WITHDRAWAL

This week somewhat marks the beginning of the drag racing season… sort of.

There have already been two Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisionals along with a couple of big time bracket races. Last weekend also marked Lights Out 12 in Georgia which is a huge gathering of the radial tire guys. This weekend is the World Doorslammer Nationals where Pro Mod and Pro Stock teams go into battle at Orlando Speed World for big bucks, more than they’d ever win running national events.

But this week is the first step on the east coast opening of NHRA national events, the Gatornationals, with this week being the highly regarded Baby Gators, held the week prior to the Gatornationals. I’m not sure I really like that name; the Baby Gators; but it has found quite a following. With all the goings on at the Gatornationals, Stock and Super Stock racers will run their Gatornationals class eliminations at the Baby Gators, along with divisional eliminations for all the other sportsman classes.

March will also bring in a big bracket race at the GALOT Motorsports Park as well as the NMRA season opener in Florida. So here’s the point: Racing is going to happen! And that’s good news! I know I can’t wait.

I’ve been home far too long. November of last year; the Vegas Nationals; was the last time I was at a race. If I’m counting right, that’s 17 weeks ago! That’s the longest period I’ve been home in a long time and I’m getting a divorce from my wife… just kidding. That however set a new record for me, at least in the new millennium. After last year’s Gatornationals, I was home for eight weeks straight before going to the GALOT Spring Fling in May.

Now I certainly don’t want to make staying home sound depressing. Obviously, I get to enjoy it with my wife and there is always a myriad of work to be done in our shop and in our home. But for us living in the northeast corner of the country, it also involves having to deal with the cold and snow; and boy did we ever get snow this winter. We inherited a new snowblower some five years ago and this was actually the first year I had to put gas in it, if that tells you how much we have had to use it over the last five years. So back to being home…

According to the internet (so you know it has to be true) withdrawal is the combination of physical and mental effects that a person experiences after they stop using or reduce their intake of a substance such as alcohol and prescription or recreational drugs. That’s got to also be what happens when you don’t go drag racing.

When drag racing came to a screaming halt almost a year ago, race cars sat in their trailers or garages while racers lamented about wanting to go out and race. When things began to open up in May, the races were packed with participants. Guys… and gals… just couldn’t wait to get back out there and run. Withdrawal. They must have all needed “the fix.”

And that’s exactly what’s going to happen this year. I’m not sure the excitement to go racing has ever been as so great. I spoke about this last year, but I don’t get the chance to get behind the wheel as much as I’d like for a variety of reasons. But towards the end of the year, I took one of our dragsters out to basically test a new trans and converter. I got to say, a couple of 7.30 passes did wonders, as I’m sure a trip at any speed down any quarter or eighth-mile will do. Did it cure COVID? No. I never got that dreaded disease so far, thank God. But maybe some fast passes might be as good as any vaccine, obviously I say that in jest. Certainly, there’s no science to back that up, but anyone who’s made a hit down the track might agree, or at least want to believe it… I think.

Withdrawal, that can be a pretty powerful thing. Of course, I’m not downplaying the withdrawal people have over substance abuse. I’m just trying to lighten up the mood. There are a lot of problems in our world today. But anyone who has made runs down a drag strip can surely attest to the escape from those issues even for those few seconds of acceleration. It does make a difference. What do you think?