DRAG RACING WINNINGS: To Split or Not to Split
By: Haley Smeltzer
One of the most expensive pass times is drag racing. A bunch of cars gather at a drag strip and race to see who’s the best. What people don’t see are the fights people have after they win. The two-best people at the end of the race must find out who wins all the money. You can either split the amount with the winner and loser or keep it all to yourself. The winnings come from the admission of all the racers combined. If you choose not to split, it usually causes a huge fight because splitting would be the right thing to do. There’s no set rule, but at the beginning of each race it’s just a known thing to split.
The most important thing in drag racing is that it’s a people sport. Joshua Ray who has been racing since he was 16 years old says, “I always split the pot, it's just the right thing to do.” From personal experience, I was at a Race with my friend Brandon Holt when he was racing Thomas Holley. Brandon ended up winning and didn’t want to split because he needed the money to fix his car. Thomas was furious and thought that he deserved the split. Brandon’s dad Robert was on Brandon’s side because Brandon had recently wrecked his car and was co-racing his dad’s car.
Drag racing is a huge responsibility, and it takes a lot of mind power not to go off over every little thing that happens. Drag racing is about being able to work with people; you need to be able to keep friends or nothing will go your way. If you make friends, they’re more likely to split with you if the both of you end up in the finals.
Let’s say for example you win, but you don’t want to give the other person some of the pot. You could start a fight and get both of you kicked out and they would take your money away from both of you. You must think about everyone in the equation because everyone in that race whether it be 10 people or 1000 people, everyone is going after the same goal you are, and you have to be fair to everyone who is trying to reach that goal. If you’re only thinking of yourself, people are going to remember that and when you get mad about them not splitting, they’ll bring up how you didn’t split with them. The whole idea of drag racing is about money it’s the way a race happens and it’s the way a race ends, if they didn’t give out money for winning, I don’t think anyone would ever want to race because what would the point be? Before you understand what happens after a race, let’s talk about what happens before. People from all over the world even Australia, go to any place to race that pays good money. Pack up the RV and trailer and let’s go right?
It’s a huge investment and you lose more money thank you make. People think that drag racing is all about going in a straight line whoever is faster wins, not the case. It is all about precision and about numbers. You must dial in what you think your car will do and your car can’t go over go over that number. If your car goes too fast you automatically lose the race. If you leave to early once you stage, it’s an automatic lose. If you are “dead on” then you are more likely to win the race because it’s what the race is about. There's two people that win each race, the winner and the runner up. That’s the reason for the splitting the pot. If you don’t have experience with racing, don’t jump in at a big race because things will go very wrong and it will alter the whole experience. My advice is start with a small race and once you win a few, start going to bigger and bigger events. Then you will have more experience with the activity, and you can be more prepared for a situation where you must know an on the spot decision.
Another piece of advice is, get to know the staff that works there, because they can give you advice on if they think you should split the pot or not. Also get to know a few racers so you have a better chance of getting money out of a race, the racers know more than anything about the whole situation and I would trust their words. The last thing you need to know is, just have fun and be smart with your decisions. There will be races when you will lose a lot more than you started with, there will be races where you win triple. You just have to play by the rules.