From the Staging Lanes | Mar '08

BY: ISAAC DEHAAN

 Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, its racing season!!! What a great time of year it is to not only be a racer, but a race fan in person or on TV. There is racing everywhere. You can catch all kinds of racing almost every night on some channel. You can catch some good racing, and I’m not talking about that non-racing drifting crap either!!!  NHRA, NASCAR, World of Outlaws, USAC sprint cars, World of Outlaws Late Models, you name it. There are lots of racing series that have started or will start shortly. How blessed are we to have all these racing choices out there to choose from??

This also brings me to another topic, the greater good. Have you ever heard that phrase, “for the greater good”? Do you ever wonder what it means? I looked it up, and it means “doing things for the benefit of a large group or more than a single person”. You may be wondering what that has to do with sand drag racing. I’ll tell you, it is this, sometimes there maybe things that happen, such as rules, entry fees, procedures, that may not benefit you personally, as a racer, but overall for the track and the sport it will be a better situation. Examples: You may like having an 8 car field of a certain class at a particular entry fee, but if the track or sanctioning body is not making money while offering a good payout; something will have to change for the track’s bottom line, whether it be bigger field of cars, higher entry fee, or smaller payout. I don’t know any racer that would not jump at the chance to race for low entry fees for 100% payback, but it would not take long and we would not have anywhere to race because the tracks would be going under. In these increasingly gloomier economic times, tracks and sanctioning bodies alike have to watch their bottom lines more carefully. I would love to have a class for ’78-79 Broncos but its just not feasible, mostly because at most there are 2-3 of us Bronco guys at a race and a class with 2-3 bracket cars makes absolutely no sense what so ever. I would encourage everyone before they start dispensing advice about what should be done and what needs to change to really consider who do the changes benefit, individuals or a larger group?? I’d say if the number of people is less than 5, it doesn’t fall under the “greater good” definition. If that is the case, maybe it’s an issue that doesn’t need to be addressed at this time.

While we are on this sort of subject, I’d like to air out another thing I’ve seen lately too. Blaming track staff for round losses doesn’t help anybody, and really only makes you look bad. Now I’m not talking about bad grades or something like that, I’m talking about the notion that staff go out of their way to favor one racer over another in an elimination scenario. I take great personal pride in the fact I can say, I ask no quarter and I give none. I would challenge anyone reading this to contact me with a situation where I gave preference to one racer over another. As a racer, I would not want any help from an official to win a round because that is not a round I would have earned myself. If there is something blatant and against the rules that has happened that is definitely a situation that needs to be corrected, but if nothing illegal or intentional can be proven it’s time to move on. That can be the toughest thing, but in the end we all come to race, we all like to win, but if it’s at the expense of having a good time would it really be worth it? My son loves going racing, not because of the money he might win (there are no payouts for the Jr. Classes) but because he gets to see his friends and his poppa and grandma might come to watch him. I guess what I am trying to say is check yourself every once in a while, remember why you are racing, and re evaluate if necessary.

I’ll close this month with this, there is some great racing coming up this spring and summer: Primm in the middle of April, the Pro Truck Nationals at WMSD this July, a VW-only race at Union County Speedway in IN, Gravlerama in August, and many more. If the racing has not started near you yet, just wait its right around the corner. Until next time, See you in the staging lanes!!!

Isaac DeHaan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


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