DRAG RACING Lordstown official top national racer
Ron Krisher was ranked seventh by the National Hot Rod Association.
LORDSTOWN -- Since when did the president of your village planning commission reach speeds of 200 mph on the weekends?
That's the case with Ron Krisher, who was ranked seventh in the Pro Stock division of the National Hot Rod Association as of August 20.
Krisher is tough to slow down outside the driver's cockpit, too.
The 1965 Lordstown High graduate has companies that manufacture electrical wiring cable in five plants around the country.
This is Krisher's sixth year as a pro stock racer on the national circuit. He finished a career-best fourth in a Pontiac Firebird in the standings in 2000 behind Jeg Coughlin, Kurt Johnson and Warren Johnson.
As of August 20, Krisher, now in a Chevy Cavalier, was seventh in the national standings with 906 points. He trailed Warren Johnson (1182), Jim Yates (1084), Mike Edwards (978), Coughlin (972) and Mark Pawuk and Bruce Allen (924).
Finished runner-up: Most recently, at the NHRA-Colonel's Truck Accessories event at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota, Krisher was runner-up to Bruce Allen.
Earlier this summer, during the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., the 53-year-old Krisher placed third.
In July, at Seattle International Raceway in Kent, Wash., Krisher was beaten by Allen in the quarterfinals.
That day, Krisher covered the quarter-mile in 6.861 seconds at 200.74 mph.
Krisher said that he is, arguably, the fastest in the country in his division on race day.
"I've been the fastest in recent weeks on race day," he said.
Of course, Funny Car drivers like John Force regularly go 310 while Top Fuel racers such as Gary Scelzi reach 316 mph-plus.
Now beyond the halfway point in the 24-race season, Krisher has one victory -- in the Advance Auto Parts Nationals in Topeka, Kansas on May 27.
"It's much more sophisticated than people imagine," he said of the entire operation. "To see what it takes is pretty much beyond most people's comprehension. It takes millions of dollars to make those cars go down the track and be competitive, especially from an engine development standpoint."
Pro Stock is the premier factory hot rod class. It's one of several classes on the NHRA circuit, ranging from Top Fuel and Funny Car to Comp Eliminator and Stock.
Primary sponsor: Eagle One Car Care products is Krisher's primary sponsor while General Motors came on board this year. However, GM provided components for him for the last few years.
"It's definitely more than a hobby. It's a business. It has the potential to make lots of dollars. It's an opportunity to sell technology and people buy motors when it's a good product."
His racing sort of complements his business.
Therm-O-Link and Vulkor of Garrettsville make battery and welding cable and appliance and automotive wiring.
"You get to know people. There's a backflow for products that are furnished by suppliers."
Starting in 1971, Krisher worked at Packard Electric in Warren as a maintenance engineer before moving to maintenance in the wire manufacturing facility. Along with other individuals, he started his company in 1980.
Sport growing: Krisher said that the NHRA is growing in popularity. ESPN and ESPN2 TV ratings for the year are up 85 percent and attendance is up 50 percent.
On race day, Krisher has a crew of three. The team Shop is based in Newark. His wife, Karen, runs the financial end.
Typically, Krisher will fly out on Thursdays and may return on Sunday night or Monday morning.
"The right technology has gotten us better the last three years. We have a chance to continue that this year."
If the NBA can have John "Hot Rod" Williams and "Hot Rod" Hundley, the NHRA can have "Hot Ron" Krisher.