Can we rebuild the Drag Racing Culture?

Well, it is time that all seven of you who read this column wait for every month -- the latest version of Getting Nostalgic.

However, I would be remiss, since this is a column about nostalgia drag racing if I did not take the time to congratulate “Hollywood” Kris Krabill on his second Nostalgia Funny Car World Championship. He clinched the title with his win at the rain-delayed event in Salt Lake City. Right after the race Krabill rushed home to Seattle for a more pressing matter.

He was there with his wife Natalie, who gave birth to their baby daughter, Kinslee Paige Krabill, on August 31 in Seattle. She is beautiful baby and looks just like Natalie. (Thank God.)

Best wishes to the Krabill and Peck families on this wonderful occasion.

Can we rebuild the Drag Racing Culture?

Since I have had the honor of writing this column for the past however many years it has been, occasionally “Uncle Jeff” allows me to wander off the reservation so to speak, and lets me venture into some diverse subjects. This month is one of those times.

The subject matter is something that I have done research on and have knowledge of, and just think that it is important and might help the sport of drag racing that we all know and love so much. Two or three of the seven of you who read my column, might just think it’s a pile of feldercarb (yes, that is a Battlestar Galactica reference). Nevertheless, there is merit and substance to this column.

So what could this subject be, pray tell?

This month’s subject is on culture.

Not like listening to Shostakovich or Tchaikovsky, or going to see Madam Butterfly at the Met.

I am talking about culture as it relates to the human experience. How we as humans interact with one another on a common based theme? Culture: “Cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.“

Motorsports is its own culture with its own language, and we who live, work, eat and breath motorsports are a part of that culture. Having a strong culture is paramount to having a successful culture. A culture that continues even in tough times to work through and see the other side of a difficult issue; it is also called strength in numbers.

Therefore, why in the Sam Hill am I bringing this up? The reason is clear to me. As I stated, motorsports as a whole has a very strong culture. Within this larger culture, there are subcultures. In motorsports that would equate to NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar, and, of course, drag racing.

Strong cultures and subcultures, like anything else have very strong nuclei, which hold them together.

For example, let us look at the NASCAR culture. At the upper echelons of the sport, NASCAR has a strong nucleus and a strong culture, all based in what could be called the birthplace of the sport of NASCAR in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Wilkes County is north of the capital city, Charlotte. Many feel Wilkes County is in essence the Mecca for stock car racing.

Between Wilkes County and Charlotte, towns like Kannapolis, Mooresville, Statesville, Hickory, and Concord all host numerous NASCAR shops throughout these towns.

In addition, since all these teams are based there, this draws many others in the sport to this cultural center. Venders, subcontractors, automotive factory representatives all live work and reside in the nucleus of NASCAR. If you want to do or be something in the world of NASCAR you have just one place to go.