Essentially we are just two weeks away from the largest radial race of the fall season. This year is a little different though. This year we celebrate ten years of No Mercy.
There might be some of you that are sitting there thinking “wow, ten years isn’t really a big deal”, well I am here to tell you that you are a moron if you think that. There are few races and few promoters that have the ability to say that they have held a tenth-anniversary race. Once you break the decade mark, that is something that should be celebrated.
Imagine back to a day when mid 4 second passes in an RvW car were the norm and even record-breaking. Imagine a time when X275 cars didn’t even have an ET that started with a 4 in front of it. A time when there was no LDR, and a time when slicks still had a chance to beat radials side by side. In just a decade when we have seen so much change, yet the person that has been at the forefront, and headed up the radial revolution is still the same man doing it today.
Orlando has World Street Nationals, Jason Miller has World Cup, Monty Mikho has YellowBullet, Dave Hance and now Tyler Crossnoe have Shakedown, but then there Donald Long. It is one thing to celebrate the tenth anniversary of a race, but it is an entirely different story when you are actually doing it twice in the same year. Earlier this season, we celebrated the tenth anniversary of Lights Out. That means Donald has figured out a way to put on a spring show and fall show successfully for a decade and make it worth coming back to every time.
Seventeen years ago I went to my very first World Ford Challenge in St. Louis. At the time it was a destination race. It was a race you planned for all year and a race that you would never miss. When you checked out of your hotel, you booked your room for the following year. That all changed a short five years later when the promoter screwed everything up. Ever since then, there has been a giant hole in the Ford drag racing world.
That last paragraph is a cautionary tale for all of us to pay attention to. Entirely too many times we become complacent with the idea that promoters and tracks will just keep doing this and holding the event, and as you can see, that’s not always the case. We in the drag racing community need to make sure that we continue to support the races that support the industry. The money that races like Donald’s, Ozzy’s,, Jason’s, Monty’s, and Tyler’s generate for everyone is astronomical at times. You don’t always have to love the messenger, but you damn sure better enjoy the show.
Blood, sweat, tears, and hard-earned money, those are the things that go into putting on an event like No Mercy. Add to that a good chance you will not sleep for a month leading up to it, you will miss family time, you will start to lose your mind, and why do it? Yes, it’s a business, but you don’t stay at a job you hate just for a good paycheck. You stay because something keeps you coming back. I have been privileged enough to cover a great many of Donald Long’s events, along with the others that I mentioned, and No Mercy X will be no exception.
E3xtreme is pulling out all the stops. In fact, we are so committed to bringing you the best coverage of the event possible, that I will personally be on the grounds for 9 full days. Danny Stogner will be there helping photograph some of the action, Videographer Kyle Christ will be there creating great footage, and for the first time ever as credentialed media and a representative of E3xtreme, our Social Media Director and Photographer Courtney Paulshock will be on site all week creating some of the best content in the industry as well.
If you have ever thought about going to SGMP for a Donald Long race, and you haven’t done it, I believe that now is the time. Personally I think that this is going to be the best No Mercy yet. So pull up those bootstraps and get ready for a damn good time at No Mercy X