Racer Says: Indy Edition

This year marks the 67th running of the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals, the biggest, most prestigious and historic race on the Camping World Drag Racing Series schedule. Competitors have poured in from across the country, and they began lining up many days ahead of the race to get parked and ready for what they hope will be a very long stay. We checked in with a few of the early arrivers to get their take on why, exactly, it’s so special to race this particular event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

Jack Dorsett
Super Comp
“This is the biggest race of the year. I live 13 miles from here, so I’ve been coming here since I was pretty much born. It’s huge, and it’s definitely special. This is my home track, so I race here all the time – but this race in particular is something different.”

Kyle Rizzoli
Super Stock and Stock
2003 U.S. Nationals runner-up
“This is the biggest race of the year. It’s ‘The Big Go,’ and there’s a reason we travel all the way from California to get here. Stock and Super Stock have a special magic here; it’s one of the few races every year you have to qualify for, and everyone that’s here is fast. We’re going into the first run with everything we’ve got. It’s just a fun feeling to be here and experience that.”

Austin Williams
Super Comp
2019 U.S. Nationals Stock Eliminator winner
“You just pull into the gates and know the revered story. You know the history, and you want your name etched into that. Luckily, I’ve done it once, but I’d sure like to do it again.”

Paul Pittman
Top Sportsman
“This is the biggest race on the planet for NHRA. Whether you win, lose or draw, it’s worth being here and being part of it. This is the Super Bowl of all Super Bowls for us.”

Travis Hess
Stock Eliminator
“For me, it’s the history and nostalgia. Being part of such an important race, and really just being here with my dad and my buddies – you can’t get much better than that.”

Bucky Hess
Super Stock
“This is everything. If you don’t get cold chills when you walk onto the starting line, where the famous guys have been – my heroes, Ronnie Sox, Dick Landy, Don Garlits – if it doesn’t mean anything to you, you shouldn’t be drag racing.”

Shannon Brinkley
Super Comp and Super Gas
“This is the Big Daddy of them all, ‘The Big Go.’ Most races, we have total entries of a couple hundred. But this one is the apex. We’re all here.”

Slate Cummings
Stock Eliminator
“The U.S. Nationals is about one of the only things I haven’t won. One of the reasons I want to win it is because Ryan Herem and Troy Williams have. They always one-up me here and there, so I need to win this and get on their level.”

Mark Cole
Super Gas
“I grew up 15 minutes down the road and still live here, so this is our home track. My uncle used to drive the wrecker for the track in the late 70s and early 80s, and we used to come here and ride around with him. Indy is Indy. It means everything to race here.”

Terry Emmons
Super Stock
2020 U.S. Nationals Super Stock winner
“This is the upper echelon of all the events. Growing up, my dad would leave and we’d stay at home with my mom, and we’d hear the stories. It was the one he always looked forward to. I know a lot of people say it’s really cool to be able to participate, but it’s so much more than that. There is an energy here that doesn’t exist anywhere else. That’s why we love coming to the U.S. Nationals every year.”

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