By Laurel Adams
The Weiser Mud Drags just celebrated their 15th year of wild and messy muddy mayhem! While our spectators pay the $7 at the gate, come in, watch the show, go ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaaah’ and ‘WOW’ and then go home, the MDC (Mud Drag Committee) has already been meeting for months, planning, debating, and figuring things out. “How can we improve the venue? Why did the mud do this this year and not last year? We have a tractor, right? OMG WE DON’T HAVE A TRACTOR?!?? We have to go pick up the bleachers? Where are they? Can we afford new timing lights this year? Dang it. Next year, maybe. Hey. Hey. HEY! STOP THE SIDEBARS! We all need to take our turn talking!! I can’t keep up!”
And then there’s the drivers, who we absolutely love. We have some that have been coming since the inception of the Mud Drags. They come from all over the Northwest to compete. They know there’s not a whole lot of money in the winner’s pots (it’s 100% payback but it depends on how many people entered that class--) but they come back year after year for the love of the sport. They bring their campers and families and friends and make our event the amazing thing it’s evolved into.
This thing is completely self funded. We operated under the umbrella of the Weiser Chamber of Commerce for years, and when that entity decided to turn us loose we started looking for another partner. While the Mud Drags has never been about the money, we wanted a partner that would make the most of what was left after the bills were paid and the Weiser City Fire Department Volunteer Association turned out to be a good fit. They are an organization we are proud to stand with and have been super supportive of our goals. (We’re not sure that the amount of hay bale tossing and fence pounding involved was fully disclosed when they agreed to help us out, but bless their hearts, they’re sticking with us!)
Every year we have a wrap up meeting. We talk about goals. We talk about how we can make it better for the drivers. For the spectators. Is the track as good as it can be? Can we attract sponsorship dollars to enhance the driver prize monies? While we like to think we have this thing pretty much dialed in, we know there are always areas for improvement. We are constantly picking the brains of other people in other places who do events. We ask the drivers for feedback. We walk around and listen to what the spectators are saying. We take aallll this information, analyze, discuss, disregard what won’t work at our venue, implement what will make us better.
COULDN’T DO IT WITHOUT Laura and Brian Erickson and their timing expertise, use of their timing lights, tech-in help, and the most important, valuable thing of all – their friendship. Our emcee, Dale Jeffries (with the support of his lovely bride, Dana). This guy is amazing and we all love him and the job he does for us every year. Our front gate person, Natasha McDaniel, who does it every year with a smile and a whole lot of sassy. Our back gate people who are there at 5:45 am on race day, check the drivers in, help them get tech’d in, answer their questions, issue wristbands, and the hundreds of other details involved with moving 100 +/- drivers through the gate with minimal casualties. Jennifer Schmuch Huff, Jeff Schmuch, Jessica Butterfield, Andrew Schmuch, and, new this year, Tammie Boven - we love you guys and don’t know what we’d do without you. Bucks 4X4, our largest sponsors! Brandon and his wife Brooke not only do everything possible to support our event every year (this includes parts for the rigs, swag, raffle prizes, their love, friendship, and support!) they also help get the word out about our event to their thousands of contacts in the 4X4 world. Thanks, guys.
The City of Weiser, who allows us to put on this event on their property every year. The Weiser Ambulance. Weiser Fire Department. Weiser Police Department. It’s because of these organizations we get to do what we do where we do it. (And you gotta admit – this venue is EXCEPTIONAL. The drivers frequently comment to us that we are one of the top races in the Northwest as well as being one of their favorites!)
From the Mud Drag Committee, from the bottom of our hearts, thanks to all who come, who drive, who help. You turn out every year, cheer for us and with us and, on occasion, argue with us. It wouldn’t be what it is without each and every single one of you.
OUR ROCKIN’ WEISER MUD DRAG COMMITTEE
Ken and Laurel Adams Joe and Angie White
Justin and Melanie Shelden Pete and Jen Ney
Andrew Schmuch Daniel Keffer
Samantha White Bill and Ginger Taylor
Brooke and Brandon Curtiss Kerry Nyce