This is Behind The Ropes Part 6: Survive And Advance. By now if you have been watching the videos you know that I called the majority of the action at this race during eliminations in the alcohol classes and my voice (sorry) has provided some of the sound track behind what is rapidly turning into a dream weekend for the Michalek Brothers Racing Team. Let me tell you that it was almost as exciting to watch as it was for those guys to participate in. When stories like this start to form up on race weekends, it is a dream scenario for an announcer. We get to set the stage, tell the story and then get into the action.
Enjoy Behind The Ropes Part 6: Survive And Advance….drag racing at its finest.
SURVIVE & ADVANCE
It’s crazy how quickly the euphoria of a round win can transition into the pressure of being flawless when preparing the car for the next round under a time crunch. With this race being broadcast on live TV, we were looking at just over 25 minutes to get the car turned around before we needed to be pushing it back towards the starting line.
I don’t get nervous driving the car. I do, however, get nervous that I’m going to be the weak link when we service the car.
When Kyle and I purchased our operation, the transaction itself helped get the ball rolling for our start-up team, but it wasn’t the determining factor that got us to the position we were in on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte. The most important decision that we made along the way was to immediately surround ourselves with the right people to make sure that we were set up for the most success possible…at the earliest time possible.
The alcohol pits are overflowing with talent, and in order to hang with the best of the best when the pressure is on, we set out to have teammates that were experienced in the heat of battle. That mindset led us to partner with two A/Fuel mainstays, Clay and Chase Copeland, to help us get our operation pointed in the right direction from the start. Previous Alcohol Funny Car crewman Cory Cox rounds out our core team while taking on any job that’s thrown his way with a “whatever it takes to win” mentality.
I’ve reiterated on multiple occasions in previous parts of this series that J.P. Gutierrez made huge contributions throughout the weekend, but this first-ever real THRASH for our team was where he proved his worth tenfold. Top it off with my dad, John Michalek, and my future father-in-law, Doug Kotter, getting their hands dirty, and we were able to rise to the occasion in a moment that I believe few teams would be prepared for in their first National Event.