Volume X, Issue 4, Page 133

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Just Wondering Once More

Just Wondering … How long will racers and fans tolerate the lack of actual racing at NHRA events? On Sunday at Las Vegas there were just three races out of the first 16 pairs of nitro races in the first round and, once again, the Pro Stocker’s show didn’t fare much better.

Just Wondering … Will the NHRA start putting rules in the book that allows them to assess fines for having the wrong sports drink or beer or Tequila in the cooler? Will Lucas Oil insist on fines for those LODRS racers caught with another brand in their pits? I’m kidding, I’m kidding!

Just Wondering … Didn’t anyone with PRO or NHRA go to Houston before the race to inspect the track to see if it met their standards for safety? After Darrell Russell’s death wasn’t inspecting the tracks a week prior to the race to see if it was up to NHRA standards supposed to be a rule?

Just Wondering … Why the NHRA management is so damn opposed to giving away a few tickets to their pro teams? Let’s be honest here, there’s almost never a real sold-out NHRA event.  As a perk, why doesn’t the NHRA give the pro qualifiers at each event 10 one-day passes for the next event -- that would be no more than 640 one-day passes spread out over four days at any event.

Just Wondering … Why former racers feel the sanctioning body they used to race with owes them anything? “You can’t be a victim when you volunteer!”

Just Wondering … Why the NHRA doesn’t at least try some eighth-mile racing at an LODRS races. Since a majority of those attract little or no spectators to disappoint, why not save the track promoter and racers some time and money?

Just Wondering … Of all the places where the NHRA could be saving money to make more profit, why do they do it with the most important work force they have? All of the men and women who work 12-15 days outside to prep and repair the track surface, ensure the safety of the racers and generally make the race happen work for about $6.00 an hour. Tom Compton makes over $600,000 a year! Oh well, that’s the Corporate way.

Just Wondering … How long will the good will and blind loyalty fans, racers and sponsors seem to have for the NHRA through good and bad times last now that the great man, Wally Parks, is no longer with us? 

Just Wondering … Why NHRA management doesn’t get more credit for their keeping and supporting their sportsman series? Any other company seeking to show a profit probably would have dumped that non-profit program long ago. Trust me on this.

Just Wondering … If the LODRS series could actually become a profitable alternative series for racers and fans if a real promoter/manager was allowed to run it independent of the POWERade series?

Just Wondering … Why Tom Compton doesn’t speak to the racing public and press more often? He is a genuinely nice guy and an astute businessman. Drag racing remains in many ways a fraternal organization where deals often are done on a handshake, and the fans, racers, and the press want its head man to be perceived as large and in charge.

Just Wondering … If the NHRA management is right and the sport has too many classes, why not consolidate some of them and start with the nitro cars. Combine the classes by allowing any kind of body style and any wheelbase up to 250 inches. Combine the prize money, points fund and classes. Imagine 50 cars qualifying for 32 spots. Funny Cars don’t have doors or recognizable bodies and Top Fuel cars today all look almost exactly the same other than paint, so why not?

Just Wondering … What it will take for the NHRA and the track operators to figure out that TWO DAYS of professional qualifying and nothing else in one too many, and is just plain boring now. It’s way past time for the NHRA pro classes to join Pro Mod and cut one round of qualifying on Saturday and run first round of eliminations Saturday night.

Just Wondering … How much better of a race, race surface and TV broadcast we would have on Sunday if there were just three rounds instead of four? They might even be able to show some of the sportsman elimination rounds as part of the broadcast. They might even have time to stop a race and even up the lanes without screwing up the TV schedule.

Just Wondering … I’m hearing a little complaining from certain Pro Mod teams about not getting to race at NHRA events. Did you guys forget that the NHRA Pro Mod exhibition series in an INVITATIONAL and as such those running it can invite whomever they damn well please. Can’t be a victim when you volunteer!

Just Wondering … Will the PRO organization come to Don Schumacher’s aid over the insane $100,000 fine for the “illegal nitro” NHRA “caught” him with?

Just Wondering … Could the $100,000 fine be the NHRA’s way of apologizing to the rest of the teams for allowing Tony Schumacher to ignore starter Rick Stewart’s orders to turn the engine off and then only gave him a $20,000 fine and no loss of points with the world championship on the line ?

Just Wondering … How long before the members of PRO come out of a Friday morning meeting at a national event and they tell the sanctioning body “enough” and take a job action that shuts down the race? I think it would be a disaster and bring about a cataclysmic change in drag racing…and not for the good. But I think that the arrogance of the sanctioning bodies that control the sport and the arrogant way they sometimes treat the millionaire team owners/drivers increase the odds of that happening and soon.