What other changes are we likely to see in Super Chevy?
GUSTIN: You know, there
hasn’t been one year that we haven’t changed something,
subtle changes usually. I guess our biggest change was back
a few years ago when we switched from the Pro Modifieds to
the Nitro Coupes. That was one idea I will take credit for
and that I’m real proud of. It took us a while to get
it all sorted out, but fortunately it works real well now.
They’re really exciting cars.
I drove the fuel Funny Cars back in the ‘60s when it
all got started and these cars remind me of those cars, you
know, short wheelbase, they can be pretty erratic, but overall
we have a great safety record with them. We had the one incident
with (Bill) Kuhlman where he had a crash and a bad fire and
of course we’ve had a few bang the wall from time to
time, but they’ve actually been pretty darn safe, nothing
like what some people said they would be when we first brought
the Nitro Coupes booked in advance or can anyone with an appropriate
GUSTIN: It is a booked-in
show that we have, but it’s a competition series for
the guys we’ve booked in. We have a points fund for
them at the end of the year and these guys are all very serious
racers. It’s not a whole lot different than some other
circuits. I mean, you take the NHRA circuit and the top 10
or whatever, they get their appearance money, however it works,
and it should be that way because you can’t break the
show. You’ve got to have those guys coming back from
race to race.
reason for us doing this is, these bracket racers to us are
king. I mean, we’ve got to have them; they are the base
root for having an event. We want every one we can get; we
cater to them. It’s the largest segment of all of drag
racing, the bracket guys, and we want all of them to come,
but if we said, ‘Okay, it’s just an open competition
show,’ what happens if 20 (Nitro Coupes) show up and
we spend half a day getting everyone qualified? Then those
guys (bracket racers) are left sitting in the pits or in the
stands or in the staging lanes; they never get any track time.
So we tell the Nitro Coupe teams, ‘Look, we only want
eight of you, but we also preach that we want top performance
out of every one of you. No excuses; if you don’t perform,
you’re out of here.’ It’s just the way we
run the business. And I know what it’s like because
I spent a lifetime in that environment. If I didn’t
perform well with my cars, they didn’t book me again.
Simple as that.
The other thing that makes it important is that there’s
a lot more to do at a Super Chevy Show than just watching
cars go down the track. You can check out the car show, the
midway, the swap meet, so we don’t want to keep those
people in the stands for five straight hours. We want them
to see a really exciting show, but also take in everything
that goes on around it. That’s what makes a Super Chevy
Show what it is.
you follow other forms of racing, too?
GUSTIN: Every form of motorsports,
from Formula 1 to IRL to World of Outlaws, I kind of know
what’s going on. I don’t have time to go to a
lot of other races, but I pay attention to them all.