Cody Thompson, age 11, shows the plaque he was awarded at the Anaconda Lost Creek Raceway banquet held last weekend. He raced his dragster in nine 1/8th mile races this summer, and he ended up with four first-place medals, four second-place and one third-place.
Glen Morin and the 1923 Model T he's owned since high school. He raced three times at the Anaconda Lost Creek Raceway this past summer. His got to spin his tires and reach 103 mph. "I love it," he says.
by Patricia Swan Smith
For the Pathfinder
October 22, 1998
When writing a story about a man's hobby, it's always best to interview the wife first. That way you get the real story, and then you can let the man fill in the other needed details. Now the story of racing and the Glen Morin family went something like this.
"Mary Ann, do you take this man, and his dragster, to be your lawfully wedded husband, and dragster. To love and cherish and replace the transmission and cracked pistons till death do you part?"
She said "I do."
It's hard to tell which one of them enjoys the racing stories more.
Mary Ann said that Glen has to "spin his tires" and she likes him to do it legally, so he still races the 1923 Model T he's had since high school.
The history of the "23T" started with Glen's brother. His brother raced the car and then sold it. When Glen got his driver's license, he decided to find the car and buy it.
He and his friends spent a lot of time cruising through alleys in Polson in search the car. They found it one night. The only thing that was showing was the roll-bar. He paid the guy $400, and they loaded it into an stock truck. Sometime after that, Mary Ann married Glenand the dragster.
She said racing is in his blood, and when asked why he liked to spend $55 for 5 gallons of high octane gas to run two races (a total of 1,300 feet), he laughed for quite a while and said. "I don't know. It's something that's in me. I probably live to race. I love it."
And while he doesn't race every year, in fact there were six year stretches when the car didn't move an inch, he admits that when the urge hits him, he can't be stopped.
"One time my wife was sick on the bed with two little kids, and I had to go race," he said. "She was still breathing and had close friends in town, so my dad and I headed to Spokane."
During these statements, his wife laughed and laughed, then she gleefully admitted, "I got a lot of guilt mileage out of that one!"
The trip to Spokane, with a sick wife at home, allowed Glen wonderful racing memories. Memory #1: When he lost control of the pickup hauling his dragster on a frosty freeway he ended up crossing the borough pit, going up on the other side of the freeway, gaining control, driving back through the borough pit and back to his side of the freeway and on to Spokane.
Memory #2: During his trial runs, something went wrong with the car so he didn't get to race. They loaded up and returned home.
Memory #3: The urge was satisfied for a few more years.
When he returned to racing, he took his family with him to Lewistown.
"We were the laughing stock of the track. Here was my 28 T (his wife adds "It still had weeds on it.") next to these twenty and thirty thousand dollar cars. They were pointing at my car and laughing in front of my family."
But when Glen clocked in at 107 mph in twelve second flat in the 1/2 mile, the laughter ended and the guys started talking to Glen about how impressed they were with the car.
After another six years, Glen took the dragster out of the weeds once again and raced three times at the Anaconda Lost Creek Raceway this past summer. The race track is 1/8 mile long. The dragster has a 350 block with a 400 crank & rods (car talk) and weighs around 2,000 pounds. This year, it ran around 103 mph, and Glen took second overall.
For next year, he's planning some upgrades on the dragster that still has bolts and parts from his high school days.
And, you don't have to be an adult to spin your tires!
Cody Thompson of Seeley Lake, age 11, enjoyed his first year of racing his dragster at the Anaconda track. He raced in nine 1/8th mile races, and he ended up with four first-place medals, four second-place and one third-place.
The highest speed allowed in the Junior Dragsters is 74.5 mph. Cody runs around 39.88 mph for a time of 16.38 seconds. Next year he's hoping to run about 50 mph.
The engine for Junior Dragsters cannot be bigger than a 5-horse Briggs & Stratton. They can run gas or alcohol. Alcohol runs hotter, and Cody said that he'd like to get a different engine and run alcohol next year.
His dragster weighs 340 pounds and was built by his father Allan. The minimum weight is 225 pounds.
Four students raced this year, and according to Allan, seven will race next summer.
Cody and his parents, Allan and Carmen, would like to thank Kurt's Polaris, First Valley Bank, Pyramid Mountain Lumber, Golden Impressions, Seeley Lake Fun Center and Richey Racing out of Missoula for sponsoring him this year.
Cody said that racing gives him something fun to do. He said he's always nervous at the end because he wants to win and he doesn't know what his time is until he gets his slip after the race.
Both adult and junior racers have to do three time trials before they race. After the time trials they have to "dial in" at the speed they will race. For example, Cody said that if his time trials were 17.20, 17.24 and 16.99, he would dial in at 17. If you run faster than your "dial in" time, you lose.
In the adult trials, you have to dial in within 2/10ths of a second of your fastest time.
If any students are interested in racing next year, they may contact Allan or Carmen Thompson at 677-2129.