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Frederick L Elsass AKA Sarge
Frederick L. Elsass AKA "Sarge"

Let's Do It
With a little help from my friends
By Frederick L. Elsass AKA "Sarge"

This is an article about life's ups downs and how when the final cut comes, it is always one's friends who save the day.

This spring I thought to myself how nice it would be to rent, borrow, or steal a race car to enter in the IHRA national event at Norwalk Raceway Park in August. I immediately thought of my good friend, Alex Denyseko. He had three cars and two drivers, so I sent him e-mail and asked what were the chances of driving his '89 Ford Mustang GT convertible at Norwalk? His Immediate reply was, "LET'S DO IT." I had visions of Alex bringing all three cars to Norwalk from Chicago, and I show up with my helmet and strap in and go play, like a touring professional racecar driver. A hired gun if you will. But Alex then said that I would have to come to Chicago to pick up the car and trailer whenever I wanted, because he could not bring all three cars to Norwalk.

First problem solved. Now all I need is a ½-ton truck with towing capability to go to Chicago. Well, it just seems that my eldest brother, Verle, has this clean as a pin '97 GMC ½ -ton pickup. I get on the phone and give him a ring and his reply was, "LET'S DO IT."

Wow, second problem solved, Now I got a competitive racecar and trailer in Chicago, a way to go get it, and now I've got to try and figure out how I am going to pay for all this travel and racing, without putting my greedy little fingers in the housekeeping and savings accounts. Then, because of a nasty little virus that got into my computer, I met a great guy named John Draggi. John is a computer wiz and is the owner of BetterBuilt.Com, in Canton, Ohio. This is a company that specializes in computers, so I went to see him about getting rid of the virus. While I was in his shop, I asked him if he would like to advertise his business on this great racecar I was going to drive, and his reply was, "LET'S DO IT." Now I have a racecar and trailer, got a truck to pull it with, and I've got money to make it happen. Now all I need is a crew chief to help me. Entering the picture is my cousin, Larry Elsass. I called him up to pitch the deal to him and guess what? "LET'S DO IT." We had raced together back in 1960 and I thought how great it would be to be a team again.

The last item was a place to keep the racecar and trailer when I am not playing. I live in a very nice apartment complex, and they are a little reluctant to have a truck, trailer and racecar blocking traffic in the complex. Enter my second eldest brothers first born. Douglas Elsass, the owner of Elsass Heating and Cooling. It seems that Doug has this huge complex on the south side of Canton, so I got on the phone and told him what I was doing and like all the rest his reply was "LET'S DO IT."

Will you look at this, got a racecar and trailer, got a truck to pull it with, got money to make it happen, a crew chief and a place to secure everything. What more could a guy want or need! Well let me tell you, it really helps to have a bride who understands all of your crazy dreams and I am one lucky fellow. I told my English Rose, my bride of 21 years about my plan and her reply was. "LET'S DO IT."

Before I forget, I want to thank my wonderful friend, Bill Bader, owner of Norwalk Raceway Park, and the President of IHRA. Without him, none of this story would have been possible. It is said, "The character of a man can be measured by the people who consider him a friend." I can only say that I am blessed and very thankful to have wonderful friends and relations like I do.

(Editors note: Sarge made it to the Sunoco World Nationals and was a first-round runner-up)

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