by Ben Griffin
For all my non-racing friends that read Nostalgia Drag World and my Facebook page, I want to explain how difficult it is to win in drag racing. There are three things you must have: A driver with a burning desire to win and the skills to do so (quick reactions, split-second decision making, consistency, etc.), an excellent crew and a highly competitive race car.
Some sports only require one of these elements, like tennis (when you are actually playing. Your coach and others can help off the court but not during a match). Golf is another, and with two human elements (golfer and caddy) and lots of club choices to make. Others, like football, require a large number of skilled teammates, coaches, trainers, etc. during the game. And just like football, most people in the stands at a drag race are only watching the car and driver (the quarterback in football terms). Also like football, the driver (quarterback) gets all the credit for wins and a lot of the blame for losses.
Drag racing is more like football in that respect. We need all "A Players" as Steve Jobs used to say. He only hired "A Players" at Apple Computer. He said that A Players did not want to work with B or C Players. Steve himself was a AA Player so he knew the A's when he saw them.
We need all "A Players" on the team to win consistently in drag racing and especially at the NHRA National event level. It's such a circus atmosphere at a national event with distractions everywhere but that's all part of it. You have to concentrate and adapt. Yes we still have fun, clown around and enjoy the experience, but when the engine fires up and you pull into the burnout area, (I still call it the “bleach box”.. LOL!) it is Get Serious Time. SHOWTIME!
In drag racing the timing devices in each lane break down ONE SECOND into 100 increments. And now they even go to one-thousandths of a second (.001). Prior to the electronic timing devices (“christmas tree”) there was a human at the finish line that judged all the winners by eyesight. There were a lot of ties back then. But now you can win or lose by one one-hundredth of a second (.01) and holeshots (who leaves first) are judged in thousandths (.001). No more ties. I have won by as little as .04 and lost by .01 in my 20-year racing career.
But that’s another story...stay tuned.
Nostalgia Drag World - by Ben Griffin