Man, where do I begin??
First and foremost—THANK YOU.
Thank you to all of the people who believed in me when we started down this path last year. The birth of the Anarchy No Prep program was shrouded in controversy and drama, but we hit the ground running with very little time to prepare. (Fitting really, given it’s a No Prep race). This time, we had much more time to plan, and it paid off in spades when everything basically didn’t work at all at the beginning of the day.
We put together a very ambitious and unconventional program for 2019. 14 classes, 16 entry max per class. Max possible count was 224 entries, and we ended up with around 180. All this was slated to be run in 9 hours or less of what was designed to be nonstop action for the spectators, while not stressing out the racers or the staff by having to turn the cars around in too short a time period. As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge already, my “genius plan” to do the 1st round draw the night before (via FB live) was plagued with issues. Notably, zero reliable internet, an overheating phone that had to be put in the freezer repeatedly and a dozen drunken savages that invaded my RV during the draw. (Note to self: LOCK THE DOOR). Of course, there were more technology issues on Saturday morning that delayed everything. We also had two wrecks that required a tow truck (huge thanks to Speedy Peedy towing for being super fast on the recoveries!), and not to mention two significant oil downs.
Even with all this going on, we ran our 1st pair down “only” a little over an hour behind schedule (1:13pm for the sticklers), and wrapped the entire thing up by 10:45 (10:41pm was the final pair). The Anarchy team was dealt a lot of setbacks, and we kicked every single one of their asses, running out the entire event in almost exactly 9½ hours–just 30 minutes over what was planned–despite all of the issues, of which several were beyond our control. We’ve all heard the phrase “in the weeds” used when things are going wrong. Well, we started with a jungle and ended up with a putting green, and it was all thanks to teamwork. Everybody did their part, and proper planning, strategy and execution prevailed, turning what could’ve been a complete train wreck into what many folks have said was the best No Prep event they have ever attended. Not too shabby for what many consider to be the “first actual” Anarchy event!!
Credit for the amazing execution of my extremely lofty plan goes to the entire Anarchy management team:
–Nick Frank, my VP, right hand guy and resident event logistics expert. A long time friend of 25+ years, Nick has been doing events with me for many years, starting out being simply my “ladder guy”, learning how all this stuff works and eventually assuming the role of Technical Director and #2 in charge. His organizational skills are critical to making things happen during the program.
–Mark “Outplayn” Mueller, my resident motorcycle expert and longtime friend. We have been doing events together for literally 20 years now, and even though we sometimes fight like siblings, we make a great team and I wouldn’t have it any other way.. Mark’s involvement with and connection to the 2 wheeled crowd is simply invaluable. His own class, “Freshman Bike” was designed by him to court newer, less experienced riders, and has been received very well!
–Jimmy Dodaro is an invaluable part of the management team for the Anarchy, looking over the staging lanes and ensuring that the racers are where they need to be, when they need to be there. His level headed approach to life is the calm port in the storm of drag race event chaos. As a motorcycle racer himself, he also works directly with Mark to “rack up” the motorcycles.
Other significant mentions:
–Luke Eckhardt, while not actually in the role of management, he has cemented his place in the staging lanes alongside Jimmy, helping to ensure pairings are correct and being very diligent about getting racers positioned properly before rolling them up to the front of the lanes. At the ripe old age of 14, this kid understands staging lanes better than a lot of folks twice his age. He also single-handedly stocked the merchandise trailer overnight so that I could get some sleep before the big day!! He went all day on virtually no sleep and never skipped a beat! I’m extremely proud to call this young man my son, and he has become an important part of the team.
–Jeanette DesJardines, for helping create the new Ladies Only class. Her expertise thru her organization Car Chix is a huge part of why that class went so well.
–Mike Sarauer, for volunteering (again) to coordinate the Extreme Bike class
–Eric Flitsch and Greg Hurlbutt, for helping to create and coordinating the new Old School c lass
–Rebecca Eckhardt for tolerating and supporting me throughout this entire thing. I would be nothing without her.
The Line/Security/Tech/Everything else staff did a fantastic job of keeping the starting line chaos-free throughout the day, as well as about a million other things.. Headed up by Amanda Newell, they were all devoted to keeping everything moving!!
(Chaz Hendrickson, Chris Fasco, Dan Mackey, Eric Flitsch, Greg Hurlbutt, Jake Manzke, John Fauerbach, Kenny Singleton, Kevin Tong, Tyle Chiu, Mike Carlson, Max Zawada, Alex Kucia, Anthony La Fronza)
The new “Anarchy No Prep Merchandise Stand” was a smash hit!! Not because we had tons of cool gear available, but because we had the greatest team imaginable running it!! My amazing wife Rebecca Eckhardt and our middle son Dylan (who we discovered is a 10 year old sales prodigy) were tasked with running the merch booth, and Rebecca’s sister Jessica stepped in as well to help out–and boy were they happy to get more help!! The booth was non-stop from when it opened at noon (OMG that line!) until they were pretty much sold out of everything and closed up at 9:00.
The new classes were a hit!!! Old School was a crowd favorite, and the Car Chix Ladies Only bracket class was the very first ladies only no prep anywhere ever!! Look for them to return in September!
Huge thanks to all of the racers, and special congratulations to the class winners!
–Freshman Bike: Jake Manzke
–Junior Bike: Sam Riechelt
–Senior Bike: Joe Peters
–Extreme Bike: Frankie Stotz
–Ladies Only: Lindsey Sarauer
–Old School: Wayne Proper
–Heavy Hitter: Patrick Lynn Jr
–220: Ryan Stubben (repeat champ!)
–275: Jon Capizzi (repeat champ!)
–Jr: Brandon Mork
–Banger: Nick Cole-Mann
–Gangster 26”: Justin Cyrnek
–Steamroller: Ryan Hendrickson
–Senior 28”: Joey “Boost 12” Rabiola
Last, and certainly not least, I have to thank the many sponsors that came on board this time around:
–Strange Engineering (Event Sponsor)
–Car Chix (presenting sponsor, Ladies Only)
–Flatout Gaskets (presenting sponsor, Old School)
–Chicago Lift Equipment (presenting sponsor, Gangster 26”)
–Fast Forward Race Cars
–No Prep Racing
–Koza Automotive and Performance
–General RV Centers, Huntley
–Automatic Transmission Design
–Midwest Fox Rods
On a personal note, I will say that I have learned a lot in the last six months about event promotion, and I now fully understand why many promoters don’t last long, and why some others have chosen to get out of it entirely. I’ve been running events for 20 years, and the nuts and bolts of it getting everything done on race day are 2nd nature to me by now. But, actual promotion is a different animal entirely. It’s basically a 2nd full time job with no salary (and it’s not the gold mine everybody thinks it is), unlimited hours (as I sit here typing this at 1:00 am) and seemingly limitless responsibility. It’s certainly not for everybody, and that’s why many are a “flash in the pan”. All that having been said, I’m just getting started!!
That’s it!! Anarchy No Prep 2k19.1 is in the books!!
Thank you again to everybody, and see you in July & September!