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IN MEMORY OF JOHN WENDERSKI
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John Wenderski & The Black Beauty! John Wenderski & The Black Beauty!

Full Name: John Joseph Wenderski

Nickname: "Big John"

Born: August 31, 1938

Died: February 23, 1964

Buried: Howell, Michigan

Age: 25

Drag Strip: San Diego Raceway, Ramona, California

Event: Qualifying Run

Accident Date: February 23, 1964

Car: "Black Beauty" Chrysler-powered AA/FD

Biographical:

Big John Wenderski, resident of Northridge, California and sixth in Drag News national rankings,

was preparing to challenge Don Garlits, number one ranked in top fuel eliminators,

in a best two out of three race the following weekend at Lions Drag Strip.

During time trials, as he approached the finish timing lights,

the car was buffed by a gust of wind.

At speeds between 160 to 170mph, the car began to drift to the left,

got off onto the side of the racetrack.

After hitting the embankment, soaring twenty feet through the air,

flipping over before landing on the rocky ground, disintegrating.

He was found strapped in the driver’s cage, lying some twenty feet from the bulk of the wreckage.

He was dead on arrival at El Cajon Valley Hospital

     
 
 
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