Hello again everyone. We just finished our most visually difficult event of the season with the Four-Wide Nationals at beautiful zMax Dragway at Concord next to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track refers to zMax as the “Bellagio of Drag strips” for a reason. Bruton Smith and the SMI folks built a masterpiece near Charlotte.
zMax is one of the newer facilities on tour, but given the status of the track it’s one of the tracks you want to win. We’ve been fortunate to do well at the Charlotte races over the past few years. Last year at the Four-Wide we doubled-up with Spencer and Matt taking home the Wally trophies. This year wasn’t as victorious, but we did walk away with another Wally trophy in what may be the drag race of the year.
The Top Fuel final of the 2014 Four-Wide Nationals was one for the ages. It pitted the points-leader Doug Kalitta, the last two Top Fuel champions, Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon, and the rejuvenated J.R. Todd, now driving full-time at Kalitta Motorsports. So, it was two Kalitta cars, on DSR rail and an Al-Anabi dragster, all heavy hitters, racing for the coveted Four-Wide trophy.
In an incredible race, Antron Brown scored the narrow victory in what will be scored a double hole shot win. AB was lightning-quick at a .042 reaction time. The Matco Tools car ran 3.800, the exact same elapsed time as Shawn, and JR was a tick better at 3.799. It’s amazing to have three cars, with different parts, tune-ups and drivers that can run within one-thousandth of-a-second. It goes to show how incredibly close today’s NHRA racing is and what a great product we deliver to the NHRA fans.
I was tardy for the race this weekend. I stayed home on Friday to tend to Teddy. We’re still working on his ailment without a solution. It’s very frustrating, but he’s been a trooper. He has good and bad days and we’re hoping for the best.
Friday was an exciting day for us at DSR. We announced a partnership, through Don and Terry Chandler, with the Infinite Hero Foundation, which is Oakley’s house charity. Oakley and DSR have been partners for many years and given our relationship with the U.S. Army, the Infinite Hero Foundation as a seamless relationship. We’ve been working with Laurie Baker and the group at IHF and Oakley for a few months to make this program happen and we were so proud to announce this program on April 11.
Jack Beckman, a former U.S. Air Force veteran, will pilot the Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car at six races this season beginning at Baytown, Texas near Houston in a few weeks. Jack is the perfect spokesperson for a terrific program. Oakley offers a full line of IHF apparel and sunglasses and a good portion of all sales goes directly to helping the soldiers. You can find the Oakley IHF gear at the Rolling O store at Houston. And, not a dime of IHF funding goes to run the race car. With the Make-A-Wish partnership, we have two amazing organizations we’re proud call members of the DSR family. You can find more info on the IHF program at infinitehero.org.
Before Charlotte, I spent spring break with a few of my Chicago girlfriends and we had a blast. We went fishing and caught a couple blue marlin and a few dolphin or dorado or mahi mahi, whatever you call them in what region of the world you live in. They call them dolphin near Florida. LOL We also played donkey polo. Check out this hilarious photo of Don on a donkey. And we got to shoot skeet and sporting clays. We had a blast. Then it was back to school and the NHRA races.
Before we sign off, we want to give a shout out to a few sports celebs for hanging out this weekend. Former Panthers and current Ravens Wide Receiver Steve Smith got to start Antron’s Matco dragster on Friday. Steve is a pillar of the Charlotte sporting community and a local fan fav. It was nuts on Friday with the local media. There were five or six local TV cameras at the track to film Steve warming up Antron’s car. It was nuts. Bring the NFL to the track and the media follows.
We also have to thank both Clint Bowyer and Parker Klingerman of the NASCAR world for visiting on Sunday. After a late night Saturday race in Darlington, it was neat for Clint to spend the day at the track as a guest of DSR. He was a super nice guy and very laid back. We’re hoping to put together a Clint/Antron ride swap for later this year. We think Clint could handle a Top Fuel dragster. What do you think?
That’s it for now. I’m gearing up for the final few weeks of school and my impending move to Indy. Don is going fishing with a few of the guys from our front office this week, so they’re really excited. They’re calling it a fishing Kaizen. Haha. Hopefully they can get some cool video footage and pictures for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Remember if you have any DSR or NHRA-related questions, tweet me @MeganFessSchu. Have a great week and thanks for reading.