(1-17-2011) CHARLOTTE, NC – Emerging from the most difficult period of his life, Charles Carpenter’s hope for 2011 is that it improves dramatically over a devastating 2010. The year will kick off on a high note this weekend when Carpenter is inducted into the North Carolina Drag as part of its Class of 2011.
The will be the focal point of the 9th Annual Shriners Drag Racing & Expo, to be held this Friday and Saturday, January 21 & 22, at the in . The induction ceremony will begin at 1:30 PM on Saturday.
“This is right up there with the top honors that I’ve received during my racing career, and I’m humbled to be inducted into the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame,” Carpenter said. “To be considered a peer with some of the incredible names that are already in the Hall along with those being inducted this year is simply a dream come true.”
The dream began nearly forty years ago when Carpenter was a car-crazed young boy, spending his days building model cars and tagging along with his older brother as he raced his ’55 Chevy at the local dragstrips around Charlotte, NC.
One thing led to another, and before long Carpenter had dropped a big block into a full-size ’55 Chevy, strapped a nitrous oxide system onto it, and turned the drag racing world on its ear. From there, Carpenter has gone on to enjoy one of the longest and most successful careers in the history of the category he pioneered, . It is for this contribution to drag racing and his unwavering passion for the sport that Carpenter will be honored this weekend.
His career has had its fair share of highlights, but they haven’t come without an equal amount of obstacles and hardships. Carpenter has clawed his way back from an involuntary quasi-retirement to begin the decade, only to reemerge as one of the top forces in nitrous doorslammer racing before suffering a broken back as a result of one of the most horrific wrecks in recent Pro Modified history in 2009. Never one to give up, he fought his way back toward the top of the American Drag Racing League Pro Nitrous standings for most of 2010 before unthinkable tragedy struck Carpenter and his family.
As Carpenter was preparing to battle for yet another championship, his wife of thirty years, Terry, suffered a severe stroke and passed away at the age of 54. Exactly one month after his wife’s passing, Carpenter’s mother unexpectedly passed away due to sudden illness. These unforeseen tragedies put all racing on hold for Carpenter, and he and his family are still on the long road to recovery.
“We’re just taking it one day at a time, focusing on the positives and trying to piece our lives back together,” said Carpenter. “When something like this happens, it really puts everything in perspective and shows you how important it is to enjoy every day you’re given in life. Receiving this honor of being inducted into the NC Drag Racing Hall of Fame is going to be an emotional moment for my family and I, but the recent events we’ve experienced will make it even more important and special for us.”
Carpenter would like to thank his family and friends, all past and present sponsors, the racers, promoters, track operators, and most importantly, the fans, for all of their support that made this achievement possible.
Photo by Roger Richards