ADRA Darlington is Full Speed Ahead - Let's Go!
By Don Ewald
Don asked his online pals to send this message around the web earlier in the week. I was out of town for a few days, so I'm putting this up with the Darlington, South Carolina, ADRA race starting tomorrow. I guess that's too late to coerce any racers to attend, but it's not too late to ask the Southeastern drag racing fans to head to Darlington in droves! We need to save this organization and the idea of preserving nostalgia drag racing on a national level.
Like everyone else directly involved with ADRA, I've had a week to digest and get over the embarrassment of Cordova (NOT Cordova's fault). I've vented my thoughts and told everyone the truth as I know it. I still have bad checks and my bills are mounting. I've had more than a few "I told you so's" and even my dogs think I'm a fool.
That said -- ATTENTION IN THE PITS -- After long talks with Jim MacMonagle, Larry Hensley (gotta love a guy who shoots as straight as him), and Dick Bybee, I have NO doubts that there will be one hell of a drag race at Darlington this weekend.
Not only will there be a drag race but it will be a race that's been PROPERLY publicized and promoted (thanks to Larry) and one that I can honestly PROMISE cash payments to the racers. As stated before, the purses will be based on the gate but I believe that this gate will be substantial and KNOW the racers will get the lions share of the money.
How much do I believe in this? I will be in Darlington (coming in Wednesday with Jim MacMonagle) to show my support and help in any way I can. Do I want you racers to follow me one more time? Damn right I do! I guess its one of those in for a penny, in for a pound deals.
Gang, we're back to square "A." As ludicrous as it sounds, this could be the beginning or the end of ADRA. That's right -- it is a new beginning (how silly does that sound after just two races?) or the last hurrah. This depends on a LOT of factors and one of those factors is the success of this race.
I can tell you that the #1 reason -- the only reason -- ADRA is in the mess its in is simple... Bill Chapman. Chapman is outta here. That would constitute the new beginning. Can the new leadership undo the damage? That remains to be seen. I know they are going to give it their best shot and hopefully they will use all the assets (staff) Chapman ignored. But no matter how well intentioned, they can't do it if everybody bails. The staff is hanging in and we ask that the fans and racers do the same.
So -- all you fence sitters -- put that sucker in the box and head South. If nothing else we can have some fun and witness what's sure to be a hunk of drag racing history (good or bad) that will be talked about long after us old dogs are gone. We saw the rebirth or death of ADRA -- but damn it -- we had fun doin' it!
Fuelers -- gassers -- altereds -- super stocks - bracket racers -- if you have any doubts or questions call me at (541) 955-7130 or (775) 224-2669, Jim MacMonagle (530) 545-3603, or Larry Hensley (843) 332-0123. DON'T listen to a word Chapman or his traveling road show has to say. In fact -- don't take my word for it; just ask my bud Olin Davis how straight Chapman is.
PLEASE LET ME SEE (and meet) AS MANY OF YOU AS POSSIBLE IN DARLINGTON! If you love drag racing just half as much as I do, give us one more benefit of the doubt -- that way it may not be the last doubt and we can all do it again in Maple Grove in three weeks!
"The Rodeo Clown"
P.S. - Thanks to Kent Terry, Dale and Kat Suhr and Mike Fuller for their leap of faith and hopefully many more will follow.