CROSSNOE FINDS HIS GROOVE IN DRAG RACING
An old saying suggests that a person can be a jack of all trades and master of none.
Tyler Crossnoe, 25, realized the validity of this statement not too long ago.
Crossnoe, in the first decade of his drag racing involvement, has already dabbled with life as a racer, race promoter, strip manager and traction prep expert. Recently, the PDRA named Crossnoe as their track prep specialist.
"Yeah, that reality became very clear for me," Crossnoe said. "I kind of took a back seat on some of them and started to really try to focus on the track prep side of things for the last couple of years. I tried to tie that down as far as that being the fulltime job and everything else just kind of being on the side."
Crossnoe admits he had a vision of where he wanted to go with his life, but making drag racing his occupation always seemed like a pipe dream of sorts.
"I never thought it would become a job," Crossnoe said. "I always thought it was just going to be a hobby and something that I did on the side, kind of like my Dad did whenever he owned his bracket car and stuff. It turned into a deal where people asked for help, and I was a young kid that wanted a job and wanted my own money, so I thought, that’s a good place to start. And then it just took off. "
While some learn early to dream big, Crossnoe knew all along he wanted to remain close to his comfort zone. Nothing has said comfort like doorslammer racing.
"I’ve always been a doorslammer guy," Crossnoe said. "Even whenever we bracket raced, I was never a huge dragster fan. I just liked the doorslammers because they looked like a real car. I liked that type of thing better than I did the Funny Cars, the Top Fuel, stuff like that."
During his relatively short time in racing Crossnoe has learned some valuable lessons he's all too willing to share with anyone who will listen.
"Don’t be afraid to listen to everybody involved and take the best advice; take the best little tidbits from everybody," Crossnoe said. "I’ve listened to probably thousands of people and there’s little things that you pick up from everybody that makes every little bit better. Not everybody’s going to be right on everything, and that’s just the way life is.
"That’s where I’ve learned a lot on the prep side, is through the tuners. And just listening to people and not feeling like, ‘Oh, I’ve got it handled, I can just go on and do it my way.
"You’re always going to learn, and that’s one thing that I’ve just tried to pride myself on is just keeping in touch with everybody. Seeing how everybody else is seeing things, even though it may be in a different direction than I see it, but it may make a full circle."
One might think the specialist in him might keep Crossnoe from enjoying time away from his usual crafts as track prep specialist and promoter. It's just the opposite, or so he contends.
"That’s more or less my vacation, as bad as that sounds," Crossnoe said. "But going to the race track and actually being able to put the helmet on and drive again is kind of my vacation instead of going to the beach or whatever, as some normal people do."
Crossnoe races a Mustang in the Ultra Street division at Drag Radial events, a stock configuration suspension style with a ladder bar and a small block engine. These cars weigh 3,000 pounds and run the eighth-mile on a Mickey Thompson ET Street R 275 drag radial. The front-runner cars are running in the eighth-mile, 4.70s at 140 miles per hour.
Life is about lessons, and Crossnoe says his diverse approach to drag racing has taught him a lot.
"Live in the moment," Crossnoe said. "Don’t second guess things, just go with your gut. I’ve struggled more whenever I sit back and start over-thinking things. I’ve done better whenever I just go in there, go with my gut, go with what I know, and don’t question myself."
And for the last decade, he hasn't questioned where he should be.