Motorcycle Drag Racing and COVID-19: Digging in
Story and photos by Tom McCarthy
As the calendar approaches mid-April, the motorcycle drag racing community is still trying to make sense of this COVID-19 pandemic that has canceled more racing events in one season than Mother Nature ever did while in her worst mood. And that’s saying something. Because we all know too well what a mother – Mother Nature can be.
Funny, isn’t it: remember visions of canopies blowing across the pits and racers drenched trying to save their equipment form a sudden pop-up storm? Everyone scurrying about like ants trying to rescue gear against Nature’s wrath; what wouldn’t you give today to be in the pits doing that, as opposed to being hunkered down at home. Bring on the rain! Ah, rain delays at the track – good times eh?
My point is this; forgive me for repeating myself, but it’s worth repeating, tough times don’t last, tough people do. My fellow members of the racing community will tough this out, and we will be back racing again. It’s not a question of if, but when. And the “when” part will come in due time, but until then, we all have a lot of work to do during this unwanted offseason.
Number one for all members of the racing community should be unity. Put aside your differences and focus on the task at hand, getting back to a healthy, strong nation. Abide by all CDC recommendations, Federal and State guidelines and we will get back to business sooner. Take the recommended precautions to heart, practice them every day. Remember, this pathogen can’t enter your airways if you don’t give it the opportunity to do so. For accurate ways of preventing the spread of Covid-19, visit the CDC’s Prevention page.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
The only places you should be getting your information on this pandemic is from the CDC or the World Health Organization – Social Media posts are not always accurate, educate yourself and be careful of the stuff you repost. Spreading inaccurate information does more harm than good. Think before you share!
Here are some things we can do to prepare for the season, once it comes back into our lives. Every racing sanction likely will have a reduced schedule. There will be fewer events in 2020 than any other season in the modern era. Be prepared to go all out and make every round count, and come out swinging! There is no reason why every drag bike out there shouldn’t emerge from this lull with a new drive chain, a new tire, and every bolt tightened. You’ve had months to freshen it up, call your favorite aftermarket hot-rod shop and order today if you’ve not done so.
Support the companies that support us. Motorcycle Drag Racing is a small industry, and we need to do our part to keep everyone in thriving and moving forward. Show your support for the companies that sponsor the events you attend and the classes you race in.
Another pre-season preparation racers should be looking ahead to is maintenance to your trailer and your motor home. Every year racers are plagued by trailer break downs, motor home mishaps, and the like. Now is the time to jack up and get under the rigs, inspect everything, and make sure it’s 100% ready to go to the next race. When was the last time you changed the oil in your generator? Are the connections clean on the storage batteries? I recall more than one run in 2019 where a racer in competition failed to start and LOST that round of racing. That’s a hell of a way to lose; don’t let it happen to you. Keep in mind your sponsors and fans are watching.
Also in looking ahead, know that all your extended racing family has been under as much stress as you, if not more so if they have lost their job or a source of income. So share parts, gas, and accessories, if you can, where you can. Race counts at events may be down as we begin racing. HELP each other, buddy up to travel to racing events and help each other out. Many people now and more so as this continues, are on edge. If you think a fellow racer needs help, ask, and do what you can to help out. A simple phone call from a fellow racer is sometimes all it takes for a person to get a fresh perspective on their problems.
It may be weeks or months before we are all “Back on track” again. But know this my friends, we are all in this together, and we will all come out of this the same way: together. And when you hear the national anthem playing at your next race – sing it LOUD!
The following companies support Dragbike.com by helping us get videographers, photographers, and writers to events. A lot of the content you see on social media is because of their support. Support us by supporting them.
- APE Race Parts
- Brock’s Performance
- DME Racing
- MPS Racing
- MTC Engineering
- Orient Express
- PR Factory Store
- Robinson Industries
- Schnitz Racing
- Tiger Racing
- Ward Performance
- Worldwide Bearings
|Until Next time…
– Tom McCarthy