Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 - Page 125

the encouragement of friend Troy Williams Jr ., Herem returned to the driver ’ s seat for an eighthmile bracket race at Bradenton Motorsports Park . He approached the race with a non-committal attitude , testing the waters gingerly to measure the impact driving would have on his still-healing body .
“ The first run , I felt like I was in a Top Fuel car ,” says Herem . “ I was just holding on for dear life . I came back and looked at Troy , and I said , ‘ I don ’ t know if I can do this ; I think I need to step back .’ He looked at me , shook his head , and said , ‘ No , no , no . You ’ ve got two options : pussyfoot around it and drive one car , or drive two cars and we knock it out right away .’ It took maybe 8-10 runs before I started to feel comfortable in the car .”
It wasn ’ t right as rain after that initial outing , though .
“ My first couple of races back , I was just a touch off ,” he offers . “ I relate it to golf or playing pool . You know what you ’ re supposed to do , but if you ’ re even an eighth of an inch off , you ’ ve ruined the whole shot . A lot of those early runs , I knew what I wanted to do , but the execution wasn ’ t up to my standards . It took me a few races to knock the rust off .”
Herem continued to work towards getting his mojo back and joined forces with longtime racers and friends Britt and Slate Cummings . He raced as much as possible , and in December of last year , things began to fall into place .
“ I was runner-up in their Chevy II [ at the

The first run , I felt like I was in a Top Fuel car ,” says Herem . “ I was just holding on for dear life . I came back and looked at Troy , and I said , ‘ I don ’ t know if I can do this ; I think I need to step back .’

Christmas Bracket Bash ], and there was a day where it just clicked ,” he says . “ I could see everything I should be seeing , and from that point on , it all came back . It took determination to stick with it , because there were many times where I was just like , man , maybe this ship has sailed . I ’ m not capable of being mediocre . I want to come to the track knowing I can win .”
There was no place he wanted to win more than at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park , where the crash had taken place . His first opportunity came earlier this year , initially at the national event and then at the divisional held there soon after .
“ To say I wasn ’ t nervous my first run down that track this year would be a lie ,” Herem admits . “ I was much more jittery than I should have been , but I went right back down the left lane where I had crashed . I struggled at the national event , but it ended up working out great at the divisional .”
That being said , Herem almost threw in the towel after losing early in Super Street at the division race there at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park .
“ I had lost second or third round in the Camaro , and the car was really good but I didn ’ t drive up to par ,” says Herem . “ I was really upset , and mentally , I was so frustrated . But I was pitting with my good friend , Luke [ Bogacki ], and he said , let ’ s just see how today goes before you start heading home . To that point , I hadn ’ t paid a lot of attention to the dragster – but I was still in . The next thing you know , it ’ s round four , five , six . It was time to get serious .”
In the final round of Super Comp that weekend , Herem was off the starting line first with a . 006-second reaction time to Bobby Dye ’ s . 015 .
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