Earlier this week we ran an item that highlighted a cool website centered around the history of Oswego Dragway. One of the photos on the site was of Grumpy Jenkins’s Pro Stocker mangled into a pile of shredded steel and rubber. BangShift reader Phil Cooper was not content to leave well enough alone, so he delved into his personal archive of racing awesomness and dug out the actual news story from Jenkins’ unfortunate day at Oswego.
By the late 1970s Jenkins had Larry Lombardo doing the driving for him on the NHRA tour, while he tuned the car up. Lombardo was more than capable and the two made a fearsome combo. Outside of the NHRA tour though, Jenkins still mixed it up. At the time, there was still a burgeoning match race scene for Pro Stocks. All bets were off when the cars were in match race trim. The guys lied through their teeth to one another regarding the weights of their cars, displacement of their engines, etc.
Jenkins wrecked the car at a match race, but not just any match race. Grumpy was testing his mettle against local competitors during a “Beat the Grump” day. The track would pick three competitors to face off against Jenkins, and much like the days of the traveling brawler, he’d take them on one at a time.
We’re pretty sure that he laid the lumber to most of them, unless of course his car was reduced to scrap metal like in the photos below. Scroll down to see the story and a larger photo of the wreckage!