Like most race teams, Kevin Rivenbark and his GALOT Motorsports crew headed into 2020 with eager anticipation and high hopes.
Then the global Coronavirus pandemic hit and everything shut down.
“Yeah, everything ground to a halt. But we’re lucky because it don’t affect us as much, ’cause we’re not relying on sponsorship for each race. Of course we want sponsors, but our team owner, Mr. (Earl) Wells, he’s our sponsor, so if we don’t go race, we’re just not spending his money,” Rivenbark explained. “We just pretty much just shut down and when you’re not going up and down the road you’re not spending money.
“But, you know, guys like Rickie (Smith), he’s not getting paid until he goes racing at certain places for whatever his contract says, right? And I mean, in Top Fuel and Funny Car I guess it’s probably the same way. If you don’t race, you don’t get paid.”
So for Rivenbark the toughest thing to deal with is the waiting–especially after an encouraging start.
“You know, we went to Bradenton first of the year in January and we went to Lights Out and stuff, so I mean we went to two races and got in some test sessions so I guess we got more into it than a lot of people. So I feel privileged that we got that in.”
Regardless, after the unscheduled break, Rivenbark said firing up his ProCharger-equipped ’69 Camaro for Wooostock 4 felt like the start to an all-new season.
“We didn’t know for sure what was gonna’ happen. I mean, we did a good test at GALOT a few weeks ago, but this is our first race since March. So I mean, it’s been awhile, maybe even longer than we were off for the real off season normally,” Rivenbark added.
“So we’re ready and looking forward to getting back to racing, even if it is with a lot of restrictions. But still, I mean, we get to race, and that’s got to help the industry. But no matter what I think the 2020 season is going to be marked a big X for a lot of people.”