December 15, 2005

In the world of heads-up Ford drag racing, the Hindman brothers arenothing short of a wrecking ball for any class they enter. While BobHindman leads a professional racer's life in the open-comp ModularMuscle class, his older brother, Gene, has become one of the mostprolific racers in the history of heads-up Ford drag racing. As the '05season nears its end, Gene has already locked up his second worldchampionship in NMRA's Pure Street class. P/S is an extremely limited,naturally aspirated, small-block class where engines measuring 310 citransport 3,000-pound street Mustangs into the mid-10-second zone. Gene,world record holder and nearly unbeatable in Pure Street, took time toanswer a few questions for our readers.

1.0 What is your attraction to Pure Street?

I just fit in the class from the beginning, and, since I only workpart-time for UPS, about all I could do was stay in the same class. Theclass has evolved during the past few years, and it has become a lotmore fun. When I first started running in it, we were only allowed stockFord production heads and such, a 16-inches-of-vacuum cam, and FordRacing intakes. Now, some nice aluminum heads are allowed, along withsome equally nice aftermarket intakes and cams. It is very fun now.

2.0 Have the rule makers taken a shot at you with the most recent rulechanges that give Modular Mustang racers a huge weight break, or arethese rule adjustments justified and reasonable?

The class needs some more car count, and I can accept that. I know themodular-powered cars are going to be fast--just look at what ShawnJohnson (of F/S) does now, without port work and without P/S legalcamshafts. And he runs on radials at 3,400 pounds. Plus, I know onemore thing he can do to increase his e.t. over a full tenth right now,possibly two-tenths, and he doesn't have to change but one thing. Thatdoes make me wonder. The carb weight break, however, will affect thisclass a lot quicker than the modular one. These guys were competitive at150-pound penalty just a couple years ago. They stopped coming becausethey weren't dominating every race, and technology had passed them up.Now, they have a nice weight break (from their previous penalty), andwhen they get this new technology with the old carb, they're gonna fly.I see 10.20s easily out of the carb cars. I think half the field fromJoliet had a carb, so that just shows these guys think they have aserious chance now. But, I won't give up. I will just work harder thiswinter, and hope I have worked harder than they did.

3.0 How much money is out there for a Pure Street racer to get--bothfrom company sponsorships and purse wins?

Landing company sponsorships is not one of my strongest traits. I am notgood at asking people for things. It makes it harder for me that way,but I manage. Purse wins could be better for the travel expenses. Thereis no way anyone can come out on top racing part-time, but the companiesthat offer NMRA contingencies need to be thanked over and over. Withoutthese great companies and their employees behind the scenes, we wouldnot be able to attend every event year after year.

4.0 What have you learned from your brother, Bob, that helps make you agreat Mustang racer?

That's funny. Everyone thinks he is older than me, and I must havelearned it from him. Maybe he learned everything he knows from me.[laughs] No, not really. We learn together every weekend, and we don'tstop learning when the season is over. There is not a day that goes bythat we don't talk about something concerning what we do for a living.Every day, every week, every month . . . just ask our better halves.

5.0 Do you aspire to participate in any other class?

Hot Street. I have some very knowledgeable people behind me, and I ampositive we could make a combination win often in that class. I justdon't have the funds to change classes, but I would love to have thatopportunity.

6.0 What makes your combination so dominant right now?

The fact that I have been in this class since 1998 probably helps, and Ihave experienced a lot of different aspects over the years and havelearned what works and what doesn't. With the help of Steve Petty andPro-Line racing engines at the beginning of this calendar year, we wereable to get a lot of testing done before the season started. These guysare really serious at getting the job completed when they say they will,and they will work overtime to make sure of it. I had all my sponsorsdelivering parts when they said they would, and they put up with mecalling back complaining that we need to do this, and now this, and soon. Darryl Bassani is one for sure. I keep calling him saying we need tohave this header tube run here, and, no, that one needs to go there.Rick Anderson of Anderson Ford Motorsport is also probably tired ofhearing my voice on the other end, saying "I need another cam, can youget it here before the end of the week?" I also needed a few pieces forthe inside of my transmission, and Tremec Transmissions made sure I gotthose parts to freshen it up before the season started. And I am sureMark Brown of Denso is tired of hearing me asking questions about hisIridium spark plugs, and whether or not I can try another set or not.Centerforce didn't have to do much this past off-season, as we took alook at the Light Metal Dual-Friction unit that was in the car anddecided to put it right back in. All of these people contributed duringthe off-season to make this season more enjoyable for me and my racingteam. A warm winter here also helped.

7.0 Can you detail for us the steps you take to prepare your race carbetween races and during the off-season?

I spend a lot of time at the local tracks, trying different parts, suchas cams, rockers, plugs, fuel, and different combinations of all theabove items too. How they work with each other, and how they workwithout each other.

8.0 When did you start racing Mustangs?

In 1993, I got my first Fox-body Mustang--an'87 LX, but I had a '67fastback before that. I started racing that same '87 at some of theTrophy Stock races in FFW in 1998. I also went to WFC1 in Bowling Greenthat same year.

9.0 Will we see you change your combination to increase your advantagewith the current set of Pure Street rules?

As soon as need be I will install the carb on the car. Bill Glidden hasmentioned that he may have one lying around. That is a bridge that mayget crossed as soon as I get some time to test with it. Right now, I amspending the weekends trying new stuff with my old combo and trying torefine it better.

10.0 What does it take to be a great driver in heads-up Mustang dragracing?

Practice. I don't know if that is a compliment or not, but I am hopingso. I know you see a lot of racers' driving skills, and you know who isgood and who is not as good. I would be very happy to think that youthink I am a good driver.

11.0 Do you consider yourself a professional racer?

I try to. I have a lot of people saying that isn't so because I haveanother means of employment, although it is part-time employment, I haveto say that a lot of people in this country don't make ends meet withjust a part-time job. But with the racing, I make it a full-time effort,and it does make the ends meet after all is said and done.