Short Blog this week to speak about something I believe is dear to many of our hearts.

The dictionary defines the word passion as, “a strong or barely controllable emotion.” Does that sound familiar when it comes to a drag racer?

I’ve shared with you before about how concerned I was when I was originally set to be drafted into the military. My concern at that time; and of course at 18-years old; was “how am I going to go drag racing?” I probably shouldn’t have thought that way, instead feeling honored to serve my country. Not to digress but, the military was quite a bit different than it is today. It was shortly after I had gone for my physical that the draft had ended. Now I could go drag racing.

But I believe that most; if not all; drag racers possess much of the same passion for the sport. What’s that sign we’d often see on the back doors of race trailers? Oh yeah. “Inside this trailer contains a disease of which there is no cure.” Truer words may never have been spoken; or in this case; written down.

We often kid each other about drag racing being a drug; one that while legal, still is a habit that’s hard to kick. There is no Drag Racers Anonymous similar to an AA or Gamblers program. Although many of us could probably fit into a Gamblers program. After all, isn’t that sort of what we’re doing when we lay down some money at the gate, accepting the odds that we’ll win? Whatever you want to call it, once drag racing gets into your blood, it’s a habit that’s hard to kick. While there are instances where alcoholism or gambling has strained relationships, I don’t believe drag racing may have done the same. Tell me if I’m wrong on that one.

I know. Many of us are aware of someone who was into the sport heavily and finally decided to hang it up. To walk away for whatever reason; money, family, etc. But does that passion really leave you? It may be the thrill of a fast pass, or the friendships made along the way. Whatever, the hook is still set. How many times have we’ve seen someone who seemingly gave up the sport, only to have them periodically show up at a race to spectate? It could be for the friendships or maybe it’s just the smell of burnt rubber and race fuel, nonetheless, it’s still in the blood.

I spoke a couple of weeks ago about the race track being my “happy place,” (, and to a point that’s still true for many of us. However, as we get older, our priorities may change slightly. In most cases, that doesn’t mean our love of the sport has waned, but just that we realize there may be other things in life. Through it all though, I doubt very much we totally forget about the aforementioned smell of burnt rubber and race fuel. I know I haven’t. How about you? -JOHN DiBARTOLOMEO