From the Staging Lanes | September '07

 BY: ISAAC DEHAAN

What “drives” you??

Think about it, what is it that “drives” you at the race track? Is it the thrill of winning a round? Is it getting a check at the end of the night? Is it a time to relax amid the chaos that is your day to day life? Is it an adrenaline rush just going down the track? Is it the honor and prestige of winning a certain event and the recognition that comes with it? Is it something that no matter how you try to describe it to someone that has never made a pass down the drag strip, you find while every adjective seems to apply, no one word can really describe how it feels?

Is it the MONEY?? It’s possible, I mean, come on, everybody likes cashing that check Monday at the bank and getting to describe to the teller what it’s for. Earlier this summer about 150 cars from all around the Midwest came to Union County Speedway for a chance at a $10,000 payout over two days of racing. You can bet your bottom dollar that for some people there, it was all about the money, period.

Is it the RECOGNITION? In July, 180 racers from all over the country filled up WMSD for the U.S. Sand Nationals, the longest running event at WMSD. Most regulars at WMSD will tell you, much like the NHRA US Nationals, winning at the US Sand Nationals can make your season, no matter how bad the rest of it is. Being able to list a class win there on your season recap looks impressive to sponsors just in name alone.

Is it for the WINNING? The last weekend in August, 220 entries from across the country gathered in Cleves, OH for Gravelrama 37. That might not seem like a lot, until you factor in that there are no payouts, no checks, no money at all at Gravelrama, only trophies. Cars that don’t see the natural light of the sun for 360 days out of the year, will do so for 5 days at Gravelrama, it means that much to people. 

S
o which is correct? What’s more important? I think it’s a blend of all, rolled into one. I think we would all agree, getting a check is nice, but once it’s cashed, the money spent, is it all that important? Trophies are nice, until they fall down and get nicked up or broken or while moving they don’t stack or fit into a box nicely and you realize how dusty some are getting. Recognition is great too, until the newspaper results article is faded and old on the refrigerator or bulletin board in the trailer, or you tell someone you won somewhere and they say “What’s that?” I think for each of us, its little bits of each one, rolled together in each round that moves us with the desire to beat our opponent in the other lane. It’s that competitive spirit in us all that makes us racers, the chance to prove to ourselves, our friends, maybe the world that we can be the best on any given day. There are times when we are the best and then, as any racer will tell you, there are days when you get to a point and wonder how did I make it this far, anyway? It’s what makes racing great and we love it, don’t we??

This month I thought I would highlight what I thought was a great sponsor promotion that happened at WMSD over Labor Day weekend. Golden Sands Golf Course gave away a free round of golf and a can cooler to the best reaction time, win or lose, in the first 2 rounds of eliminations of each of the adult classes that night. That is 9 FREE rounds of golf given away in one night. It’s a great promotion. Every racer has a chance at it, twice no less, and it’s great for the course as well. They get a lot of exposure and who goes golfing alone anyway? For every free round, the odds that the winner will bring someone with them are almost 100%. It was great to see a WIN WIN situation for both the racer and the sponsor.  Hopefully this type of sponsor arrangement will continue to happen and expand. 

On another note, it was great to see a young man, Corey Hamlin, give his round of golf and can cooler to Rich Wood. Corey said Rich had gotten him some great deals on parts for his ATV.  Even when Rich could have made some extra cash bumping the price, he passed a good deal along to Corey and that’s why Corey wanted his golf to go to Rich. Great to see racers helping out other racers, and this speaks very highly of Corey’s character. Mom and Dad, you should be proud!!! That’s all for this month, there is good racing left out there, go get you some!!  Until next time, (and you never know where!!!!) I’ll 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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