Drag Illustrated Issue 175, March / April 2022 - Page 92

down to dropping the number of RvW events to three races – Lights Out , Sweet 16 , and No Mercy – and make those three races the baddest races on the schedule .
“ If you went out and did a three-race deal and made it to where it paid good to win each race and it was the premier class , and you ran in the best conditions of the event , that makes the deal happen ,” he says .
A massive six-figure payout isn ’ t necessary , maybe $ 30,000 or $ 50,000 to win each race , Woodruff says .
Those three races could be used to determine a season champion , similar to the new FuelTech Radial Outlaws Racing Series being put on by Long and sponsors and track partners .
But the money isn ’ t even the most important factor , nor is the championship . The key is to celebrate and embrace the extreme , “ Home Run Derby ” aspect of the class that made it so popular . RvW is the Top Fuel and Funny Car of these races , and while it probably wouldn ’ t please racers in the other classes , the headlining class
OUT OF ALL THE MEMORABLE MOMENTS WOODRUFF HAS BEEN A PART OF IN RADIAL RACING , HIS RUNNER-UP FINISH AT LIGHTS OUT 8 REMAINS ONE OF WOODRUFF ’ S PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS . HE ’ LL NEVER FORGET THE PIT THRASH THAT TOOK PLACE BEFORE THE FINAL ROUND .
should get some preferential treatment . Run them in primetime conditions – not in the heat of the day – and make a spectacle out of them .
“ The goal here would be to break the door car record ,” Woodruff says . “ It doesn ’ t matter where we ’ re at in the schedule , this is what ’ s coming for our pay-per-view customer and the RvW guys .
“ It needs to be a big-money Home Run Derby ,” he continues . “ Give them the runs , give them the time to be able to go up and crush the scoreboard . Don ’ t run them in the middle of the day . The sun ’ s out , we ’ re parked .”
That was more or less the formula that was used at the inaugural Sweet 16 that saw the deluge of record runs and a social media meltdown as a result . It ’ s a formula that works , and had it been used at Lights Out and No Mercy , Woodruff believes the class might be in a different place today .
“ If they would ’ ve taken that recipe like what we just talked about , and ran with that after the first Sweet 16 , you would still see cars like my Corvette , [ Tim ] Slavens ’ Camaro , Micke ’ s Malibu , still in the class running ,” he says .
At the first Sweet 16 , Micke ’ s Malibu – which car owner Jason Carter used to drive on the street before it started its 20-year small-tire racing career – was the quickest car on the property , even with a host of Pro Modified-style cars already in the mix . But as more stretched-out , purpose-built Pro Mods came into the class , they started to flex a competitive advantage , especially when the sun was out and conditions weren ’ t ideal .
“ The reason why we got rid of running [ cars like that ], is there ’ s no way you ’ re going to take that stock-bodied turbo car , and run with that
92 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 175