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Old 05-06-2009, 11:32 AM   #1
Jerry Lee
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Default BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview

Funny how one of the most colorful characters in Colorado Figure 8 history always came in black & white. Whether in diagonal B&W painted cars, or a big white stripe down the middle, Skunkie became a Denver racing legend.

Dig the Skunk in these highlights from a 1997 phone interview:

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JL: "Where did you get that nickname 'Skunkie'?"

BG: "Well, when I was about 16 my first car was a '41 Ford coupe that was black and white. Some friends of mine started calling me Skunkie, and it stayed with me."

JL: "How did you first start driving the 8's?"

BG: "I ran a few Demolition Derbies at Lakeside in '66 and I was a mechanic for the Morrison Garage. The boss gave me a '50 Chevy and we took it out to Englewood and totaled it the second night."

JL: "I think you're the only driver around here to pull off a clean sweep in three different divisions in one night."

BG:"Boy, we cleaned house that night! Man, I don't know what it was, but we just won everything we got in. I took the fast time, trophy dash, fast heat, and won the main in my Figure Eighter. And with my Late Model I won the slow heat and the semi. Then we took 'Ma Skunk' out and won the 85 car Demo Derby."

JL: "Who was fun to race with on the 8?"

BG: "Junior Reeder, Tommy Darrow, Lee Stogsdill. Now those guys, you beat them and you're doing good. But, you can't be afraid of anyone, y'know? You don't have any fear or you wouldn't be out there."

JL: "I've seen you crawl from some horrific wrecks...."

BG: "I don't want to talk about those."

JL: "No?"

BG: "My ball joint busted once, and the tire went down and the A frame caught the pavement. I flipped six and a half times down the straight. I got battery acid in my eyes when it was upside down. I cracked some ribs, cracked my elbow, my hand and my knee and my foot got crushed. I really got hurt that night."

JL: "But you guys were tough, you probably had a car out there the very next week."

BG: "Oh yeah, never missed. I got four years of perfect attendance awards."

JL: "After a great career for many years at Englewood, you just sort of gave it up mid-season '74 and never looked back. Do you miss it at all?"

BG: "No, not really."

JL: "You really don't miss it?"

BG: "No!"

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Last edited by Jerry Lee; 05-07-2009 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview

(Photo by Mel Keller, Jerry Lee McGuire collection)
“The Skunk looks pretty cool in his wrap around sunglasses in this 1970 shot.”
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(Track Shack photo, Jerry Lee McGuire collection)
“Here’s just one of Skunkie’s Figure Eighters from 1974. Not long after this was taken,
Bennie Garcia gave up Figure 8 racing for good.”
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview

The Skunk was one of my favorites... I had the pleasure of talking to him about a year ago at a car show... Man I miss those Fig 8 nights at Englewood



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Old 01-29-2010, 11:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview


(J.L. McGuire collection) Benny ‘Skunkie’ Garcia and his Demo Derby entry “Ma Skunk” the
day after he won a clean sweep in three different divisions in 1972.




(J.L. McGuire collection) One of the last cars The Skunk ran in 1974 was this diagonal
Black & White painted ’54 Ford.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview


(J.L. McGuire collection) Skunkie's Eighter from 1971.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Greg Higgins #1 and the Skunk battle for the lead as
they are about to take the lapped car of Tex Daniels #53 three wide through the X
in 1972.




(J.L. McGuire collection/Colage by Dale Moore) From July 26, 1997 issue
of X-Shot magazine. How many times can you spot the name "Skunkie"?

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 01-11-2012 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview

Wow, this is a great thread. Skunkie's description of his injuries was brutal. Ouch!
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview

I heard a rumor that one night my dad had wrecked his car and was taken to the hospital, or so they say. Seems as my mom arrived she found the skunk lying there. Come to find out my dad had borrowed another car and was racing, anybody know this to be true and whos car he was in?



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Old 01-10-2012, 10:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview

Man, that's a funny story Bobby. Your poor Mom! I'm glad that both BJ and The Skunk weren't hurt too bad to come back and race another day. Both are legendary!
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: BENNIE 'Skunkie' GARCIA - The Two Minute Interview

Yes, I have heard quite a few, "Funny stories" over the years....



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