On My Soapbox
This is where the preaching starts. I know my kids are rolling their eyes already and probably won't read this. They've heard it a hundred times before.
I have a real problem watching some of our tuner friends Street Racing or worse, playing Cat and Mouse. I'm tired of reading the newspapers or seeing a local TV news story about young people killed while driving aggressively. It doesn't matter if I know who you are or not. It's somebody's sons or daughters, they could even be mine. That's what scares the hell out of me. Every parents worst nightmare is burying your own child.
The second thing is injuring or killing someone who is not part of the problem, just in your way. These families who have lost a loved one for solely being in the wrong place at the wrong time are the ones who will put pressure on legislators and police departments to crack down on the tuner crowd. Tuner cars have an incredibly bad reputation based solely on the irresponsible actions of a few. We all drive in the shadow in what we are perceived to be. I'd like to make peace with our local authorities, but they will continue to treat us like menaces to our community if only a few of our friends drive like maniacs. You almost can't blame them, they've seen way too many accidents caused by aggressive driving. Also just about every driver has a cell phone and is going to "rat you out" for weaving through traffic. I know a few of you are going to read this and say "what a hypocrite, I've seen him crank it a few times". You're right and I'm wrong. Let me be honest to admit that I have made a few wrong choices. I try to minimize my stupidity by selecting specific times and places, but its still wrong. Everybody knows where the frontage roads and industrial areas are, but then so do the police. Lets just say they are less than forgiving and don't buy into our passion for speed. Getting caught up in the moment has been a bad excuse for many a tuner. Its hard not to respond when someone pulls up next to you and wants to get it on. It'll be harder for me to come to your funeral. I know what it's like to get some new hardware under your hood and you want to test it out. Pick your times and places carefully and don't be the one who takes out an innocent bystander. I'm saying this because if I tell you "don't do it" you will still do whatever it is you want to do. I'm just the "Old Guy" who enjoys building these cars like you do. My vested interest is my family. Some will ask me "why do you endorse your children racing?" Well, it's pretty simple. I want to make sure it's done correctly and in the safest manner possible.
When I realized what we were up to, we had no choice but to go to the Drag Strip. Now we really had the opportunity to actually measure exactly what we have going on under the hood. Some have asked me "why should I waste my money and pay to race?" That's an easy one, you're in a safe controlled environment. And there is a winner and a loser......no arguments common in street racing, "you cheated", "you took off before the green", etc. It's really nice to not have to be looking in your rear view mirror for revolving lights, not to mention how a couple of tickets will jack your car insurance and or cost you ultimately your precious drivers license. Those of you who have been to the strip know what I'm talking about. If you have come up to Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove Wisconsin and raced with us, you no doubt had a great time. I am constantly inviting total strangers to come up and hang out in the TD3 Racing pit area. The soft drinks are my treat until they run out. Going to the strip gives you an opportunity to meet new people who share our passion. You'll get to see it all. This isn't like going to a Friday or Saturday night street meeting where nobody opens their hood and everything is top freaking secret. Racers actually share their ideas with each other to ultimately make the group stronger and faster. Once you've had a taste of real racing, you'll understand Street Racing is for knuckleheads. And after a whole day of getting this "need for speed" out of your system, you'll be far less likely to want to be a Knucklehead.
Import Wars this year starts on April 23rd. I hope to have a couple of our cars ready to run by then. But there are 7 Import Wars events at Great Lakes Dragaway. One every month from April to October. If your car runs 17's you'll be running ET Bracket, if you run 12's or faster you'll be running Quick 16. And there are two divisions in the middle for some of us others. I started running ET Bracket and eventually graduated to Heads Up ET. Running ET Bracket levels the playing field for all racers in this class. We always have a great time, even with limited success. But through the course of the season you have a month between events to get your car that little extra that make the difference. One thing for sure, you'll know if you're getting better, the numbers don't lie. If you have an idea or a problem, you'll have many a gearhead to bounce it off of. Our team stays true to Honda. Only because I'd rather know a lot about a little than to know a little about a lot. Whatever make and model flips your trigger is cool with me. But we do have a bunch of good-hearted joking with drivers of other brands. Its all in good fun.
And I'll feel better knowing that you're racing the safe way, the legal way, the only way. At the Drag Strip.
For those of you that enjoy road racing I urge you to contact the SCCA. They have an excellent program to suit your needs.