Volume IX, Issue 5, Page 98

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Wondering again

5/9/2007

Just wondering … Am I the only one who is damn tired of drag racers suing drag racing over everything that goes wrong for them in the sport? Drag racing is a sport where the word family is thrown around a lot yet there seems to be a lot of litigation going on between family members. Often to the detriment of the “family.”

Just wondering … If manufacturers and sanctioning bodies didn’t have to consult an array of lawyers every time they made a rule or changed a part in the name of safety for fear of being sued, wouldn’t the sport of racing be generally healthier, safer and more profitable?   

Just wondering … Doesn’t it seem strange to you that sanctioning bodies and some racing teams wrap themselves in patriotism and all of the basic tenants of democracy with the exception of the right of Freedom of Speech? 

Just wondering … Why some drag racing sanctioning bodies literally spend millions of their dollars improving their facilities and paying their executives handsomely yet apparently are loath to pay salaries large enough to attract the best, brightest and most experienced PR types to help them sell their story to the media, fans and sponsors?

Just wondering … What if all members (drivers) of major sanctioning bodies were required to sign away their right to sue the manufacturers and sanctioning bodies in order to get a competition license? It’s probably not legal for a person to sign away those rights but I still like the idea because drag racing is a dangerous, dangerous sport and if you are voluntarily doing it you shouldn’t be able to sue.

Just wondering … Was fuel coupe racer Jim Head’s announcement that he was going to concentrate more on qualifying (presumably instead of concentrating on winning) an indicator that the first 15 races of the NHRA season series have changed from a championship points race to just an extended qualifying session for an Elite 8 race?   

Just wondering … Which is the worse rip: getting gas from a nine dollar day old sausage at the drags or spending $4.25 a gallon for gas at the corner station?

Just wondering … There is no doubt that the POWERade-backed NHRA drag racing series is gaining popularity. The question is, what’s the reason for it?

Just wondering … I know for a fact that behind the scenes there are lots of people in the NHRA, John Force Racing and other organizations who are investing a lot of time, money and effort to make drag racing safer, especially for drivers, but they don’t want anyone to know that they are doing it. Why would they want to keep those kinds of efforts secret? I’m at a loss to understand. I think that if the public and the mainstream media knew that NHRA, JFR and others were making these efforts that knowledge would only benefit the public perception of our sport.

Just wondering … What is it about access to a keyboard and the Internet that makes anyone think they are an expert editor, writer, driver, tuner or track operator?

Just wondering … A follow up to above. Wouldn’t it be entertaining if some of those who criticize with no experience doing what they criticize actually had to do that job using their own money, with their job on the line or with the world watching just to see how they’d perform month after month?

Just wondering … When was the last time diesel fuel was significantly cheaper than regular gasoline?

Just wondering … With all of the nostalgia funny cars currently being built my question is, will fans and sponsors ever support nostalgia funny cars at the level they do modern day nitro race cars? My opinion is they won’t. Racing history has proven over and over that only a very small audience will support races and race series that feature nostalgia race cars of any type. Just ask the Goodguys or anyone else who has tried it.

Just wondering … Isn’t the real question not why professional drag racing teams can’t get the sponsors that NASCAR teams do but instead, given the popularity and exposure of a NASCAR program, how drag racing’s pros manage to get the sponsorships they do if the sponsor had a choice?

Just wondering … A follow up to above. What does it say about the viability of sponsoring a top NHRA pro team when the Rod Fuller team, which has led the NHRA points in Top Fuel for most of the season, can’t get a full time sponsorship? Can you imagine that happening in NASCAR or any other major league sport?

Just wondering … A follow up to the follow-up follow up. NHRA’s tax returns showed a cash surplus at the end of both the 2004 and 2005 fiscal years and there is absolutely no reason to think that won’t be the case in 2006. Why don’t they take some of that surplus and create an office just to help their pro teams get sponsorship? Right now most of the teams believe that NHRA is in competition with them for sponsor money despite the fact that NHRA does steer sponsors to some of their major stars. If NHRA opened an office in Chicago or New York it would not only raise the profile of the NHRA with Corporate America but provide both parties with increased access to each other. The NHRA could turn such a program into a profit center for the company as I’m sure every team would be more than willing to give up 15% of whatever sponsorships NHRA developed for them.  

Just wondering …Why do we always seem to get letters slamming the NHRA for their perceived screw-ups but when they do a really good job under difficult circumstances -- as they did at the St. Louis race last weekend -- we almost never get a letter congratulating them? Not even from the sycophants who rag on chat rooms about this magazine’s writers for not supporting the NHRA? Could it be that people just like to bitch?

Just wondering … I saw Lucas Oil CEO and President Forrest Lucas personally shake hands with all the sportsman category finalists in the staging lanes at St. Louis last weekend. Wonder how many CEO’s of other companies involved in drag racing have bothered to do that?  


jeffburk@dragracingonline.com

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