Drag racing is one driver against one driver, when it comes down to the nitty gritty. The bigger picture, though, is that it takes a whole lot more than just one single person to pull off a successful race, let alone a successful season in the sport. Here, three of the 2019 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series champions talk about what keeps them going, even on the toughest of days.
Frank Aragona Jr.
“My wife and kids are with me at all the divisionals, and they come to the close nationals,” said Aragona, speaking of wife Beatrice, son Frankie (12), and daughter Emma (14). “It’s awesome to have them there with me; there’s nothing better than doing this with your family. But it’s also an amazing feeling when you see your kids win. I never knew what it was like for my father, but the first time my son won the Wally in his Jr. dragster, I knew the feeling. It’s just incredible. You want that for them more than anything you would ever want for yourself, and when they win, it feels even better than when you do. The most amazing thing in life is having children, and then seeing them succeed, it’s just unbelievable.”
Top Alcohol Funny Car
“None of this is possible without the people who hold down the fort at home,” said Bellemeur. “More often than not, that’s a tougher job than being on the road and racing. My strong and beautiful wife, Ashley, wrangles three daughters, works a fulltime job, and supports me going out chasing my dreams. That’s a true hero.”
SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown
“One of the coolest things that happened this year was seeing my dad win,” said Skillman, whose father, Bill, won his first Factory Stock Showdown title at the NGK Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals. Drew made it a Skillman double with a Stock win that same day.
“It was extremely exciting. He’s been working a long time in this class to try to figure out how to get to the top, and it’s finally paying off. We couldn’t have planned a better weekend than that. He did a fantastic job and I was extremely happy for him.”
It was a day to remember, for sure, but Bill says his proudest moment took place in 2012.
“Drew won Stock and Super Stock in Atlanta on the same day, and you couldn’t have pried the smile off my face,” he said. “I cried like a baby.”