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When I sat down a few days ago to write this month’s column, I had a theme in mind, but as I continued to write, I saw something start to emerge that I really did not care for. I found myself drifting towards negativity. For some reason I did not care for it. So I went with a different topic and once again I was heading back towards the negative. I was very disappointed with that effort as well, so I sat down last night, had a nice cold glass of apple-pie moonshine (straight from North Carolina), and thought about some things. I realized just how easy it is to point out flaws in something, or to point out things in a system you don’t agree with. In addition, I thought back to one of my best friends in the whole world, a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army. Nick has served this country for twenty-five years, serving seven tours in Vietnam. He was a no-nonsense kind of person.
He would tell me it was "easy to find fault with people and things, but if you don’t have a good solution to rectify those faults then you’re not helping, you’re just part of the problem. So, instead of finding fault or flaw, look for something positive to work with and you will get a much better result.”
If someone can survive twenty-five years in the Army, let alone seven tours in Vietnam, and still have that attitude, it might just help here. Which leads me to this morning and what I want to write about.
There is something that I realized about nostalgia racers, whether it is racing fuel cars, alcohol, or gassers. These people have a passion for drag racing and a passion for keeping the past alive, for the younger generation to learn about those who came before them and break the trail for the rest of us to follow.
Another simply fantastic thing about nostalgia racing is that it is a mix of different generations, and a mix of families who race together and work together to pull in the one direction that allows them to have fun, and put on a show for those fans who are also passionate about seeing the old school type of drag racing.
For those of us who love drag racing have something very special in the nostalgia drag racing. No other form of motorsport actively relives its past as we in drag racing do. There is nothing like it in NASCAR or IZOD IndyCar. You have to visit a museum to see the past in those forms of racing, while drag racing relives it on a constant basis. That is what makes this so special.
I may use this word far too often, however it is true, the one thing that seems to run rampant through the teams, the pits, and the fans is passion. The competitors are not doing this to get rich by any stretch of the imagination. They do it for the love of the sport, and the love of how it was done in the past.
I could be going out on a limb here, but I would have to say the reason you see some of the Big Show stars at some of these nostalgia events is because it takes them away from the corporate pressure packed situation that the Big Show has become, and allows them to come back and race for the real reason they got involved in the sport in the first place: the passion.
The other thing that strikes me is how many families are involved in nostalgia racing. Seeing families involved with the operation and making it happen. It’s not just dad and sons working on the car. Trust me, I have seen my share of daughters with a wrench in hand doing the clutch or working on cylinder heads, diving. Moms are not just relegated to making lunch, they are in there getting their hands dirty too. And to me that is what makes this portion of drag racing so special: it is something families do together.
As we have just celebrated our 236th birthday as a nation, I would like to lift a glass to celebrate all those people who have the passion for nostalgia drag racing. Thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for keeping the past alive in the sport that so many of us love.