Filed under: Event Coverage
This was a make or break year for the H.A.M.B. Drags. After last year’s pure pandaemonium, I knew we were facing our first real challenge with this idea of ours. Could we or could we not control what has become a monster of sorts? Could we keep things personal? Could we keep a laid back vibe? Could we keep it feeling like that event we started 8 years ago with 71 cars and a 150 or so good pals?
I think we did it and I’m happier than a coondog on a bare leg.
Last year we had 189 cars go down the track. This year, we had 200 and it felt more like 150. I’ve heard a lot of folks claim that it was the new “pre-registered cars only” policy that made the difference. I agree that it helped a bunch, but I think it was the fellas that showed up to race that made the biggest difference. You fellas willed this event to be what it is. You fellas didn’t let it get away. You fellas made it happen and made it happen the right way.
In my opinion, the H.A.M.B. Drags is the best nostalgia drag racing event in the country… by a long shot… and it has little to do with your hosts. It has everything to do with you guys. I’m absolutely humbled.
The racing action was simply off the hook. The quality of the cars fielded was the highest we have ever had not only by average ET, but also by construction. Smokey burnouts, hard launches, wheels high, wrinkled sidewalls, powered shifts, popped shoots… by really nicely finished hot rods. We’ve grown up gracefully fellas.
I don’t think any of it has really set in with me yet. This really was “make or break” and I wasn’t sure what to expect when the weekend started. I’m so relieved… So happy… So thankful…
We made it.
Special Thanks to:
1. MoKan Dragway. These fellas work their asses off for us and have become good pals.
2. The family. Katie, Kristin, Holly, Jill, and Marcie… My girls come from all over the country and make damn sure everything has a place. I love them all.
3. Mr. Kevin Lee & Rob Dan. Kevin and Dan ran the pit side and did so with no fear. I couldn’t have done it. It was like a Doolittle mission and both survived. Pals. Period.
4. The Yay-Hoos. The Yay-Hoo cup has become a big part of the drags and it’s always fun to see who is going to come in second place. Ole Jeff is a hard cherry to pick – ain’t he?
5. Bill Owecke. Blacktop runs the charity auction and is responsible for making life easier for a few unfortunate HAMBers every year. He doesn’t get enough credit and neither do the guys that contribute to his cause.
6. Sodbuster. BB’s BBQ? Are you fucking kidding me? The best BBQ on the planet delivered to me in Joplin straight from Kansas City. Exactly.
7. The Bands. Miss Major and The RumbleJetts. I actually got to listen to both bands and loved every minute of it. They make Friday night so much more… rich…
8. Dutch Courage. Dutch came through with some bitchin’ art for the event t-shirt this year. I dig his style.
9. The Kontinentals. My pals… They come up from Austin every year just to look out for me. Norm, Reggie, Stevo… I love you fellas.
10. You guys. I can’t elaborate. It means the world to me fellas.
I’m sure I forgot someone really damned important and I’m sure I’ll remember while I’m on the road… and I’m sure I’ll cuss myself for it. To whomever you turn out to be, I’m sorry in advanced. I’ll make it up to ya!
P.S. I’m looking to get ahold of the Iron Mistress guys. If you know them, give them a heads up.