Volume IX, Issue 2, Page 101

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EDITORIAL
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Jeff Burk
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Kay Burk
Editor at Large
Bret Kepner
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Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor
Jok Nicholson
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Jeff Utterback
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Ro McGonegal,
Dale Wilson

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Jon Van Daal
European Correspondent
Ivan Sansom
Poet Laureate
Bob Fisher
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PHOTOGRAPHY
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Ron Lewis
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Adam Cranmer James Drew
Todd Dziadosz Steve Embling Steve Gruenwald
Debbie Gastelu
Zak Hawthorne
Rose Hughes
Bret Kepner
Jim LeMoine
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Dennis Mothershed
Mark Rebilas
Ivan Sansom
Jon Van Daal

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JUST WONDERING...WITH FEW ANSWERS

2/8/2007

Just Wondering  . . .  Why is it that when we here at DRO make an error in the magazine  there is a group of keyboard editors out there that rake us over the coals sometimes in  really nasty letters, yet that same group never seem to find the time to write a note when we do something editorially significant? The answer is obvious, we never do anything right! Damn I’ve slipped into snivel mode! Where’s my shot glass?

Just Wondering … Why hasn’t Evan Knoll, Bob Gilbertston or another of drag racing’s  influential millionaire team owners taken up Bill Bader Sr.’s continuing offer to sell his shares in the IHRA -- a package that includes two seats on that sanctioning body’s Board of Directors for a sum of about $1.5 million?  There are two answers to this question: 1.  Even though IHRA sources say that in past years shares in the IHRA provide a decent return on the investment, everyone knows that one year of disastrous weather can break a sanctioning body (ask Billy Meyer) and 2. No power comes with the seats on the board as there is a troika including Aaron Polburn that vote as a block and absolutely control the sanctioning body. It’s not about money at that level, it’s about power!

Just wondering … Will NHRA and John Force’s investment of buying space in USA Today to promote themselves have a positive effect? Answer: Absolutely. Those types of PR/editorial programs add legitimacy to any motorsport but especially professional drag racing.

Just wondering … With the return of the John Force reality show for a second season can we possibly learn any more about John Force and his family than we already have. . .and why would we need to? 

Just wondering … Will the PRO ever have the kind of influence and power that other sport’s players’ unions like baseball and football have? Answer:  Not as long as it continues to be a social club for millionaires with no real leader or members with the backbone to change the status quo.

Just wondering … Am I the only one that sees a change for the better from both NHRA’s Tom Compton and IHRA’s Aaron Polburn?  Both of those men are making changes in the way their respective sanctioning bodies and races are run. Even though I don’t always agree with what they do, at least they are making an effort to improve and that’s very encouraging.

Just wondering … How did Charlie Allen get the nickname “Cheap”? I took my family to the recent NHRA test session at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix a  couple of weeks back.  There were four adults and two kids.  It cost me  $183 just to get in the gate and on the way to our seats we stopped at the beer stand. Four beers later I was into the deal for more than $200 and we hadn’t even gotten to our seats.  Then we had to sit through several long clean-ups. Two words folks: NEVER AGAIN!

Just wondering … Why don’t GM, Ford and Chrysler work a deal with the NHRA or IHRA to fund and sponsor a couple of classes called “Factory Hot Rod” for showroom stock cars?  By showroom stock I mean no slicks, no cheater slicks, no headers, no nitrous, no anything on the car that requires a special order from the factory. Run the classes only at the Division level races and Sportsnationals. Maybe then we would see more Detroit involvement from all three factories.

Just wondering … Is there any better experience for a nitro junkie such as myself as that first walk down the pits on the first day of the first test session of the year with cars warming up and the smell of nitro in the air? Answer: It’s almost better than sex.

Just wondering … What changed the NHRA tech department’s mind about the previously banned Ford fuel motor from the Force camp and the Mike Kloeber-developed mono-strut that Rod Fuller is running? Answer: $$$$$$$.

Just wondering … When are the NHRA and IHRA finally going to do something about staging a national event for those racers who only race on the eighth-mile? It borders on the ludicrous that those racers don’t get the respect or consideration they deserve from the sanctioning bodies.

Just wondering … Is it just a matter of time before the NHRA puts a real speed and ET limit on Top Fuel and Funny Cars to try to prevent accidents such as Hillary Wills’ from occurring?  Answer: It will happen after the next time a driver or spectator is injured in a fuel car crash.

Just wondering …Will drag racing ever see another national event broadcast live (and I don’t mean tape delay live!)

Just wondering … What are the chances that NHRA will eventually adopt a car-of-tomorrow body for Pro Stock and fuel Funny Car? Answer: A couple of years ago I would have said, Never! But since NASCAR is doing it, I’m inclined to think it could happen.

Just wondering … Can you still buy high-performance parts on NHRA’s manufacturers midway or has that drag racing icon totally become a carnival midway? Answer: Yes you can still buy a few, but probably not for long.

Just wondering … What is the average age of a professional class driver in the top three classes?  I’ll bet the answer would shock everyone.

Just Wondering … Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of nitro crisis when Dow Chemical pulled out of the nitro supply business? I haven’t heard anything negative from any racer or team.

Just Wondering … Am I just delusional or wouldn’t drag racing be a lot more entertaining for fans at the track and the thousands watching it around the world if they brought back the flag start?

Just Wondering … When are we going to see another really good movie about drag racing? I’ve about worn out my DVD copies of  “The Ghost of Drag Strip Hollow” and “Burnout” (starring the heartthrob of drag racing, Frank Bradley).

Just Wondering … If the NHRA really wanted to generate some contrived drama in the points chase why didn’t they allow the professional class racers to claim points at only 21 races with the racers required to chose which 21 they would claim before the season began. Uh oh, I hear the rustle of leather-winged bats outside the door. 


jeffburk@dragracingonline.com