Dave Peters of Westminster has been involved in drag racing since he was a teen-ager. This year, after 26 years of having other drivers race for him, he decided to race himself.
Peters, 46, hasn't made the move without being noticed.
For someone in his rookie year, he has adapted amazingly fast. So far this year, Peters has accomplished more in one season than many drivers achieve in a career.
Peters became involved in drag racing in 1968 when he 'f purchased a 1955 Chevrolet. He owned the car, and his cousin drove it.
"We raced a couple of years together," recalled Peters. "Our biggest thrill was just being able to go from one end to the other. We weren't worrying about winning."
The two dropped out of racing a couple years later. But Peters never lost his interest in racing.
In 1972, he formed a team with Bruce Combs. With Combs behind the wheel and Peters the motor man, the two men turned out six productive years together.
"We did real good," Peters said. "He is a good driver and I just had a knack for tuning. We raced all over at Manassas, York, just about everywhere and won the track championship at 75-80 in 1974."
In 1978, the two put their racing in the background to devote their attention to their businesses. In 1984, Peters returned once again as a motor man, this time with his younger brother Tim as his driver. Their first car was a 1967 Camaro that Peters fixed for his brother to race.
"Tim turned out to be a heck of a driver," Peters said. "He was always in the top five in points."
They raced the Camaro until 1988 when they switched to a Chevrolet Vega. The two brothers won more than $15,000 in prize money during a three-year stretch. With Tim behind the wheel and Dave handling the wrenches, they won four National Hot Rod Association Divisional races and four Top Dog races at 75-80 Dragway.
Until this year, Peters never had raced except to take a few runs down the track now and then. He had always thought about racing, but felt he could never afford two cars. When the opportunity came last year to trade a restored Camaro he had for a race car, Peters decided to do it.
"I thought I would give it a try and race for a year to see I would do," said Peters. "If I made a fool of myself, I would just sell it."
Instead of making a fool of himself, he has turned in a year that would please any experienced pro. In July, he competed in the Super Chevy Show at Maple Grove Race way in Reading, Pa. He placed third out of 270 cars. Later he went to Beaver Springs (Pa.) Raceway and advanced to the semifinals.
Because he enjoys working on motors, Peters constantly adjusts his motor during the week -- something he admits is probably the worse thing to do in bracket racing where consistency is important. Still he continually does well.
In drag racing at 75-80 last Saturday, Steve Dustin of Westminster won Class II competition. Harris Levin of Westminster went six rounds followed by Chris Hruska of Mount Airy, who went five rounds. Larry Hoff of Westminster and Charlie Speilman of Taneytown both went four rounds. In Class I, Nathan Etzler went five rounds. Westminster drivers Chuck Taylor, Peters and Jim Peddicord and Joe Mayne of Mount Airy all went three rounds. Cliff Peddicord of Westminster won the high school race, and he will represent 75-80 at the bracket finals at Maple Grove later this month. Peddicord just started driving in August. In other action, Tim Lippy of New Windsor won the motorcycle division, and Ashley Pickett of Hampstead went three rounds in the junior dragster competition.
Last Sunday at 75-80, Reuben Standifer of Mount Airy and Ray Lewis of Woodbine went five rounds in Class I. Scott Lowman of Woodbine went to the semifinals in Class II. B. J. Morrissett and George Hoff of Westminster and Mike Hahn of Taneytown went six rounds of eliminations.
At Mason Dixon Dragway, George Hoff of Westminster was second in Class II.
In oval track racing, Steve Owings of Westminster won the micro-sprint feature at Challenger Speedway.
In super-sprint racing, Cris Eash of Woodbine finished second at Williams Grove Speedway, eighth at Selinsgrove Speedway and third at Susquehanna Speedway. At Lincoln Speedway, Darren Eash of Woodbine was 10th in the super-sprint main event. In other Lincoln action, Randy Zechman of Westminster was second in the semi-late feature and Howard Williams eighth. Bobby Feeser of Millers was eighth in the thundercar feature. In the four-cylinder feature, Matt Barnes of Westminster was fifth and Craig Mann was eighth.
In late models, Gary Stuhler of Westminster took the lead on the 23rd lap after starting 12th and won the 44-lap George Falter Candy Co. Ronnie McBee Memorial at Hagerstown Speedway. Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead was fifth. Stuhler also was 19th out of 75 cars in the Hillbilly 100 at Pennsboro (W. Va.) Speedway. At Winchester Speedway, Westminster's Ernie Jones was sixth and Rick Jones eighth in the late-model feature. Luke Dempsey of Westminster was seventh in the junior stock 1/4 Midget Dirt Nationals at Hagerstown after finishing seventh in