Clearing out a cluttered Notebook

Just WTF does Chris Karamesines have to do to get some props from the producers of the ESPN2 NHRA broadcast? Imagine what would happen if NASCAR’s Richard “The King” Petty suddenly came out of retirement and qualified for a NASCAR Cup race, or if Nolan Ryan came back and pitched a regular season Major League Baseball game or if Don Garlits un-retired again and qualified for an NHRA national event?  The print and electronic press coverage would be insane.

But when Chris Karamesines, 80-year-old Chris Karamsines -- who has seen and participated in all of drag racing’s history, set countless records and won national events in every sanctioning body that ever had a Top Fuel class, and continues to race and qualify at NHRA events to this day -- still he doesn’t get his props. If ever a racer deserved just a five-minute historical piece with photos it is “The Greek!”

Am I biased? You’re damn right I am … and frustrated. I finally, finally, understand what Bernie Partridge meant when he uttered those famous words over his mic, “Those guys are beating their heads against a dead horse.” 


I think that Bruton Smith will soon announce a second race at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte and NHRA will follow with a new race schedule for 2010 that, for the first time in a couple of decades, will make sense in that the race dates will be changed so that teams aren’t driving from one side of the U.S. to the other on successive weekends. Travel expenses are perhaps the most critical fiscal issue the pro teams face.


It’s pretty obvious to me that the current points program favors the teams with the most financial backing and punishes those teams who make the six-race “playoff”. When the best record over a six-race schedule is going to determine the NHRA Champion, it follows that the team with the money to build new cars, buy new parts and sacrifice parts in order to win are going to have a big advantage over the guys just trying to make their parts last until the World Finals at Pomona.


Start looking for more and more NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car teams (especially those not in the “Countdown”) to make fewer qualifying passes or even the first round of eliminations.


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