What?? Did someone say it’s March already? Dang, time sure flies when you’re pondering car stuff and drag racing so much of the time. After racing at the first two Summit Racing Series team races at the newly named Firebird Motorsports Park, I’ve finally realized that drag racing is my problem and my passion all rolled into one. By the time this March issue of Roddin’ Arizona came out, I’m about a month away from my 73rd birthday. And, I absolutely don’t feel OLD. I still feel sharp mentally, and some people, family members included, might dispute that, especially related to my shall we say car issues. I totally understand that reasoning, since I have way too many vehicles. But, after racing this last weekend, I’m 1000% sure that l want to continue drag racing. Racing is the big question that I think about every day. I have a friend in Oregon that has an awesome purpose built ‘74 Chevy Nova drag car that runs in the 10’s, that he’d sell for $11,000. Knowing what he’s done to build that car, $11,000 is an amazingly low price. For me though, it falls into the TOO MUCH category; too much money, too much power, too much to transport back to Arizona and too much to trailer it to the race track. So, right this minute l don’t have a dedicated bracket racer. I do have 2-3 vehicles that could be modified for that purpose, but today, I’m not sure what’s the right decision, l just know that I’m still excited about racing and already looking forward to the next pair of races in May at Firebird.

For probably the last 10 years, my good friend Steve Watkins and l always parked together at the drags, but last summer Steve moved up to Oregon where there’s way more drag racing. I really didn’t know how I’d feel when the February 17 & 18 Summit Series races at Firebird kicked off another bracket racing season, but as soon as I made that left turn into the gate 3 racers entrance, l just felt excited to be there. I certainly missed Steve, but couldn’t wait to hear those words from track announcer Johnny Motto “Attention in the pits Attention in the pits, Sportsman racers to lanes two and three” WOW, here we go, another brand new racing season is about to start.I haven’t won a race in 10 years and often joke about not being very good at this, but, even though i was racing a very slow daily driver type car, it didn’t matter, slow cars can win and if l didn’t believe that l had the same chance to win as every other racer out there I would stop racing. Reality is, of the over 200 racers on this beautiful Saturday at Firebird Motorsports Park, only 5 would go home with the big Summit Racing Series “Winners Check” Same thing on Sunday. I wasn’t one of them, but was thrilled to again be there as part of the Firebird race team.

My son Andy and grandson Chase surprised me at the track on Saturday. That was an awesome surprise

Sportsman and Pro class racer Mike Williams from Gilbert, won Sportsman on Saturday and then made it to the semis on Sunday where he lost to the evential Sunday winner and 2023 Sportsman class track champion AJ Crader. AJ was also the Sportsman class champion from the 2023 Summit Racing Series Bracket Finals in Las Vegas and then got to represent NHRA Division 7 at the NHRA World Finals. Mike and his company Crystal Creek Consulting a landscape company in Gilbert, puts up an extra $100 to the Sportsman class winner at all 8 of the team races in 2024.

There was a big turnout for this new racing season at Firebird

This year all Summit Racing Series class winners and runner-ups receive one of these neat giant checks produced by sponsor HMD Wraps Tinting and Printing


Race #1 Feb. 17th
Winner – Rick Marcy
R/U – Seth Polvadore
Winner – Chuck Hawk
R/U – Mark Pelkey
Winner – Mike Williams
R/U – Tommy Stickelmyer
Winner-  Sean Phipps
R/U – Matt Bluett
Winner – Erin Edwards
R/U – Lyne Piperata
Big Tire Winner – Jeff Sims
Small Tire Winner – Michelle Day
R/U – Robert Horton

Race #2 Feb. 18th
Winner – Dave Johnston
R/U – Steve Stickelmyer
Winner – Jeffrey Edwards
R/U – Olie Malit
Winner – AJ Crader
R/U – Jeff Ford
Winner – Sean Phipps
R/U – Mike Layton
Winner – Aaron Rogers
R/U – Erin Edwards
Big Tire Winner – Jeff Simms
Small Tire Winner – Jason Smith
R/U – Richard Shelly