DON’T mention Justin Bieber’s name to drag racer Greg Robbins.
Following the controversy of Bieber’s arrest, which involved ‘drag’ racing, Robbins wants to clear the air.
“It isn’t drag racing what they do,” Robbins said.
“It’s dangerous, street racing. There is a massive difference.”
Robbins would know.
The 55-year-old has been drag racing for over 30 years, and is one of several country-based drag racers who compete in the New South Wales Championship Series at Eastern Creek’s Sydney Dragway each year.
In 2013, Robbins consistently placed in the top three throughout the first nine rounds to take out second place overall in the Street Fighter class, running his 1970 Ford XW Falcon, averaging a tick over 14 seconds for the quarter-mile (402 metres).
Street Fighter is a category for cars which are still street legal.
“I still drive mine around Orange and Molong,” Robbins laughed.
“I think very few people would know it is a drag car.
“Finishing second was a pretty incredible feeling. It was a reward for all the hard work we’d put into the car and the competition.”
Robbins said while he is the only driver, drag racing is a team sport, lauding his team of crew chief Greg Owens, as well as Jackson Robbins (his son) and Bill Foster.
“I couldn’t do it without them,” Robbins said.
Robbins is also one of several involved in founding the Midwest Drag Racing Association, based in Forbes.
While the MDRA is yet to host drag events or have a functional track, Robbins said the Forbes City Council and the region’s politicians are very supportive.
“We’re not sure when the track will be able to host events,” he said.
“But it’ll be an eighth-mile track, as ANDRA (Australian National Drag Racing Association) only has so many quarter-mile tracks in the country.
“It’ll be great when we can host events, and not have to travel all the way over the mountains to race.“
The 2014 New South Wales Championship Series begins on March 22, at Sydney Dragway.
Anyone looking for information should contact MDRA via its Facebook page, or visit www.sydneydragway.com.au.