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It’s been at least several years since I’ve attended both of the two oldest and, in my opinion, best drag races the sport has to offer: The World Series of Drag Racing followed by the U.S. Nationals on back-to-back weekends. So this year I’m doing both, although I will admit to limiting my Indy trip to just three days instead of the full Wednesday through Monday marathon. My advanced age (66) and my ADD simply won’t allow me to focus on one race for six days.
Nonetheless I’m really looking forward to going to the Nats to cover the last unique race within a race still being held at Indy, the Mopar Hemi Challenge. Of course I always dig seeing the Pro Mods, and I will spend at least one afternoon at 1,000 feet watching fuel cars run while enjoying a frozen Margarita or two.
I’m really saddened that there are so few women drivers left in the Top Fuel and Funny Car ranks these last few years. This year, at least according to NHRA’s pre-entry list, there will be just one female nitro racer, Melanie Troxel. I miss Shirley Muldowney’s act at the Nats. She generally gave her male counterparts a steaming load beginning at Brainerd and then backed it up at Indy. It got the fans and the drivers revved up. Now every driver seems to be politically correct to the extreme.
I really wish that more of the drivers talked about their opponents in public the way they sometimes do in private. All of the PC blather from the drivers and team owners is frankly boring me to tears. Thank the higher power that at least Pro Stock drivers Warren Johnson and Larry Morgan still have the guts to speak their minds and make the suits at NHRA grab for the industrial strength Maalox©.
I’m rooting for Erica Enders and Melanie Troxel to win Pro Stock and Pro Mod respectively. It would do wonders for the sport and bring more fans to the races. Pro Drag Racing needs its own Danica Patrick to catch the media and fans' attention.
DRO’s own Amanda Matusek has the horse (Mustang), the horses (450+) and the talent to win the ultra-competitive Stock Eliminator class, which as of Thursday has over 140 entries. She has proven on the divisional level that she has the skills to win. I think she has the talent to move on up to the professional ranks in time.
I have noticed a severe lack of emails from PR flacks pimping special announcements. Usually there is a full slate of organized press conferences going on at the Nationals. My guess is that there just aren’t any new sponsors, teams or special events on the NHRA horizon these days.
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