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A few thoughts to share and an ‘atta boy’ for Maple Grove


I have just a couple of comments on the new Burk’s Blast:


- At the track I don't think the 1,000-foot distance makes a difference, nor do slower cars. You still get the noise, and you really can't see the race progress from the fence or the stands, so the shorter track doesn't affect the experience. On TV though, the races are less interesting, as it is rare for the car that gets behind to catch up. If you go way back to the '80's or so, I think the product was more interesting on TV - the cars were going slower, and there were plenty of instances where the cars would pass back and forth a bit before the finish. I have noticed this watching old races on Youtube. So for TV, I think slower was actually a benefit! At this point I don't know how you fix it - It would be hard to get enthusiasm for slowing the cars down to Alcohol car speeds.


- I hadn't thought of this til now, but I was just at Maple Grove on Saturday. It was interesting how the stands just cleared out for first round of Alcohol eliminations. My "slower cars/longer track" theory above definitely doesn't keep people in the stands, but again, I think the slower cars/longer track theory would apply to the TV audience. There was some good racing in the Alcohol eliminations despite a few no shows.


- Totally agree with you on reducing ticket prices on Sunday. People making sponsorship decisions don't care about how much the fans paid to get in, as long as they paid something! I used to be one of those deciders (I was a career-long marketer.) What business folks do care about is a large, engaged audience. I went to the Grove on Saturday as I had a commitment Sunday I couldn't break. I had a great time as always!


Just as an FYI - I typically go to one race a year. With the demise of Raceway Park, Maple Grove is my go-to track. And they do such a professional, friendly job with the fans. It’s a total contrast to Raceway Park, where parking and traffic was a disorganized mess and it was obvious they were trying to run the place on a shoestring. I had such a good time on Saturday it got me thinking as to whether I could get to another race this year. I have flown to Pomona a few times - maybe it is time to go back!!


Chris Williams




How about a bit of the old rivalries to spice things up?


With everyone searching for sponsors today it might be worthwhile to look back at some of the more memorable ones. 1. The Cam Wars, Isky and the rest, what a great time, everyone having the Newest and best of the emerging technology, Drag News and all of the rest of the papers carried each sanctioned race (NHRA, AHRA, and even IHRA), each match race like it was the second coming. Great times and everything was hyped to the max. 2. The Beer Wars, Bud, Coor's, Old Milwaukee, Pabst Blue Ribbon, it seemed every brand put their name on the side of a car, great logo's and looks of adult beverages 3. The Tobacco Wars, was there ever a better looking car then the Smokin’ Joe Funny Car? With Winston at the helm it seemed like Skoal, Camel, heck they may have even had a Swisher Sweeter car at one time, a list of all would be great 4. The Candy cars, The Snickers car of Mike Dunn, Mickey Thompson had Peter Paul Mounds, Jolly Rancher, I think even Skittles sponsored a car at one time, the list must be endless 5. The Armed Services Car. Schumacher had the Army, Garlits the Navy, Mickey Thompson the SU Marines, and I seem to remember a car sponsored by the Coast Guard 6. Weird sponsors like the "gentleman's club in Nevada is one that sticks out in my mind. NHRA said no to this one, but as the car owner pointed out, NHRA was sponsored by a Tobacco Company and had cars that had beer and cigarettes all over them and the "service" this club offered was legal and probably safer.


A couple of articles on these would show how the sport has grown, how it has contracted and what the future would bring. Just a thought


Steve McDonald

Chesapeake Beach, MD




Déjà vu all over again with Mopar?


Adding weight to MOPARs because they are faster than the other brands is nothing new but completely unfair. When GM and Ford built their factory Stock race cars to sell to selected racers, they knew exactly what the rules and vehicle minimum weight was. Because Dodge cars are winning Factory Stock the NHRA in their infinite WizDumb decides to add weight to the MOPARs. These unequal rules are precisely why Chrysler quit Pro Stock decades ago when the Hemi was kicking everyone's butt and NHRA decided to handicap them out of existence.


I have had numerous discussions with NHRA division directors over the years regarding unfair rules designed to hurt certain brands that dominated based on the hard work of the racers. I was informed that because General Motors spends the most money with NHRA then the rules will always be written to insure that GM is the predominant winner of NHRA races. This statement came directly from an NHRA division director.


Nothing has changed in decades. If you can't beat the MOPARs then handicap them out of the winner's circle. It must be a really hollow victory for those who win by default. I hope that the marketing people at GM and Ford know that consumers don't for a minute believe that a GM or Ford engine is powering any NHRA T/F or Funny Car these days. Instead it's the mighty Hemi engine required in the pro fuel cars as the other brands aren't even remotely competitive to the 426 based MOPAR Hemi engine.


Jorge Meister

New York City


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