View Full Version : California/Texas Flag Rivalry

Master Oil Racing Team
03-21-2005, 12:22 PM
The mention of Bill Rucker Sr's name called up memories of the flag rivalry that started between Texas and California. It started in 1972 in the pits at Depue. Texas and California had quite a few entries and there was a challenge as to who would have the most wins. In those days about the only flags flying in the pits were Texas and California. So the prize was the loser's flag signed by all losing drivers and turned over to the winner.

Ray Yates and Joe Rome need to fill in the details of the origins. It soon spread to drivers from other states and in one photo you see the Washington guys (Howard Anderson's bunch I think) flying our flag upside down below theirs.

Back to Bill Rucker. I think it was Bill Sr. It was the first heat of 1100cc hydro at the Pro Nationals in Alexandria. We were racing to the first turn. I believe there were a few gun jumpers to the right. Bill and I were legal. He was just ahead less than a boat length, but I was on the inside. We were running over 100 when we were approaching the last course marker bouy before the first turn. When we got to it, Bill turned just like it was the first turn bouy. He went wide so as not to overlap me, & I was thinking what the......! I had no choice but to turn with him. It happened so fast I couldn't back off & try to go around or else I would have run up his engine.

I circled back around to get back in the race, but by then the others were long gone. In the meantime Artie Lund and the wild bunch from San Antonio headed for Rucker's pits. I think it was pretty close on points at that time between Texas and California. Artie & crew had probably counted my points for a win and they figured Rucker was trying to take me out of the hunt. They had to head back to their pits with there tails between there legs when they found out Rucker's steering bar broke or bent (I forget which). We both lucked out because it could have been bad.

BTW Ray Yates talked to whoever still has that first flag & considers it a most prized possession.

03-21-2005, 07:10 PM
Howard Anderson and I bet a flag on which state would win the most championships. This picture is of Howard and I when he collected the winning flag. I also won a Washington State flag from Howard one year with all the driver's autographs. Ray Yates says he lost a Texas flag to California. But we had lots of fun. It all started when Baldy had a race in Hot Springs, Arkansas where Texas raced against the North, South, East and West Teams. And Texas Won!!! I thought that we would always win, but there were two that we did not win. :)

Master Oil Racing Team
03-21-2005, 08:35 PM

The first flag that was lost was the one to California from the original bet. I was thinking that that was what sparked the North-South-East-West Challenge. Ray Yates needs to fill us in on that first flag bet and who has it now. (More to come on that challenge race)

Master Oil Racing Team
03-21-2005, 10:12 PM
Here are some of the flags that flew in the pits.