Jonathan Robin: April Blog
Before I get started, I would like to take this time to thank Luke for giving me this opportunity to be part of the APD Member Spotlight program. The APD member spotlight is a great way for me to showcase what I do on a week in week out bases. With this opportunity I hope to have the best season of my career and take the rest of you along for the ride.
My name is Jonathan Robin and I am 27 years old. I have been married to my beautiful wife, Brandi, for a year and a half now. We are expecting a baby girl in June of this year. I also have a 7 year old son named Cole, who loves drag racing just as much as I did at his age. I have been around drag racing my entire life, even as an infant. My dad, Simon Robin, used to help out people like Bubba Sewell and Darrell Russell, so I had the privilege of growing up around some of the greatest names in the sport. I was not introduced into bracket racing until later on in life. However, it wasn’t until I was around 17 years old when I really began to learn about bracket racing. All I had ever known before that was NHRA. The only thing I wanted to do when I grew up was to race super gas or super comp. Boy has that idea changed!
The entire idea of bracket racing was introduced to me by a man named Jerry “Thriller” Virgadamo. I fell in love with the concept right away. He called me up one weekend and said, “I am going to a bracket race, you want to take a ride?”, so of course I tagged along. On the way to meet Thriller, I decided to bring my brand new Honda Accord. It would be my first attempt at driving a car down the track. The Thriller disagreed and said “No, not a good idea to bring your new car Slick. He Said I’ve got a car for you to drive at the track”. That’s exactly what I needed to hear! When I pulled up to the track, he told me to get the winch battery out of the trailer so that we could get the car. I did so and joined him along the other side of the track, next to the woods, where we came upon a 1990 Geo Metro. Yep, you heard it right! I was standing in front of a 1990 Geo Metro, a three cylinder beast that turned 20 seconds @ 65mph in the ¼. Little did I know, this first night at the track turned into one of the best feelings I have come to know today. I was able to make it to the semis that night, and I was on cloud nine. I had success with that car for about a year. This success eventually led to an itch… an itch I had to scratch. I had to get my own race car!
I have since upgraded to a 2003 Undercover dragster, which I have to say still doesn’t give you the whip lash that Geo gave me. My racing operation is a complete team effort that consists of my entire family, especially my Mom and Dad. They got me started in this whole thing and without my parents I would not be in the position that I am in today. With the support of my family, I have done things in this sport that would take some people years of racing to accomplish. Even though I do not have the big rig or the multi car team, I still show up every weekend and put up a real fight.
(Nelly Bell) Photo taken by: CP’s Cool Flash Pics
2011 is going to be the most challenging year yet. I have decided that this is going to be the year to chase a point’s championship. I have never wanted to be tied into a point’s chase in the past, because of the number of races involved. This year my main focus will be on “The King of the Coast” and the “Cajun Super Series”, along with whatever bracket races I can fit in. My main goal for these two series is to finish top three in the KOC and to win the CSS. I have collected a Wally and a big check, so I feel what eludes me is that point’s championship. I will consider 2011 a success if I can pull this off.
Now that I have told you a little bit about myself, let’s get to the good stuff…THE RACING. 2011 hasn’t been so kind to me to start off. The tracks timing system decided to malfunction and send me home early at the first “King of the Coast” event I attended in February. So needless to say, I did not get such a great jump start on the points! On a side note… they have redone the timing system and everything is up to par. I attended the “Cajun Super Series” in March with a bit of a better performance. I managed to knock some rust off before the 4th round, where I realized I still had some more work to do. My opponent was 45mph slower than me to the 1/8, so needless to say… I was not putting too much in the old pocket. The starting line was close, and the stripe was not. I am ashamed to say I took .025 and went .002 under my dial. It was not too bad of a day as far as points. However, the next weekend was my second “King of Coast” event. With a new timing system in place, I felt as if I was ready for a great weekend of racing. I got things rolling early and was putting some really nice runs together until 4th round where I ran into my best friend’s dad. I was just .008 on the tree, and the car was doing its job…so I felt like I would go into this one as the dialer. Well I left the box alone and missed it. I went .020 to his .001 dead on 7. All I could do was drop at the stripe for 1 over. All in all I felt I was heading in the right direction, knowing that I could drop the first race from the points. I managed to salvage some point’s right there. It’s kind of frustrating not being able to get past the 4th round, knowing that at the end of last year it seemed I could do no wrong.
This past weekend of April 16, I attended the second “Cajun Super Series” race with a new outlook on things. I went back through my log book to look through some notes. I decided I had the car and was doing an ok job driving, but came to the conclusion that I was dialing the car wrong. I went into the weekend concentrating on the tree and letting the car carry me through. I tried not to do too much at the stripe unless I needed to. Well it all came together as planned in time trials. I hit the tree and the car was exactly where I expected it to be. I started going rounds, and there came that pesky 4th round that had been stopping me of late. But I made sure I was going to lay down a good run and I did just that. I was .003 on the tree and dropped to high dead on not leaving my opponent too much room since he was .020 on the tree. I made it to the semis where I set up .005 on tree and dialed the car up 1 against an opponent that I knew was holding and was having trouble getting his car dialed in. The plan was great up until the point where I turned it -.004 red and he was .025 and couldn’t get down the track.
So as I close out the month of April along with this article I have had some up and downs, but over all I think I am heading in the right direction. I am three rounds out of first in the CSS, so I am on track with that goal. Now if I can just get something going at KOC next month… I will be alright.
I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to read my first article, as I am not much of a writer (like Luke is). I also have to thank my family and friends that have been supportive through this entire journey. I would also like to thank the people that make my racing operation: Mom and Dad, AAA PESCO INC., Huntsville Engines, APD, K&N, J&J Performance, Nitro Plate, TIBR.com, and CP’s Cool Flash Pics. Last but not least I would like to thank my beautiful wife, Brandi, for putting up with me and understanding the time restraints that this sport puts on us. I love you baby you are the best. Sorry fellas I had to put that or I might not make the rest of the season!