Support for 2020 & 2021 NHRA Div. 2 Banquet
Support for 2020 & 2021 NHRA Div. 2 Banquet
November 7, 2021
To: Cody Savage, NHRA Division 2 Director
Josh Peterson, Racing Administration Director
Jeffrey Young, Marketing and Communications
2025 Financial Way
Glendora CA 91741
RE: Division 2 Banquet and Celebration for Division and OPEN winners for 2020 and 2021
After speaking with you at Rockingham and learning about the proposed tent celebration for Divisional and OPEN winners in Florida, I would urge you to reconsider.
We are writing to ask that you consider not only hosting a 2021 Division 2 Banquet and Celebration, but also including the 2020 Division 2 winners as well.
Being a part of NHRA racing is more than a sport for many racers, it is much like a family. And families for the past year and a half have been separated and many have missed out on so many things. Upon learning that we might have a chance at a division championship, we were overjoyed at the idea that all of the traveling, diesel fuel, days taken from work, late nights working on the race car and ultimately the fun and time we get to spend with our racing family would pay off. Winning championships is on the bucket list of every racer, and to be able to be counted among the elite of the NHRA drag racing community is the pinnacle of many racers’ careers. Nothing would mean more to these racers than to spend an evening celebrating these long sought after dreams with their racing family at a very special event.
Therefore, we urge you to reconsider your plan to hand out awards at the track under a tent. While I know that your intentions to make it special are genuine, I do believe that it will be a challenging undertaking to make it as distinguished as that of past celebrations at Jekyll Island. Not only would we urge you to have a true banquet, but it would be satisfying and respectfully gratifying to also celebrate last year’s winners (2020) at this banquet as well. So we are proposing and asking for a 2020 and 2021 Combined Buster Awards Banquet.
We are all aware that budget and financial concerns are at the forefront of everyone’s concerns as this has been a very difficult year and a half, but your racers did their best to continue to come and support the sport even when races were rescheduled, cancelled or combined. When gas and diesel prices began to soar, your racers still traveled. When racing parts became difficult to obtain because of supply chain issues, your racers found a way to fix their cars and make it to the track. When many racers’ employment slowed down and money was tight, they still found ways to finance their desire to race and ultimately support the sport and sanctioning body they love. Therefore, we implore you to take the time to plan a way to celebrate these hard fought champions. Not only do this years’ racers desire and deserve to be distinguished for their accomplishments, we ask you to include the 2020 season Division 2 winners as well. We believe that Division 2 could set the standard for other divisions by remembering to honor those that won during a year of pandemic and Pandemonium with the 57th and 58th Annual Buster Awards.
I believe that I speak for many Division 2 racers when I say that if fiscal issues are your biggest obstacle, please consider passing along ticket sales to the racers and their families. If two free tickets for each winner is standing in the way, rest assured that we understand. The price of our free tickets would not keep us from attending. Our sole desire should be to recognize these champions for their hard work and dedication to their love of drag racing and NHRA. When racers can drive past four or more local tracks on their way to attend Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Events, NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Events or NHRA National Open Event Series contests, they are traveling to race at the best tracks and against the best drag racers in the country on a quest to be named a class champion. We’ve been to past celebrations at Jekyll Island in recent years, and the outstanding way that you treated the champions may have been part of the driving force behind our desire to win a championship of our own.
At the tracks, we’ve personally spoken to many of the Division 2 champions from 2020 and found out how disappointed they were when they learned that there would be no celebration in 2020. “I was handed a box with my trophy in it at the track. I was so disappointed that I didn’t even open the box for 3 weeks,” said one of the champions. For many 2020 champions, this was their very first division championship -- 4 of the 8 winners were first time champions. At the end of the day we realize that last year was different. We know that. Last year was bad, and many of us did the best that we could. And, even though we still experience many residual obstacles from the pandemic, let’s use this as an opportunity to make it right. Let’s celebrate all of our 2020 pandemic winners in Division 2 alongside our new 2021 winners!
I am happy to assist in any way in communication with racers and with making any contacts to obtain quotes for a banquet site. I’ve reached out to those in the hospitality industry who tell me that January is an opportune time to plan these events because travel is weak during that month, and there is still time to secure a location and a date.
Please don’t diminish how important this banquet and celebration is to these champions. Please consider giving them the chance to celebrate with their racing families in a very special, honorable and spectacular way. At the JEGS Allstars, Division 2 drivers set the standard this year as well by sweeping the index classes, and they too deserve to have their moment in the spotlight.
So, I sincerely and wholeheartedly urge you to be a leader and model to other divisions by finding a way to include the 2020 and 2021 winners together at a special banquet that these racers deserve and that honors the traditions of NHRA. Let’s set the example for all other divisions and emerge from the last couple of years by setting the tone for the future of NHRA drag racing.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this very important matter.
You may reach out to us for help or with any questions or concerns.
Ed and Deanna Pauley
(2021 Super Street Division 2 Champion and National Open Series Winner)
CC: All Top 3 Class Places in Division 2 for the 2020 and 2021 Year periods, 2021 Division 2 Jegs Allstars Winners , National Open, JEGS and Divisional Sponsors