This time of year is absolute craziness in our industry. Our off season seems to be getting shorter and the competition is getting even greater. As drag radial racing is finding its maturity the gains are getting smaller and the fields are getting tighter. It is so exciting to be apart of. Every winter we are updating cars for new rule changes, combo changes and for new classes. This winter has been especially busy with Duck X Productions creation of DXP street. The idea of this class was to bring back an entry level heads up class with a limited rule set to level the playing field. Its a nitrous small block only, limited to a 4150 intake/carb and you have to use a nitrous cheater plate along with a host of other limited rules. Like anything new there is a lot of excitement. I think this class came at the right time because the drag radial classes have become extremely fast and people were ready for a throwback to the "Glory Days." It has been awesome to see people's excitement about the class. From the people that have never entered a heads up race before and also from the guys that have been heads up racing for a long time. The new and the veteran's are all excited about the same thing. A relatively equal playing field. Its been interesting to see the hype develop over the few months. It started off as this is finally the "working man/woman" heads up class. A class that will allow people with smaller budgets to finally compete on a national level. Now just a couple weeks before the race I feel like the tides are changing as new cars are being shown off and a lot of veteran racers are sharing their plans of coming to run the class. It feels like the dream of going down as a “working man/woman” and going across that finish line first is starting to go away. Reality is rearing its ugly head that this class is going to be just like all the other classes; ruined with big checks that only a few people can actually cash. We see the complaints of no sponsors, exploiting all the grey area, parts that not everyone can get exc. I absolutely get the frustration.
10 years ago I was just Jason when I called somewhere asking for help. I was not Jason with Tin Soldier. I was just a “working man” with dreams that no one seemed to care anything about. It felt like I was looking at the front of a stage and I so badly wanted to see what was behind the curtain but no one believed in me enough to invite me back. I loved X275 since I first watched YouTube videos of it 10years ago (still do, my favorite class). I wanted to run it but my wallet, my time and my skill set all showed that this was something I would never be able to do. During that time, I went to school for tig welding so I could learn how to weld/fabricate on my race car better. I ended up taking a welding job after I finished up my tig classes. A few years later I meet my business partner and in June of 2015 we started Tin Soldier Racecars with a dream and some tools from Harbor Freight. Now almost 5 years into TSR we are lucky to be behind the curtain of this industry and we get to be a part of so many amazing teams. We get to see how they work and also, we now know the work that it took to get them where they are at. These guys are no different than new people coming in. They have just evolved. When you meet a successful heads up racer you realize that they think different, they don’t use the word quit, they look at rules as a challenge, they get excited about what the rules do not say and getting to that finish line first means more to them than it probably should. Competitive is not even the word for them, its really more insanity. The Magnetism of getting to the finish line first absolutely consumes them and they want to know that they are the best. The reason DXP Street appeals to them is that they are tired of hearing that their combo has an advantage and that’s the only reason they are round house kicking their competition. They want that relatively equal playing field as bad as you do.
These guys/girls were all in your shoes as a first-time heads-up racer once. They went to the track and they felt like they were about to get puppy kicked. Guess what? They most likely did. What they did next is what made them who they are today…. They kept going back and they kept getting kicked until eventually they started kicking back. When all these cars get unloaded in Georgia there is going to be some that feel like they have been kicked and that they never have a chance to run with these guys. Money no doubt helps but I can tell you that the drive to kick back is stronger than money. The more you work and the more you start to kick the more you will see that curtain get pulled back. The more you will realize that the “Puppy Kickers” are just like you but they were just tired of getting kicked. Lights Out 11 is going to be rowdy and we all have the same problem… The Magnetism of the Finish Line consumes us. We will see you at the racetrack!