Pine Island man shares stories of hot rod racing - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Pine Island man shares stories of hot rod racing


PINE ISLAND, Minn. (KTTC) -- Cyril "Cy" Kubista began drag racing in the late 1950's.  Nowadays, Kubista can be seen driving around Pine Island in his Ford Flex -- a far cry from the set of wheels he used to drive when he began his racing career in 1957.

"You didn't have that much rubber to the ground," said Kubista.  "The wider the slick, the softer the compound, the better you could get a hold of the ground to come out of the hole."

Kubista competed at the National Hot Rod Association race in 1959.  The same year he set a record at Minnesota Drag Ways for breaking 111-miles-per-hour.

"It's a heck of a feeling especially when you beat 'em," Kubista said.

Kubista knows the feeling well.  He competed in hundreds of races from 1957 to 1964, racking up trophies along the way.  His 1940 Model-T Ford was his pride and joy.  He built it from scratch and it set him back $8,000.  But it was worth it - it won him the ISCA National Championship in 1968.

"There were very few cars that had a lot of money to spend on...back then everybody was running on a shoestrings," said Kubista.

Eventually, Kubista traded in his racing gear to teach auto-mechanics at the Department of Corrections, but he never shied away from sharing his stories of the cars he drove and the people he met.

"That's what I value, more than anything," said Kubista.  "I met a lot of good people."

Kubista is so well known in the local hot-rod community that this year the Rod Benders Car Club named an award after him.  The Cy Kubista Award will be presented to an accomplished driver at each Marigold Days Car Show.

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