I just want to take a minute and reflect back on the 2011 Beat the HEAT World Finals that I hosted this year. This event is hosted by a different agency every year and last year I put our name into the hat as the host agency….On Monday the 5th of September we were hit with 10 inches of rain in a 24 hour period….Yes the water rose….matter of fact on Wednesday afternoon the 330 foot mark on the track had 4 inches of water on it and the shutdown was under a foot of water….The water dropped and everything was perfect by race time.
That was a relief because I had invested over $1500 in trophies and plaques and over $1000 in printed t-shirts to hand out and the food for the reception and the teams on race day and no one has money to throw away nor do you want to waste a sponsor’s money.
We had the opportunity to visit three area high schools and spoke with several hundred young people about the dangers of Illegal Street Racing and the importance of staying in school and continuing their education.
Thursday came and the Beat the HEAT Teams from around the country started to arrive downtown for the car show/display and it was great. The Students from the East Ridge High School Engine Building Team came down and displayed with us and decimated the national record engine tear down and build for us with a time of 2 minutes less than the record they set at SEMA in Las Vegas last year. I made a special bond with the East Ridge High School and their world record engine builders. Stay tuned for a special project that I will be working on them with this year.
Patrons of the downtown establishments poured outside to take pictures and wave as the parade or Beat the HEAT drag cars roared through downtown Chattanooga, led by our 1931 Sheriff’s Car that we seized when I worked Narcotics and turned into a parade car.
We ended up at Coker Tire and Honest Charley with Corky Coker where we had a nice reception for everyone.
Friday night arrived and everyone was off to the drag strip where we were greeted by a huge crowd that came to see the Beat the HEAT Teams in a Good Guys vs. Bad Guys match up….the crowd had a blast pulling for the bad guys…..but at last count….we won more rounds…..Chalk one up for the “GOOD GUYS”.
Saturday came and it was time for our World Finals. Beat the HEAT’s Chaplain, Roy Sisco, retired Oklahoma State Patrol, opened our event in prayer and also a special thanks to Sgt. Major Bull and the East Ridge Jr. ROTC for presenting the colors as we paused for a minute in remembrance of 9/11 before getting started. Congrats to Mike Carroll of the Colony, Texas PD for winning Mod Cop and Gerald Cooley with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia as runner up, Jose Ayala with the Medley, Florida PD as the runner up and Rick Wilkens from the Highland County Ohio Sheriff’s Office for winning Pro Cop and Top Cop for 2011..