Volume IX, Issue 4, Page 112

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Just Wondering and wondering why


Just wondering … When are we going to hear something officially or unofficially from the NHRA regarding what steps they are going to take to make fuel Funny Cars safer? It’s been two months since the Medlen crash and the only thing we know for sure is that John Force Racing and Murf McKinney are working on the program -- but the silence coming out of Glendora regarding any new rules or rule changes is deafening!!!

Just wondering … If my sources are correct and the NHRA has indeed hired some people to study the Medlen crash and make recommendations, why hasn’t the NHRA PR department made this information known to the press? It would be good for drag racing and the NHRA’s image with the mainstream media and their fans if they did so.

Just wondering … What the heck is new NHRA nitro czar Dan Olson doing? Olson’s predecessor Ray Alley, during his tenure in that job, made many decisions and new rules regarding safety and performance for the nitro class and changed the class. As far as I know Olson to this point has done nothing. When is he going to make his presence felt?

Just wondering … Where was NHRA president Tom Compton during the Medlen crisis? After Dale Earnhardt’s death, NASCAR’s president presided over almost every press conference and announcement, yet in Eric Medlen’s case Mr. Compton’s presence was almost nil. He wasn’t even present at the John Force press conference regarding what was being done.

Just wondering … Was IHRA president Aaron Polburn’s idea of making that sanctioning body’s national events two-day affairs just a little ahead of its time? It didn’t work well when they tried it a couple of years back, but, with the success that the ADRL enjoys with its two-day shows and the lack of attendance we see on Sunday at many IHRA national events, perhaps it’s time for the IHRA to revisit that idea.

Just wondering … If the IHRA track that was supposed to be built at Mansfield, Ohio, never gets built (and my money says it never will be) will that actually be a blessing in disguise for that sanctioning body? I say it will because I don’t think that area will support any more tracks with national events. The NHRA didn’t just add a national event at Norwalk, Ohio, and kill their event at Columbus -- a track they owned and an event they kept all the profits from -- because they wanted to do the Baders a favor.

Just wondering … Since the Top Sportsman and Top Dragster classes are reported to be the fastest-growing sportsman classes in the NHRA, will those classes eventually replace Super Gas and Super Comp at NHRA events? My feeling is that it will happen sooner or later .... fast is generally better except in fuel cars hehehe!

Just wondering … As a person who has raced in both Stock Eliminator and Comp at national events and got my butt kicked in both, I feel qualified to ask this question. Why not limit the sportsman fields to 64 cars and use a combination of divisional and national points and I mean grading points awarded for attendance for the criteria? When I raced my D/S at the ’69 World Finals at Tulsa I had to race all year at my home track of Amarillo to get an invitation. It really meant something when my brother and I got the invitation. Competing at national events on the sportsman level ought to be a reward not a right.  

Just wondering … What conclusion to draw from the official Goodyear Tire press release on the Medlen crash that states in part “The inspection revealed that the air loss was the result of a puncture to the inside sidewall....” So something punctured the inside of the tire. Was it broken chassis parts, debris from on the track, or some part that fell off of the car that punctured the side wall? Will those answers come the same time we get the report on Darrell Russell’s crash that NHRA promised?

Just wondering … How can any sanctioning body or insurance company allow any child to drive a Jr. Dragster that is capable of speeds over 50 mph without a HANS device of some description? Regardless of legislated speed or E.T. restrictions. How can we allow children to take that kind of risk without every conceivable safety item being mandatory?

Just wondering … Isn’t it time to give Paul Page a little break? I mean drag racing has a lot more important issues to deal with than who is the announcer for the NHRA broadcasts. Besides, I think the guy really is trying his best.  

Just wondering … Did anyone but me notice that IHRA only had 21 Pro Mods officially make a qualifying attempt at Rockingham Dragway? That event used to regularly attract over 40 Pro Mods and many times 50 or more. Oh well, IHRA pres Aaron Polburn and his staff have made no secret of the fact they are fine with just two or three alternates in the professional classes at their national events. Smaller fields make for better qualifying shows and fewer oil-downs is their reasoning, I believe.

Just wondering … Now that fuel Funny Cars have become a fixture at IHRA national events will the sanctioning body be forced to keep the class even if Evan Knoll quits backing the class? The answer: IHRA can’t go back to one nitro class and still attract fans and sponsors. I think the class is here to stay this time.

Just wondering … Why don’t we see three- or four-car Pro Stock operations like some of the uber nitro teams are doing? 

Just wondering … Instead of trying to level the competition between the nitrous and blown Pro Mod teams in the IHRA and the injected nitro and supercharged alcohol cars in the NHRA with expensive rule changes regarding engines and drivetrains (which history has proven doesn’t work), why not just take a lesson from the nitro ranks and equalize the competition between these classes using an ignition based rev-limiter?  We know it works and we know that fewer RPM’s will control speeds and ET for the most part. I don’t think there is any viable way to keep racers from spending all the money they can to go fast.

Just wondering … Is there any real attraction for the fans of Pro Stock because the cars are powered by 500-800 inch big block engines?  

Just wondering … Why Evan Knoll hasn’t bought a seat or two on the IHRA board of directors? I hear the going price is just a tick over 1.6 million bucks! 


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