Stuff starts to happen this time of the year

live in the Midwest, Iowa to be exact, and the winter here has been nasty to say the least. We are in the first week of February and while we hear about the racing season getting underway, it is hard to imagine when I look at my trailer with 12 inches of snow and ice on the roof and a 16-inch path we shoveled out to it so we could start working on the inside.

If you are from the South, you probably don’t see this around your trailer, at least not for four straight months!
I guess with another snowstorm I won’t need those tire covers to keep the UV rays off the trailer tires.

But it is time for “stuff” to start happening if we are going to be ready for the 2011 race season. I read about the NASCAR plans and teams getting ready. I read about NHRA’s complete debacle they have created. Between a change in class run-offs, an IRS inquiry about their “not-for-profit” status and the loss of their #1 publicity magnet, Ashley Force, it has been a terrible few months for the Glendora money men. IHRA is just sitting back, putting on their Nitro Jam circus act to packed grandstands and watching their sportsman categories shrink even more.

Why is it that the NHRA racers will not race at IHRA events? I have raced at both IHRA and NHRA events and I must say, other than a few NHRA tracks like Norwalk and Bandimere, the IHRA races are lot friendlier and laid back. The racing is the same once you stage the car, so it amazes me so many racers just keep rolling into NHRA races, paying their outrageous entry fees and license fees, and putting up with track officials that seem to be “bothered” that you are even there.

If I had not experienced this myself, I couldn’t tell you this stuff. Now, as racers are getting ready for the 2011 season, do you think any of this “stuff” will change? I guess we are about to find out.

Personally, I am going to try to stay close to home and support the three or four local tracks around Iowa. No surprises and a hell of a lot more fun without the B.S.

The only “stuff” I will miss by not traveling is the “fun stuff” I do with the many friends I have made in other parts of the country by racing at regional, divisional and national events. I won’t miss the $160 entry fees to win $1200 or the $95 bogus “insurance surcharges” to race at an NHRA national event.

The “10-The Hard Way” Project Car is beginning to take shape.
Well, not literally yet, but the companies that support a project car like this are starting to get involved. This project car will be unique in the fact it is a true bolt-together project car. We are planning to reach 10 seconds for about $10,000 and enjoy building the entire car. No doubt it would have been cheaper to go out and buy some guy’s used race car for $10,000 that already ran 10 seconds, but WHAT FUN IS THAT?

We have some great partners in the 10-The Hard Way 1984 Firebird project car: S&W Race Cars, Comp Cams, RHS (Racing Head Service), Moroso, Comp Engineering, Quick-Fuel, Aeromotive, Mickey Thompson, and many others you will read about next month. If the ice ever melts we can get started. I hope to be burning rubber with the Firebird by mid-summer. Should be fun to get back to a place where I started, footbraking and having a good time.

Grassroots Bracket Series:
Some of you realize I am one of the people involved in this bracket racing series. This is our first season and so far my partner, Scotty Richardson, and I are impressed by the interest racers, track owners and manufacturers have shown in our race series.