There are days that evil hides behind a gun, or days that evil hides behind a keyboard, and there are even days where evil hides behind a political office desk, but this weekend evil showed it ugly face in the worst of places, and that is our home away from home.
What occurred yesterday in the small town of Union Grove, WI at one of the most iconic tracks in the history of drag racing wasn’t a gun issue, or a race issue, or a political issue. It was an issue of pure evil and hatred towards other human beings. It was a coward with a gun. I am sure plenty of people out there would love to blame this issue on guns, but the simple fact is that this would have happened with or without “tough” gun laws, so move past that.
The dragstrip for many of us is a home away from home. Whether you are one the road all season with a series like the NHRA, or if you are a weekend warrior doing T&T or brackets, the dragstrip, though dangerous, is really a place where we all feel safe. Unfortunately, this weekend that safety was shattered at one of my home tracks, Great Lakes Dragaway. Three people lost their life yesterday and it feels like it happened in my home.
Fact of the matter is that we all look out for each other within the motorsports community. There is never a tighter knit group than when someone needs help. I have seen this when someone got sick, wrecked a car, got divorced, or even broke down at 2am on the side of the freeway. We stick together, and it’s always been that way. What happened this weekend was not perpetrated by someone who cared about the drag racing community, it was done by the evil that doesn’t care about our community. This was an act of pure hatred, an act that won’t be tolerated by those within our drag racing community.
Time and time again I see people complain about the division in our country, or our world for that matter, yet all they really should do to find an answer to the problem is come to the drag strip. Now don’t for a minute get to thinking that I believe this can solve everything, but where else does skin color, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, weight, etc. have absolutely no bearing on anything? It’s behind the wheel or in the pits at a race track. It’s a place where the National Anthem is played, prayer is commenced, and the only complaints are about the weather and track prep.
Whoever it was that decided to be judge and juror yesterday, does not in any way reflect the values that the rest of us within the community have. There are plenty of people that don’t like each other at the race track, but we all find a way to get along for that day. The last thing that I want is for people to start thinking that they should be worried about going to the dragstrip. Evil is not welcome in my home, and my home is the dragstrip.
Great Lakes Dragaway is the longest continually operated dragstrip in the country, and its incidents like this in today’s age of social media that could put an end to that. We have said for years, whether it be 9/11, Sandy Hook, Orlando, etc. that we will not let this evil define us and we will not let this evil destroy us. We as a community need to stand up and make sure that we continue to support dragstrips. This means being willing to deal with more security or any other improvements that the track is willing to make. We stand tall in the drag racing community and we support. What happened yesterday was senseless evil and we will mourn for those gone, but we will also support the rest of the community that condemns this evil.
If you plan on coming to our home and causing problems, you’ve come to the wrong home. We stand together in protecting our home and its family. Don’t bring your drama to our home.