Not long ago Gary asked Jay Regan of MRE Racing, "Did you get a draft pick for Fred Collis? (Referring to Fred's move from MRE racing to the Star Racing team.) Jay replied, "I should have." The winning ways of Fred Collis prompt us to agree. The Star Racing team would do well if drag racing had a draft day.
In our first interview with Fred Collis, his confident spirit transmitted over the phone lines with every word he spoke. Meeting Fred Collis in person substantiates every measure of his cool energy, and talking to Fred Collis is a pleasant journey over positive ground. He seems tuned to the events around him, and he also possesses many skills that defy his youth. Have a seat beside Fred and me in the Star Racing compound…as I (Dwight) interview this rookie champion.
D-O-B: February 18, 1971 … Home town: Wilton, Connecticut … Americus, Georgia
Do you have a nickname?
"Fast Freddy, Giant-killer, Champ…George Bryce calls me 'no pressure Fred'."
Who are your Heroes?
"Racing heroes are John Myers, Angelle Seeling, Dave Schultz. When I first saw Dave way back when I said, I gotta do that."
What are your scariest moments?
"On a street bike. A car stopped in front of me, Another was in the way out. My rider and I had no where to go heading right on to a crash. I swung right hard, and we made it. I had the need."
(We agree, streets can be a scary place. Just like other brave racers, however, Fred got back on to ride like a hurricane wind down the strip.)
Do you work out?
"Yes, I run and lift weights, but not for bulk."
Do you have a special diet?
"Nothing special, but I eat low fat foods."
What mental routine prepares you for each run?
" One round at a time. My run starts in the staging lanes. I visualize what I do. I pretend I'm making the run, over and over with the time I got. Like a kid driving a spaceship, I imagine."
Do you have time for a hobby?
"My hobby is racing. I run top gas bikes, and ohh. I follow the stock market on the Internet, using a stock-picking program.
Many motorcyclists ride to unravel, what do you do to unwind?
"I'm usually wound-up, but I surf the Internet to relax." (We like that routine)
What personal quality (one trait) would you want your fans to admire most?
"Friendly and out-going."
What's most important?
1.Fame 2.Money 3.Thrill/fun 4.Winning
"Winning. As far as racing is concerned. I have fun, lots of it, but I'm not going there to have fun."
Are you happy?
What could make you happier?
"If Star racing wins both the NHRA and Prostar racing titles."
If you could change one thing at the track, what would it be?
When driving a car, do you always wear a seatbelt?
1. Yes. 2. No. 3. If yes, really?
What kind of car or truck do you drive on the street?
What does 185 mph on a motorcycle feel like?
"Feels like a hundred on the highway. You can't tell the speed on a dragstrip like you can on the highway, but at the starting line it feels like you've been shot out of a cannon."
WHERE do you find the most peace in your life?
"Sitting at home, playing with my computer."
WHEN do you find the most peace in your life?
"Evenings. After work."
Besides racing, do you have a full-time occupation?
"Yes. I'm a sub-contractor for Star Performance Parts…expanding the mail order business."
You're a skilled racer…What one factor, what one reason separates you from the fast traffic on smooth public highways?
"Being defensive. Knowing where everyone else is. Eyes everywhere. Not just in the back of your head."
How did you get started in Motorcycle drag racing?
"1994 at Atco, New Jersey. At an AMA Prostar race, the mustard seed was planted."
When asleep do you ever dream you're riding a motorcycle?
"Lot of times. I'm dreaming that I'm at a race, going down the track."
When not wearing leathers or racing garb, what's your choice for clothing?
"Jeans and a polo shirt."
Name one other sport, you believe you could excel at?"
"Golf, of course."
If you could make one part of your body stronger, what part would that be?
When frustrated. What do you do first?
1.Erupt. 2.Withdraw 3. Try to be cool.
"I try to be cool."
How long does it take you to come off an emotional high? Like a winning high?
"After I win a race, I don't ever get off an emotional high. I want to race every day, but the engines and computers can't take it. I get wound up going down the road to the track."
When we spoke to Fred over the phone, this was his additional comment…
"I need to plug the guys at the shop, everybody at Star Racing. A real team. Everybody does their part. About a dozen of them."
George Bryce, Jackie Bryce, Julie Bryce, Ken Johnson, Jason Jones, Darin Hall, Eddie Davis, Tammy Espe, Mike Espe, Derek Churchill, Ron Rees.
(The Star Racing team. We call them the deserving dozen.)
By the time I asked Fred Collis in person for additional comments, he was already a champion.
"Be happy. Go after your dreams. Follow your dreams. My dream was motorcycles, and they have made me very happy in a very short time. Dream Big!"
During our first interview I surfed through many positive adjectives to describe this brave racer. Fred Collis remains skilled, personable, focused, as well as being a real team player, and at that time we settled on one adjective to supply the best overview…After his second interview Fred shows us that he is even more worthy of his chosen word…