It took a little less than four seconds for Grosse Pointe Park’s Bob Rahaim to travel the 660 feet in his drag racing car to officially claim the American Drag Racing League Pro Nitrous series championship this season.
The 52-year-old put together a season for the ages in 2012, winning three races and competing in the finals in several others.
Not bad for a guy who took a 15-year hiatus to help raise his family.
“A lot of hard work by a lot of people went into this championship,” Rahaim said. “It’s something I will never forget. What an amazing season.”
Rahaim delivered his world champion acceptance speech Oct. 21, with an emotional start.
He thanked his family, his crew and race officials, and in the end said his father was a big inspiration for him, and his mom was looking down from heaven.
Rahaim finished with 3,726 points, followed by Doug Riesterer with 3,121, Rickie Jones with 2,895 and Robert Mathis with 2,496.
This is Rahaim’s first world championship. He took the points lead from Jones at the end of May and steadily increased it throughout the summer.
His crew did a great job of getting his car ready for the weather and track conditions.
During the summer, temperatures would start off relatively warm for the first run of the day and quickly heat up to the 90s during the afternoon runs.
Rahaim and his crew were the masters of the Pro Nitrous track and they are ready to defend the title.
Adding to his joy was the fact that many of his family members watched him win races and his three daughters, Jennifer, Sarah and Kristin, were members of his pit crew.
“They got their hands dirty and really dug in to make this car run fast,” Rahaim said. “I can’t thank my family and friends enough for the support.”
He returned to racing in 2006. He had to get some of the rust out, but slowly and surely he found the mojo it takes to compete at the championship level of drag racing.
Rahaim has to get from start to finish in times ranging from 3.81 to 3.85 seconds, meaning he travels the 1/8 of a mile at 198 mph.
His silver car looks like a bullet racing down the track.
If fans blink during the race, they could miss one of his victories. He won the title driving a new Reher-Morrison motor and car from Jerry Bickel Race Cars.
In addition, he worked with Switzer Dynamics race team.
Rahaim began his drag racing career in the late 1980s, but took time off to help raise his family.
He had the urge to get back to the sport he loves and he did in 2006.
Six years later, Rahaim is the Pro Nitrous champion.