Person of the Week : Donnie Huffman
The track announcer stated that up next, we have Donnie Huffman the busiest and most prolific AMRA racer in drag racing history. This comment was made at The Summer Shootout Nationals Beech Bend Raceway Park Bowling Green, KY. June 25-26, 2016. It was made during the eliminations on Sunday in the brutal 107-degree heat index. These racers had just endured Saturday’s heat index of 110 during qualifying. Just imagine these horrible conditions, where most racers compete in 1, 2, and 3, classes while Donnie Huffman always competes in 5 classes.
Some racers claim Donnie Huffman is Superman of drag racing, running all those classes. Donnie boldly states he is not Superman. Donnie says he never thinks of himself as being any better than anyone else, he just tries to focus better. Donnie says he has just been lucky enough to have all the equipment and ability, to be able to compete in all those classes, and he just tries to stays focused on winning. Donnie being so focused leaves some people with the idea he is aloof. If you take the time to really get to know Donnie, you find what a great person he is, a kind friend, and a very fierce competitor.
I am always in awe of how these racers can compete in these extremes. It was almost unbearable just being out in the sun and heat. While these racers perform wearing hot nonbreathable full body leathers, and full face non-cooling helmets. This combo tries to cook their bodies and brains, while they are trying to perform at their highest levels of physical achievement to win races and Championships. Part of the reason I thought of writing this was Donnie Huffman red lighted on two classes. Which Donnie never red lights, he had one in the semifinals and the other in the finals. I was pretty sure the heat had caused this, but Donnie assured me it wasn’t.
Donnie Huffman has achieved 19 championships during his career, and may acquire a couple more championships by year’s end, to post with his previous records. Donnie is about to become one of the winningest racers of all time.
All of this brought me back to the announcer’s statement about Donnie being the most prolific AMRA racer in history. When he first announced this, I thought he was misusing the word. Writers are prolific, tigers are prolific breeders in captivity, fruit trees are prolific bearers of fruit, and some artists are prolific painters, but can a drag racer be prolific?
If prolific means bountiful, fruitful, abundant, and producing of large quantities, I guess it is the best word to describe Donnie Huffman. Donnie is bountiful in entering more classes than anyone else, he is fruitful as he battles to more wins than almost anyone else, and he has acquired an abundant number of more championships than anyone else, and has helped to teach and produce large quantities of racers to become better racers, than anyone else.
Donnie Huffman started racing in 1996 the last half of the year and won a couple of races. He started his full-time campaign of drag racing in 1997 and is still riding the very same bike he won his first race with from back then.
It was stated on the phone, that as of Wednesday June 29, 2016, Donnie still hadn’t totally recovered from this brutal weekend. Every other racer out there that weekend knows how brutal it was, but only a few can imagine the effort it took for Donnie to compete in all these classes in the heat. Donnie is a very dedicated racer, with a never say give attitude. At the end of 2016 Donnie will have competed for 20 years without the slightest thought of retiring anytime soon.
|– Charlie Wieland|