Deric Kramer started his first near-full-time-season a lot better than he ended it. The Colorado native, who counts Las Vegas as something of a home race, never planned to go on tour in 2018. By the time he got to the U.S. Nationals the American Ethanol team flat ran out of tires.
“We just didn’t plan the right way to run a full season,” said Kramer. “We were running so well and having success and winning that we stayed out at times when we weren’t planning on doing that. So, yeah, we were running on new tires and that showed in our late-season performance.”
Kramer also works full-time as an app developer (the thing you’re using to read this on your smartphone), which is a Monday-Friday commitment. He’s able to take some of his work on the road, which is both a blessing and a curse. He’ll work all through qualifying in the trailer and sometimes through the first two rounds when work piles up.
Work piled up during the 24-race schedule in 2018. That won’t happen as much with the lightened load of an 18-race schedule in 2019. He hopes.
“It just got overwhelming, to be honest,” said Kramer. “It got to a point where I couldn’t catch up when I went back to work. I was working downtown at the time and so you have to factor that commute into the amount of time I was sinking into my days and… it was a lot.”
The mental strain of work, whether it’s at the drag strip or at home will affect performance – whether it’s measurable or not is debatable. It’s not worth playing armchair psychologist (we’re not licensed for that, and it’s not very much fun) but it’s absolutely worth noting how much easier the weekend-to-weekend tasks can be when you know what your full schedule will look like.
Kramer started a new job after the Auto Club NHRA Finals in November and knows he’ll race the full 18-race slate. He’s got good horsepower from K.B. Racing (the Greg Anderson/Jason Line conglomerate funded by Ken Black – who does call Las Vegas home) and Kramer can now focus on his driving. Work can stay at work, driving remains a drag strip endeavor.
Your work/life balance probably looks a little bit different, but when Kramer talks about his commute and the stress of deadlines, he’s as relatable as anyone in the Pro Stock paddock.