So You Want To Race...for a living?
If you don’t have a millionaire or billionaire father your road to the show in NHRA Drag Racing is going to be a tough one, bordering on almost impossible. Don’t kid yourself. You can talk about Passion and Goals and that’s dandy but they don’t mean squat!
You will need roughly 4-5 things if you want to race in the NHRA Professionally. (and yes that’s professionally in the MelloYello Series Classes or the Lucas Oil Series Classes)
What Gets you to the show?...Talent - Knowledge - Hard Work - & Unbridled determination (or Grit). You have to grind your way in. You have to hustle and work hard, never give in! No one is going to open the door and invite you.
All this fancy “Goals” and “Passion” talk is nice but the show American Idol showed us & taught us all one thing - that “passion” & “goals” don’t account for a damn thing. They (passion & Goals) are little more than what you talk about at the beach or at the bar when you have had a few beers. The big “some day” plans with little or no action sound so good in those moments of alcohol clouded reflection. Talking about it is one thing - working hard for it is another!
Almost all the American Idol contestants had passion and goals but most had no talent or hustle. They didn’t get up every day at 4am putting pen to paper to knock out some lines of their newest song, or practice singing in the garage before and after their 8 hour work day. They had no chance in the hard-core music arena....None!
Drag Racing or any racing for that matter is like that. You have to want it bad. How bad you ask?....try this exercise. Pick the holiday you love the most. Let’s say the 4th of July. Go to the shop during those 3-4 days and work, yes work. Clean the shop, prep bearings, set up sets of rods and pistons, strip the chassis and clean it, rewire the electronics of the car. Paint the shop floor, clean very inch of the shop. Do nothing but racing work, stopping only for rest and food. Don’t go anywhere else, and no TV of any kind. Have your friends call and tell you about the great time they are having at your favorite spot at the beach or mountain. Have them call many times and text you pictures - have them rub in your face.
Now, at the end of the weekend if you are hungry for more work at the shop or the grind at the track you might have the drive & hustle to race for a living.
Passion doesn't lead you to anything, but mastering your craft leads you to being one of the best in what ever you choose. Then, I don't know if you will find passion but you might find the opportunity to compete with & against the best racers in the world.
Next time I’ll talk about the knowledge part of the equation. You don’t have to be an engineer, but you do have to understand engineering principles to be good at this. Some racers know “What” works, but very few know “Why” it works. That’s the real value of engineering knowledge in racing.
See you at the track!....and be safe out there!