It might come as a surprise to some that don't follow the industry as close, but not a surprise in the E3xtreme camp. Over the weekend, we saw Stevie Fast win his first ever NHRA National Event at Topeka, while avenging a loss to the same competitor, Mike Castellana, who Stevie lost to in Atlanta.
Stevie's road isn't one of just random happenstance either. This kid has been busting his butt for years and years just to get to the NHRA stage. This Topeka race was the culmination of all the 72 hour nonstops at the shop, the 20 hours in the rig, the countless obstacles, and a ridiculous amount of haters from everywhere, along with so much more.
What you need to remember though, is this, just like radial world records, or big money grudge, another step towards the end goal of being in a fuel car. Robbie, Jack, Stevie, and the rest of the team have met the goal in NHRA to get the win. The next goal set is the championship. It's a natural progression. Like I said, and Stevie has had clear, the end goal is a nitro ride though.
The long road started back in 1996 with an ’88 Camaro at the infamous House of Hook. The orange Procharger Mustang was one that most will never forget and helped continue to keep Procharger on the map. Let's not forget that Stevie has been a champion is just about everything with wheels that he has ever done. He was an ORSCA Limited Street Champion, he has been a drag radial world record holder multiple times, he has been a champion in the Middle East with a Pro Mod. There is not much in the young life of Steve Jackson that he hasn't accomplished.
On top of being an amazing driver, what he is known worldwide for, he is also a dad. Stevie, no matter where in the world concentrates first and foremost on his daughter Sophie. Endless nights and world records don't compare to the nightly conversations with her. Luckily for Stevie, Sophie got to be there in Topeka for daddy's first NHRA Pro Mod win. Being there for that win is something we are sure that Stevie will never forget either! You never get another first win.
Now there is another issue at hand that I found quite funny last night after seeing Stevie’s win. That was the reaction to his interview that some thought was too tame. Fact is that Stevie is in the NHRA sandbox now and on top of that it was also his first win, which was emotional to say the least. Then again, I think there are those that just want to complain about everything that Stevie does. He has brought a fire back to that area of the sport that was needed, and the attention that Pro Mod receives right now because he and so many other superstars are there is a great thing!
So where does Stevie go from here? Well since it’s Monday and knowing Stevie he is already getting ready for Etown in two weeks. When it comes to the NHRA, we have seen that just because you win doesn’t mean you will make the field the next week. Stevie is going to make sure he doesn’t ever fall into that category. We are entering one of the toughest stretches for Pro Mods all season. They will have three in a row. Traveling up to Etown, then off to Bristol, before wrapping it up at Norwalk. With a schedule like that, celebration takes a backseat to forward momentum.
We at E3xtreme would like to congratulate Stevie on his first win, and congratulate the entire NHRA Pro Mod field for making the big show so much better. Your sportsmanship and ability is something that is enjoyable to watch in drag racing. While Mike Castellana is GAPPING the points right now, with a 178-point lead over Steven Whiteley, followed by Steve Matusek, and then Stevie Jackson, anything can happen, so don’t think this race is over. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.