Racing for Fun and Profits
have given this subject a lot of thought lately. I guess it is because I have wondered for several years what these “pros” had that I (and for that matter any good bracket racer) don’t seem to possess. Is it their skills, their willingness to “gamble it all” on their ability and equipment or is it because they have other sources of money to take the pressure off their racing?
I looked into it about as far as I could. I called several “professional bracket racers” (in this group I include the racers who mainly do IHRA and NHRA national and divisional races in sportsman classes, as it is still bracket racing and not true heads-up racing like the pros). The ones I called all had one thing in common: they did not want me to use their names because of problems it could cause them at NHRA and IHRA tech and with other racers that are their friends. Some interesting input really got me going on this concept and some of the things I found surprised me and other things I already knew.
I figure there are basically three different groups of people who read my “Dead-On” column. I am talking mainly about racers at this point. I know DRO has over a quarter-million readers a month and I think it is great that many people are interested in our online magazine and I hope I bring the “it” they are looking for in my columns. I feel being a very active drag racer with a two-car team it keeps me in touch with what is really happening and not just what racer bulletin boards report.
The first group of my readers are the bracket racers who spend a great deal of their spare time working on their race car and trailer and traveling to and from local bracket races.
The second group, as I see it, is a group of racers sort of like myself. I work hard and have tried a lot of jobs that interest me but racing is my passion. After family, the racing seems to always be part of my life and my family’s life. I see a lot of these racers every week. I place myself in this group; we could all probably do better for our sport and ourselves if we would work harder on making it FUN and a little less on the MONEY.
Vacation plans usually include trips to places like Bowling Green, KY, (for the Tenn-Tuck three $10,000 races), the $50,000 Super Pro World Championship in Michigan and this year it is the Moroso 5-Day Bracket Championships in Jupiter, Florida Nov. 13-17. I can see how a bracket racer could make a lot of money, but I also realize how close the racing has become and the risks that you could easily have a two-month dry spell.
It is these two groups that support the racing industry with huge infusions of cash for parts. These racers also try every bit as hard as the “pros” and in some instances are actually more skilled and prepared but, due to family commitments and career decisions, they race locally rather than traveling all over the country.
The third group I picture reading my column are the “Professional Bracket Racers.” To most of us who have heard of them we know them as the guys who we think make a living by bracket racing. There are not a lot of people in this group. Thinking of these guys is what prompted me to write this column.