Coming in to last Saturday night, I was very much full of anticipation at the idea  of witnessing jet cars on the IHRA drag strip following the night of racing on the ASA-sanctioned America First Credit Union Super Oval.

This was a spectacle that I had not seen for probably at least five years. And for some fans who attended the night’s activities, they had never seen jet cars run anywhere, period.

So, the idea of watching four jet cars make a pass each, was rather intriguing, to say the least.

Something else I was interested in was watching Jaren Mott make a run. You see, the Utah native had just received his license to pilot a jet car. Therefore, he was going to debut in front of the hometown fans.

First things first, I was whisked down to the infield to shoot footage for the “RMR Superfan” segment for “SportsBeat Sunday” on KSL. You can tune in Sunday nights from 10:35 p.m. until 11:35 p.m.

The footage I was getting was for the Maverik Modifieds 50-lap main event, which was won by the driver of the No. 20 car, Dan McCoy. The win marked his second victory of the season, and the first repeat winner of the 2011 campaign for the Maverik Modifieds. Pretty impressive.

And let me make this point. It does not surprise me at all that this division had not had a repeat winner up to that point. The modifieds are just too close every weekend.


Once the checkered flag fell, and McCoy made his way back to the pits for the winner’s celebration, I then made my way over to the IHRA drag strip to continue filming.

I knew there was a good possibility I would be very close to the start line, and I must admit to being a little apprehensive about that. Not that I was scared; I just didn’t know what to expect being that close.

The one good thing is the fact that my adrenaline was already high after spending the entire modified feature in the infield. Being that close to the action was incredible. The difference was, I had never experienced jet cars that close before.

At any rate, I filmed from the stairs on the VIP tower during the first jet car pass. It was a great place to be to gain wide-angle shots. But, I wanted to get closer to the action.

So, I made my way to the start line.

On the lane nearest to me was Jaren Mott. This was the driver I wanted to see.

And, buddy, when he fired that baby up, WOW!!!! That’s all I can say. The heat I felt on my face was intense. Not to mention the percussion I experienced was insane.


I then watched the tree light up and braced for what was about to happen. Then, nothing. Mott’s car had a mechanical problem and never moved, while the car on the far lane took off. It was still cool, but I was disappointed he had the trouble he had.

Nevertheless, it was a night I will never forget. In all my years of being invloved in oval track racing, I had never seen what I saw on that night. Way to go RMR!!!!

Russ Sala Jr.

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