Legend Racer - Bob Maxey
Gallatin, TN
Share |

Bob Maxey Drag Racer
Titled "Bracket Racing’s Biggest Winner"
by Super Stock and Drag Illustrated Magazine

In 1959 Bob Maxey moved to Washington, D.C. from Western Maryland. The sport of Drag Racing started around 1957 in that area. Bob started racing in 1961. The local tracks at that time were Aquasco Speedway, Buds Creek Raceway, Maryland International Raceway, Colonial Beach Dragway, Manassas Dragstrip, Capitol Raceway, and 75-80 Drag-A-Way. The majority of these tracks are still operating today and were within 1150 miles of Bob’s home.

He was a happy man driving a 1960 Pontiac owned by Harry Adams, of Washington, D.C. One of his highlights was beating Dave Strickler driving the “Old Reliable” race car at York US 30 Dragway in 1962. Bob did most of the mechanical work as well as driving the car. From there he went into another Pontiac, a 1963 also owned by Mr. Adams. There was no money paid out in those days...only trophies. The tracks did not have lights to start the race or to show the winner. Flagmen were used at both the starting line and finish line. The first car to finish line was your winner.

It was in 1966 that Bob Maxey moved into a home in Clinton, Maryland. There he built a mechanics shop and put together his first race car. It was a 1960 Pontiac Safari wagon. "In those days I was racing 3 times a week."

1960 Pontiac Safari Wagon

1968 Pontiac Tempest Wagon

In 1972 a 1968 Pontiac Tempest Wagon was built. Bob won 14 races straight with that car. Some of the racers tried to get a petition signed to get him banned from the race tracks. The petition claimed that his wheels staggered over the one inch legal limit. The track owner checked the car and the petition was thrown out.

In 1975, a 1968 Pontiac Firebird was built. The paint scheme was gold and orange. The next year it would change to the paint scheme of ATI “Black Magic” along with twelve other bracket racers from across the country. Over the years Bob tested converters and transmissions for ATI. Approximately $10,000 a year was won while running the Firebird. With the Firebird, staying in the top ten points standings was easy.

1968 Pontiac Firebird

Bob Maxey 68 Firebird

In 1975 Bob purchased a Pontiac Astre body chassis from Pete Kost of Seattle, Washington. The car had been raced as a pro-stocker. It was air lifted to the East Coast.

To make it a bracket car, 80% of the moving parts had to be replaced. The 1979 January issue of Car Craft Magazine did a story on how Bob built the car nearly from scratch.

Pontiac Astre Bob Maxey The body of the Pontiac Astre was changed in 1986 to a 1985 Pontiac Grand Am. The car was set up to be a 8 second car and to advertise “Maxey’s Performance Products” which Bob started in 1984. The Grand Am was raced for three years and then sold due to business commitments.

Now Bob has his own Hi-Performance auto parts business and also builds racing motors, carburetors and rears for some of the local racers as well as some pro-stockers.

The Grand-Am and the Firebird are still being raced today by their new owners.

Some of the Awards that Bob Maxey has received during his 30 years of Bracket Racing are:

  • September 1975 received the “Best Appearing Car and Crew Award” at the 1975 Edition of the East Coast Bracket Championships at 75-80 Drag-a-way.
  • 1975 received the “Outstanding Driver in Drag Racing” from the Metro-Metropolitan Auto Racing Fans Club. The following year Bob was nominated for “Outstanding Mechanic in Drag Racing”.
  • On July 16 & 17, 1976 the newly established Professional Drag Racing Association staged its first ever Bracket Nationals at Darlington International Dragway and Bob Maxey was runner up.
  • In 1977 Bob received the “Best Engineered Car” award at the NHRA-NED Bracket Finals at York US 30 Dragway driving the Pontiac Astre.
  • United Bracket Racing Association awarded Bob Maxey “Bracket Racer of the Year” for outstanding performance at all major national meets during 1976 and placing first in the points program at three local tracks.
  • NHRA 1980 Division Super Pro E.T. Bracket winner Northeast Division.
  • Maryland International presented the "Driver of the Decade" award for 1970-1979.
  • Super Pro Champion 1980 NED Bracket Finals.

With all the many contributions to Bracket Racing, from testing parts to make us all go faster, building motors and carbs, to magizine apearances, and trophies and paychecks won, it is easy to see how Bob Maxey is a true legend for us all.

We want to thank you Bob Maxey for sharing your journey with us. It is guys like you who got it all going for future generations to enjoy.

< < back > >