Sorry for missing last week’s blog. Between the sketchy internet service, 12 hour plane rides, computer giving me the blue screen of death and jet lag, I just couldn’t bring myself to write it. I landed last Thursday afternoon, but I am never sure how long it will take my brain and body to understand where they are physically located. It wasn’t a bad trip, just long and far away.
Last weekend featured a set of races close to my home that I do not like to miss, the Galot Spring Fling and the 4 Wide at Zmax. Unfortunately, I was in no position to run either of those races due to the aforementioned work trip and the fact that I have not put the motor back in my car. The agonizing part is that Zmax is only 20 minutes from my house.
While the weather did not pan out well for either event, surprisingly, both events were completed. The NHRA team took the rarely used escape route of finishing up the sportsman on Saturday night. This left only the Pros and alcohol to be completed on Sunday. They also had the advantage of the Sunday eliminations in 4-wide format and one less round to complete. I think they would have got it done anyway, but they did have to dodge showers early in the afternoon. While I applaud their flexibility in getting it done, some would say this leads to a slippery slope of proving that the sportsman are not needed as filler on Sunday. I know that was always a concern for my father, but I think the powers that be knew that a long time ago, especially after they started to only have the semi-finals and finals of sportsman on Sunday.
The Fling crew started the week earlier than expected and had to combine two of their $50k to win races into one, but they got it done. Somehow they were able to get their almost 400 entries down the track for 3 full races plus a couple of bonus races. This is no stroke of luck for that team as I know they plan ahead of time for weather situations and how to handle the event. As they say, this is not their first rodeo and while I am sure some were disappointed in how it turned out, I feel like the vast majority of the racers understand why the Fling team makes the decisions they do. Led by Peter Biondo, he tries his best to communicate to the racers in real time what is going on and what will be changing.
Slightly different approaches, but both worked out. I am glad the race directors are taking this approach to being more proactive about the weather. I always thought it was silly to totally disregard the weather and not make any changes (or even preparations for changes) to a schedule. We all have access to the same TV meteorologists and apps, so why not even prepare for it? – Franklin DiBartolomeo