Questions and story by Dwight Drum. HTML by Gary Larsen
ROB SHORT CHATS WITH DWIGHT:
Story by Dwight Drum … Photo enhancement and HTML by Gary Larsen
When you look at Rob Short's name you might expect someone of smaller stature, but when you look into Rob Short's eyes, you'd better be tall or be prepared to look up. You might also think he'd be racing the motorcycle of choice in NHRA events, and you'd have to think again on that one too. Rob Short stands tall over his Kawasaki motorcycle, and he races it routinely into the qualifying rounds of the NHRA. One of his best attributes, his down-to-earth demeanor, resonates down to his feet. Join me as Rob Short, Kawi rider, answers my questions.
Birth Town: East Liverpool, Ohio
Home Town: Hooks Town, Pa
Do you have a nickname?
Who are your heroes?
"Dave Schultz. Ron Ayers."
What are (or have been) your scariest moments?
"When my handle bars came off during a fourth round of qualifying. I was outside looking in."
Do you work out?
"A little. It puts weight on me."
Do you have a special diet?
"No cookies, cake or candy."
What mental routine prepares you for each run?
"I try to play a run through my mind."
Do you have time for a hobby?
"Actually, I run a hobby shop, but I don't have a lot of time for a hobby. It's a speed shop and hobby shop with trains and slot cars."
Many motorcyclists ride to unravel, what do you do to unwind?
"Working on the bike is relaxing, and being at home with my wife."
What personal quality (one trait) would you want to be admired most for?
"Respect for our efforts. We're not a big budget racing team, but I'd like more respect for running as well as we do with what we have." (Lou Short, Rob's dad travels and supports the team.)
What’s most important?
1.Fame 2.Money 3.Thrill/fun 4.Winning 5.Other
Are you happy?
"Oh yeah. Most definitely."
What could make you happier?
"Qualifying higher, more consistently, but I'm happy. Just taking the bike home in one piece and coming back for another race makes me happy. My wife is pregnant. This year is going well."
If you could change one thing about motorcycle drag racing, what would it be?
"There's not much here at the NHRA that I would change."
When driving a car, do you always wear a seatbelt?
- Yes. 2. No. 3. Sometimes
When asleep do you ever dream you're riding a motorcycle?
"Oh yeah, It's the only time I can win in this NHRA class."
Where do you find the most peace in your life?
"Spending time with my wife and family."
Other than racing do you have a full-time occupation?
"I run a speed shop and a hobby shop."
You’re a skilled racer…What skills separate you from the fast traffic on public highways?
"I probably drive too fast."
What got you started in Motorcycle drag racing?
"I bought a new 900 Ninja. Two weeks later, I raced it. The second week I won. I got addicted. I ran three bikes at one time."
What quality do you admire most in other people?
What do you worry about the most?
"Day to day things in life…my business, my family. Sometimes I take racing too serious. I try to focus on the problems at hand and take one day at a time."
Can you describe the G-forces at the tree, the launch?
"It sets you back, you have to be ready for it."
What type of vehicle do you drive on the street?
"97 Ford Cobra Mustang."
Who means the most to you?
My brother, Donald Short, a quadriplegic…My wife and my mom. If it weren't for Larry, I wouldn't be able to do this.
In a few words, how would you sum up yourself?
"I'm a normal person. A fun guy. Quiet."
"Don't be afraid to take a chance. You only have one lifetime. Keep trying to get it right. We're small time, low budget, and we compete with the biggest names. We're going to keep going. If a sponsor is listening and they like Kawis, we sure could use some backing."
I discovered a lot of honesty in this tall package, Rob Short. He races for the gusto in the big league without a deep pocket sponsor to support his dedication. He's also currently the quickest Kawasaki in the NHRA ranks. I searched for a strong adjective to match his efforts, and found one that blazons honesty…Gary Larsen agreed…Rob Short is…