I bet this isn’t the drag racing story you were expecting, RuPaul fans.
Just as laziness and dark humor runs through my blood, drag racing and motorsports runs through the veins of 37-year-old Travis Shumake. You may recognize him as the son of late NHRA Funny Car champion Tripp Shumake.
The younger Shumake made history on Friday, August 14th, when he competed in the National Hot Rod Association’s Camping World Series at Heartland Motorsports Park. The event was spectated by an estimated 40,000 viewers, which is currently the largest audience to set their sights on an openly gay racer.
And it was hard to miss Travis in his black and white racer with an enormous rainbow bull (rainbull?) decal on the side. As with most motorsport participants, Travis has found a few sponsors – mainly with Visit Topeka, Pride Kansas (which begins September 24th) and, oh yeah, let me not forget Grindr! Imagine watching that advertisement zip around at 250 miles per hour!
I guess Grindr is branching out from being the app you use to lose your virginity to a zaddy in the bathroom at McDonalds and into somewhat of a respectable entity.
Although it appears that Travis Shumake didn’t take home any victories on Friday, he still made history for being the first out gay driver to compete in a national NHRA event. Congratulations, dude!
“Having that visibility in the NRHA will show that all aspects of Kansas are inclusive, and we do value diversity. It’s going to give a voice to people who maybe didn’t feel included before, and it’ll let them know that we see them, we recognize them, and we want the LGBTQ+ community to be visible in all aspects of Kansas communities, society and culture,” said Pride Kansas’ Shawn Zarazua in a statement to USA Today.
As for now, it’s onward and upward for Mr. Shumake. You can’t win ’em all, and if he’s truly a standup competitor, all that matters is he gave it his all and competed with pride. And I mean pride in himself and his abilities… and pride in Grindr, I guess?
See you at the next course!
Source: USA Today