A busy month for a lot of racers ...

And Are Test and Tunes the
future of our sport?

knew I had to sit down and do this column, but with so many things to do, I just couldn’t get to it. Then I was looking at local track schedules and chased around on the Internet for a while and I DID NOT like what I was finding.

I noticed there was as much, if not more excitement surrounding Test and Tunes and Street Legal Drags as there was about “real drag racing”. Maybe this is where I have a problem. To me, now this is just my opinion, Street Legal Drags, Test and Tune events basically suck. Most participants never come back for regular races and never really hone their skills at the “sport of drag racing”. Of course it is their choice to do it but it could spell the end of the so-called “regular Bracket Racing Event” that we have become accustomed to.

Track owners love these types of events. Lots of cars enter and a lot of people come to watch. They flat-out make money with little or no overhead and no complaints from participants about traction, roll-out, burn-out box being too wet, not being wet enough, why did that guy get the bye-run, etc. These events are the “new survival medicine” for more tracks than we might want to admit. I guess what bothers me about it is these racers do really get technical about the competition. They focus in one the performance or appearance. It is a new breed and they are out there in big numbers, a track would be a fool to overlook this cash cow.

I have stayed hooked to drag racing for so long because of one thing – competition. I like lining up against someone, seeing who was best that run and win or lose, try to get over and shake his or her hand and hope we get to do it again real soon. Of course the building, the technical stuff is fun, but it is the competition that has always been the attraction to me. Electronics or no electronics I don’t care anymore. I have a car for both classes and enjoy the heck out of both as long as I am racing. Time trials are a waste of fuel for me but are a necessary thing to appease the masses.

The busiest time of the year:

When I owned and managed drag strips I always found that April was the busiest and most hectic month of the year. Now that I have to get two race cars prepped, a trailer ready, and the motor home ready, I think it has gotten even busier! I really thought it might be more relaxing without the drag strips to worry about, guess not.

I know a lot of you that read this column actually race and can relate to getting race cars ready, trailers, spare parts, etc. If you don’t race but would like to do so … be ready to spend a lot of time away from the TV screen and the local tavern. It is a hell of a lot easier to talk about going racing than it is to actually do it, believe me. I know when I get an e-mail if the person writing it races or not because if I get it in April or May, he or she is likely not a “real racer” as we don’t have time for much else but racing and family.

The COSTS are crazy!!!

Well that’s enough about the time it takes. Now how about some opinions on the COST to go racing …WOW! I just filled the tank in the motor home and it cost $176.00. Now remind me why I was complaining this winter because the local track raised their entry fees $5.00! They are dumping $1.81 regular into the mowers, weed-eaters and track blowers. I am putting $7.50 per gallon race gas in my dragster.

**Another interesting note here is I bitched about the cost of fuel and entry fees but I still spend $1.49 for 16 ounces of bottled water. That nets out to about $11.92 per gallon! Then there is Mountain Dew, Beer and other liquid items that make fuel seem cheap. Okay, my wife has been right for the last 30 years – “there is something inherently wrong with drag racer’s math.” I guess she was right.

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