Track Champion Profile: MIKE RITZ
Every week we are highlighting one Track Champion from the 2013 Drag Racing Season.
Our second driver profile features Mike Ritz, the Moffitt & Bratton Outlaw Street champ. We’ll let him describe a few things that stood out from his first year-end championship.
Name: Mike Ritz
Champion: Moffitt & Bratton Outlaw Street
Family members: Sharon, Jon, Valerie, Lindsay, Zoe and little Jon.
Profession: Ritz Family Publishing, president.
Anyone else you'd like to say thanks to: I’d like to thank the New family and every member of their crew, along with all of my friends in racing.
Number of years racing: A total of 13 years. Originally I first started in racing way back in 1963 back in Fonda, New York.
Favorite moment: The eighth race in Outlaw Street was a real highlight for me. This was the day that I officially locked up my championship title (my first).
Least favorite: every time I’m dealt out in the first round of eliminations.
Best run: I hit a .003 reaction time and ran 13.11 on a 13.10 dial in against Troy McDonald in the second round of Outlaw Street. In the very next round I hit a perfect .000 and went onto win my first race of the season.
Favorite event: It had to be the final race in the Outlaw Street chase. Reality set in that I had officially wrapped up the championship, which took a lot of the pressure off heading into the ninth and final weekend for points.
Final thoughts: Summing up this past season – all I can say is that it was excellent all the way around.
Overview: In the nine-race series, Ritz accumulated a whopping 275 points. He was the first to officially lock up a championship in late-August. His nearest challenger, Sharlene Lancaster, trailed him by nine rounds (finishing at 185 points). Stephanie Meimann claimed third with 175 (in a tie with Tim Shaw). Carl Youngstrom was fourth at 165.
In case you weren’t aware, the Outlaw Street class is open to any car or truck that runs street-approved tires (DOT-ok) and has a set of mufflers.
This year’s overall Outlaw Street winning car is a 2008 Corvette powered by a 376 c.i. motor. In addition, Ritz, age 66, is a former Pepsi Nightfire Nationals champion in the Heavy class. Banquet image (along with Firebid's Lee Dougal) by Alex Charlton.