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NHRA get in the winner’s column for the first serious attention paid to sportsman racers in a long time. It isn't just lip service. The commitment and drive is there.
IHRA gets in the winner’s column for forcing NHRA to take serious action as to sportsman racing. IHRA is still the king of taking care of sportsman racers and member tracks, but the giant is no longer sleeping.
IHRA gets another win for bringing concert-quality sound to Nitro Jams. It was sorely needed.
NHRA gets a win for having concert-quality sound for decades.
This is not a loser’s item but a tremendous loss. When the sport lost NHRA announcer Leo Taugher it lost one of the most sincere, passionate men our sport has ever seen. When Leo went full time he gave up his regular gig at Quaker City Raceway. Guess who was hired to fill those very big shoes? Me.
NHRA grabs its first loser mention for the poor treatment of Mello Yello at its national events. I'm sure they fill every contract benefit, but it seems that as title sponsor NHRA would have them at the top of the exposure pedestal. At least as far as TV is concerned, this isn't the case.
A big win for Summit Racing. No one -- and I repeat no one -- does a more spectacular job of turning their marketing assets into sales and doing it with class.
IHRA has one in the loss column for their much ballyhoo'd light show. It looked more like it was designed for a nightclub. Think like Trans Siberian Orchestra, not Studio 54.
One more win for IHRA. It’s called DRM magazine. Well laid out with some interesting observations. And best of all it seemed to have a lot of paid advertising. That's a good sign. Now if they would just hire back the guy who wrote the column on the back page. He was pretty good. (Pigs will fly before that ever happens.)
Major loser is anyone who signed up for the Rhonda Rousey UFC fight. Best I can tell it cost you about $4.30 per second. That also meant zero chance of a wardrobe malfunction. Double loser.
HE DID WHAT?
We held a hugely successful Practice Tree Nationals at the Caddy Shack. There were hundreds of entries but the one that stood out was multi-time World Champion Michael Beard. In one of the classes, Michael got down to three cars. Two of them were Michael's! So he raced himself in the semis. Instead of just going through the motions he decided to have his right hand race his left hand. I don't remember which limb won but I do remember that each side had a .003 reaction time. And that is remarkable.
IF I COULD GO BACK
I wouldn't change much but I would:
- Fight like hell for the unification of Pro Mod. I am convinced that if Pro Mod remained an IHRA-only class, it would have been the most popular and lucrative class on a worldwide scale.
- Tell the real behind-the-scene stories that happened during my tenure at IHRA. Sooner or later the drag racing journalists will understand how they have been duped and it will all become very clear. I made a promise many years ago that I would not say a word… and I keep my promises.
- I would ban all electronics in sportsman drag racing.
- I would have required driver drug and alcohol testing before such things were thought of in motorsports.
- I would remind myself daily that this is supposed to be fun.
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DID NOT HAPPEN AT A DRAG RACE?
A. A racecar was peed on from a crossover bridge.
B. A first-time racer actually turned around on the shut down area and returned, up-track, to his pit space.
C. A small plane actually clipped a racecar trailer while trying to take off from the track parking lot.
D. A race was halted when a streaker was stopped on the track by a police dog in front of 4,000 people.
The answer is: They are all true. By the way, the police dog got a lengthy standing ovation.