Prev Article Next Article

Bench Racer—With Steve Turner

Posted By: Steve Turner
Bench Racer—With Steve Turner
Rearview Reflections 
By Steve Turner
Photography by the FSC staff
Drag racers don't pay much attention to the rearview mirror. There is only time to execute the run at a high level, win the round and move on. It is only after the final runs are made that they can truly appreciate their accomplishments. 
At that moment on the track, it is all about a single round. Then there is the preparation between laps, and in the blink of an eye, the race is over and it's time to prepare for the next one. Whether that means testing and tuning or wholesale repairs, the eye remains on the immediate prize. There are no laurels to rest upon.
With launch rpm to dial in, shift points to hit, and rev limiters to avoid, racing is both thrilling and demanding. It usually isn't until later in the season that the championship points chase starts putting the season into perspective. 
It is much the same for those of us in the media department. The races are all-consuming sprints that have us traversing each facility in an attempt to present the events from numerous angles without overlooking the significant happenings.
Much as they do for the racers, the events pass in the blink of an eye. While we do take time to document the happening here for posterity, the ever-present deadlines do keep our focus out front rather than in the proverbial rear-view mirror. 
I have long believed that looking ahead to the next event or deadline makes time feel like it flies by even faster, so taking a moment to reflect is something worth cherishing. As we put a bow on the 2022 Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals season in this issue, it is worth reflecting on all those great accomplishments.
The moment that allows for that sort of reflection is the annual awards ceremony. Both the NMCA awards and the Chevrolet Performance dinner are highlights on the calendar for that reason. Even though I am covering those too, there are moments I can just sit back and watch Scott Sparrow's artfully edited videos or hear a racer recount a successful season.
In those moments, as jaded as I may have become after years in the business, I can appreciate the fact that I was able to witness some truly cool stuff while having the opportunity to help tell the story of people pursuing something that they truly love. 
Generally, people are happy at the racetrack. They are among friends and family engaging in something that non-enthusiasts wouldn't understand. Many work long hours and late nights on their projects and spend their available vacation to allow for travel time and racing. When they achieve their goals of winning races and earning championships, it is something worth celebrating and looking back on with fondness. 
Even before I sat at this desk, I always enjoyed attending the awards ceremonies. Seeing the racers cleaned up with their families there to see the fruits of their labor makes for a special night. But watching those videos and seeing moments that I witnessed brings back the good memories of photos taken and stories told.
As we head into a new racing season, I am looking forward to seeing racers in action. Some will be in new classes. Some will pilot new cars. Records will be set, and trips to the Winner's Circle earned. A season always begins with the hope that every racer can make a move toward earning a Victor award and making a speech from the podium in December.
For now, however, let's look back one last time on a great season in this issue, and be thankful that the next one is kicking off. Before you know it, we'll be looking back on the 2023 campaign.

join our

email list

You’ll be first to know about NMCA events, race results and so much more!