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Why Do I Drag Race?

Recently a Super Gas racing friend of mine sent a mass email out and asked everyone on the list to think about why they race.  As I was thinking about my answer, I thought what a great topic for a blog topic (don't worry, I emailed him and got permission to steal his idea, all royalties to be paid to Chick Honez).

I tried but could not narrow it down to one reason, but here is what I came up with...

If I had to pick only one thing, it would be that it gives me something to do with my Dad that we both love.

How many 34 year old's do you know that can say that?
During a trip to Puttin Bay, Ohio, a few years back I was talking about racing to a non-gearhead high school friend of mine.  He asked how much money I make racing?  "None, it actually costs us money...a lot of money." I replied.  He then asked, "Why do you do it then?"  For some reason that I can't explain, the first thought/image, whatever you want to call it that popped into my head was being at the track in the evening.
I love being at the track in the evening.  You are done for the day, there are still some classes racing, and although you can't "hear" the cars doing burn outs and making passes, you know it is there, and every once in a while you notice the actual sound of fellow racers making their final passes of the day.
The sun is setting as dusk approaches.  You smell lighter fluid and bar-b-ques all over the pits as the dinner fires begin to burn.  You crack the 1st beer of the evening.  The lighter fluid smells turn to the smell of burgers, hot dogs, steaks as everyone that camps in the pits begins to eat.  You finish dinner and put the car and all the other "stuff" you got out over the course of the day back in the trailer.  Now the rest of the evening is yours.
You take a golf cart/pit bike ride to the trailers and motor homes of your buddies, bench race, and talk about the days racing, and what tomorrow might bring.  You take a look a the ladder, see where you qualified, or who you are running against in the 1st round.
(If you are lucky enough to get a 1st round bye, maybe you crack a 2nd beer!!!)
(And some of us crack a 2nd beer regardless of who we are racing in the 1st round)
The air, although usually humid, is cool and comfortable, not hot like the middle of the day can bring.  The intensity of racing and everything that goes with it is gone, at least for a few hours, and this is your time to enjoy.  Win or loose, good pass or bad pass, good lights or bad lights, running the number, or breaking out, broken parts or cars, whatever, this part of being at the track is always the same.  Laid back, relaxed, your time to unwind and prepare for tomorrow.
No matter how bad the day at the track was, or how much I myself question, "why do I race" and may be ready to quit, this time in the pits always makes me realize why I go through all the bulls--t to race, it reminds me that all the money spent and headaches caused are totally worth it.
That is why I race.
On a side note, winning makes the feelings listed above all that much better, and if you brake something and need to thrash to get ready for the next day, everything above that I just typed is thrown right out the window.
Thanks for stoppin by...Dan

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