Tuesday, July 18, 2006


During my usual late-night viewing of Sportscenter on Sunday, I heard something that I thought was just a Trey Wingo joke, but actually turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise.

"Rookie J.R. Todd earned his first victory in his ninth career NHRA event at the Mopar Mile High NHRA Nationals on Sunday, beating Tony Schumacher..."

But there's one important thing that's left out of my stolen quote there. J.R. Todd is a black man. And he became the first black man EVER to win a Top Fuel drag racing event. This is pretty historic.

Because of my grandfather and his love for cars and my stepfather's str8 up countriness, I know a little about the NHRA and drag racing. Not to mention NASCAR and the IRL.

For those of you who don't know what the NHRA is, the National Hot Rod Association. You don't hear of many black people being involved in the NHRA. Granted, I haven't kept up with the sport on a regular basis EVER. But I've watched enough drag races to recognizes there weren't any people "like me" out there burnin' up the quarter mile straight-away.

My pseudo-knowledge of the sport goes back to sitting at my grandparents house with my grand-dad listening to him tell me about Joe Amato and Shirley Muldowney and how great racers they were. Not to mention my stepfather telling me about John Force and how he was out there beating everyone in his funnycar. So I have a slight bit of knowledge about the sport and I know some of the people who were/are good. And random stuff like the reason they drive through alcohol and do burn-outs prior to getting on the finish line.

Drag racing is actually a pretty fun sport to watch to be honest. But you know us bruhs don't normally sit down for an hour of any type of auto-racing. We wanna see somebody getting HIT or DUNKED ON! LOL.

But J.R. Todd made history this past weekend and I think it's appropriate to give this guy a shot-out for being the first black man to accomplish this feat. To put the speed, danger, and driving talent all in perspective:

"Todd, driving in his ninth career event, never trailed in the final at Bandimere Speedway, dismissing the three-time series champion with a 4.906-second run at 291.63 mph."

See if you can drive your car in a straight line for a quarter mile doing 120. Let alone 291! It probably takes more skill than you think and it's VERY VERY dangerous

291 MILES PER HOUR! D@MN that's FAST!!!


Lawrenorder said...

The highlight on SportsCenter had nothing on the talk up prior to the race. It was almost like they didn't think he'd win, but when he did... WOW. This is HUGE! They need to play it again on Classic tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I bet they didn't think he'd win. This is similar to when Le Tigre first won a golf tournament. People probably knew it was gonna happen and could see it coming, but didn't really understand the enormity of it until it took place and they experienced it.

Shot out to Fuzzy Zoeller! Not in a good way either.

I think it's pretty dope that this guy did what he did. "Ain't no stoppin' us now, we're on the move!"

T.C. said...

I have made a note of this and will be adding it to the history piece that we teach the Kiamsha kids (who by the way we finally did an inner city program this summer...OFF the CHAIN...and other Alumni stepped up and conducted it...)...this is GREAT

Anonymous said...

I love stories like this. I've got a little list in my head of stuff I'd like to see black people do just for the heck of it: skiing, curling, more golf, waterskiing, jetskiing, tennis. I think the tennis thing is inevitable. What do you need for it? Speed, quickness, coordination, finesse. We will have that bad boy on lock as soon as they start stocking some yellow balls at the corner stores.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Kiamsha is still doing positive things in the community. Though I never had any doubt.

And I agree that things are inevitable. It's like Asian and white kids loving hip-hop. Eventually, television and movies will spread stuff so thin throughout the world that people will find tons and tons of different things fun, exciting, and interesting. I don't think there's anything wrong with that as long as it's positive and genuine.