THE BACKBONE OF THE SPORT

I happened to watch Fox News last week when they interviewed John Ratzenberger, Cliff from the old Cheers television show. Today, he’s working with a group to target American made products. But that wasn’t what I took from the interview. Instead he made a comment when the talk of learning the trades in our country came up. What he said was; and I paraphrase it somewhat, “If actors or television shows were to cease, of course there would be some out of work and some hardships but life would go on. Should all the carpenters, plumbers, truck drivers, etc., stop working, the world would essentially stop.”

We might possibly have the same in regards to drag racing when we tend to dismiss the backbone of the sport. I’ve said this before that drag racing has taken on a life of its own. If the “big show,” NHRA, were to cease, you’d still have drag racing. However, if the local bracket, heads-up, no-prep, whatever, racers to stop racing, drag racing would stop. That’s how important the backbone of our sport is.

Okay, off that soapbox now. I haven’t been away to a race since the Fourth of July when I covered the World Footbrake Challenge in Bristol. Like a lot of other big dollar bracket races, this one had a record crowd and some pretty surprising results, definitely not your normal winners showing up there. Suffice it to say that having a heart attack might have given two of the big winners there an advantage. Probably not but it was great to see old age and a little bit of treachery win out. We’ll have a feature on that race in the November print issue of Drag Racing Edge. Hopefully you’ll get to re-live the event and experience what that race is all about.

Yeah, I’ve been to two nostalgia races since then but they were local so it wasn’t much of a trip. Seems like Summer time has been like that for a couple of years now. There are races to go to, but I don’t necessarily have to go to them so it gives me some time home to work in the shop and around the house. Oh yeah, that’s real fun; cutting grass. No!

Anyway, next week that all changes with Indy coming up. The U.S. Nationals, the Big Go, whatever you want to call it. While I’ve been pretty vocal about cutting back sportsman from some national events, Indy should ALWAYS remain Indy. It’s a week-long affair. It’s our speed week, and should always remain that way. There are probably guys parked outside the gates now waiting to get in and get a good pit spot.

Following Indy, we have the completion of the Norwalk national event for sportsman slated to be run on Thursday and completed on Friday. I gotta say, it seems like a pretty weird schedule but it’ll be interesting as to how it all transpires.

Like I mentioned earlier, I haven’t really been traveling that much the last couple month or so. Earlier this year I was out on the road for three weeks straight without going home. After about the second week, I just wanted home. Then I get home for a week and it’s like, “I gotta get the h-ll outta here.” LOL. Well, gonna get my chance next week and I’m thinking in about a week after that I’ll be wanting to go home.

Not much else to say this week but I hope to see some of you next week in Indy. I know there are a number of other races going on that weekend and I hope all of them go over well. Talk at you from Indy! -JOHN DiBARTOLOMEO