HOUSTON, Texas -- It is no secret that the cost of competing in professional motorsports is high. In all forms of motorsports the cost of campaigning and maintaining a competitive race team is far more than a team can win on the racetrack. This has turned all professional motorsports, whether it is NASCAR, Indy Racing League, or NHRA Drag Racing; into a sponsor drive sports. The likelihood of a team running out of their own pocketbook for many seasons is slim, and has seen many teams with the potential to win fall by the wayside. As seemed to be the case with Brain "Lump" Self.
Last season Self's Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck was sponsored by Roof-Tec, a Houston based roofing contractor. This season Roof-Tec's owner Roger Brogden will field his own Pro Stock Truck, leaving Lump without a sponsor.
The off-season rumor mill had placed Self on the list of competitors that will not be returning to the drag strip next season. That was true for a short time, but Lump is back and will be rejoining the tour when the season get under way in Pomona, Calif. in February.
"I was ready to quit racing," said Self of Houston, Texas. "The cost of running one of these trucks is as much as a Pro Stock car. I looked at how much I spent last year and realized that I can not keep doing this out of my own pocket. I thought that I would sit out the year. Maybe go to the track and help out some of the other guys, or just stay home and work. That was my plan anyway.
"Then I went testing with Jeff (team-mate Jeff Naiser), and I couldn't stand it! It became apparent to me real quick that I could not stand on the starting line and watch someone else drive. I am a driver, and I have to be in the drivers' seat or I am not going to be happy. It was a terrible feeling just standing watching and not being behind the wheel. I knew right then and there, that I had to race this year."
Self is now aggressively searching for some sponsorship help to fund his race team. He has enlisted the help of his Crew Chief Chad Tigert, who has a degree in Marketing to find the sponsor dollars they need to get them to the racetrack.
"Watching Jeff drive was all the encouragement I needed to get aggressive about finding a sponsor. Chad and I sat down that day and started making phone calls to sponsors and sending out proposals. We haven't found any money yet, but we are not going to give up trying."
Self is the first to tell you that the amount of races he will be able to compete at is limited. It could be a frustrating scenario for any racer to know that their time at the track may not be long, but Self is upbeat and optimistic about his chances of finding a sponsor.
"Right now are plans are to be in Pomona even if we don't have a sponsor. We know that we have to be at the track and get the exposure that sponsors want. So, I am prepared to start the season out of my own pocket if I have too, but that cannot last for long.
"We ran too good last year to sit out this season. I finished eighth in the points, and ran with the best of them all year. We are a win waiting to happen, and it is only a matter of time before we see the winner's circle.
"We will race as long as we have the money to do so. After that, we will park this truck if we have too. Maybe we will just have to win all the races and race off the prize money, but if you know anyone with some cash lying around, send them our way."