Volume X, Issue 11, Page 79

: You just came off a perfect weekend. How did you celebrate that weekend at Englishtown?

JH: We didn't. We went to work Monday morning.

: No champagne?

JH: No. Nope.

: One of the greatest things about The Shakedown is that you always push the curfew, so the extra drama adds to the excitement.

JH: I think that was big thing Saturday night. They actually moved some things around. They moved some muscle cars that were supposed to run in front of us they scheduled them to go behind us so we could make the curfew for the noise. I wasn't there last year, but the year before, I was there and the race was a one-day race and there was so much going on and one little track incident would put the whole program behind. It was hard to finish. I think making it a two-day race was the best thing they could have ever done.

: It was great that Dave Hance, the Shakedown at E-Town promoter, announced that Al-Anabi Racing has signed on for five more years as the title sponsor of The Shakedown at E-Town. That race just keep getting bigger and better, doesn't it? I would think it would be on your to-do list for a few years.

JH: Oh yeah, it is. Those guys, with what they've done for drag racing in just a short time they've been involved, have just been remarkable. I can't thank them enough. We want more people like that to get involved in drag racing. We want to get it out there to people who don't even know it's there. Even with our own racetrack, you'd be surprised how many people in our own county don't even know we have a racetrack there.

: Dave Hance had a great idea with The Shakedown, but it was tough in the beginning, until the race started to gain momentum. He and Michelle Marchese (the Raceway Park employee who organizes the Shakedown operations) stuck with it, and it has grown in giant leaps. They've built a lot of tremendous relationships with racers, sponsors, and fans. You as a promoter can appreciate that part of what they have done, maybe more than most people.

JH: I don't think you could have gotten anybody to put it together as well as they have put it together, Michelle and Dave. They came down to our street car shootouts and Pro Mod races a couple of times, handing flyers out. You see the list sponsors they have. It's just amazing. The way the economy is right now, if you're getting money out of people to promote racing, that's a pretty good deal.

: I know they work hard all year long, thinking of ways to make The Shakedown. That's cool about that particular event -- it morphs all the time to become bigger and better.

JH: When we started here (at Cecil County Dragway), we had a Saturday night street car shootout. We had Outlaw 10.5 cars, Drag Radial, Big Tire, and we'd throw Pro Mods in there three or four times a year. The first year we did it, it was awful. I mean, it was getting in my pocket every race. Guys asked me, "Are we going to keep doing it? Are we going to keep doing it?" One race got a little better and a little better and a little better and before you knew it, we have one of the nicest street cat programs around here.

: It takes time for something to reach its potential. It's a balance between initiating exciting new ideas and keeping enough of the familiar that makes racers comfortable and makes you money.

JH: Right.

: You got $20,000 extra from Englishtown. That was sweet.

JH: That was pretty cool. That probably was my biggest payday in racing for my career. An IHRA race is $10,000 to win, and an ADRL race is $7,000 to win. So it's the biggest payday. The IHRA Shootout this year was 50-grand. I stunk that up pretty bad.

: But October 5th made up for that, right?

JH: You're only as good as your last race. Is that what they say?

: That's what they say.

JH: So now I'm in pretty good shape.  

Recent Stories