Volume X, Issue 3, Page 22

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EDITORIAL
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More Wonderin

Just Wondering … And I ask this without rancor: If the NHRA can invest millions of dollars to build luxury box seats and towers at tracks they own, why can’t they put the money into the points fund so that drag racing joins NASCAR and the IRL in awarding their series champion at least a million dollars? Granted, for the NHRA it would mean an additional three million in the points fund for winning Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock World Championships. Could somebody, anybody explain to me how spending millions on new towers and luxury boxes helps NHRA’s racer/partners more than those teams getting a million dollars for winning a championship?

Just Wondering … Would paying the world champs a million bucks give the mainstream media, fans, and potential sponsors the perception that winning an NHRA drag racing championship is on par with winning other major league motorsports’ championships?

Just Wondering … Speaking of new towers, was I the only one who noticed while watching the NHRA TV broadcast from Gainesville that the new tower didn’t have any corporate signage at all? Hmmmm…wonder what that means.

Just Wondering … In his column in the IHRA’s Drag Review Magazine (now DRM) IHRA prez Aaron Polburn takes to task websites that continually post false stories about the IHRA without bothering to call the sanctioning body to verify their information. Why not do us all of us with “websites” who are trying to do the right thing and be legitimate journalists a huge favor and name some of the miscreant websites? Or does he ascribe to the old saying “The only bad ink is no ink”? In which case, why bother to bring up the issue in print?

Just Wondering … How bad does the track have to be on race day before the NHRA and the PRO organization decide that it is basically unsafe to race on, stop the racing, and repair the racing surface? How many near crashes and aborted runs in the professional and sportsman classes have to happen? How bad does the racing have to get? One good run by one racer doesn’t mean the track is good. Gainesville’s track on Sunday was a disgrace!

Just Wondering … The NHRA has arguably the finest track prep/clean-up/safety crews in all of motorsports. Why weren’t they used to make a racing surface that would give the fans in attendance a real race and the racers a level playing field? It’s not like the races are broadcast live or that in a three-hour broadcast a 30- or 40-minute break in the action couldn’t be filled with interviews with John Force, Gary Scelzi or Doug Herbert while the track was prepped.

Just Wondering … When will a drag race promoter imitate what Kenny Nowling does with ADRL events to get a crowd for a Friday or Saturday night show? It’s sure working for the ADRL.    

Just Wondering … Why the IHRA isn’t making more of a PR push about their eighth-mile race. It’s the first significant change in big league drag racing since the introduction of Pro Mod and it deserves to be exploited as a means of attracting more first-time fans.    

Just Wondering … I wonder if the IHRA brass considered cutting the purses for their eighth-mile race at San Antonio since the race distance is cut in half? Nah, they’d never consider that, would they?

Just Wondering … Why is the NHRA’s A/FD is the only “entry level” nitro class in either of the major sanctioning bodies? The growing popularity of Nostalgia AA/FC indicates that racers and fans can’t get enough nitro and are willing to support alternative nitro classes. That the NHRA or the IHRA won’t embrace an injected nitro A/FC class just amazes me.

Just Wondering … Since they are bracket racing anyway and ET or speed really is just a guideline, why not make all of the 7.90/8.90/9.90 and 10.90 classes at NHRA and IHRA national events run the eighth mile? At least that way the fans would get to see the real action attraction of index classes, which all takes place within 100 feet of the finish line stripe. Eighth-mile racing would certainly make those classes more entertaining to watch and cut down on the cost of the class. What a concept: more entertainment, less expense.

Just Wondering … While I’m on the subject, wouldn’t it make sense at some point to lower the index for drag racing’s .90 classes, or just qualify everybody in groups, like in "Pinks"? I don’t know of any casual drag racing spectators who understand what they are seeing when a car gets on the throttle stop and coasts for a second or so after the launch, then gets back on the throttle. You talk about confusing a fan.

Just Wondering … As a nitro junkie would you rather watch Top Fuel and Funny Cars with rev-limiters and only 90% nitro in the tank or AA/FC and AA/FD nostalgia nitro cars with up to 99% in the tank and the rev-limiter sitting in the driver’s seat? Give me a hundred percent and no limiters every time!

Just Wondering … How much more popular would the Pro Stock class be if those cars did giant wheelstands every lap?

Just Wondering … When the fans at a race are standing six-deep at the fence what the hell are those folks in the back of the pack actually seeing?

Just Wondering … Why do the prices for tickets to attend NHRA and IHRA national events continue to rise incrementally while the purses paid the pro and sportsman racers remains the same or even goes down? What kind of economics is that? 


jeffburk@dragracingonline.com