Drag Racing, Feature Article, Washington — July 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm

George Scott (issue 97)

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97-george-scott

 

By Steve Heeb

George Scott remembers his early days of drag racing at Puyallup in the ’70s. At the time he was fielding a big block ’70 Chevelle with a four-speed in the Pro and Super Pro brackets.

“The Chevelle was a street car that ran high 11s on street tires,” The Tacoma veteran recalls. “I ran that until 1985 until I got my first back-half car.”

George used the Chevelle to build a ’67 Camaro SS.

“I took the whole drive train out of the Chevelle and put it into the Camaro,” he says of combining the two Chevies. “All of a sudden I was a second faster. That was a cool deal.”

George raced the Camaro during the 1985-87 seasons and notched four bracket wins in a row at Pacific Raceways.

“I just progressed up,” he says of that period.

In 1990 George began running Super Gas at NHRA events.

“I’ve had five Super Gas cars since then,” George laughs. “Everybody wants to have a better mouse trap.”

George piloted his mousetrap to a division championship in 2002.

“That was a fun year,” George smiles. “I won the division so I got to go places I don’t usually get to.”

One memorable perk was a trip to Indianapolis, a special memory for George.

“The best time we had was on the way to Indy,” George recalls of the trip that included a stop at the Harley Davidson gathering at Sturgis. “It was incredible how many people were there. The weather was cool and we saw thunderstorms that were unbelievable.”

George recalls some difficulty as they finally homed in on Indianapolis.

“We couldn’t find the track,” he explains. It’s just surrounded by cornfields. There is a sign that says ‘Home of Jeff Gordon’ that has about 300 bullet holes in it.”

Cross-country road trips aren’t on George’s schedule these days.

“Now I run Super Gas and Super Comp in the National events close to home,” he says of putting limits on his racing during the season. “We have eight divisional races and five national events. It’s too complicated to go bracket racing too.”

Of course, staying competitive in the Super Gas ranks requires substantial financial consideration as well.

“These are $100,000 cars,” he explains. “They’re the same thing Kurt Johnson drives, just with a different motor.”

He recalls as many as 70 cars filling the Super Gas staging lanes when the economy was better.

Of the venues where George has raced, he says Pacific Raceways is his favorite.

“I’ve never won at Pacific Raceways but I’ve come close a few times,” he says of always doing well at the Seattle-area dragstrip. “I think it is the best facility in the Northwest for drag racing.”

George was glad to see his good friend Curt Geise top the Super Gas field during the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in 2008.

“Curt and I go to all the tracks together,” George says of the Super Gas driver out of Auburn, Wash. “To see your friend win a national event is nice.”

“George has been a good friend for years,” Curt says. “He’s been a major contributor on my turbo car.”

“I turbo charged his GTO,” George says of Curt’s Pontiac racer. “It’s gone as fast as 6.65 seconds at 210 mph.”

In fact, many Northwest drivers also have benefitted from the work of Turbo Technology, the company George started in 1989.

“Walk around the pits here in Seattle and I’ve done some work for most of the cars,” George explains of his impact on the local racers. “If they need something they know they can come to me first.”

In addition to high-performance drag racing applications, Turbo Technology manufactures turbo systems for passenger cars.

“Our latest line is a low-mounted twin turbo for the 2010 Camaro,” George says. “It produces 550 hp at the tire with 8 pounds of boost.”

Other lines include the C-5 and C-6 Corvettes, the new Mustang and older Camaros.

“The first kit we ever built was for the ’86-’93 Mustangs,” George recalls. “Now we’re probably the biggest turbo manufacturer in the country.”

A staff of five work in Turbo Technology’s 6,400-sq. foot shop in Tacoma.

“We do full fabrication,” George says of their in-house capabilities. “We can fabricate or build anything.”

In addition to lathes and C&G equipment, Turbo Technology has an underground dynamometer capable of testing up to 2,000 hp.

“We do a lot of dyno testing for all types of race cars,” George says. “That is what keeps us going.”

Some of the race cars have especially close ties to Turbo Technology, including the ’69 Camaro that office manager Nick Medlock races in Super Street.

George’s wife Jolene also has become a relatively seasoned racer as well with five seasons under her belt, though her previous experience had been mostly of a two-wheeled variety.

“I grew up as a camper with motorbikes,” Jolene says of her days riding a Yamaha YZ 125 as a member of the Tacoma Trail Cruisers back in the 1970s. “I rode at Little Rock near Olympia with my folks and my younger brother. There were a lot of families that rode.”

The family outings became weekends at the dragstrip for George and Jolene. That includes daughters Tiffany, Ashley and Stephanie.

“They still come to all the races,” George says of their daughters’ support at the track.

Four years ago Jolene got the chance to trade in her role as spectator and become a true participant.

“For years I just watched him at the races,” Jolene says. “So when the opportunity for me to race came up I jumped at it.”

She competes in Super Comp with a 2000 Mullis rear-engine dragster with a 499-cid big block Chevy.

“She’s had it four years and she loves it,” George says of the 235-inch wheelbase dragster. “At first the dragster ran 8.90 at 150. Then she slowly progressed. She’s always been good at the starting line.”

“It’s the finish line that’s tough,” Jolene adds.

“She finally figured out how tough it is,” George laughs.

“Now that I’ve been down the track I can’t chew him out for his mistakes,” Jolene confesses.

She credits George for being her driving teacher and helping hone her racing skills.

“She’s happy when she wins,” George says of Jolene’s demeanor.

“I’m even happy when I lose,” Jolene adds. “I’m just happy to be in the car. I like the dragster.”

She describes herself as smiling and outgoing.

“George is more quiet and laid back,” she adds.

“George is pretty analytical,” Curt agrees about his friend. “He doesn’t get too excited.”

But George’s stoic calmness is not a sign of complacency by any means.

“He really knows his stuff,” Curt continues. We kind of feed off each other that way. Trading info and set up help.”

Disaster struck three years ago and George would need more than set up help when he was in a serious accident in Spokane and his 2005 RJ Cobalt was all-but-destroyed.

“After my crash it was heart-warming,” George says. “They passed a hat and raised money for me to fix my car.”

George and Curt got to work and with help from Strange Engineering, RJ Race Cars and Mike Ferderer had the car repaired and ready to race again.

Encouraged by family and his racing friends, George was back racing in the same car at Las Vegas by the end of the season.

“If I ever stopped doing this I would miss the people,” George says of being back racing. “It’s the same with the crews at the track. They’ve all been doing this for years.”

The heart of George’s Cobalt is a 565-cid big block Chevy motor producing 1,000 hp.

“It runs 9.90 at 169 mph on the throttle stop and 7.70 at 181 mph all out,” George says.

Under the one-piece fiberglass body, a two-speed Powerglide transmission feeds muscle back to the sheet metal Ford 9-inch housing and out to the massive Hoosier tires.

“This is my favorite car hands down,” George says, reflecting on the other the racers he’s owned since the Puyallup Dragstrip days. “Getting it was like going from a Volkswagen to a Cadillac.”

He credits K&N Filters and Sullivan Painting for their continued support of the family’s racing.

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