When Lonnie Grim saw Richard Freeman’s name pop up on his phone, he figured it was just to catch up, like the two friends usually do from time to time.
This time, though, Freeman had an important question for Grim regarding the Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing. Grim gave his answer within seconds.
“He asked if I would be interested in coming down and being the competition and tech director for the race,” said Grim, who is the current competition and tech director for the PDRA. “In less than a few seconds I said yes.”
With that, Grim is the competition and tech director for the inaugural race, which takes place March 6-8 at Orlando Speed World Dragway.
The event has the drag racing world buzzing and is set to give the winner in Pro Stock $75,000 and the Pro Mod winner $50,000. The two classes have the spotlight in Orlando and a purse of $300,000, already putting the event in an elite category.
Grim’s presence adds to that, contributing to the notion the racers will be treated like stars and a premium will be placed on a well-run, highly entertaining race.
“Whenever the guys at the highest level of Pro Stock and Pro Mod can race for a lot of money, a season-changing purse, that makes my heart warm,” Grim said. “It’s a very unique event, one that can only happen once a year and it is humbling to be a part of it.”
Grim brings a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to the technical and competition aspects of the sport.
Before his tenure with the PDRA, Grim has worked with the likes of Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings, NMCA/NMRA, Holley LSFest and Outlaw Street Car Reunion, building an impressive amount of expertise leading into the World Doorslammer Nationals in Orlando.
Well-liked and respected throughout the industry, Grim is also excited to work with all the stars in both Pro Stock and Pro Mod while providing them the chance to put on a show for the ages.
“My event motto is that I’m there to provide you the opportunity to have the time of your life,” Grim said. “I want them to know they’ve got a fair opportunity, everyone is treated the same and it will be a level playing field. We definitely want to show our appreciation for everyone involved, especially all these great racers.”
It should help to create an atmosphere that should be electric, and have fans and drivers bustling from start to finish.
Qualifying for the Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing, which will be broadcast live on SpeedVideo, starts on Friday, continues Saturday before final eliminations on Sunday. Grim expects to see a variety of emotions throughout the weekend leading into the massive payouts on Sunday.
“I think we’re doing to see a number of different atmospheres,” Grim said. “It’s going to start out very exciting for everyone, but as we move toward the final qualifier, I think you’ll see the air thicken just a little bit and that seriousness is going to come to the forefront. Come Sunday, it’s going to be a mound of emotions and who wins and loses could come down to a few thousandths of a second.”