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Auto Racing: Q and A with Dale Creasy Jr.

Dale Creasy Jr. | Supplied photo

Dale Creasy Jr. | Supplied photo

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Route 66 Nationals Schedule

Friday

Sportsman qualifying/eliminations,
9 a.m.

Comp Eliminator qualifying session,
11 a.m.

Top Alcohol qualifying session,
11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Pro Stock qualifying session
(PS motorcycle/PS car), 4:30 p.m.

Nitro qualifying session (Funny Car/Dragster), 5:15 p.m.

Comp eliminator, Round 1, 6:30 p.m.

Pro Stock qualifying session
(PS Motorcycle/PS Car), 7:15 p.m.

Nitro qualifying session (Funny Car/Dragster, 8 p.m.

Saturday

Sportsman eliminations, 9 a.m.

Comp eliminator, Round 2, 10:30 a.m.

Jegs Allstar, Round 1, all categories,
1 p.m.

Top Alcohol qualifying session,
2:30 p.m.

Jegs Allstar, Round 2, 3:15 p.m.

Pro Stock qualifying session
(PS Motorcycle/PS Car), 4:15 p.m.

Nitro qualifying session (Dragster/Funny Car), 5 p.m.

Jegs Allstar, finals, 6:30 p.m.

Pro Stock qualifying session
(PS Motorcycle/PS Car), 7:15 p.m.

Nitro qualifying session (Dragster/Funny Car), 8 p.m.

Sunday

Sportsman eliminations, 8:30 a.m.

Top Alcohol eliminations, Round 1,
9 a.m.

Nitro eliminations, Round 1, 11 a.m.

Pro Stock eliminations, Round 1, noon

Top Alcohol eliminations, Round 2, 12:15 p.m.

Nitro eliminations, Round 2, 1 p.m.

Pro Stock eliminations, Round 2,
1:30 p.m.

Sportsman eliminations, semifinals, 1:45 p.m.

Top Alcohol eliminations, semifinals, 2:25 p.m.

Nitro eliminations, semifinals, 2:30 p.m.

Pro Stock eliminations, 2:45 p.m.

Sportsman eliminations, finals, 3 p.m.

Top Alcohol eliminations, finals,
3:45 p.m.

Pro Stock eliminations, finals, 3:50 p.m.

Nitro eliminations, finals, 3:55 p.m.

Updated: July 28, 2014 1:07PM



Creasy, 54, of Beecher, is in his 18th season racing on the NHRA and IHRA circuits. He won IHRA season titles in 2006 and 2007, but will be looking for his first NHRA event title in 181 starts this weekend in the Funny Car division at the Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet.

You’re still chasing the dream. What, at this point, is the dream?

Just to keep racing, and eventually get a few more races per each year. Right now we’re just running on a shoestring budge and trying to make things work to stay out here. If you’re not out here they don’t see you and there’s very little chance of (a sponsor) wanting to help you out.

You qualified for the Topeka event and lost in the first round to Courtney Force.

She ended up winning the (event) as the 100th female winner. I went over and told her I was glad I could be part of her history.

Where did this all start for you?

My dad Dale Creasy Sr. started running nitro cars when they first started in the late ’60s, early ’70s. I drove for him for a while and now my brother and I have our own car. We’re just going from race to race trying to have some fun.

Your most serious incident in a car didn’t involve a crash.

No. Something in the drive line broke and the transmission reversed and spun around and tore my legs up pretty good. It caused a lot of damage. It didn’t hurt the car, it just got me. I was out for a year and had 13 surgeries.

One of the first places you went back and raced was at the track (Castrol Raceway in Edmonton) where you had your misfortune.

You can’t let it beat you. It wasn’t the track’s fault. The people there were wonderful. But in my head I had to run at that track one more time just to get it (the memory) out of there. It was a big weight off.

What goes through your mind when you’re sitting at the line before a race?

Just make sure you don’t do anything stupid. You’re dead serious at that point because you never know what the car is going to do. I’ve been driving a long time and you’ve seen most everything that can happen but you haven’t seen it all.

During a run down the strip, are you even in control?

You’re in complete control of the car, you just never know what’s going to happen. This thing will spin tires at 700 or 800 feet, something you’re not anticipating. That’s where you can get yourself in a little trouble.

How do you approach racing on a budget? You’ve never had money to burn.

I don’t think of it that way. The cards you’re dealt are the cards you play. You’ve just got to play smart. Instead of going the whole season we go to five (events). And we can go to five with everything we’ve got and try to be competitive. If I can’t (afford it), I won’t go. You can’t get yourself in debt because this car will eat you alive.

Do you remember your first win?

We had never won a race before the 2006 season. We had won a few rounds here and there, but winning (the event) at Grand Bend, Canada, was the big one. After that we won the next race and ended up winning one more that year. The next year we won seven.

Do you ever look on the other side of the racing fence and wonder, what if?

No. I never do. I enjoy watching (NASCAR and IRL) and I think what they do is great. They’re good at what they do. But my heart has always been with drag racing.

As told to Tony Baranek



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