Published: July 13, 2008
Bob Bastian, of Warren, pulls up to the starting line at Quaker City Drag Strip in his 1975 Vegas Station Wagon, a Super Pro Class dragster, with a personal best record of an 8.39 second quarter mile at 163 mph.
Bastian fixed and assembled the car, which he has been racing for 10 years, with the help of Abruzzi Transmissions, of Warren, and Koffel's Place who does the engine work.
Bastian has racing since 1964 primarily dragsters since 1964 with a brief stint of stock car racing.
Bastian and his daughter describe the community at the Quaker City Drag Strip as "one big family" where "the kids have grown up together on the weekends" and people gather not only on the track but also off the track in one case taking a trip to Six Flags.
"I've thought about giving it up every weekend I lose," says Bastian referring to his interest in drag racing, " but 10 minutes later I'm ready to go again."
"I've lived on adrenaline all my life," says Bastian, who spent 31 years as a firefighter, and considers adrenaline and competition as major appeals of drag racing.
"Me and my daughter are competitive together," says Bastian, " and she'll be a good racer when she gets in a big car."