For 13 seasons Larry Nance made a living scoring points and grabbing rebounds in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but most of his hoops fans had no idea of Nance’s need for speed. While Nance was making moves on the court he was also spending as much time as he could at the dragstrip with his Catch 22 line of cars. Many years after he left the court and, later, drag racing, he has now brought his original 1967 Pro Modified Camaro back out with an updated powerplant and a large F3-136 ProCharger.
Racing is something that Nance always had an appreciation for, thanks to his father. Growing up around cars makes a big impression on you, and racing plays right into something Nance craves: competition.
“My father was a mechanic and a truck driver so I’ve been around racing my entire life. When I was playing out in Phoenix I purchased a Camaro and the rest is history. I love everything about the sport — I love coming to the races, I love hanging out with all the people and I love working on the car. It’s fun to try and see how fast we can make the car go….I’m all about competition,” Nance says.
The Camaro that wears Nance’s Catch 22 theme is driven by Pat Moore and was the first Pro Modified Camaro that came out of chassis builder Don Ness’ shop. Powering the car is a 481X that Larry Morgan recently freshened up, using mostly Alan Johnson Performance Engineering parts. Nance brought on Patrick Barnhill from PTP to tune the car and ensure the big ProCharger provides plenty of boost.
“We first had this car built by Don Ness back in 1990 and raced it in Pro Mod against people like Scotty Cannon and other top racers. This car was the first one that came out of the mold, so it’s the great grandfather to a lot of cars. It has always been my baby and when I got the chance to buy it back I jumped on it. It still can run with some of the newer cars — not all of them, but I still think it can hold its own, and that makes me proud,” Nance explains.
Nance is more than just a car owner — he’s very hands-on with the Camaro. It’s not uncommon to see him right in the middle of any work that needs to be done to the car at the track.
“I keep the car at my house and work on it during the week. It’s fun to tinker with it and to get it ready for each race. My team always double checks everything I do and we function well that way. It’s a blessing to have such a great team that helps make all of this happen. We really work well together. I’m very proud of my driver, Pat Moore — he drove the car originally for me when I first got it and when I got it back I couldn’t think of anybody else to put in the seat. I also can’t say enough about Patrick and how great a job he’s done tuning the car,” Nance says.
Now that Nance has the Catch 22 Camaro back in fighting shape he plans on racing as much as he can with the help of his sponsors and team.
“ProCharger has been huge in helping our program. And Legacy Motors, they make this happen — they have given me a lot of assistance in getting the car to the track. I also can’t thank my team enough, they all do such a great job in helping with the car and they make this so much fun.”
Larry Nance shows us all that we need to remember what drag racing is all about: having fun. Winning may be important to Nance but you’ll rarely see him at the track without that 1,000-watt smile on display and enjoying everything with his team.