Well before the Street Outlaws television franchise, I developed my addiction to the grudge racing scene. My love of grudge did not grow from television or the internet, but from my experiences on the streets and at the strips in and surrounding Houston, Texas. For those of you who know the south, Texas’ grudge racing scene has it goin’ on!
One of the key promoters of Houston grudge racing was Joe Golden. From his experiences with street racers and his relationships with racers of Eastex Dragstrip, Navasota Raceway, Houston Motorsports Park, and Houston Raceway Park (now Royal Purple Raceway), Joe was able to put the Clobber in Clobberthon. Clobberthon events were more than just big tire or small tire shootouts…they were about bragging rights — plenty of bragging rights!
More important than Joe’s track promotions were his efforts to promote drag racing through a little website he called hotrodgossip.com. The beauty of Hot Rod Gossip, under Joe’s leadership, was that it provided grudge racers with a forum to let the s**t talkin’ fly! It was not a private group with a lot of rules and regulations. Drag racers, grudge racers, and street racers were all welcome. It did not matter what you wanted to call yourself, it did not matter who you wanted to call out, and, best of all, it did not matter who you wanted to say was full of s**t. As Joe once said, “if you can do it, it ain’t braggin.” Hot Rod Gossip was the place were racers and races were made. In fact, in over 17 years, Hot Rod Gossip entertained millions of visitors with over 28 million posts noted to date.
Unfortunately, Joe Golden passed away in late February, 2016. With that said, my thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Peggy, his family, and friends. Although he is gone, his memory will live on forever within and beyond the Houston drag racing scene.
I have to say that it will be interesting to see what will come of Hot Rod Gossip and the Clobberthon events that Joe loved so much. Regardless, his hard work and dedication to the “average” grudge racer, was and will continue to be my inspiration for running Nor Cal Drag Racing.
-Dwight Callaway, Sr.