This past weekend as well as the week leading up to it were a blur. A week of work turned into cherished memories for our family. We had the opportunity to display our Lucas Oil Racing TV junior dragster at the NHRA Mopar Express Lane nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. During the three days at the track we had the privilege to answer lots of questions about cost, age to race and various mechanical observations. Hopefully we will see some of those that showed interest at their local tracks in competition in the near future.
Friday started off with the car on display for over 500 high school and vocational school students as part of the YES program. YES stands for Youth & Education Services. It is the only full-time education program in motorsports that provides quality programs and activities for schools and youth organizations nationwide. YES focuses on the importance of goals and continued education, while allowing students to learn about and explore various career opportunities. The program will show students how S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is applied to both, real world situations and NHRA Drag Racing, which they will have the opportunity to see live at the track! We were glad to have been a part of the early morning program, but then it was off to the main display location in the pits on the other side of the track.
Friday on the way back to the trailer at the end of the day with our car, we stopped by the Lucas Oil display to introduce Braylon and Jen to the very knowledgable product representatives including Ethan Curley and Greg Cozzo, aka The Big Red Hat.
That turned into an impromptu dragster enter and exit exercise for Greg and an interview for Braylon. He was also asked to be a part of an autograph signing at the booth the following morning with long time Lucas Oil supported Pro Stock motorcycle racers, Hector Arana Sr and Jr.
Saturday morning we headed for the Lucas Oil display with the car in tow. Braylon was a little apprehensive at first about the opportunity to pick up a Sharpie. After a quick lesson from the Aranas on why you shouldn’t use a silver Sharpie, and being loaned one of their spares, he fit right in. Brand Awareness 101 class was in session! I can’t thank Greg enough for the invitation, and the Aranas for making Braylon feel like part of the family.
Once that was over it was back to the Maple Grove display for the rest of the day. As with Thursday, Friday, and any other national event in history at Maple Grove, it rained a little bit. It was just enough to cancel any chance we had at an exhibition pass down the track, but we had high hopes for Sunday.
Our first order of business Sunday was the driver introductions on the Mellow Yellow stage on the starting line. It was great to see the six junior dragster and two junior street competitors rewarded for their dedication and commitment throughout the season as their names were called and they came onto the stage.
The NHRA competitors in all the classes put on a great show throughout the weekend on the track and the crowd on hand was huge. Finally after another long day promoting the sport, the moment came to suit up and head to the lanes for a pass. There were some delays due to the live TV coverage and the pro categories were prioritized, but we made it onto and down the track. We raced our good friend Matt Witkowski on his final pass in a junior dragster. Matt was stellar on the tree with a .003 reaction time and looked like a pro. We were glad to be able to put on a good show for all our marketing partners and sponsors.
It was good to see Jason Allen from ProThings come across the country to see some of his customers and I want to thank him for helping to make us look good with our crew gear. Thanks to Boccella’s Performance, Clark Industrial Supply, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, Craw’s Racing, Lucas Oil and Lucas Oil Racing TV for all your support. Without your great products and friendships we would be lost.
Braylon Kuhn Racing has a couple of events left this season and we hope to see you at the track!