There’s an old saying that you can be “busier than a mosquito at a nudist camp.” Race promoter Chris Graves has been thinking that of himself recently. Graves is not only the owner of the Funny Car Chaos racing organization but has also recently taken over the reins of the Texas-based Outlaw Fuel Altered Association (OFAA).
“Bobby Marriott, who started the OFAA, brought me onboard in 2000 and I have been attending and assisting at these races ever since,” Graves says. “He warned me a couple of years ago, he said one day I’m not going to be doing this anymore and I’m going to throw it all in your lap.”
Graves says further, “I thought it would be sooner than he threatened, but just a few months ago, Bob told me this was his last year running the group, if I want to take it. I didn’t want to see the group go away, so I basically didn’t have a choice (laughs).
The OFAA has an established heads-up program, including a three-round, modified Chicago-style eliminations program. The series typically host 12- to 15-entrants at each of the seven annual events. Combining that with his administration of the Funny Car Chaos season schedule, Graves will have a hectic summer this year with 15 total nitro-burning events.
“I have managed to schedule both groups with as few back-to-back events as possible,” Graves adds. “That has always been a primary concern of mine with the Funny Car group. I want to provide not only the staff but also the racers a chance to recuperate and rehab the cars before the next event.”
Graves describes the OFAA members as a tight-knit and wonderful group of people. “Most of these racers have been competing in the OFAA for over 20 years. They are so well-practiced, the events pretty much run on auto-pilot. That works out well since Funny Car Chaos is comparably an open competition that requires more of my effort.”
See the recent Dragzine story on the Funny Car Chaos here.
Sponsorship support is a big part of Graves’ immediate effort with both groups. He explains his motivation that since both groups have the considerable maintenance expenses of big-horsepower cars, he wants his competitors to get as much as possible back for their racing. ”
Though we all understand that Funny Cars and Altereds are a love affair and not a money-making venture, I’m always knocking on doors trying to pay the racers as much as we can stand to help them out,” he says.
Nitromethane is $1,500 per drum, and truck diesel is $2.75 per gallon right now. We’re always on the hunt for sponsors to increase payouts for both groups. – Chris Graves
Such is Graves’ sponsorship effort; he explains he would be amiss without mentioning three of his biggest sponsors for the OFAA for the 2020 season: Good Vibrations Motorsports, Lonestar Forklift, and Entech Oil and Lubricants.
Not only does Graves work for the racers, he also has a genuine interest in keeping the host dragstrips and fans atop his meter of importance. Both the Friday night qualifying program and a Saturday Chicago-style eliminations program help keep the fans’ attention by wrapping up at a reasonable hour.
Graves’ intended future for this Fuel Altered group is a “one day at a time” business model. “The 2020 season is the 24th year for the OFAA,” he jokes. “I don’t plan on jumping off of any cliffs with great changes for this year. My first goal is to see season number 25.”