I’ve been thinking about
this for some time, so I thought I’d put my musings down on paper. Will drag racing go the way of other sports
where it’s all about money? Can loyalty to
friends and teammates win over going with the highest bidder? Do we still share a passion for what we do,
or has it become just a job?
When we were kids, we took
every chance to get together with our friends to play baseball, football or
basketball at the local park or street corner.
Not because we thought we could make any money but because we could be
with our friends, doing what we loved to do.
We played Little League or Pop Warner, not for the pizza or ice cream we
might get after the game, but because we loved what we did. We played high
school sports for the same reason and wore our lettermen’s jackets to show we
were proud of what we did and who our friends were. It was the same if you were
in a car club or a band. Now we hear of professional athletes who are already
making $10 million a year who want out of their contracts, not to be with
friends or even have a better chance of winning, but so they can make another
million dollars a year. How much is too
much money, and where is the love of the game?
Drag racing began with the
love of cars. We enjoyed being with people with the same interests. When racing
became too expensive, and more work, we formed teams with our friends to
continue doing what we loved. We knew
everything about our crews because they were our friends. When we went out of
town to race, we slept five in a room and ate hot dogs, but none of that
mattered because we were with our friends and got to do what we loved doing. It
was the way it had to be. Now we have teams that are so big, some owners don’t
know their crew guys names or even what their jobs are. The only thing we
require of a crew guy now is unbelievably long hours of work, leaving their
families for long periods of time, and no mistakes. If they leave or get fired,
oh well. They can be replaced.