The 2017 H.A.M.B. Drags… End Of An Era…
I came into the 2017 H.A.M.B. Drags thinking it was gonna be my last… For no other reason really other than this was the fifteenth running and fifteen seemed like a good number to rest on. Plus, I don’t wanna be one of those old farts holding onto an event just because of a streak or potential profit or… whatever other reasons old farts hold onto events.
But after this weekend, I decided fifteen years just isn’t enough time to hang out with my buddies, shoot the shit, and get into more unmitigated trouble. I need at least twenty. And hell, maybe more… Who’s to say?
See, I realized something this weekend. The H.A.M.B. Drags started as a way for me to get my traditional drag racing itch scratched and nothing more. Then, it got too big for me to handle and my wife took over. Then, it got so big that I couldn’t bring and race my car any longer… and then, it just became a mission of keeping my shit together long enough to get through the weekend as I used all of my buddies as a sort of crutch through it all.
This weekend, however, I came in thinking it was my last. I had no stress and I truly handed over the reigns of operation to my wife and sisters. I didn’t take any photographs and I didn’t do my usual rounds – I just relaxed, watched a lot of racing, and drank a lot of beer. And even though this event was every bit as big and as chaotic as any other from the past 15 years (well maybe not the non-capped year), I had a whole lot of fun.
And, of course, all of my buddies were there supporting me. “Go for twenty,” they said. “Why the hell wouldn’t you?”
And so, I am… I am going for twenty. At least twenty. And I’m going into the 2018 H.A.M.B. Drags reinvigorated and ready to stir some shit up. I don’t have details yet and won’t for some time, but I’ve got a good start on some ideas. Kevin is gonna think about taking over the vintage motorcycle entrants and growing that side of the race while I’m gonna think about a new flathead Ford only class, maybe some exhibition stuff, and maybe some other casual class re-focusing.
More importantly though, I wanna race at the H.A.M.B. Drags again. I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching you bastards have all the fun. I wanna take some victims and torture them almost as bad as I torture my own hot rod. So… You are all on notice. Get ready. I’m coming back to take what’s mine.
But before I do all of that obliteration nonsense, I wanna thank some folks. First and foremost, Kevin Lee… He’s one of my closest pals and has been by my side every single year of this event. Loyalty.
And then, there’s the track. Carl and the boys are family now. The way they drop in and get this race done amazes me every year. This year was no different.
Ohh… and then there’s the OG H.A.M.B. Drag guys. Mike, Jeff, the boys from St. Joe, etc… You guys know who you are. You make the event for me.
The Austin boys too… I know how long of a drive that is. And I know it’s not always easy to get motivated to do it. But you guys do it anyway. Every single damned year. More loyalty.
Ryno too… You are a hard guy not to like man.
And finally, my wife… Marcie. She is me. And her/my sisters – Jill, Holly, Katie. And Dan. And all of my kids. This is truly a family operated event. The amount of love to go around is flat out fuckin’ ridiculous.
How could 15 years cover all of that?
Like I said, I didn’t bring a camera this year. Thankfully, for you guys, Blake Burwell did manage to take a few:
If you’ve got any photos of the racing action, please… by all means… post them as a reply to this thread. We need the coverage.