In most cases, it is not unusual when a person with an intense devotion for drag racing steps into an operator’s position at a dragstrip. This is no fluffy career path choice; almost every experienced operator will tell you it is a trial of patience, effort, and praying to the gods of rainclouds for the next weekend.
Eric Yost is just such an individual. He has a broad drag racing-oriented resume with notable accomplishments, such as a stable of winning race cars out of his chassis/performance shop, Customs by Bigun. He was also leader of “Team Bigun”on the Horsepower Wars, 10K Drag Shootout television series.
Yost and his partner, Robert Burker, share the track’s general business duties. Burker is what Yost calls the “business guy,” handling all the entertainment, concessions, and overall business dealings.
On the other side of the partnership Yost is on the grounds with the “hands-on” duties of weekly and daily operations. “I like our partnership,” says Yost. “Robert focuses on the business effort while I operate the grounds and events. His business expertise also lets me focus on my race car shop as much as possible during the week.”
When a businessman’s concentration is pulled in multiple directions, it can be mentally trying. Yost explains, “I have two great guys who do good work and keep the shop flowing. For example, I had to pull away to prep the full length of the track for a Thursday test and tune that would have X275 racers and other serious power on the track surface. Concentrating on the track without worrying about shop issues is priceless.”
On top of a full schedule, we have many professional racers who rely on us for a good weekday testing track; we want to cater to anybody, and if it takes seven days per week, we want to do that.” – Eric Yost
Describing the seven-day week that Mooresville Dragway consumes, Yost had his important test night, as mentioned above. He moved into a multi-day NHRA National Open, followed by different no-prep, drag radial, bracket racing, and track rental days that rounded out his week.
The historic dragstrip is within the “motherland” of southeast U.S. drag racing. With the population of tracks in the greater Carolina region, you had better offer a good facility with a solid program, or a racer might pick up and go to one of the other tracks within easy driving distance.
“Within a 90-minute or little more drive, you can be racing at Shadyside, Farmington, Piedmont, zMax, and a little further to Galot,” Yost points out. “It can be competitive, but also, it’s a good thing with such a large population of racers.”
Expanding the grounds with more motorsport venues is next on Yost’s list. He says, “We improve the dragstrip when time openings allow. Some bigger improvements are planned once the season slows down.” Yost adds, “We’re excited; as we speak, we are putting in a dirt track with our first event quickly approaching. We will also create a pulling track for tractors, trucks, ATVs, side-by-side—all that stuff.”
With all of Yost’s accomplishments with race car construction, crew chief, and television work—you’d think that would be a nice personal resume to hang your hat upon. Now that Yost has arguably taken on his most challenging role yet, that of operating a dragstrip, he is a force of talent to be admired from many angles of the drag racing world.