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Do you remember your first sand drag race?

Do you remember your first sand drag race?

Postby MSS » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:44 pm

Do you remember your first Sand Drag race?

For me it was 1999 and about ten minutes in, I fell in love with this sport. Ironically, what made me fall in love with it is not what keeps me coming back today. In the beginning, to me it was about the side by side racing action, extreme horse power and the thrill of the risk. Today, what keeps me and the members of my team going back for more is 100% about the people. Never more evident than what I was allowed to experience this last weekend in Soboba at the season finale.

Back in August of this year, I welcomed a new team member into my family that wanted to volunteer to help racers. William came to us with an amazing amount of enthusiasm and has participated in 2 sand drag events and 2 off road events since August. This last weekend, he asked if he could bring his son along for the event.

Eric wanted to be part of his team – he emulated his father to a tee. Everything William would do, Eric wanted to be by his side and do the same. He is an exceptionally bright 12 year old that retained nearly everything he was told and almost everything he observed or overheard. Eric was about to experience his very first Sand Drag race.

Making sure all the members of our team are welcome he was issued his Red Rescue shirt, radio and headset and the day started out. He picked up rocks side by side and helped us direct the junior classes safely off the track. He watched for fluids leaking from the vehicles and always had an ear on the radio for when the next call for action may come.

On Saturday, was when my heart was reminded about how much I love the sand drag community and left me in awe as I left the track Sunday:

As I have done many times over the years, when someone breaks a blower belt, I go around to the Fuel / Alcohol / Eliminator drivers and have then sign it. Then we have Willy do some kind of giveaway for the spectators. This time, with Eric by my side, he wanted autographs as well. We gave him a piece of the belt and he loved to walk up and hand it to the drivers to sign. Even more exciting was seeing some of you old crusty guys light up at being asked by a fan to sign your name. Craig took it one step further and a team member went and grabbed something from his trailer – A piston – The one that had a hole right in the top of it about the size of a valve from Dome Valley (Sorry Craig) but they cleaned it off, signed it and gave it to young Eric. Other drivers also gave Eric some other mementos as we made our way around. Eric was a big fan.

For the remainder of the weekend, Eric was by Williams and I side as we check drivers and machines at the end of the track. He loved to high five, congratulate, and shake hands with all the drivers and crew. Two memories will follow me forever from Sunday afternoon:

1) Eric walked up and told Jim Rossi that he had won the final against the always dominant Two Dollar bill racing team. Jim almost didn’t believe him. He gave him a hug and hand shake and was very excited

2) The image of Gary Mink and Eric on their knees on the ground as Gary showed Eric how to roll up a parachute was priceless and I was lucky enough to catch a picture of it.

I love my sand drag family and cherish all of you and the memories I have been fortunate enough to make over all the years. As we welcome in the next generation of racers, crew, safety team and spectators I will continue to be a fan first…..forever.
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