Quarter Mile Foundation's cover photo
In honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others can reach for the stars!
At the end of 2009, a group of individuals from within the drag racing community launched the Quarter Mile Foundation with the express intent of creating a documentary to capture the history of drag racing. Now that the sport is so popular, with large corporate sponsors and a multi-billion dollar industry attached, industry professionals felt that it was essential that the new generation of drag fans and car enthusiasts have access to the history of the sport. How did drag racing grow from its DIY, grassroots beginnings to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today? “Our greatest concern is to capture the stories and personal perspectives of the legends of the sport that are still living,” says Traci Hrudka, chairman of Quarter Mile Foundation. “We have lost a tremendous number of these people over the years, and time is running out to capture those oral histories in a digital format. If we ever want to do this, now is the time!”
6210 Beverly Dr
Parma Heights, OH
They’re leaving us, you know. One by one, the giants of our past are slipping away. The day will come – and it will come soon – when they will all be gone, their stories ever dimmer memories. As we bid each one sad farewell we come to see that time is short and we are losing our heroes. So much is lost with the passage of time. The stories fade and disappear. The places may either change or stay the same or vanish altogether and while we may mourn the passage of time that erases the places of our youth, there are still faded photographs that can rekindle our memories of what once was. We cannot preserve what is no longer there. But the people, the people and the stories they can tell, can be preserved. Recall all the hallowed places of the past - Lions Drag Strip, Goleta, Green Valley – and imagine now for a moment that they are still there, that you could still sit in the stands on a Saturday night and hear the engines roar and hang around the pits later and eavesdrop on the bench racing and the bravado. Would you not relish the thought? Well, we can do that no more. The places no longer exist. Many of the heroes who invented a sport that became a passion are no longer with us. We cannot again sit with Carroll Shelby or T.C Lemons or Bill Jenkins or Vic Edelbrock and be entertained with the tales of the past, the stories then and how it all came together to be now. Many of our pioneers are not with us today, having succumbed to the inevitability of time. It won’t be long before all of those we worshipped and admired in our youth, all those who we held in awe, all those who innovated the hobby and the sport we all love, will be gone. To honor the past, we owe it to ourselves and to those who will come after us to preserve it. It is within our means to do so. The Quarter Mile Foundation is a 501©3 Educational Charitable Organization with a mission of capturing on film the first person histories of our industry’s pioneers and legends. But it is a race against time, as these legendary men and women are leaving us at a sad and increasing rate. Once they are gone, they are gone and their stories, their triumphs, their struggles, their laughter will be gone with them. We must not allow our history to disappear, to become nothing more than faded pictures and faulty memories. We must ensure that history will be preserved, that the tale of how we became who we are today as an industry will not be lost to time and that, in a way, those who blazed the trail will always be with us. Traci Hrudka President and C.E.O. Quarter Mile Foundation, Parma Hts., OH. www.quartermilefoundation.org
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