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Gary Balough


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I got to see him win a race in Corpus. It was twin 125's. Two races in one night, Gary won one race and I think Freddy Fryar won the other. I cant remember what year that was.

 

August 4th, 1984. Balough won the first event of the Howell Fuels twin 125's. Slick Yoemans was the pole sitter. Top five was Balough, Butch Lindley, Darrell Brown, Steve Grissom, and Daniel Keene.

The second 125 was won by Freddy Fryar. The line up for the second race was determined by the finish of the first race. The top 6 were inverted; as a result, Fryar started on the pole.

Fryar won it over Grissom, Balough, Mike Harmon, and Lindley.

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The last time I remember seeing him run at SAS he turned a 18.112 lap and his number was 112, he blew the transmission in the race,changed it out and still finished the race, he was running a automatic that time.

 

In the August 5th, 1984 San Antonio 200 race, Balough, who was fast time, blew up in a big ball of flames after the transmission let go. Caused the first of 2 red flag sessions.

On the restart, Terry Labonte in the Jim Pallas car took the point until being passed by Grissom, and Russ Nelson. Alton Jones brought about the second red flag, and on the restart, Rick Rapp took the point and led until he ran out of gas. This gave the lead to Slick Yoemans, who led handily until the battery started going dead, handing the lead toeventual winner Donnie Allison. Top five were Allison, Brown, Keene, Lindley, and Fryar.

 

In those days, several racers experimented with automatic transmissions, with varying degrees of success. Around here, I can think of Charlie Koen, and Frank Ferris (with Leroy Brooks driving), a couple more that escape me.

One thing that I DO remember though, is the transmission themselves were usually not a big problem. None of them ran the damn torque converters. They had a direct coupler, and a ball valve by the driver that controlled the pressure feed, sorta like a hand controlled clutch.

 

If the powers that be in the truck series would eliminate the converters, and allow them to plumb the casing for the ball valve, they'd have a lot less problems with overheated transmissions and the resulting failures. And, before anyone cites cost, it is cheaper to run without buying a converter, and less rebuilds. The converters create a lot of heat, and it also transfers heat to the back of the engine. And running the valve lines is a couple hour job, and the labor is cheaper than buying the converter.

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August 4th, 1984. Balough won the first event of the Howell Fuels twin 125's. Slick Yoemans was the pole sitter. Top five was Balough, Butch Lindley, Darrell Brown, Steve Grissom, and Daniel Keene.

The second 125 was won by Freddy Fryar. The line up for the second race was determined by the finish of the first race. The top 6 were inverted; as a result, Fryar started on the pole.

Fryar won it over Grissom, Balough, Mike Harmon, and Lindley.

 

Tom how do you keep all that info from leaking out.......LMAO

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That first 125 that Balough won.....they dropped the green and ran the first 80-something laps without a caution. Even in the stands, it was like we just held our breath for those 80 laps. And when the caution finally flew, it was like one big sigh.

 

And the real amazing thing to witness was watching one of the masters, that we lost way too early in this life, Butch Lindley. He, with Balough tied to his bumper, started back about 8th or so, and they worked their way up thru the pack to the lead. While everyone else pretty much held their line, here these two worked did some of the most incredible driving I ever saw.

 

Great times.

Billy

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