Dead On – Cruisin’ into the New Year — are you ready?
Cruisin’ into the New Year - Are You Ready?
This is normally the “silly season” for all sorts of sports, drag racing included. Rumors, facts, “I heard this” or “I heard that” are all over the Internet in forums, websites and in online magazines. I think it is a great time to think about your own plans for the New Year. For me it always seems I have my own “silly season.”
I sit back, look at NHRA and IHRA schedules for points meets, national events and tell myself “this is the year” I am going to travel to as many as I can and see how I stack up against that type of competition. Yeah, right! Then reality shows its face and actually I think it is much smarter.
Why should I travel all over the country running at races that pay less than my local drag strip and charge twice as much to enter the events? I have won a few divisional events, a national event and several big-bucks bracket races. To be 100% honest, I think beating the bracket racers were the most satisfying wins. At the bracket races it doesn’t seem to matter if you brought a couple of $100,000 cars and semi truck converted to a motor home, you better not forget to bring your A-Game, though, or you are headed home early.
I have won divisional races with terrible strings of reaction times and off the dial-in ETs and the national event win included some of the goofiest runs I ever made in Super Comp.
I think what is happening is a lot of racers deciding to run the divisional races and maybe a couple national events. They are looking at it as a fun experience and aren’t used to the drawn out schedules, track prep, parking, tech hassles, etc. What happens is they get out of their “comfort zone” and are not as competitive as they are at local races.
I think that is why some racers have dominated sportsman ranks in recent years. They make the financial decision to go to the races, get used to the different situations and to some degree, and hold an advantage over the “part-time” divisional and national event racers. Are they better racers? I don’t think so, I think they are used to time trials one day, eliminations the next day, a run every five or six hours, and then the last three rounds in one hour. It takes practice to be good at that, no doubt about it.
I hold the guys who have multiple national titles under their belts high on my list of good racers. Guys like Dan Fletcher, Peter Biondo, Luke Bogacki, David Rampy, and many more. What I don’t see any more are these guys trying their hand at the Big Bucks bracket races. Why? They hold NO ADVANTAGE.
Seems several of them are now becoming race promoters. They have the contacts in the industry for sponsors, they have the knowledge of how a race should be run and what the racers need to have a great time. I think they have become some of the best race promoters in the industry. Why? They can focus on the one race event and make sure it works!
If you get a chance to go to one of the races put on by Scotty Richardson, Peter Biondo, Michael Beard, Luke Bogacki, Kyle Seipel and others, do it! I have heard nobody who thought those races were weak or disorganized. I want to thank the professional sportsman racers who are building a series of events that I hope continue to grow and promote the growth of bracket racing.