Check one off the list

Written by J.K. Kelly on February 23rd, 2019

Way back in the day, when people like Freddie Turza, Fred Morrison, Steve Burns, Bobby Thompson, and yours truly wanted to keep up with the news and race results for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) we, and tens of thousands of other industry, drag racer and fans considered the NHRA’s National Dragster THE go-to. Long before the Internet and FS1, this was the source for drag racing news. It was said by the Dragster ad department that each issue was read by as many as ten people since the paper was passed around shops and lunchrooms and morning constitutionals for that matter. Dragster, and of course Playboy Magazine, were the most popular publications in the local group I hung with.

Once I began covering races and writing feature stories for magazines like Super Stock, Car Craft, and Hot Rod I found myself bearing NHRA credentials, standing right there on the starting line with the professional photographers that filled the Dragster with incredible shots seen around the world. Those guys were artists.

My hope at some point, as a writer, was to have a credit in the Dragster and in Playboy. I had big dreams and thought anything was possible with some luck and tenacity. After all, I had talked the folks at Cape Kennedy to let us park Slammin’ Sammy Miller’s Vanishing Point on the grounds of their incredible visitor center for a cover and centerspread shoot for SS&DI. There we were, in between the Mercury and Gemini rockets that shot NASA astronauts into space, as tourists from around the world stood in wonder. A fan of the space program, this was a very special accomplishment for me.

Many years later, this week, I finally made it into the Dragster. My latest novel, FUELIN’ AROUND, got a plug in the NHRA’s rebranded New Product area called The Speed Shop. I’m told their circulation is +120,000 print and +10,000 digital to NHRA members; racers, industry people, and fans that get their hands on the Dragster and I couldn’t be happier to have my work featured there. As I wrote earlier, I don’t give up very often so my fingers are crossed that some day soon the same might happen in Men’s Health, Maxim, or Playboy. After all, FUELIN’ AROUND isn’t just about racing. It’s a love story. It’s about passion and dreams and that’s something everyone can relate to. Stay tuned and never give up. Some dreams do come true. JK

"A truly riveting read from cover to cover." - Midwest Book Review

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