Drag Illustrated Issue 111, July 2016 | Page 101

PHOTOS: JEREMY PATTERSON. JASON SHARP, WES BUCK HYPE MAN As the unofficial ringmaster of the drag radial circus, Donald “Duck” Long has been instrumental in elevating the small-tire classes from filler material to legitimate stars of drag racing, using his one-of-a-kind brand of grassroots promotion to pack the stands, pits and starting line at South Georgia Motorsports Park twice a year. Sears is quick to warn against dividing up the scene’s potential. “With more races, car counts will drop and guys won’t want to travel as far because the exclusivity of the big races simply won’t be there anymore,” he predicts. “People want to put on a race every week, but if only four or five cars show up, it really takes away a lot overall,” says Long, agreeing with Sears’ July 2016 sentiments. “I think it’s a money thing. Everyone has a right to put on a race, but just trying to make a couple dollars can hurt the sport with too many events on the calendar. If you had 20 Super Bowls, who would care about getting tickets or trying to play in it?” Ironically, Nicodemus claims it’s for that reason that he founded the RTRA. He says he was looking to create a series that people could commit to, rather than hop all over from one standalone race to another. “These guys want to race for something and we wanted to give radial tire racing a place to remain pure. I also wanted to make it affordable to race on radials, because the X275 guys don’t have the budget that the Outlaw 315 guys do,” he shares. DragIllustrated.com | D r a g I l l u s t r a t e d | 101