Volume IX, Issue 6, Page 132

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Just Wondering Again

Just Wondering … What’s wrong with this picture? If Bruton Smith were to announce that he was going to sell his track at Charlotte and three other of his premier NASCAR facilities it would very likely be headline news, at least in the sports world, but NHRA announces the sale of all of its physical property including possibly the sport’s most revered and profitable multi-faceted motorsports complex, yet no one in the mainstream media gives a damn.

Just Wondering … Am I the only one who is bothered to see that although the tragic event at Selmer, TN, had no connection with any drag racing sanctioning body and wasn’t sanctioned by, attended by, or promoted by any drag racing sanctioning body or employee of a sanctioning body, yet the uneducated press and some drag racing fans on chat rooms and bulletin boards insist upon connecting the tragedy to drag racing – as if the sport itself were to blame.

Just Wondering … Has everyone forgotten how many professional racers (often with at least the knowledge of a sanctioning body) have done burnouts on city streets, parking lots and even aircraft carriers? Have we all forgotten that John Force once did a burnout on the parking lot for the Jay Leno show or that Clay Millican did a burnout in his Top Fuel car in front of Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion on a Memphis city street? In the late Sixties Leroy Goldstein once did a burnout in his Top Fuel car next to a Der Weinerschnitzel restaurant in my hometown of Amarillo, TX. My point is that non-sanctioned burnout exhibitions by professional class cars for publicity have been occurring for more than 40 years -- often with the knowledge and tacit approval of the sanctioning bodies.

Just Wondering … Will sanctioning bodies now make rules that would result in a driver’s competition license being suspended should they engage in something like this in the future?

Just Wondering … Why doesn’t the IHRA and the NHRA allow members to donate 50 cents or a dollar of their membership fees to DRAW? That would fund the charity to the tune of at least $40-50,000 a year. According to their 2005 tax returns, the NHRA gave draw just $15,000 in 2005. The IHRA and NHRA ought to be ashamed of themselves. 

Just Wondering … Did you know that one of the other little perks negotiated by the NHRA in the sale of their Pro Assets was they get 1,000 seats for their own use at all NHRA Pro Racing national events as part of the deal? 

Just Wondering … Did you know that the recent SEC filing by the HDP group confirms my supposition that the Julie Russell case will be the responsibility of the current owners of the NHRA? Apparently they will get the deal settled before the sale can be completed.

Just Wondering … Will Jim Jannard’s sale of his Oakley company for a couple of billion bucks mean the end of his drag racing sponsorships? After all, his bud Gary Scelzi won the World Championship Mr. Jannard coveted and is hanging up is firesuit at the end of the season. I’m thinking it’s a reasonable bet that Mr. Jannard may find a new hobby.

Just Wondering … When HDP takes control of the Pros will they finally fund the points chase so that the winner gets a million bucks or more for the Championship?  My vote is, yes they will!

Just Wondering … How come it’s just $3.75 for a Dodger-dog at Chavez Ravine  and $5.00 or more for the same dog at many NHRA races?

Just Wondering … Is there a limit to how much the ego-driven sportsman racers will pay in entry fees to race at an NHRA national event?

Just Wondering … Where will the NHRA Pro Mod exhibition series fit into HDP’s plans for the NHRA and will the AMS folks remain involved with the NHRA series in view of recent events?

Just Wondering … With all of the advance PR for the recent Hot Rod Reunion why didn’t the PR company send out at least a cursory race report after the event was finished? It was a NHRA-sanctioned event wasn’t it? Who goofed? I’ve got to know!

Just Wondering … Couldn’t the NHRA add Nostalgia Fuel Funny Car and Pro Mod as a sportsman category when the sale of their current nitro assets is complete?  If the new/old NHRA truly want to promote the sportsman races and make it a profitable series they are going to need classes that consistently draw crowds. And, please, no hate email about sportsman being a draw if properly promoted. In the 40-odd years I’ve been going to the drags alky funnies and dragsters by themselves have never consistently proved able to attract paying customers in any number. And that includes the recent series of SPORTSnationals.

Just Wondering … Will the sale of NHRA’s Pro Assets -- which is basically the names, reputations, and teams of the Top Fuel and Funny Car racers --without even bothering to inform the team owners and sponsors what was going on be the catalyst that finally galvanizes the pro teams into forming a real organization with the balls to take a stand on their own behalf?

Just Wondering … Will Bruton Smith put in a real dragstrip on the grounds of Atlanta Motor Speedway in view of the success they are having on the eighth-mile track laid out on the current pit road of the circle track?

Just Wondering … Do you suppose that the Live Nation owners of the IHRA have been in contact with HDP or vice versa?

Just Wondering … Why wasn’t the Sport Compact series sold as part of the professional assets of the NHRA?  


jeffburk@dragracingonline.com

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