VOLUME XX, NUMBER 3 - MARCH, 2018
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
DRAGRACINGOnline owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.
Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor, Jok Nicholson
Motorcycle Editor, Tom McCarthy
Nostalgia Editor, Brian Losness
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
Australian Correspondent, Jon Van Daal
European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
Poet Laureate, Bob Fisher
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Contributing Photographers - Donna Bistran, Steven Bunker, PamConrad, Adam Cranmer, James Drew, Don Eckert, Steve Embling, Mike Garland, Joel Gelfand, Steve Gruenwald, Chris Haverly, Rose Hughes, Bob Johnson, Bret Kepner, "Bad" Brad Klaassen, Jon LeMoine, Eddie Maloney, Tim Marshall, Matt Mothershed, Richard Muir, Joe McHugh, Dennis Mothershed, Ivan Sansom, Paul Schmitz, Dave Stoltz, Jon Van Daal
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Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
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Racing Net Source LLC
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
COO Kay Burk
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Contact: Casey Araiza
Ladders set for Moser Sportsman ...
The NHRA South Central Division Moser Sportsman Shootout is set to take place ...
Austin Prock takes Funny Car for ...
Austin Prock, son of JFR crew chief Jimmy Prock, got some advice from John ...
‘Tar heels’ lead PDRA winners
Competitors from the Tar Heel State nearly swept the Professional Drag ...
Five more teams qualify for HROT ...
The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge’s fourth event of the season ...
Muscle Cars at the Strip go ...
If you don’t get enough action with muscle cars dragging down The Strip at ...
‘Mopars at the Rock’ winners ...
Charles Terrell of Kernersville, NC, took out defending champion Vick Helms ...
Lucas Drag Boats begin season at ...
The Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series will begin the 2018 season with the Battle in ...
Mandella Jr. takes National Open win ...
Phil Mandella Jr. took the Stock/Super Stock win at the NHRA Pacific National ...
ET DRAG RACING
The Nitro Joint w / "Chicago Jon" Hoffman
Spring is in the air, and while racing is under way in the south and on the left coast, here in the Midwest, we are still a month away. How DOES one beat those winter blues and get a race car fix? Not to fear because we have, once again, the Race & Performance Expo taking center stage at the Renaissance Schaumburg (IL) Convention Center. The event turned eleven this year and we found it to be "one louder", no, wait, that's SPINAL TAP!
This year’s event, again sponsored by the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow was bigger and better than ever. Tom Stockenburg and his team really out-did themselves this year, as things were truly amazing. But there was one thing I circled on the day’s agenda from the get-go, and that was to attend the Car Chix seminar, starting at 9 a.m.
A few things about racing seminars. They are free, informative, and fun, but I am routinely out of my element at these deals. The first time I ever did something like this was at the 1979 running of the US Nationals. Back then, I was sleeping in the parking lots of the Holiday Inn closest to the track (yeah, I'm that cheap) and that year, when I wasn't stealing ice from their machine, I crashed a cam seminar hosted by none other than Harvey Crane. Checking my journal notes from that night, I discovered that I "didn't understand a damn thing he said" but had a good time because "there were free sodas, horse-divers, and magazines, and I 'boged' a lot of each". (aah, simpler times)
Car Chix has been on my radar for some time now, via their usual appearances at the Byron spring races, and being a virtual fixture at Great Lakes Dragway. One of my old 'Friends of Broadway Bob' brethren, none other than "Nitromethane Mary" has shared some cool stories about them over the years, the best of which was a day at Cordova Dragway Park. 'Nitro Mary' single-handedly took over a Breast Cancer Fundraiser and turned it into a "vaudevillian exercise" that had wheel standing legend Richard Hutchins blushing like a little kid! (saying 'care to autograph these fuel-containers' will not generate as much attention as "Who wants to sign my JUGS"?!)
So, off to the upper level of the vast Renaissance center in search of conference room number...and this one killed me. They do not number the rooms, they have names. Goofy, modern-era, touchy-FEELIE names! You can't get away with calling them 'A', 'B', or whatever, it has to be 'Prosperity Room', or 'Nirvana Room' (which I feared could be full of coffeehouse slackers, wearing flannel shirts, hating everything) or the, I dunno, "Inner Peace Room". Oh brother. If there has to be elaborate names, can we go a little more mainstream? Hey, it's Illinois, you could have the Lincoln Room, the Heston Room, the Santo Room, the Capone Room (Patrick, not Al). ANYWAY, I get there, and the seminar begins....
Hosted by Jeanette DesJardins, who founded Car Chix in 2009, we have a panel discussion with a diverse array of guests. Marina Anderson, who drives the Anderson Family A/FD based out of Villa Park, IL, was carrying the torch for the quarter-mile drivers this day. Representing Indiana-based Precision Turbo and Engine was the insightful and delightful Heather Dorethy. How vast is Precision’s impact on motorsports? When your clients range from Glenn Hall (snowmobiles) to Poteet & Main (Bonneville) to Brad Ingram (tractor-pulling) to Bruno Massel (NHRA), it is more than a 'broad assumption' that your products cover a lot of turf. (I made that same lame pun during the Q&A session, and as Jeanette was the first to laugh, I consider this to be "sanctioned buffoonery.") Last but not least, representing those who 'turn left' on race day, driver for Ken Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA division, none other than Natalie Decker. You could say that the season started with a bang for Venturini Racing, with Natalie grabbing the pole at Daytona and teammate Mike Self taking the checkers. (in a car sponsored by SINCLAIR! -- winner of the Chicago Jon 'Old-School-COOL Award!)
A lot, and I do mean a LOT of ground is covered in the one hour that Car Chix is allotted to have the 'Tranquility & Fulfillment Room' (or whatever) and subjects ranging from the importance of sponsorship, to the effect of social media, and the critical importance of interacting with the fan base are covered. The session could have continued on for quite some time, but there were a robust agenda of seminars slated for the day, and much like an awards show, the band is ready to fire up and let us know it is time to move along.
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