Galen Bare has been around oval-track racing most of his life. He worked on several top late-model teams during the '80s that raced at Lincoln and Hagerstown speedways.
He spent a lot of time helping with cars owned by Earl Black of Hanover, Pa., that Rodney Franklin drove.
But when it came time for the 37-year-old Westminster resident to start driving, he went the straight route, to drag racing.
"I like both types of racing," said Bare. "But I know from experience how much work is involved with oval-track racing. It takes a lot of man-hours to keep the car running, especially if it's in a wreck. You need help. It's something you can't do alone.
"With drag racing," he continued, "there is low maintenance. It's something where after you're done, you can come home and leave the car on the trailer until the following week."
About two years ago, Bare decided it was time for him to go racing, but first he needed a car.
He got a 1964 Ford Thunderbird from Larry Hoff of Westminster, a regular competitor at 75-80 Dragway who has probably helped more drivers get started in racing than any person who competes locally.
It was strictly a stock passenger car that needed a lot of work before it could be raced. With the help of his brother-in-law, Jeffrey Byers, and his nephew, Todd Snyder, both of Westminster, Bare began the long task of making a race car.
They changed the power train and installed a motor out of an older Ford Fairlane. Byers did a lot of machine work and welding on the car. They strengthened the frame with rails and removed unnecessary interior parts to make the car lighter.
Chuck Taylor of Westminster did transmission and carburetor work, and by the beginning of the 1995 season, Bare was ready.
'That's one thing I like about drag racing," said Bare. "You have guys like Hoff and Taylor that are always helping people. Chuck helped me all last year, getting the right jet adjustment on the carburetor. Everyone helps one another in drag racing. It is really neat."
Bare started drag racing the end of last year in the Fall Ford event.
The car's drive shaft twisted off on the very first run. But Bare wasn't discouraged. He spent the off-season preparing the car for the new year.
For a driver just starting out, Bare didn't waste any time finding Victory Lane in his first year. He raced about 10 events, focusing on special Ford-only races in the area and winning two 5.0 Ford Wolf Performance Shootouts in the spring and summer.
His fastest elapsed time for the quarter-mile was 11.84 seconds, not bad for a 2,850-pound car.
Bare will be working on a new Ford Windsor motor during the winter and expects to get the car down into the low 11s.
With his good start, Bare is looking forward to next year. He plans on racing every week for the points, so he won't be idle during the winter months.
Hagerstown Speedway honored its drivers last weekend at an annual awards banquet. Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead finished sixth in points and was named the most-improved driver in the late model division. Paul Crowl of Upperco was 10th. Kenny Dillon of Owings Mills was fourth in pure stock and won best-appearing car.
Mike Walls of Taneytown finished third in points in the 4-cylinder pure-stock division and received the hard-luck award. Walls led all drivers in his division with seven wins and was on top of the standings the first half of the year.
Then Wall's mechanical problems kept him from finishing four XTC races in the middle of the season, and he lost the division lead.
Pub Date: 12/15/96