As the NHRA Mello Yello Series gets set to return to racing this weekend after a four-month hiatus, Corey Michalek and React104 have released a new video to hype up the return. Titled “The Awakening,” this 7-minute feature was created in collaboration with NHRA during the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, California, in February.
“After putting together the Norwalk and Indy videos last year, I got contacted by the NHRA to document this year’s 60th anniversary NHRA Winternationals, as well as the Gainesville and Las Vegas national events to start the season,” Michalek said. “Shortly after Pomona, as we’re all aware, the world and the sport of drag racing got flipped upside down with everything that was going on with the pandemic. I sat on the footage from Pomona as the original intent of the recap quickly lost its purpose while the sport was put on hold.”
The video found a new purpose as the NHRA started to plot its return to racing over the last couple months.
“When the NHRA announced they would be restarting the season in July, I saw it as an opportunity to reformat the direction of the video to frame it as a rallying cry for a resilient group of men and women that doesn’t know what it means to give up. With that, The Awakening was officially born,” Michalek said.
Just like Michalek’s previous videos, which usually go viral shortly after launching online, “The Awakening” is a powerful, dramatic look at drag racing’s highest level.
“While I am currently as involved with the NHRA today as I’ve ever been, I still see the cars and the people as bigger than life,” said Michalek, who drives an A/Fuel dragster he co-owns with his brother, Kyle. “My editing style is reminiscent of the way that I daydream about the sport we all know and love. I really hope that fans enjoy seeing these events through my eyes and that they find moments in these videos where there are certain sights or sounds that transport them back to enjoying time at the track.”