Dirt racers are a very close knit family, not everyone can fit in so to speak, but every now and then comes an outsider who not only fits in but makes a stand. Someone who makes a stand that causes racers to stand up and take notice. This person is Salima Elhaddad, editor of dirt Life Illustrated Magazine. This is a new venture that will be highlighting the REAL side of racing. The drivers, the crews, and the fans… not often do the popluar media show you the real side of racing. But Salima has a vision… one to show everyone what real racers are like. Not the racers you see on the TV each and every week, not the ones who takes up all the space in the weekly columns, but the REAL racers, the ones who work 2 jobs to keep a kid racing, or one who works 2 job’s to make sure that the car they drive is ready come Saturday night.
Salima comes from the heart of Texas, a huge Longhorns fan, but since she moved to Ga in 2008 she has been hooked, not on the ‘horns, but on racing, dirt racing to be more specific. And she plans on making an impact on the sport that has never been done before. She plans to highlight, not the super late model drivers who dominate the press each week, but the little guy, who dominates the tracks each week.
I recently got Salima to answer a few questions for me and she was very candid in her answers, here are some of them…..
Why do you want to do a magazine about dirt racing?
“I want to do this magazine because most of the media plays up the few popular drivers. But what about the driver who works three jobs to have that hobby car or the dad who burns the midnight oil to make sure his kid’s car is race ready by the time qualifying starts? I never see interviews of pit crew members, flag men, track promoters or car owners. I think the dirt track world is much larger than we’ve been shown.”
Why should dirt racers believe in you, to do the dirt racing world “right”?
“Because I am extremely passionate about dirt track racing and have completely immersed myself in the lifestyle. I have dedicated even my free time to research and development to make sure that I give accurate and non-biased information to my readers.”
What are your plans for Dirt Life Illustrated?
“To spotlight small town dirt tracks, including everyone involved in the dirt track world. Also want to provide tons of information pertaining to dirt racing. There will be something for everyone!”
What do you like about dirt racing the most?
“Well I don’t even know where to start…..I guess if I have to pick one thing it would be that the people in the dirt track world are honest, hard working Americans that keep it a family oriented sport where it doesn’t matter where you are from or who you know you are welcomed with open arms.”
When did you see your first dirt race?
“I saw my first dirt race at Toccoa Speedway Toccoa, GA in 2008 and fell in love and haven’t missed a weekend since.”
Who exposed you to dirt racing?
“A friend of the family that showed me around when I first moved to Georgia took me one night, cause he said I didn’t need to sit at home on a Saturday night. “
If you would walk up in the stands at any race and talk to the fans what would you want them to know about you?
“That I am interested in getting to know them.
Tell me something about you that no one knows
“I had a porcupine as a pet when I was young….lol”
What did you think when you seen dirt cars really turn it on the first time?
“I thought to myself, dang! I cant believe that I have been missing out on this my whole life.”
“I would, but I like the mystery its more fun that way don’t you think?”