Story By: Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com – Photos By: Pete MacDonald & Alex & Helen Bruce/RacersGuide.com
Its one of the most stressful things to do when you’re at the racetrack, It’s not strapping yourself in behind the wheel to do battle amongst your peers, its not the car owner who spends tens of thousands of dollars on the best equipment he can afford, it’s not the crew member who torques all five lug nuts prior to the A-Main, its not the race director who has to watch 24 race cars at a time, or even a corner flagger or EMT.
It’s drawing the pill at the back gate to determine where you start in your heat or time trial. If you draw a bad number, your night just got that much longer. If you draw a good number it makes the night a little less stressful. I cant tell you how many times over the years I’ve seen racers, crew members, or even wives and girlfriends have severe anxiety over the draw.
Some call it luck, some simply refuse to do it.
So, I recently asked a few drivers who draws for them and why, this is what they had to say.
“Anyone but me, I pick really horrible numbers. Last time I sent Rick Laubach’s son Matthew to pick for me and the time before that was Brandon Grosso because he always seems to pick good.” – Ryan Krachun
“It changes weekly and who ever is feeling “lucky” at the time. I’ll stick with the same person until they get fired for drawing a crappy pill. This week I’m fired, I pulled 43 out of 45 last time we raced.” – Jeff Geiges
“My girlfriend Elizabeth, she’s just better at it than me.” – Danny Bouc
“If Danny Bouc’s girlfriend Elizabeth is there I will have her draw for me, She seems to have some amazing luck and or drawing skills. Usually anyone but me draws the pill.” – Clay Butler
“The youngest person that’s on our team, that way we cant get too mad at them.” – Billy Pauch Jr.
“Whoever we think is lucky that day, I’ll do it at the beginning of the year, if I’m bad, I’ll let someone else do it, if we have someone new come to the race track with us, I let them do it for beginners luck.” – Ryan Godown
“I make my girlfriend Ashley do it, I suck at drawing. I have no luck at all. I make her do it because if it’s out of 100 I’ll be picking in the 90’s. The last two races she’s picked me in the single digits.” – Mikey Butler
“I usually do it so I can only blame myself when I pick bad. Like opening night they tell me there’s 62 pills. Well, I pulled 63. If I’m going to pull a bad number I’d rather it be me picking it.” – Andrew Bohn
“Normally my uncle pulls for me because so far he has the best record of all my guys.” – Bryan Kuhl
I feel bad for the people that draw a bad number, they always have that walk of shame back to the trailer with their head down low, but I’ve also seen a lot of happy campers walk away with smiles from ear to ear after pulling the pole.
What do you think? Who pulls the pill for you and why?
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found on Twitter @PMacDonald51. Thanks for reading!