When Donald “Duck” Long, the self-appointed “mayor of radial tire racing,” recently took the microphone on the “Shake ‘N Bake” podcast, the drag racing world knew they were in for an unfiltered deep dive into the mind of one of the sport’s most controversial figures. Hosted by the trio of “Stevie Fast” Jackson, Lyle Barnett, and Courtney Enders, the podcast is quickly becoming a staple for racing aficionados, and Long’s appearance had race fans buzzing.
Long’s history in the sport is as deep as it is impactful. Known for his razor-sharp wit and a promotional savvy that’s second to none, he has not only elevated radial tire racing to unprecedented heights but also helped shape the very culture of modern drag racing and the phenomena that is radial racing. With the season’s grand finale looming on the horizon, Long’s insights come at a critical time for racers and fans alike, brimming with anticipation for a weekend that will see the Radial Tire Outlaws champions crowned.
The conversation took off with Long’s trademark humor, calling out the hosts for the overdue invitation, but quickly shifted gears to the serious business of race promotion. His passion for radial tire racing was palpable as he dissected the challenges and excitement of the sport.
“It’s not just about putting on a race; it’s about creating a spectacle, a battlefield where only the best can claim victory,” Long asserted, his voice a mix of fervor and experience.
Some of his comments were bound to stoke the fires of debate. When discussing no prep racing, Long didn’t mince words, “It’s like the Wild West, but without the charm. It’s unpredictable, but there’s a rawness to radial racing that no prep can’t touch.” His opinions are often polarizing, but they’re also a testament to his unwavering commitment to the racing style he champions.
Long’s business acumen came to the forefront when he spoke about the financial intricacies of race promotion. “You’ve got to balance the books, but you’ve also got to balance the excitement. It’s a high-wire act, and not everyone’s cut out for it,” he stated, revealing the economic tightrope he walks to deliver the adrenalized events fans have come to expect.
Perhaps the most explosive moment came when Long tackled the topic of radial versus slick tires. “Slicks had their time, but radials are where the real action’s at. It’s not just racing; it’s gladiatorial,” he declared, drawing a line in the sand that’s sure to resonate throughout the community.
His hard-hitting comments didn’t stop there. Long addressed the evolution of the sport, the importance of embracing new technologies, and the need for the drag racing community to adapt or be left in the dust. “We can’t keep looking in the rearview mirror. The future’s coming fast, and I’m here to make sure radial tire racing is leading the charge,” he emphasized, setting the tone for a future where tradition and innovation collide.
As the podcast wound down, the anticipation for Long’s season-finale event was evident and genuine. “Orlando Speed World Dragway – that’s where it’s at this weekend,” said Long. “We’re going to crown champions in the Radial Outlaws Racing Series in just a few days.”
Long’s appearance on the “Shake ‘N Bake” podcast went beyond an interview into a mayoral manifesto from the over-the-top promoter for the future of radial racing. His comments are likely to resonate with the hyper-passionate small tire racing community who are just as fanatical about classes like Radial vs. the World, Pro 275, X275 or any of the various eliminators contested on a D.O.T.-approved tire.
As the drag racing community looks ahead, one thing is clear: Donald “Duck” Long clearly isn’t ready to let off the gas and intends to keep his favorite brand of drag racing thriving for the foreseeable future.