From the Editor’s desk…….
Heading down the stretch
by Connell R. Miller
Here it is, October already, and, as the 2013 drag racing season is beginning to wind down, we’ll throw some thoughts out that might help keep those dreaded end-of-season withdrawal symptoms at bay.
- There are circuits, or groups, all over the country, such as the Outlaw Fuel Altered Association, Central States Superchargers, Southwest Heritage Racing Association and others, who will have their final points meet of the season this month. Those events can be among the most entertaining as the members gather and fight for the last chance to grab the brass ring identifying them as the best of the group as well as collecting the kudos, cash, trophies, bragging rights, or whatever else is granted to the points winner. Check with your local strip or association to see if there will be a big season-ending event such as this.
- If you are soon planning to have a shop build a chassis or car, now might be the time to begin your project, as many such places get real busy during the winter months. Sometimes this can keep your project “on the jig” far longer than you’d like in the following year.
- If you plan to buy a used car, chassis, engine, trailer, or parts, now might be a good time to line up the right seller, rather than wait for a couple of months when you’ll be competing with more buyers swimming in the “For Sale” pool.
- With many manufacturers and retailers wanting to reduce their inventory for tax purposes, it is a good time to explore and plan those purchases for next year’s racing season. Sales or discounted pricing may not actually happen until closer to the end of the year, but at least do your homework and planning, so that if that big deal can’t happen sooner, at least you’ll be prepared to pull the trigger when it does.
- On the other hand, if you’re contemplating selling any items yourself, now is the time to begin preparing for that. Make detailed lists of your items. Take good photos if you’ll be putting them on the internet or posting somewhere. Your car will look much nicer and enticing to a prospective buyer sitting outside surrounded by grass and blooming plants and trees than waiting until all that’s gone away and you’re having to clear off the snow to get a good shot.
- Whether you’re a spectator in the stands taking photos with your iPhone or a pro wandering around with that big Nikon or Canon hanging around your neck, take lots of photographs at these season-ending events. For most of you, they’ll draw “oohs” and “awws” from all your social media buddies. Many racers, however will be looking forward to creating a “Hero” card for their team or, if they already have one, perhaps updating it with a different picture. You just might have that great “money shot” they would like – wheels up, butterflies open, slicks biting and wrinkling up!
- Sticking with the photography for a minute more: As companies prepare to roll out new versions of their photo editing software, many times they will drastically discount a current version that, in all likelihood, will still have 99% of the same features as that new one being touted as the “best new thing out.” I have an older version of Corel Photo Pro that I paid nineteen bucks for and use most of the time. It will do almost everything that my pricey Adobe Photoshop CS5 does. A few clicks of your mouse can crop, sharpen, add contrast and so forth. That big oil spot by the front tire? Click. Gone. Real simple! I can even quickly “tweak” my 8mp cell phone shots with amazing results (a couple have been on the pages of this magazine!).
- Lastly, with the younger generation seemingly with more desire to sit at home on the weekend texting and tweeting their buds, make it a personal goal to bring to a race this month someone who has never been to a drag race. You may have to hogtie ‘em, pay their way and drag ‘em by their heels, BUT…you may be creating a new fan for life, and that’s exactly what our sport needs!
See you at the races…!!
Connell R. Miller
Nostalgia Drag World - by Connell R. Miller, Editor-in-Chief