IS IT THE ECONOMY?

Is it the economy or is there just a renewed interest in bracket racing? Two weekends prior, the SFG race in Michigan drew 600-700 cars. This past weekend’s BTE World Footbrake Challenge at Bristol Dragway set a new record in entries. Earlier this year, both of the K&N Fling events sold out their pre-entries in minutes. So what’s going on?

While a number of guys – and gals – have “moved over” from the NHRA-type sportsman racing, not really a whole lot of them. What it does mean though is that a lot of racers are abandoning the local Saturday-Sunday races to try their hand at winning big. I talked about that last week, so I won’t rehash that comment.

But while we might be seeing – how can I put this – a fading of sorts on the big show; NHRA stage; there’s nothing of the sort happening on so many other levels of the sport. A lot of my colleagues are heavily involved in the big show in various capacities and in reality there are so many debatable reasons as to why things might be the way they are “over there.” But what “they” don’t see are events such as the aforementioned ones where guys are lining up to do what they’re doing to have fun.

Stop me if you’ve heard me speak of this before, but when I attend a big show event, invariable you’ll get a certain number of racers hanging out at night. It seems like when that happens, the talk begins to center around “NHRA sucks.” Can I say that? Why not, it’s my column. Track, tech, pits, parking – you name it, could be anything.

But when you get the same number of racers hanging around at the big bracket events, their “complaints” range anything from “we ran out of propane for the grill,” “no more beer,” or any other little things you could think of. What they’re not “complaining” about is the track, tech, pits, parking… No because they’re out there having fun. Oh sure, there might be some talk of the same “track, tech, pits, parking,” but not a lot.

It’s actually pretty invigorating when I see events such as the above-mentioned ones. It’s sort of like when I drive past a house and see kids outside playing. What is wrong with them? Don’t they have iPhones, computers or whatever the hell else could keep them inside with their heads stuck in a video screen? Maybe they do – I’m betting most do – but they’re outside having fun. And if we can’t have fun, what good is anything?