The passing drag racing scene

I know there are all sorts of rules and prerequisites for induction into the various drag racing Halls of Fame, and I feel that too often we don’t honor people who deserve that honor until way late in their life. So I’m going on record here as saying that it is way past time to induct Forrest and Charlotte Lucas into Don Garlits’ Hall of Fame.

Few men or women have done as much to support drag racing and its participants than Forrest and Charlotte Lucas. The pair has “donated” countless millions of their dollars to support the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for NHRA sportsman racers, and they financially support a huge number of individual drag racers in both sportsman and professional classes. Lucas Oil is the presenting sponsor at NHRA national events. There is no telling how much money they’ve spent on the Lucas Oil Top Fuel team. And Charlotte Lucas is a hell of a sportsman racer in her own right.

Forrest is 70 years old. He and Charlotte have spent more of their own personal wealth supporting the sport of drag racing and the participants than any other person in the history of the sport.

Damn the rules. Let’s honor a man and woman whom the sport owes more than can ever be repaid and induct them into the Hall of Fame in 2013! 

I find it somewhat ridiculous that, after four more years of efforts (paid for by the NHRA) to find a way to slow down their nitro cars, so far they’ve failed. The testing has including but is not limited to smaller engines and rev-limiters, smaller volume fuel pumps,single mags, fewer discs in the clutch, and restrictor plates under the supercharger. They even shortened the track length for nitro cars to 1,000 feet. Despite all of their efforts, nitro dragsters and funny cars are now going as fast as (and almost faster than) they ever have. What has been accomplished other than to waste a lot of time and money? The answer is absolutely nothing. Although, to be fair, every crew chief I’ve asked says the shorter track saves the teams money.

I previously have said in this space that I thought, based upon previous years numbers compared to current numbers of entries, that the NHRA was losing competitors in the Super Stock, Stock, and Super ET classes and the subsequent revenue. I evidently was wrong.

The NHRA sets quotas for the number of entries allowed for each of those classes based upon available parking at each national event. Apparently (and I admit I’m not too clear on this) the NHRA generally gets all the sportsman racers they want or need at most of their national events.

What this tells me is that the NHRA really doesn’t see the sportsman racers as a profit center because if they did they would find a way to let any sportsman racer willing to pay the admission fee attend a national event. I think that was the case when at some races there were often over a hundred sportsman entries in every class and all classes were run at all national events.

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