D.R.A.W. The secret that’s no Secret
The acronym D.R.A.W. stands for the Drag Racing Association of Women, and I’m sad to state that the majority of people who are reading this story know what that acronym stands for because they’ve already received aid from D.R.A.W. The largest majority of readers, many of whom are racers, do know about D.R.A.W. and why the Drag Racing Association of Women is so important to us all. It’s like the best-kept secret that’s no secret.
DRAW was officially organized following a successful fund-raiser in 1984 for Shirley Muldowney
This group of amazing people has been helping racers injured on track while in drag racing since 1985. They formed the previous year, became an official non-profit, and actively began helping injured racers and their families in 85. When a drag racer is injured on track, while drag racing: someone needs to contact D.R.A.W. ASAP with details, including how to contact that racer and/or the family directly.
In drag racing, as in any motorsport, it’s dangerous out there. That’s intrinsic within the very nature of racing. Crashes happen. Sometimes, an incident is a simple thing; other times, the carnage is devastation. When the racer is the family breadwinner, the whole family suffers. D.R.A.W. can often help ease the suffering in many ways.
For example, when Larry “Spiderman” McBride had to bail off his Top Fuel motorcycle, at over 200 MPH in 1991, as it was headed for the guard rails at Gainesville Raceway, Larry’s bike was a wreck, but the legendary Spiderman survived with substantial injuries. Larry was quick to comment in a recent interview for this story in 2024 “I can’t say enough good things about the people of D.R.A.W. and what they do for us injured racers. They were right there to help me and my family. Not just with bills, but the ladies and their supporters came to visit me in the hospital and cheer me up. That really meant a lot to me.”
In more recent times, when Jimmy McMillan crashed in March of 2023, when his TF Harley went off the end of the track, within days, D.R.A.W. was on the phone. “Yes, they helped me, not only financially, but with phone calls, cards, and letters from so many people, even a Teddy Bear.” Other motorcycle drag races in 2023 that received support from the organization included Phil Lower and Brad Hurt.
The Drag Racing Association of Women is not only non-profit, but it’s all volunteer. No one is profiting from this except the racers in need. D.R.A.W. receives its money every year from donations by racers and fans. Some buy their signature address labels and check off a donation of $20 or more dollars to contribute to the effort. At select major NHRA drag races, fans and racers can easily find the D.R.A.W. booth area in the pits, nestled in among the racers rigs. If you’re in need of excellent earplugs or sunblockers, stop by, give a donation, and say thank you to the support staff manning the booth.
Anyone can donate at any time, by mail, in person at a race, or via email and PayPal. Every dollar helps racers and racing. Serious donations can also further the actions of DRAW. Twice a year, this organization holds a bi-annual auction to help fund the supporting efforts. Racers, fans, manufacturers, and professional photographers donate valued items for auction. NHRA stars and superstars attend the auctions and may buy or offer up items of interest.
Often the announcers of the National Hot Rod Association attend the auctions, acting as the Masters of Ceremony. They do this on their own time on their own dime. Legends like Dave McClelland, Bob Frye, Allan Reinhart and Brian Lohnes have all taken up the mic, to support the sport they love.
Posters donated by professional photographers, race team shirts signed by the legends of the sport, and driver’s helmets signed by entire race teams: Items you’ll never see in electronic media bring in substantial funds for injured racers and their families.
If you are reading this and you are not a member of or supporter of DRAW, you are missing out on a chance to make a difference in the lives of people who need it. If you or anyone you know, would like to learn more about D.R.A.W., visit them online at www.drawonline.org or on their facebook page.
Why not step up and support the people who support your sport?
Dragbike.com would like to thank Sandra Alberti and Chris Hardesty for their contributions to this story and for their selfless service to DRAW, each year.
|Until Next time…
– Tom McCarthy