As a lot of you have seen across the internet in the last couple of days, there has been a lot of controversy regarding all the happens at Bowling Green. What no one seems to be talking about though is all the time, effort, heart, and soul that went into even making this event.
We were on site at Beech Bend on Tuesday in an attempt to help Tyler and his crew make sure that there were plenty of hands on deck for anything that he may need. Now the weather all week was looking like it might be hit or miss, and unfortunately that was the least of our worries by the time we left Bowling Green on Saturday night to head home.
Something else that hasn’t been getting a lot of attention was the performances that occurred on the track surface throughout the week. I am not going to get into the numbers, since at this point there is no reason to. Just know that if you weren’t there, you missed some damn good performances out of the best of the best in the world.
Saturday morning rolled around and everyone was worried about whether we would get a race in. As we rolled to the track from our hotel, I had some serious doubts about pulling this one off. My doubts never were doubts in Tyler, or the rest of the crew, but in whether Mother Nature was even going to give us a window to race. There were some rumblings around lunch time that we not have to pull the plug on the entire event. At about 12:55 pm Central Time an announcement was made that asked all drivers to come to pit side grandstands at 1:15 for a drivers meeting. By then I was pretty sure what we were going to hear.
Once we all arrived up there, Tyler stood in the area right past the water box, surrounded by drivers, staff, and media, ready to address the crowd. This is a race that he has put his heart and soul into over the years. He isn’t doing it for the money, he is doing it for his love of the sport. As he addressed the crowd and explained that with the weather and track the way that it was, there was no way that we would even get in one round of eliminations. I could hear in his voice how upset he was, and that is when I saw tears running down this young man’s face when he had to tell everyone that the event has to be cancelled.
In a statement that Tyler released yesterday though addressing all the controversy regarding passes made at Beech Bend, along with the disgusting behavior of a whole lot of people that call themselves part of the drag racing family, it stated:
For those who think this is easy, this was wrote through tears so if the grammar isn’t correct, apology is up front.
Over the past 24 hours, I have received phone calls and messages receiving death threats, wishes of me dying in my sleep, hopes that I will have to file bankruptcy over the event this past weekend due to rain and now even threats of being sued since this post began along with plenty more things that make me absolutely sick. I’m deeply saddened that something that I tried to do nice for people and had some issues has come to this. I drove home yesterday, through all of these calls and messages and dodged three accidents on the highway that could have ended badly for everyone around. I haven’t slept. I haven’t thought straight.
I’m going on the record right now. I checked the timing system when I arrived. Everything appeared in working condition and the settings in the computer were correct. There is in no way possible that I would ever alter a system to create false information. For those of you who think I would, please remove yourself from my personal profile. This makes me sicker than every one of you combined. Yes, there were some odd runs but we did the best we could with the situations we were put in. No one person is perfect. No timing system is perfect. No race car is perfect. If one of the three above are, please let me know where it or they are because I want to see it or meet them.
If I ever decide to do this again, I am now expected to change and put new timing sensors and photocells in wherever I go because of people trashing my name and reputation. This will also add thousands of dollars to an already quarter-million dollar event. I’ve had the worst 24 hours of my life aside from when I lost my father. To those who have tried to keep me positive, thank you, it means more than you know. We tried to do the right thing with a bad situation with the rain out but paying every racer that was on the ladder going to E1 and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to racers and spectators isn’t good enough for most. Not many would do that but we felt that was the only fair way with all the issues we faced over the weekend. To those who have ran me in the dirt, thank you as well, for letting me know who I can trust and count on and this list is continually getting longer of who I cannot.
There is a reason why I’ve been quiet. There is a reason why I’ve been trying to figure things out before opening my mouth.
Do I believe a lot of the runs from this weekend’s event? Yes. Were there a handful of runs that made me question what is going on? Yes.
There are plenty of runs that were legitimate but there were also a number of question marks that we all wondered about, even in house. There are a number of question marks in certain class rule books that do not outline maximum overhang, maximum stagger and minimum ride heights. By having gray areas like this, it opens the legality of runs book to an even deeper chapter. Going forward, for any event that I’m personally involved with, rulebooks will be more detailed than ever to eliminate all gray areas like this.
I’m going on the record as of right now, as event owner and director, and negating ALL runs from the 2019 edition of the Outlaw Street Car Reunion. I know 95% of those runs were legit. But the other 5% will continue to raise question marks and those question marks will continue to kill the reputation of our event. All racers were paid for their time by the promotions company. Fans, if you want a refund, I’ll pay it out of my personal pocket. I just need to know where it needs to go. I care more about the respect of the racers and the sport as a whole than I do the records. Records will change hands next week. Respect lasts way longer.
There will be some mad people about this but this is the only way that I feel like is fair to everyone in the public eye. Data doesn’t lie. We all know what happened. I would rather have the respect of all knowing myself and my team did it the right way than have a number with our name beside it.
End of the story, the 2019 Outlaw Street Car Reunion by the numbers never happened.
Racers that came and supported, I love you all, I hope you all know that. When you go run those same numbers other places, all will be fine and I will be proud for you, your accomplishments and where you did them. I hope you all can take the little bit of money we were able to pay you in the split and put it towards something to make your program better or just taking your family to dinner to enjoy time away from the races. To my team, I’m sorry that a few minor issues have blown up like this and tried to tarnish all of your reputations because of a few malfunctions that are out of every human’s control but I feel like this is the best thing to do to keep every one of you out of the eye of scrutiny. To everyone that’s wondering, I would never cheat. I don’t have to. I never will. If I have to cheat to get ahead in life, I’ll find something else to do.
PS.... Donald Long, this was done long before you decided to go on your rampage and threaten to sue me, just because it’s posted after doesn’t mean that your video pushed me to this decision. But, if you’d like to take out a federal lawsuit to sue me, please go right ahead. At this point, you’re going to get a pocket full of lint, a whole hell of a lot of pride and respect for the sport of drag racing, the companies who support every racer, no matter what class, and most everybody in it - racers, fans, media, race crews, team members, truck drivers and everywhere in between
Now, I have known Tyler for years, and I consider him a friend. When I lost my dad last year, he was one that I could talk to about working through this. He is one of the most stand-up human beings you will ever meet. The kid busts his ass to put on great events. You don’t hear about him pounding his chest about records, and I don’t think he would if he could. There has been some disgusting behavior on the part of plenty of people in our sport over the last couple of days! To say that I am proud to call Tyler a friend is an understatement.
Lastly, I want to address the fact that Tyler took the time to explain how he would handle the entire event. Pro Mod, RvW, X275, Ultra, LDR, all split the entire purse. That’s right, not a single elimination pass was made and yet Tyler split these purses out among the drivers on the sheet. He refunded the entry for the Super Pro class as well. So next time anyone wants to question this young mans motives, maybe they should STFU and look inside. That’s all I will say about that.
OSCR VI might be an event that people want to sweep under the rug, but I will certainly not ignore the fact that Tyler did everything he could to make everything right. We at E3xtreme will continue to support the young man, and have already started to make plans for OSCR VII.