In racing, as in all sports, careers are measured by championships, the number of majors claimed, the big races won. To reach the pinnacle, talent alone is never enough. At the top tier of professional drag racing for example everyone is skilled. What separates the good racer, from the great, is varying degrees of perception and acceptance of the moment. The pressure that some feel as dehibilating, a handful are capable of using as smelling salts to arouse their consciousness - to hyper-focus their chi as it were.
Winning on Sunday Biondo stated that his K&N Filters backed dragster was within thousandths of a second all day long.
Biondo left Atco Raceway with two trips to the finals, one win, and $37,000 more in his pocket.
K&N driver Peter Biondo is the latter kind of racer, with 36 total NHRA National event wins in the categories of Super Comp, Stock and Super Stock, he's clearly established that. It's precisely that ability to hyper-focus on the big stages that had Biondo putting on a dominating performance at arguably one of the biggest and most competitive bracket races of the year. Over 200 of the most talented drivers in the country showed up at Atco Raceway in New Jersey for three big days of racing, with $25,000 up for grabs on each day. As day one, Friday, came to an end, K&N driver Biondo came up only one round short of winning it all.
"It was bittersweet - I was happy to make it to the final round with such a talented field of racers, but in the final, when the win light comes on in the other lane, that tends to sting a bit," remarked Biondo.
Despite losing the final, Biondo still ended up with $12,000 for his efforts, and he was still looking at two more days of racing. Another innate facility that elite champions share is their ability to shake off heartbreak, stay in the moment, and move on.
After falling in the early rounds on Saturday of the event, Biondo ‘one upped' his Friday performance, taking home the big $25,000 check on Sunday.
"Without a doubt, the biggest win of the year for me," said Biondo. "My K&N Filters backed dragster was within thousandths of a second all day long. No doubt this played a big role in the win."
It was yet another weekend for the record books for the versatile driver most fittingly refer to as "The Terminator". With this performance Biondo continues his sizzling summer hot streak and we wondered why he thought that was?
"It's something that can't really be described in words, but the more intense the pressure, the easier I find it is to focus. I guess subconsciously I realize there is more at stake, and it forces me focus more. I guess in off the track terms the best way I could describe it is, it's like a person who can lift up a car because of adrenaline when they are trapped under it."
"A key to being competitive at any level in sports is never to get too high or too low. Sure I was upset for the moment when I lost the first final. But I try to get back to ‘my zone' after each round, or each race, regardless of the previous outcome. Getting too high will cause you to get too comfortable and complacent, where as getting too low sometimes forces you to try too hard. Neither is a good place to be."
Next up for Biondo are a couple of more big-time races - the US National, followed by the Million Dollar Race - Both being contested in Indianapolis.
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