time at Smokers Reunion Over the weekend 2010 March Meet Grand Marshal John Force and 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car champion Robert Hight enjoyed a trip down memory lane. The weekend started on Friday night with an appearance at the Smokers Reunion in Bakersfield. The tandem arrived just in time to hear a front engine dragster fire in the parking lot before they moved into the hall to talk with assembled club members.
The highlight of the evening was engineering and drag racing legend Ed Iskenderian “refunding” John Force half of his first sponsorship deal. Force was telling the crowd that Ed’s Isky Racing Cams was one of the first sponsors in his racing career.
“It is a thrill to be here with Isky tonight. His company was one of my first sponsors and I put the deal together myself. It only cost me $2 for the decal but I had a sponsor,” said Force as the crowd roared with laughter.
As Force continued to talk Iskenderian took a dollar out of his pocket and wrote a message to Force. The dollar read, “1/2 refund on 2.00 deal purchase balance next time I see you.”
Isky handed the dollar to Force with the promise to make good on the other half at a later date. The pair then posed for photos with NHRA Vice President and Director of the NHRA Museum Steve Gibbs to a standing ovation.
Another special moment of the night came when during his remarks to the group 2009 Funny Car champion Robert Hight took a moment to thank Isky for producing his wide variety of enthusiast pamphlets. For an aspiring mechanic and racing fan the books paved the wave for a successful career and ultimately a Funny Car world championship for Hight.
“Getting a chance to come here and say thanks to everyone involved with the Smokers is very special for me,” said Hight. “When I was growing up and learning about cars I used one of Ed Iskenderian books, Cam Degreeing is Simple, to learn how to degree a cam. That got me started and I really appreciate everything he has done and you all have done for the sport. You guys got ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits out to the West Coast. It is a privilege to be up here talking to you.”
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