Still clearing out a still cluttered Reporters Notebook while watching the May 20th ESPN2 broadcast from Heartland Park Topeka

I am looking forward to the AA/FC racing this coming weekend at the Strip at Las Vegas like I have no other in recent memory. I think this race has the potential to be the best overall nitro race in a very long time. I know that sounds self promoting, since I have a vested interest in the race, but I think I can demonstrate why this race is going to be special.

OK, first the basics. We have more 22 teams pre-entered for the race and there are just eight racing spots available. So the level of competition goes up dramatically. This is probably the only nitro event you will be at this year when more nitro teams won’t make the field than do.

The added bonus is that every one of these nitro cars will race for a quarter mile, sometimes with 98% nitro in the tank. This race will be the only one this year at the Strip where nitro fans will see that scenario. Plus this race will also feature an NHRA Heritage Series race for sportsman. Which, by the way, features a few more nitro-burning classes.

When I’m asked what is the best racing I’ve ever seen, I always cite the NHRA Pro Mod races when they had a qualified eight-car field. Often there were 16-20 quality teams trying to make that elite field and the result was -- for one glorious season -- that those races featured the best qualifying and the hardest racing I’ve ever witnessed. With just eight spots open, every qualifying lap counted and the teams and drivers knew it.

There were no “leakers” in that group of cars and simply qualifying for one of those races field was a great accomplishment on its own. Then if you had a little luck and your equipment held up you could win the race, but, again, there were no “gimmies” -- it was war. I’m here to tell you, as a fan, that period of Pro Mod racing was the absolute best doorslammer racing I’ve ever witnessed, no exception.

Which brings me to the AA/FC nitro extravaganza coming this weekend May 25-27  at the Strip at Las Vegas. Like the old Pro Mod races, this will be a war. To qualify and win this race, a team will have to make their best effort on EVERY lap. Unlike some “Big Show” races, everybody doesn’t get to race on Sunday at this one. That will be a privilege that has to be earned. Every lap made will count and be important.

Then, to add to the pressure factor, almost all of the quickest, fastest cars in the class will be in attendance including Heritage and DRO AA/FC Challenge champions past and present, and some major teams with new drivers and/or tuners will be at this unique race.

Finally, and this is important, nitro drag fans can attend this event both days and not spend as much as they might to get good tickets for a single day of NHRA championship racing.

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