Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 - Page 123

The Conqueror

How Ryan Herem vanquished a mental monster and reset his career • By Kelly Wade

PHOTOGRAPHS BY AUTO IMAGERY

Drag racing demands resilience . In a game where there can only be one winner , it is commonly accepted that there will be many more losses than victories at the final stripe . The ability to rebound from disappointment is one thing , but bouncing back after a tumultuous crash that leaves bruises and broken

bones is a completely different challenge .
Veteran Sportsman racer Ryan Herem experienced that challenge first-hand after wrecking his Super Gas Corvette roadster at the NHRA Arizona Nationals in February of 2020 . The Huntington Beach , California , resident was alert – for the most part – when he was transported to the hospital , and he realized fairly early the severity of his injuries . Understanding what he would
likely be dealing with , however , did not deter his intentions .
“ When I was in the hospital , I made it abundantly clear to everyone that this wasn ’ t how I was going to end my racing career ,” says Herem . “ Even if the doctor told me I was done , there was no way my last runs were going to be on fire and leaving the track in an ambulance .”
Just about 10 months after the crash and with
July / August 2022
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