The following day was the Summit Junior Dragster Challenge Wally Race and we were on the good side of a double red light -.013 to a -.015 for a first round win. The day ended in the second round with a breakout loss after losing the battle at the starting line. We made a lot of runs in two days and we put our Craw’s Racing motor to the test hot lapping it between rounds. Fortunately, we have plenty of Lucas Oil 5w-20 Junior Dragster oil and VP M1 from Boccella’s Performance to keep us rolling. We’d like to send our congratulations to Matt Witkowski, Jeremy Ketterer, Paige Ketterer and Brendan Collar for class wins over the weekend in various races. Thanks Keith Paylor and his family for all his work they put into the event.
With our September racing in the books, we were excited about attending the NHRA Dodge Nationals, the second race in the NHRA Mello Yellow Countdown to the Championship. On the eve of the event, the family didn’t feel like cooking, so we thought hot pizza from NHRA sponsor Papa John’s would be in order. What a surprise it was for Braylon when Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel dragster driver Leah Pritchett delivered a plethora of Papa John’s Pizza’s to our driveway and garage. Leah spent a lot of time talking to Braylon about his car, her junior dragster career, and her season and future. She is the epitome of professionalism and even with her busy schedule of appearances and marketing she still kept a smile and was not in a rush to just complete a sponsorship requirement and leave. Thank you to Leah, DSR and Papa Johns for the experience. This was probably the first time EVER that I didn’t have a slice of delivered pizza in my mouth within the first minute after the doorbell rang.
24 hours later our Lucas Oil Racing TV dragster was on site at Maple Grove for display purposes at the NHRA Dodge Nationals. Our great partners at Right2Breathe® gave me a call a few days earlier to see if we would be interested in having it at their free asthma screening event on the midway with the legendary Frantic Ford and Joe Morrison’s 1948 Fiat Topolino Nostalgia Altered. It was an honor to be a part of their display. There were 20 professional respiratory therapists and RT students from the local respiratory therapy colleges who volunteered for the three-day event. Even though the temperatures were above normal they completed hundreds of free spirometry tests. My wife Jennifer and I put our “Lungs on the dyno”, giving us a baseline of understanding about the health of our lungs as did hundreds of other passionate drag racing fans, fellow racers – even vendors of other sponsors on display in the NHRA midway.
As Braylon was diagnosed with Asthma several years ago, he is still able to function and drive an 83mph dragster with proper medical treatment as needed, which is one of the reasons Right2Breathe® exists – and why we support this amazing non-profit organization. One of their objectives is to showcase real world examples of people living with a chronic medical condition living an active life and doing the things they enjoy. Braylon is a shining example of this, as is Right2Breathe® co-founder and CMO Tim Charlet, who recently regained his NHRA competition license with Tom Bayer in Division 7 after a five-year effort to manage his Type 2 Diabetes without insulin, which is a medical requirement to pass NHRA’s physical requirements. It was great to be a part of their program and we anticipate moving forward with them in an exciting 2018. To learn more about them visit Right2Breathe.org.
At an NHRA event “where every ticket is a pit pass” you have a chance to get up close and personal with many of the professional and sportsman drivers. One of our family’s favorites is John Force, because of his close relationship with Jen’s dad when they were growing up in high school. It was also neat to bump into Braylon’s Lucas Oil teammate Hector Arana whose son Hector Jr. is locked in a tight battle for the Pro Stock Motorcycle championship.
We still have a few races to go this season before we wrap it up and start the end of season dismantle and maintenance on the car for 2018. Hopefully we will turn on some more win lights and hopefully shed more good light on our marketing partners who we didn’t mention above: ProThings, DJ Safety, Clark Industrial Supply and NGK.