site is dedicated to my brothers Mac and Dwight, and to drag boat
racing. Down 'n Out
(above) was one of the Blown Fuel Hydros driven
by my oldest brother Dwight Bale between 1967 and 1973. Dwight and I
both appreciated Led Zeppelin hard rock, particularly the lyric that
goes, "took some time 'for I found out, what people mean by down 'n
feel lucky to have been at the Long
Beach Nationals in 1971 when Dwight (Everyone else called him
'Bale'. Only the press, and strangers, called him "Hey Bale." But he
knew the value of media attention and put Hey
Bale across the visor of his helmet.) BALE took top fuel honors
with a quarter mile speed of 196.92 M.P.H. and an E.T. of 7.73 seconds.
Believe me, a seven second quarter mile on water is VERY LOUD! VERY
QUICK! and DAMNED IMPRESSIVE!
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shattered the world's quarter mile speed record in the summer of 1967,
and he virtually owned that title for the next five years, moving it up
in progressive stages from 161 M.P.H., to just short of 200 M.P.H.,
until his death in 1973. No, not racing. He drowned when the four-man
rubber raft he and old friend Jim Davis were playing around in, flipped
over as they 'shot the rapids' on the rain swollen cannel system that
meanders through Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill, California. (Strangely
ironic, as we had been warned to "stay away from the cannel!"
throughout our childhood).
losing season Bale ever had was 1969-70, when our middle brother Mac was racing. Dwight retained the
speed record, but Mac out-raced him, winning every race he entered —
except the 1968 Nationals in Perris, CA, Mac's first race, in which he
was runner up. But that's another piece of the story.