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Notes from the 58th annual World Series of Drag Racing

The World Series of Drag Racing has come full circle. When it was first run back in 1954 and for many years after that it was a hardcore drag race where the quickest and fastest cars and drivers met. Back then a win at the World Series was as good or better an achievement as a win at the U.S. Nationals. Then there was a period of a couple of decades or more where the World Series became an event more than a race. Now, at least for a lot of AA/FC, Nostalgia Super Stocker and bracket racers and some fans, the World Series is more about the racing and less about the sideshow. Winning the World Series is as important on a racer’s resume as any NHRA national event -- and that is the way is should be as far as I’m concerned.

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In case you may have missed it, the Victory Performance Parts Nostalgia Super Stock racing not only went to the final round but it went a round past the finals. After five rounds former NHRA champion Al Corda and local Cordova, Ill., bracket racer Dan Beale were tied for the championship. The Series rules call for a one-race shootout, something almost unheard of in racing. Beale prevailed with a much better RT than Corda forcing Corda to break out. You talk about a storybook finish and a dramatic race to bring the Nostalgia Super Stock championship to an end.

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Speaking of the Victory Performance Parts Nostalgia Super Stock Series, the competitors and sponsors all got together and voted to continue the series for the 2012 and to pay Chris Schneider for what he has been doing for free the last couple of years. Good move guys.

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What a joy it was to see and spend some time with my friend Chris Karamesines. The Greek is sponsored by Lucas Oil (the first sponsor other than Strange Engineering in his 60-year career) and for the first time in many decades he now has a full-time fly-in crew to help. The Greek looked and acted like a man half his age and told me he was headed directly for the U.S. Nationals, a race he has won in the past!

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There have been a lot of West Coast writers, fans and even racers who are fond of saying that the “real” AA/FC racing happens West of the Mississippi. That may have been true at one point but the qualifying and race-day performances we saw from the 14 cars trying for eight spots at the final DRO AA/FC Challenge presented by Mickey Thompson Tires at the World Series was as good or better than any AA/FC race I know of in recent history.

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