Home   |   Drag Racing Stories   |   Photo Gallery   |   NHRA - IHRA News   |   QMB Racers Profile   |   QMB Apparel   |   QMB Connection   |   Classified Ads   |   Links   |   Contact Us   |   Events
(Updated 2/24/10 )

A Salute to Black History Month - 2010

From the Streets to the Strip: The Ronnie Lyles & Eugene Coard Story

(This Story Was Written By Eugene Coard in His Own Words)


Ronald Lyles a  friend that most of you would love to have had. We were the best of friends for almost 40 years, I met Ronald’s brother first, we were racing  rival, he drove a 65 Chevy 396 SS white, and I drove a 65 Pontiac Grand Prix 421HO 376hp 4 speed canary yellow, called Bonanza, Ronald drove a 65 Chevy 396 Chevy SS red, We race against each other, many times. From that we became very close friends. Ronald, s brother name was John Lyles (A.K.A MUTT) .He was a dare devil driver . Fast off the line, When the flagman move he move, After teaming up, we bought other cars to race such as 67 427 L88 Chevelle, 55 Chevy 427 L88 call the 1320 challenger, and a 68 Hemi GTX, In those days, every young man wonted or had a muscle car. Every Wednesday Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, folks came from all state to race against us. We only race on the conduit avenue better known as 150th street, near Kennedy airport. Well organized, we would block traffic so that no private cars wouldn't be involved for safety. All races took place after midnight when traffic was very light, Some big names came from as for as South Carolina. Big Willie, the famous street racer from Los Angeles. Came to race us with his famous Hemi superbird that happen in 1971, we was running pro stock the race never happen. Also Rochester New York,they wonted the mutt brothers, the boys from Brooklyn N.Y. many name from N.J. name. Like. Fast Earl Mitchell, Levy Holmes, in his 1968 black knight Camaro, Jessie, and so many more, I cannot remember all of them, they were the good people from Newark, Paterson, and Jersey City. We also had a terrific mechanic his name was Benny Dunham he own an auto shop along with Jessie Johnson better known as J&B Automotive 895 Bedford avenue Brooklyn, N.Y we started a racing club, call the MUTT BROTHERS Ronald Lyles, John Lyles AKA Mutt, Eugene Coard, Benny Dunham, and Jessie Johnson. While testing our cars at West Hampton drag strip on long island, we saw Bryan Higgins the owner of S&K Speed Shop on Long island N.Y. Driving. a 1968 Dodge Dart super stock car, Chrysler only made 50 of them, today that car worth $250.000. He was cruising down the track placing the gears, but running faster than we could possible go, almost a second faster than both of our cars. I walk over to him and ask him is that car was for sale he said yes, And every thing after that is history. We made a collection that night,The next day we took the money to S&K. We ask them to paint the car black, we brought the car to the shop put it on the lift the paint was still wet, Before the paint dried we made our money back and more. The word was that we took the motor out the 68 Hemi GTX and put it in a Dodge Dart, 10-inch tires no traction bars, We ran 327 corvette, 396 Chevelle, hemi GTX, 375 Camaro, and many more. We race that car two to three times a week. That car was undefeated,  never went through the quarter under full power, that what kind of competition we had. However, there were rumors going around that the Dart was tune a few times by Jake King , from the Sox and Martin shop, that is not true the car was never out of Brooklyn. The way the car came from S&K that the ways we race that car, just plugs valve and clutch adjustment. Thank you Bryan  for that very good deal without that Dart we would have not experience all those good racing year. Later as the word, spread the competition got stronger. Super John had a 67 camaro 396 375 Camaro  he wonted to run us but he wanted to win, so he went to Dickie Harrell. Dickie  Harrell rebuilt that car 488 cubic inch super light I.H.R.A car. And thats when the mith  legend race took place. The mith  legend race was called the Quarter Mile Quarter Million Race.

There were many other fast cars in Brooklyn, names like One Way George, George Gavan in his 67 Chevelle, home built but fast, Tab Talbage in his 1970 Don Nicholson mustang, Brooklyn first 9-second car, Cam Rod in his Hubert Platt 1970 maverick, Brooklyn heavy in his 69 motion Camano 427 auto, and he went on to race professionally in pro stock, Clyde  67 396 375 Chevelle, Leroy Scarboro 427 69 camaro, and his partner Shorty. The early races in Brooklyn were Tab Talbage, the first black racer who race at West Hampton Drag Strip, in his 1959 ford in the early  60s Bill Quick 64 409  Chevy,  Big Daddy Shane 62 .406 ford, and later 427.65 Ford, Jessie Wheat 406 61 Ford, and later 65 427 Ford,  Rags 62 Corvette, Billy 62 409 Chevy SS ,Frankie Lamb 64 409 Chevy SS, Foots 63 Chevy SS very fast 327, Big Walt 409 63 Chevy SS automatic very rear in those days, James Smallwood Wilbert Smallwood 69 notch back Sox & Martin Cuda.

One Friday morning I met John Lyles A.K.A. MUTT at the shop, He bought a BSA motor cycle with his winning. He said to Benny and i,  I’am going for a ride to long island I will be back in an hour, about and hour later we got a call saying that he was kill in an accident, and those was our last words together. Ronald and I started a corporation under his name MUTT BROTHERS .We started a Realty Corp. buying and selling properties, we also went into the grocery business, We bought the Sox and Martin 69 cuda, to compete with those fast street cars in Brooklyn, But the street was no longer for us. Ronald Benny and I went racing N.H.R.A. style in 1972. We made the cover of super stock magazine, and in 1972. We went to the world finals where we qualified number 9 in a16 car field, not bad for those street boys from Brooklyn. We learn fast that there were no money in N.H.R.A. racing without sponsorship, while writing this story and watching the O’ Reilly spring National march 2007,  I saw Tom Hammonds beautiful Chevy Cobalt, with no sponsor, it brought back memories, even though many things has change but most of them remain the same. So we decided to go match racing, I did all the bookings. We match race all over the country. We would leave home on Wednesday, and wouldn’t return until Sunday night. The track owners would match us up with the top names like Don Nicholson, Bill Jenkins, Mike Fon, Don Carlton, Roy Hill, Lee Edward, Herb McCandless, Dave Strickler, any many more. We also ran as the Sox and Martin #3 car . We was fortunate enough to have had the pleasure to work with NASCAR  Hendrix motor sport engine builder, Randy Dorton, he was our mechanic / truck driver for two years. We travel all over the United States and Canada,  having loads of fun eating ham biscuit when we loose, and steak when we win. One day while riding in the truck Randy said .I could build a motor that could possibly run faster than a SOX & MARTIN engine,  Randy took a sox and martin hemi short block work on it for two weeks. He cut the piston put it back to gather, Put the engine in the car, went to Epping New Hampshire drag way, to a pro stock meet set the track record, Mike Fon driving the Rod Shop Dodge, came to the line made a pass broke our record. Randy said to Ronald we want that record and we did it. I forget to mention Randy was only 19 at that time. In 1973 we ran 8.93 and back it up with a 8.87 at New York National Drag strip on Long Island N.Y. at a National event that mean we was legal 2982 with a 426 Hemi Motor. We made the first legal 8 second run some one ran 8.94 the Wednesday night before match racing, that racer was Don Nicholson in his pinto. We did it with a 1973 Plymouth Duster. By the way, we were book to match race Don the next week at Capitol Drag Strip in Washington DC,  Don call Betty the track manager and cancel the race. This is a good story about five good people from Brooklyn N.Y. and one young gun from North Carolina, I still have fond memories of our racing days on the conduit, Street racing and match racing N.H.R.A. style. In the last 7 years, I lost three of the boys from Brooklyn, and one from North Carolina. Benny Dunham. Ronald Lyles. Jessie Johnson. And Randy Dorton. Randy Dorton died in a plane crash along with Rick Hendricks brother in 2004. Ronald Lyles, died in 2000 in Pied Mt Hospital in Rockhill South Carolina, Benny Dunham, died in Savannah G.A. Jessie Johnson, died in Bennettsville S.C. Behind all those good men were some very good women, Drucilla, Glinda, Mary, Kat, Cathy Dorton, and my wife Margaret Coard, I am the last man standing, the last of the MUTT BROTHERS racing team. Eugene Coard and much thanks to my son Allen Coard. So you young men watch what you eat, remember Ronald died from diabetes .GET CHECK. . For more info. Check out our web www.ronaldlyles.com/home

Original (1973 Plymouth Duster - Pro Stock)

Resurrected (1973 Pymouth Duster - Pro Stock)

(Click Here to View More Photos)

QMB would like to thank Allen Coard for contacting us and Eugene Coard for sharing his story and photos with us.


Lavon Hawkins Has Tried It All
(Rear End Dragster; Drag Boat & Pro Street)
Lavon Hawkins
Small Block Rear End Dragster
Blown Injected Alcohol Big Block 514 Cubic Inch Drag Boat
Pro Street - Chevy Vega

We Salute Lavon Hawkins for Making His Mark In Drag Racing History.

James "Big Butch" Hawkins Gone But Not Forgotten

We Salute James " Big Butch" Hawkins for Making His Mark in Drag Racing History.


In Honor of Black History Month
We would like to Salute the following African American Drag Racing Associations

Colored Speedway Association (CSA)- 1924
Black American Racers Association (BARA) - 1972
QuarterMasters Racing Team - 1988
United Black Drag Racers Association (UBDRA) - 1994
Coalition of Urban Drag Racers Association (CUDRA) - 2006

These organizations have all made their mark
in Black History and in Drag Racing History.

Colored Speedway Association
(Info for this story was taken from wigginsgoldandgloryracing.com & champcarstats.com websites)

 In 1924, a group of African-American business men, and civic leaders, led by William Rucker and two caucasian businessmen, Oscar Shilling and Harry Earl, came together with the purpose of forming a racing league whereby men of color, which were bared from racing with their caucasian counterparts, could participate in the sport of automobile racing. Thus, the Colored Speedway Association began.

In April that same year, the first "Gold and Glory" Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. It was a 100 mile race and quickly became a very popular event in the African-American community with 28 of the best African-American drivers competing from all over the Midwest. The races quickly became popular and within five years, promoters from across the country had created a barnstorming tour called the “Gold and Glory” circuit with races in cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dayton, Detroit, Fort Worth, and Los Angeles.

Charles Wiggins was instrumental in the Gold and Glory evolution which
attracted the attention of national news agencies as well as thousands of
spectators coast to coast. Wiggins was a four-time champion on the
Gold of Glory Sweepstakes, winning at least 17 CSA events;
a distinction that earned him the title "the Negro Speed King."

The series came to an end after the 1936 season.

Black American Racers Association (BARA)

(Please Note All Members Are Not Present in this Photo)

The Quartermasters Racing Team Inc., of Forestville, Maryland was founded in 1988. It currently is composed of 28 members. The ties that bind the members together is that they not only love drag racing, but are also committed to helping the younger generation become productive members of society.

To realize the goal of motivating children through the sport of "Drag Racing" and that it does take a whole village to raise a child, it is with great honor that the Quartermasters have become involved in numerous programs such as:

Career Day: Programs designed to encourage Prince George's County, Maryland and District of Columbia public school students to stay in school. Quartermasters speak to students about the role a quality education plays in drag racing and the positive affects it has had on the lives of its members.

Race Against Drugs: An affiliation with the National Race Against Drugs program, under the auspices of the Drug Enforcement Agency, sharing a common goal of motivating children to remain drug free. Thus they have supported our local efforts by donating booklets, pamphlets, stickers, decals, posters, etc.

Junior Dragster Racing: Working in conjunction with Capitol Raceway the Quartermasters Racing Team has established a very successful Junior Dragster Racing program. This program run from early March until August, culminating in a well attended championship race where the children won plaques, trophies, pens, and certificates. The Quartermasters look forward to another successful year of Junior Dragster racing.

National Hot Rod Association National Event Meetings: Bi-annually trips are sponsored for public school students to attend a national drag race event. The main focus is to enhance interaction between children and positive role models. These trips enable the students an opportunity to personally meet and converse with their favorite drivers and to experience the full flavor of the sport.

Quartermasters Annual Excursions: As culminating activity to the many events in which we participate during the racing season and as a means of rewarding ourselves and our loved ones, the Quartermasters sponsor an annual excursion to romantic lands and exotic islands such as the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Come relax, unwind and refresh yourself with us as you prepare for another drag racing season.

The United Black Drag Racers Association's mission is to preserve and promote the sport of drag racing in a positive manner for the membership and the community. The commitment of all members working together to achieve the goals established for the benefit and improvement of the organization and community accomplishes this.

The UBDRA in commitment to the sport of drag racing and the community fosters the values of quality, respect, diversity, family, service, excellence, and fellowship.

The UBDRA's goal is to use drag racing as a means of educating the community regarding the safe driving and alternative recreational activies and roviding an example of effective leadership and positive group interaction. And to establish and maintain a supportive, cohesive, and united representation of African-Americans and other ethnic groups in the sport of drag racing, the membership, and the community including but not exclusive to: educational scholarships, youth/adult mentoring, community outreach and support.

UBDRA From the beginning... In the early 1980's, Black racers in the area around St. Louis, MO, developed a rivalry among themselves. This friendly rivalry eventually led to the challenge "Show up, or shut up!" Scores of men turned out with their cars, families, and bar-b-que pits for the day of reckoning. Thus, began the annual race for "braggin' rights" known as "Black Sunday".

In 1989, with the success of Black Sunday firmly in place, a holiday banquet was added to the annual festivities. The undertaking of the banquet required a good deal of organization and planning; eventually making it necessary to establish a banquet committee. That established committee was the predecessor of the present United Black Drag Racers Association (UBDRA).

Officially established in 1994, today, the UBDRA has grown into a nationally recognized organization and has established itself as one of the premier African American organizations in the world of motor sports. Its success has led to the establishment of one UBDRA chapter in Wisconsin and encouraged numerous others to form organizations in various areas throughout the country, thus increasing the interest for organizations such as the UBDRA across the United States.

Today the United Black Drag Racers Association is a 501c3 organization that has donated well over $150,000 to national, regional and local charitable organizations. In addition to monetary donations, the organization often participates in community parades, car shows, and a host of other civic events.

Dedicated to its mission to preserve and promote the sport of drag racing in a positive manner for the membership and the community, the organization hosts annual car shows, school show-and-tell programs, the Annual Awards Banquet and of course, Black Sunday.

Increasing at an extraordinary rate each year, the popularity of Black Sunday has grown so much that the event is currently being held at three different venues across the country - St. Louis, MO, Byron, IL and Indianapolis, IN with more opportunities being presented each year.

The road of growth from a race for bragging rights to an organization dedicated to utilizing the sport that it loves as a means of serving the community that it belongs to, has been a challenging but fulfilling one. The possibilities gleam bright before us and we have pulled up to the starting line. As the staging lights on the starting tree come down, we're off...

UBDRA....Racing Toward a Better Tomorrow!

The Coalition of Urban Drag Racers Association is a group of racers, men and women who are committed to promoting an educated awareness about the sport of drag racing. While our membership is primarily minority we welcome all to join us in our endeavors. The word "urban", simply means a way of living, and we live for our God, our families, our children and Drag Racing. With the combined experience in our association there is 200 years of racing experience in our group. To bring this kind of association to the forefront and present a race that showcases our urban racers, and to be able to honor those who came before us and opened the doors for us to participate in the great sport of drag racing has been a long time dream of Ken Kennedy, president and founder of C.U.D.R.A.. Although this is not the first race or association Ken has been a part of, it is truly the first of it's magnitude at a race track such as Norwalk. Finally with the help of Mr. Bill Bader, president of Norwalk Raceway Park he will see that dream come to fruition.

C.U.D.R.A. wants to educate communities, especially our youth on the benefits of drag racing, and how it can help our children in school and in life. We want to let our communities know that this is a family sport to be enjoyed and participated in by all!

also wants to remember those racers who came before us, and with persistence and struggle and determination opened doors that let us walk through and participate in this sport. With that thought in mind we will induct our first honoree into what is now the Wall of Fame and what we hope will soon be The "Burnout" Hall of Fame.

Therefore, on a cold December evening Ken and Denise Kennedy sat down with Mr. Bill Bader of Norwalk Raceway Park and presented him with the concept of a race within a race to be held at Norwalk Raceway Park to showcase our urban racers. He liked the ideal and agreed to have the first annual Urban 1320 Championship,(the name thanks to Mr. Steven Bell ) nobody could think up of, on June 17, 2006, with the hopes of this becoming one of the major races at Norwalk in the future.


Antron Brown Making His Mark in History

Antron Brown - Virginia Motorsports Park, Petersburg, VA - Oct 2008

In 1998 Antron Brown started out his professional racing career in Pro Stock
Bike where he competited for 10 seasons winning 16 finals.

In 1999 Antron won the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award that was presented to the NHRA racer destined for future greatness.

In 2007 Antron made the transition from Pro Stock Bike to Top Fuel Dragster.

In 2008 Antron made NHRA history when he became the first driver
to win races in both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Bike.

In 12 seasons as a professional racer, Antron has 24 wins in 48 final rounds.

Throughout his career Antron has graced the cover of several
National Dragster Magazines.

April 11, 2008
August 7, 2009

In 2009 Antron became the first African American and the
7th driver in 20 years to sweep the Western Swing.
(Winning races in Denver-CO, Seattle-WA and Sonoma-CA. )

Below is a video of Antron Brown's Western Swing Sweep in Sonoma, CA.

(Video Taken from mongo | MySpace Video)

Dimetrious Morris...History in the Making

Dimetrious Morris started his drag racing career at the age of
10 behind the wheel of a Junior Dragster and has raced for 5 years,
winning over 40 trophys and appearing on 4 major TV stations.
Could Dimetrious be the next Antron Brown? Only time will tell.
Dimetrious is currently looking for sponsorship to allow him to continue on in competition.
Lets take a look at Dimetrious through newspaper articles & video.
(Click Here to View News Articles)

(Video Taken from YouTube)


Copyright © 2006 - 2010 QuarterMileBrothers.com  All Rights Reserved