The time is starting to approach for a lot of us to look at the fall schedule, especially those on the media side of the fence. With huge events happening from Labor Day weekend all the way until the end of the calendar year. Yet the biggest and most anticipated race that I can honestly ever remember is scheduled to happen this October at SGMP and that's No Mercy 7. Can it be that this event is the biggest drag racing event in history?
Now, before all the NHRA and American Outlaw Live fans crucify mean for saying that, they are reasons that I believe this could be the biggest event in the history of the sport. First off look at the payouts, they just continue to grow and grow. The support that Donald and his team have for this race from within the industry is unparalleled.
Next is the car counts, which Donald always has a huge number of. It may not be the largest amount of heads up cars ever at an event, but that also doesn't define it as the biggest. Third, the quality of the competition. Before we left to cover the Lights Out race in February, Ellen and I tried to figure out what the bump would be for RvW and I happen to win that one on the nose. Can you believe that the bump in a 32 car field was as low as it was? This fall I am predicting right now that the 32 car bump for RvW is going to be about a 4.05...that's right for a 32 car field.
With a 32 car field that may include drivers like Keith Berry, Stevie Jackson, Keith Haney, Josh Klugger, Dewayne Mills, Dennis Bailey, Justin Shearer, Daniel Pharris, Shawn Ayers, David Wolfe, Mark Micke, Mark Woodruff, Rob Valden, and a host of others, how can you bet against this being the biggest event ever? That's just in one class, that doesn't include that who's who in every other class as well.
Lets look at the fans. The fans are another thing that makes this great as well. Four and five deep at the fence line. Climbing on buildings and jumping fences to get a glimpse of the spectacle that is one of Donald's races. This fall Donald has announced VIP seating, along with pre-race ticket sales. July Fourth the tickets will go on sale and I am willing to bet that in the first 20 minutes all the VIP will be sold out. It will be like the old days of waiting in line for concert tickets hours in advance to get your shot, only this time you will have people hitting the refresh button over and over and over.
What about the facility though? Donald has stated that there are improvements in the works that Ozzy and Wade are addressing to accommodate the mass influx of people to the facility. Wade has always done an amazing job at keeping everything right whether it is at SGMP or Orlando. My only suggestion is that they should be prepared as far as concessions go. People don't want to wait 30 minutes in line for chicken fingers.
The team, the people that make this race happen in October. The team of Donald, Stephanie, Billy, Kay, Lenco, Ozzy, Wade, Troy, Jason Miller, and so many more. When you put the right people in place to create success, you end up with success and that has shown time after time. The entire staff at SGMP has been on point as well. From the ladies in concession to Leslie in the ambulance, everyone is there to make sure it's a successful event.
Oh, but the traffic. Yeah I know we all remember sitting in line waiting to get in due to traffic. Well I believe the logistics of that have already been worked on and will continue to be worked on so that the same thing doesn't happen in the fall that did in the spring. I certainly wouldn't worry about traffic holding you back from seeing the event.
Lastly I just want to give some advice to the fans and racers out there. This is a big event, and you should expect the unexpected. Sometimes there may be a line, there may be people in your way, but guess what, we are all there to enjoy the sport we love, so take a moment, breath and relax. Next, racers, check your gear and get your stuff in order! You are on one of the biggest racing stages of your life and you should treat it as such. Make sure you are up to date with all the IHRA & or NHRA safety gear as well. You have three months to get it in order, I suggest you do it now.
And fans, please be respectful to the staff, racers, crew, media, etc. For a lot of people, this is their job being there. And be respectful to each other. Be an example that kids can look up to. Finally, people shooting on the wall and you know who you are if you ask, "was he talking to me?" because the ones that already know would never have to ask. Be respectful to the other photographers, videographers, and media personal around you. Don't lean over the wall to get a shot. For that matter you shouldn't even have to lean up against the wall. We are all there to serve a purpose and enjoy the racing and that is exactly why I think this will be the biggest race in drag racing history.