Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Enjoy The Ride
 Login/Join
 
DRR Trophy
posted
A couple of things about changes and no, I’m not talking about the many changes I’ve had in my life this year, one of which is coming along nicely, feeling better every day, thank God. However, the change I’d like to address are some of the changes in our sport I’ve witnessed; more specifically today on how bracket racing has changed.

Oh, it’s still the same ol’ put a dial on your car and receive or have to give up a handicap to your opponent. In basic terms, that hasn’t changed. But it may just be how it’s all come about.

When I began racing in the ‘70s, I seriously wanted to run a Super Stock car. I ordered all the right engine pieces and began to put together the engine. While doing so, one of the first mentors I’ve had in racing, Rich Halverson, invited me to drive his Chevelle station wagon bracket car. Unbeknownst to me at the time though was that the body of the car was paid for by my not yet future wife Dottie, which is about the time we met.

After a couple of wins with that car in bracket competition, I was hooked and shelved the idea for a Super Stock engine. Bracket racing was fun and required little in the way of finances. Oh, has that ever changed! But it really doesn’t have to.

Naturally, everything in life has gotten more expensive; gas, bills, cars, etc. However, it doesn’t seem as if our incomes have grown along with those expenses. That imbalance is partly to blame for a lot of things. And maybe even growing up as had an effect. But let’s get back to drag racing. And is the age of the computer to blame?

When I started, time slips were mostly hand written pieces of paper that timed your car to a hundred-of-a-second. Maybe they recorded beyond that but you rarely knew if you lost by a thousandth or two. If you ran a slew of 10.23s, you were a happy camper. Today, a 10.231 versus a 10.239 has you scrambling for a problem. Likewise, we didn’t really understand a hole shot win, but we took them nonetheless.

It always intrigues me that we can measure our cars to ten-thousandths-of-a-second when the simple blink of an eye takes as long as approximately two-tenths of a second. Think about that when you look at your next time slip and see that you took .005 at the finish line for the win. One year at Indy on the Super Comp 8.90 index, I had a perfect .000 reaction time, running an 8.913 on the 8.90 index. My opponent? He had a .013 reaction time running a perfect 8.900 on the index. When you factored in the fourth digit beyond the decimal; which typically racers don’t see; I got the win light by .0001! Are you kidding me? Naturally I’ll take the win but just amazed we can measure something that precise. Or can we? (Loaded question.)

We’ve also seen a great increase in prize money paid out at some of these races. Sometimes it seems as if promoters are playing the “see if you can top this” game. Of course, that’s great for the competitors but does the influx of money tend to change the attitude of the racers.

One unnamed track owner suggested to me he didn’t feel as racers were having as much fun as they used to. I don’t know that I truly agree with that but it does bring up a point. Having fun racing can sometimes be lost when a lot of money is put out on the table.

So what’s the real point of this rambling? I don’t really know, other than to point out how some things have changed in our world. But the one thing which shouldn’t is our ability to “enjoy the ride.”
 
Posts: 154 | Location: Beaver Springs, PA | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR S/Pro
Picture of J178RED
posted Hide Post
Great observation, I like the way you put it to paper. We got it enjoy it while we can!


HAVE THEY CALLED US YET ? THEY HAVE!!!
 
Posts: 2694 | Location: OLD NICK OUT ON THE TRACK OR IN THE DESERT | Registered: March 09, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
posted Hide Post
Great article....we are all on the clock and get one ride through....there aren't any do overs....make it count.

Thank you for sharing.


BG
 
Posts: 757 | Location: Florence, SC | Registered: August 25, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by John DiBartolomeo:

After a couple of wins with that car in bracket competition, I was hooked and shelved the idea for a Super Stock engine. Bracket racing was fun and required little in the way of finances. Oh, has that ever changed! But it really doesn’t have to.


Amen. Take care. Tom Worthington


If it seems that bracket racing has gotten too expensive for you, maybe you are just doing it wrong.
 
Posts: 1219 | Location: Rocky Mount, NC | Registered: December 01, 1999Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
posted Hide Post
Nice write up. Several of my racing friends and I have been talking about this same subject lately.
I have been bracket racing since I was 16, I am now 57. I remember when you made 3 time shots and dialed 1 under your fastest pass, you got a time slip about the size of a business card and it was hand written, with a car #, R.T. and an E.T. It was extremely cheap by todays standards and the payout for a weekly bracket race was pretty dang close to what it pays now. The investment now to have a winning combination is crazy, let alone the support equipment and spare parts.
I currently have the best equipment I have ever owned, nice trailer, truck, racecar and spare parts.
I believe that I had more fun when I "had" to win money, so I could pay for, entry fees, parts, fuel, etc. or, work overtime or sell something to purchase those things.
I am very fortunate to have some good sponsors and a good job, so there is not as much pressure to win. I think that has taken some of my drive to win away. I actually like helping other people work on their cars and working on my own equipment to make it better than actually driving.
Those are the reasons that I like the bigger money races, it puts more pressure on me to be more focused, because there is so much more on the line, plus you have so much money invested, you would have to win every weekend at you local Saturday night race just to pay for a motor. I am certainly not a top tier racer but you know how the saying goes even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. Sorry for the long rambling rambling post.
 
Posts: 110 | Location: SO. IL. | Registered: January 18, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
posted Hide Post
Today, a 10.231 versus a 10.239 has you scrambling for a problem.

Really?
 
Posts: 1167 | Location: Elgin,IL | Registered: February 08, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
posted Hide Post
Here I sit in my motor home at Bristol. 80years old! I have made 3 time runs and red lighted every time .014–.012–and .002. Getting close. Car has varried .005 in 3 runs. Win?, I could care less here I am with my friends, all of them. Been racing 64 years and missed very few. I even raced John D in the past and was there when he won the first bracket finals at York. But I was always low profile so no one noticed. I have lived the dream and hope it continues. Thanks to everyone who has spoke or visited today. Especially George Windsor for waking me this Morning. It’s all good
 
Posts: 6175 | Location: everywhere | Registered: March 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



DRR Pro
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ferndaleflyer:
Here I sit in my motor home at Bristol. 80years old! I have made 3 time runs and red lighted every time .014–.012–and .002. Getting close. Car has varried .005 in 3 runs. Win?, I could care less here I am with my friends, all of them. Been racing 64 years and missed very few. I even raced John D in the past and was there when he won the first bracket finals at York. But I was always low profile so no one noticed. I have lived the dream and hope it continues. Thanks to everyone who has spoke or visited today. Especially George Windsor for waking me this Morning. It’s all good


Living the dream, Don. Smile Hope to catch a glimpse of you on youtube. Take care. Tom Worthington


If it seems that bracket racing has gotten too expensive for you, maybe you are just doing it wrong.
 
Posts: 1219 | Location: Rocky Mount, NC | Registered: December 01, 1999Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
posted Hide Post
The cost of drag racing is work - production $$.

Are we as Americans producing more or less?

Less.

Less production - work = Less drag racing.

You reap what you sow.

Keep buying china garbage, eventually there will be no drag racing.
 
Posts: 9398 | Location: Madeira Beach Fl. | Registered: June 12, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
Picture of Eman
posted Hide Post
IHRA started the Sportsman class and many racers are having a lot of fun running 7.50 and slower for a $20 entry fee. Some people still know how to have fun without spending a lot of money.
 
Posts: 1444 | Location: E TN | Registered: February 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
Picture of ChuckT
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by John DiBartolomeo:


We’ve also seen a great increase in prize money paid out at some of these races. Sometimes it seems as if promoters are playing the “see if you can top this” game. Of course, that’s great for the competitors but does the influx of money tend to change the attitude of the racers.

One unnamed track owner suggested to me he didn’t feel as racers were having as much fun as they used to. I don’t know that I truly agree with that but it does bring up a point. Having fun racing can sometimes be lost when a lot of money is put out on the table.

So what’s the real point of this rambling? I don’t really know, other than to point out how some things have changed in our world. But the one thing which shouldn’t is our ability to “enjoy the ride.”


I've noticed that I've let purse pressure affect my "fun level". After 2020, I've decided that will not be my attitude. Of course I want to win, but if going down the track trying to execute, win or lose, isn't fun, then it's time to do something else. I want to be a good footbraker, have no designs on ever using a delay box. I know my budget, and hope that I keep my cars consistent and execute on track. I want to keep making memories with the people who have become like family to me.


'81 Cutlass, KX05, Keystone Raceway Park
Millerstown Pic-A-Part, Tarentum, PA
Wholesale Transmission, New Kensington, PA
Thinking of Nikki and Mark - forever 53
 
Posts: 7224 | Location: Pittsburgh | Registered: December 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
posted Hide Post
Well Tom something happened to my car and I came home Sat.....Guess they were talking about me but I wasn't there. Congrats to the winner of the best weekend package. After 3 days of changing everything but the paint I think it was the pick up for the crank trigger. Chuck its always fun for me just to be there. Once again Thanks to MIR racer George Windsor for checking on me every morning.
 
Posts: 6175 | Location: everywhere | Registered: March 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Elite
posted Hide Post
Fun? It seems like, just like for decades, there are guys having fun and those not having fun. Guys spending coin and those not spending coin. Those big money racing and those staying more close to home.
It seems like those who are not having fun have lost their way. In over their heads at times. Leveraged greatly financially in their race operations. I have run into some who feel obligated to go big money racing and not worth it to go to smaller races, because of the investment they have in their setups. OK when your equipment is telling you where to race because of finances, you may have lost your way. But there are countless others who still enjoy this crazy game. The amount of racers is becoming a problem for race tracks though. There is no arguing that we are slowly losing participants.


Foxtrot Juliet Bravo
 
Posts: 6325 | Location: Illinois | Registered: July 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
posted Hide Post
Yet places like Norwalk and MIR have huge turnouts at points races that pay very little?????
 
Posts: 6175 | Location: everywhere | Registered: March 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



  Powered by Social Strata  
 


© DragRaceResults.com 2024