DRAGS DREAM: Mildura native and regular Sunset Strip commentator Alan Ward, PICTURED RIGHT, is set to take his skills on the mic to a massive drag racing meet in Cleveland, Ohio next month. Alan is pictured with Mark Humphrey, who together live stream motor racing events as Sporting Scribe Muscle.
By MITCH RODD
THE night before a drag racing meet, Alan Ward doesn’t get much sleep. The excitement gets to him in the same way a child awaits the delivery of presents from Santa Claus.
Alan’s gift, however, is to call the motorsport he loves.
Born in Mildura and currently residing in Swan Hill, Alan has called motorsport for three decades, and drag racing for the past 20 years in many regional areas across the country.
He has created an outstanding team with Mark Humphrey, who over many years has covered motorsport as the Sporting Scribe. In recent years the duo have created a live stream to cover these events known as Sporting Scribe Muscle, with Mark behind the camera and Alan the man on-screen.
While Alan said the sport comes before any individual, next month he will have a chance to commentate a huge drag racing event in the United States, an opportunity that happened by chance.
“The stream was picked up by some people in Cleveland, Ohio. Basically whenever we would be live streaming an event we would be in contact with them to let them know when they could tune in,” Alan said.
“Earlier this year I went to a drag meeting in Phoenix, Arizona as a spectator. I met with these new friends from Cleveland, who invited me to come out at any time to one of their meets.
“That led on to them asking if I would like to come out to a huge event called the Shakedown Finals at Cleveland in September. A couple of weeks later I met over the phone with the promoter and the owner of Summit Motorsports Park who then asked me if I would like to commentate the event with their whole team. So a small invitation has turned into the incredible opportunity.
“This is every kids’s dream. I’ll be going over there with the enthusiasm of a 14-year-old.
“Any time I go to work at these events… actually I wouldn’t call it work, not when I have so much fun every time I do it.”
Alan was the caller for last weekend’s inaugural Sunset Strip Junior Nationals, which was the biggest entry of juniors in a stand-alone event in Southern Australia.
The veteran commentator lauded efforts of the Sunraysia Drag Racing Association (SDRA) and believes the sport has a bright future ahead.
“If that (the weekend’s events) is the future of drag racing I want to be part of it,” Alan said.
“Over the weekend at Mildura there were 47 teams and it was so much fun. The kids and their families were brilliant.
“(SDRA president) Kingsley (Kuchel) and his lovely wife Lauren and the whole team at the SDRA did a magnificent job. All the feedback we’ve heard has been extremely positive and to be honest it’s been like that for a long time.
“The camaraderie in every motorsport is massive, and I love the camaraderie that is in the drag racing family. Every time you go to a meet you meet old friends again.
“It’s a great sport, kids can learn the technical side of it and they can learn how to handle a car at such a young age.”
The ‘Shakedown at the Summit’ takes place in Cleveland from September 14 to 16.