My Reintroduction Into Drag Racing

I’m Josh Flagner, and this is my first contribution to Stevand Racing. I’m co-owner – along with Ryan Isley – of More Than a Fan, Stevand Racing’s online sponsor. More Than a Fan is updated at least twice daily with the sports opinions of writers all over the country.

“Auto racing began five minutes after the second car was built.” – Henry Ford

I can vividly remember those years in my life when a roaring engine was the absolute coolest thing in the world. The radio ads from Norwalk Raceway Park – now Summit Motorsports Park – would incite the kinds of excitement from my little brother and I that would later in life be reserved for sneaking a kiss during a school dance, or finally getting to drive mom’s car. Once you add semis with jet engines and fire-breathing, car eating robots, the need to spend a summer night watching burnouts and eating ice cream was more than a boy could bear.

Fast forward 22 years and my fascination with things that shoot fire and make loud noises remains unchanged. The sole exception to my situation now and the one I lived in as a child is now I don’t have to beg mom and dad to take me to see the races.

As an adult, accessibility teams up with the day to day stresses of life and things like taking a weekend trip to Summit Motorsports Park as a spectator end up getting pushed aside. The things that have kept me away from jet Kenworths over the years have been anything from company picnics to wedding invitations to Saturday afternoon naps.

So when More Than a Fan got the opportunity to partner with Stevand Racing – a Medina, Ohio based drag racing team – I jumped at the chance.

From my very first meeting with Steve, Andy, and Matt Obertanec I knew that some pretty awesome things were going to happen. The first awesome thing for me was packing up my gear and heading out to Summit Motorsports Park to watch Stevand Racing’s season opening race.

I walked in the park and was immediately greeted by the roars of the time trials. It only took a few minutes for me to find a place to watch intently, just as I had done so many years before. After a handful of passes – really, it could have been a half an hour – I finally remembered to get my camera out and make sure that I’d be able to get a picture of the car that was more than just the rear bumper as it went by where I was standing.

Ryan made it to the track just as I was getting myself back into business mode, and there was barely time to buy a cup of coffee before the Stevand Racing rigs were pulling into to their pit spots. We all shook hands just in time to get into the trailers before the rain started coming down.

It rained until it started snowing. It wasn’t long before the announcements came out over the loudspeakers that our season opener was cancelled.

I sadly report that this week’s report doesn’t have any awesome pictures or winning race results, but I got to meet a lot of great people and really kick start a partnership that I think is going to make me very proud.

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Oh, and follow me on twitter, too – @railbirdj

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