Diecast Drags net $365 for Progeria Charity

Thanks to many friends of mine and the support of generous parents, it was the kids that won at the “Home Runs, Hot Dogs and Hot Rods” show in downtown Mesa, Arizona on 2/28/09.

MyRideisMe.com Diecast Drags DecalOne set of winning, smiling kids were the ones that enjoyed 4 hours of non-stop action running down the 50 foot track during practice among the car show hot rods. By the time racing action started, they had nailed the timing of the Christmas tree’s amber-amber green start. My boys know the drill, so more than once you heard, “You got smoked!” Next time, bring your kids to the show! Now you’ve got something to enjoy with them that’ll get you out of your lawn chairs!

The second set of kids that won we’ll probably never meet. A rare few will ever know the courage needed to be so different on the outside but remain a smiling, energetic kid inside. I hope other folks were inspired to give to the Progeria Research Foundation like I was when I read Amy Foose’s story. As the younger sister of famed designer and builder Chip Foose, her life ended at 16 before many doctors knew what Progeria is. I’m proud to have raised $365 in donations from the kind car show goers that Saturday. Thank you.  You can still donate yourself by going to Terry Foose’s fund raising site: First Giving for Progeria Research

So what happened in the race?

Pre-staged at the Mesa, Arizona Car show Diecast Drags

It's a beautiful day for racing! The blue sun shining! Hot Wheels Muscle cars are pre-staged and ready to race. Those metal gates "pop" down on the start.

Kids were separated into elimination brackets of: 5 and under, 6-8, 9-12 and over 12. The 6-8 group fielded a full 16 car field followed closely by 15 and 14 racers in the 9-12 and 5 and under. Race action was fierce!

The kids discovered in practice that it wasn’t the heaviest car (like common wisdom might say) that proved fastest, it was (as I’d been saying) the car that goes straight! My tracks a little wider than standard Hot Wheels track, so super-fast cars that got the “High speed wobbles” scrubbed speed on the track sides and were eventually passed. Lead changes, believe it or not, were NOT uncommon, especially with the Christmas Tree start. More than one “holeshot” winner celebrated and alot of “snoozers” restarted their breathing by making it up on the big end.

Looking at this picture, try and guess who's tired old Hot Wheel got smoked!

For the younger racers, Allison, the over 12 champ had her “Ratbomb” Hot Wheel rocking and took what was probably a holeshot win in the finals over 6-8 year old champ Nathaniel. Allison bested Thomas from the 9-12 year old bracket and Nathaniel used a holeshot to sneak past the “young gun” of the group, the cute but not quick Barbara. 3rd and 4th were to split the case of Hot Wheels that Hot Rod Art Book supplied, but as it turns out, Barbara and Thomas are brother and sister! They smiled incredulously when I handed over the case of 72 brand new Hot Wheels.

For the big kids, my mom and wife got in on the action but were quickly SMOKED by the men. Mark tried to use his daughter Allison’s winning car from the kids races. Boo Mark. Nope. We fielded 25 racers for the adult bracket and I thank them for their generous donations. The field included some ringers from the Arizona Outlaws Hot Wheels club (who by the way helped all day long!) but couldn’t make it out of the first round. In some fast paced, “snooze you lose” action the final featured Ray (and his smiling son) racing Ricardo. Ray’s Nomad-like wagon proved to be to much for the competition and closed out the best of 3 with 2 wins in a row. Ricardo, “You got smoked!”

Father-Son competition at the Mesa, Arizona Car show Diecast Drags

The Pike's and the Anderson's square off. Dig the intensity on young Anderson's face and neck! The Amber-Amber Green starting box dangles near by.

More thanks are needed: Thanks to Lance Baker from Hotrodplanet.com for putting on a good show. Other than not saving me an XXL t-shirt, a job well done! Thanks to my buddies: Big John for countless hours building the electronics behind the starting gate. Turns out he got sucked into my plan and we both underestimated the time needed to see it through. At 3AM on the Thursday before the show, my man put on the finishing touches. That’s a dedicated and true friend. Then thanks to E-rock for the support and transportation. Turns out a minivan (hey! it’s my wife’s car!) isn’t big enough to haul everything. He also kept my fire lit and hooked me up with a timely Filaberto’s burrito when needed.

Finally, thanks to the generous donations from www.Ridemakerz.com and Dwayne Vance over at www.Hotrodartbook.com. The kids were drooling over the “build-a-bear” take off that’s “build-a-car” over at Ridemakerz. First place for the kids took home a $100 gift certificate to Ridemakerz and 2nd place took home the ready to be assembled and trick Dodge Viper with motor and remote control. I think 2nd place thought he won!

For the adults I had 4 copies of Dwayne’s new book: Hot Rod Art Book, “Masters of Chicken Scratch”. I don’t know how many times I answered the question, “Are these for sale?” No, they’re for the racers! Get your own copy of the book and instructional DVD at www.Hotrodartbook.com. To sweeten the winning deal, the adults got a “treasure hunt” Hot Wheel donated by Kirk at KMJ Diecast in Mesa.

In Closing

That was fun! Alot of work, but fun. I’d really love to hear from the participants and on-lookers who took in the action. I’d also like to make the track available for charity events and future car shows. I’m also hoping to some day have an “Unlimited” diecast drag race where anything goes. Who’s up for that?

Stay tuned for a story about the car show and the fourth Saturday cruise that followed. So many burnouts!!

Enjoy the rest of the pictures and the winner’s shots: