TO EACH HIS OWN – 3/6/19

I think I’ve mentioned this a couple of weeks ago; actually mentioned a lot of things, most of which I can’t remember (but I guess the truth is that sometimes I’m not sure what I ate yesterday, let alone what I wrote years ago). Nonetheless, there are some who might question the somewhat dissolving car culture in this country. I haven’t been back to a high school since my daughter graduated years ago, but when I was in school the student parking lot always seemed to break out into a mini drag strip. There were all sorts of pseudo fast cars. Not me though. I drove my parents ’69 Plymouth before I got my first car, a ’68 Chevelle which I eventually turned into my first race car. But that didn’t stop me from furthering my love of cars and there were more black burnout marks on the student parking lot pavement than at some drag strips.

I don’t think I’ve seen that sort of thing lately; at least at the high school I pass on an almost daily basis near my home. The student parking lot there sits near the street so you get a look at the type cars which kids are driving today. Oh, there’s a fair share of pick-up trucks but it’s also filled with four door sedans which no doubt are thought of merely as transportation, a necessary evil to just get a person from Point A to Point B and nowhere else. But that doesn’t really mean that car culture is really dying, not when you have guys like a Cleetus McFarland (who?) scoring hundreds of thousands of You Tube followers with his videos of drag racing and just merely working on cars. (Okay, so Cleetus… real name Garrett Mitchell… look him up on You Tube for yourself.) Then we still have the Street Outlaws who have taken reality television and returned it to us car guys, giving us a break from the many other… can I say worthless (at least to me) probably thousands of other reality shows on the hundreds of television channels we all demand today. What about other car shows like Overhauling, West Coast Customs, Fast N Loud and others?

And while the car culture might be waning, it’s not going away entirely and that’s good news for all of us in our sport and the industry it has built over the years. I know that one of the problems associated with this is the thousands of other things kids have to spend their money on today. I can’t even imagine how hard it is today for our youth to afford the necessary things, let alone have any money left over to buy car parts. I don’t have an answer to all of this, but I’m glad it’s still hanging around.

Maybe part of the reasoning we think the world is ending when it comes to cars is that we get holed up in only one part of our sport. I know for me, somewhat of my concentration follows the sportsman or bracket racing world. But there is so much more out there when we open our eyes and our minds. There’s a big world out there, drag racing included. I get a little excited when I see things such as Cleetus. Maybe some of his things, or for that matter some of the things on Street Outlaws, Overhauling, etc.; don’t interest me, but they’re a part of the car culture which isn’t really going away. To each his own.

Last month the K&N Spring Fling at Galot Motorsports Park sold out its allotment of 385 pre-entries in a little over seven minutes. Today, the Sparco Fling 500k presented by Optima Batteries with it’s $500,000 to the winner event opened up to pre-entries at noon time. With its maybe pricey $1,850 entry fee, the consensus around here was that it would take quite a bit longer to fill all of its 385 entries. I haven’t gotten any official word yet, but I guess it shows you what we know. Maybe call it the power of co-promoters Peter Biondo and Kyle Seipel, but in an era where we’re seeing entries drop at certain NHRA national events due in part to a variety of reasons; all 385 entries at the 500K were gone in less than ten minutes! Excuse me for somewhat plagiarizing that often-spoken comment, but, “Build it with quality, and they will come!”