Hello again. Happy New Year! It’s 2014 and that means the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is right around the corner. We’ll be at Pomona for the season-opening Circle K Winternationals in just four weeks. In fact, our teams will leave for testing in South Florida this Sunday on Jan. 12. Yep, preseason testing is here and I can’t wait to sniff some nitro for the first time this year.
I hope you all had a great, fun and safe holiday season and that Santa treated you well. I spent my holiday break from school with mom and Don in Stuart, Fla. and had enjoyed the time away from school with family and friends. It’s back to reality this week as school began on Jan. 6, so I’m back to being a student, while toiling in some DSR business.
I spent much of the holiday season working with Don and Terry Chandler – Johnny Gray’s sister – finalizing the details with our charity partner for Tommy Johnson’s team and we’re very excited to announce the details very soon. We got approval on all the art elements yesterday, so it will be a busy month at the shop to have everything looking pretty for the Winternationals. I wish I could tell you more because it’s very exciting!
We will have two painted bodies from SD Enterprises, two trailers wrapped by TKO Graphix, a firesuit from Impact, TJ’s helmet painted by Indocil Art, crew shirts from Advertising Edge, and team apparel from Oakley all ready for Pomona 1. Whew! I’m worn out just thinking about all the work.
Speaking of the Winternationals, we’d like to welcome the new title rights sponsor – Circle K – to the sport. It’s always exciting to see a new company get involved in our sport and who hasn’t stopped in a Circle K store when filling up with gas. A full tank of gas and a Mello Yello or Dasani water to fuel your trip to the NHRA races. That’s a winning plan!
It’s been an interesting week at DSR. Much of Indiana and the Midwest got hammered with snow on Sunday. I’m sure glad I was in Florida when I saw the text message photos from my friends at DSR. Mother Nature dumped buckets of snow on poor Indy. They got more than 13” of snow in some areas and then the dreaded Polar Vortex dropped temperatures into the Arctic-like negatives with wind chills of -40 on Monday. Who could have imaged -40 in Indy and that it would have been warmer in Alaska. The shop was closed the first two days of this week before reopening yesterday. I’m told the roads are still very sketchy and a typical 15 minute commute could take up to 45 minutes. I’m just glad everyone in the NHRA community stayed warm and safe. Thankfully warmer temps and some rain this weekend should help melt much of the snow.
The guys at the shop are buzzing like busy bees in the spring time. The fab shop is getting two Charger Funny Car bodies ready for Matt Hagan and TJ’s teams. The machine shop is on the go cranking out connecting rods and fly wheels and all sorts of parts we make in-house at DSR. TKO Graphix is wrapping trailers. Our vinyl department is decaling race cars and tow vehicles and golf carts and trailers. In fact, Matt Hagan’s 2014 Mopar paint scheme will arrive at the shop this afternoon just in time to get decaled for photos at testing.
The trucks will roll south this Sunday for Palm Beach International Raceway to test from Tuesday through Saturday. Friday and Saturday (Jan. 17-18) are open to the public as part of the PRO Winter Warm-up, so we hope to see many of you NHRA fans in South Florida this weekend. Come get your dose of nitro to hold you over for a few months before our March return to the Sunshine State for the Gatornationals.
That’s it for now. Stay warm and safe and may your favorite NFL team win this weekend. I’m certainly not going to play favorites. Well, maybe I’ll pull for the Colts since they’re our local Indy team. We’ll see if “Luck” is on their side again this weekend.