getting nostalgic w/Brian Losness

Looking Forward to the Ignitor and Beyond


Greetings to you my seven readers of this column. (I guess been watching too many episodes of Game of Thrones!) Moreover, I have wonderful news from the land of the (kinda north, but not too far north.) I digress. It is the annual time to run the Nitro Ignitor here in Idaho on May 5-7.


This event for my purposes is something of a barometer (That’s a device that gauges things, Timmy) on how the nostalgia drag racing season is going to play out for the year. Why?


The event in Idaho is first of a bit of a haul for many of the teams, and with the price of fuel going up, well, that can play into the car count.


On the other side the from all the indicators the economy for the most part is robust and continuing to grow at a healthy rate. Which should counteract the increase in fuel prices. Enough of Micro Economics 101.


So, with my magic eight ball, a Ouija board, and my trusty Captain Crunch decoder ring, I have come up with following cars that could be coming to Boise: Bobby Cottrell, Jeff Arend, Billy Morris, Dan Horan, “Hollywood” Kris Krabill, Ryan Hodgson, Bill Windham, Tim Boychuk and Scott Stanger.


These are those who are definite possibilities: Rice Brothers, Marc Meadors, Brad Thompson, Tony Jurado and Michael Peck.


You may have noticed that Jerry Espeseth, who drove the Rupert and Littlefield car to a runner-up at the March Meet, is not on the list. Business concerns have precluded them from making the trip, however Jason Rupert will be making a guest appearance as a consultant for the Bill Windham team.


With that said, the possibilities of fourteen cars is exciting news. Now how many shows up, is a different story. Nevertheless, the weather is predicted to be excellent. Temps in the low to mid 70’s and a very low percent chance of rain. Therefore, it might just be 50 and raining – remember, it’s Idaho. If you don’t like the weather wait a few minutes.


We briefly spoke about the economic of nostalgia drag racing, and honestly, they two phrases shouldn’t be used in the same sentence. However, there seems to be a growth spurt in our little slice of the drag racing ecosystem, and it is encouraging to see. Part of this growth is spurred on by better capital management by some of the teams. Lay people call it tightening the belt.


Nostalgia racing is at that so called “tweener” area of the sport. While many of the teams have abundant resources to operate, they don’t have enough races or enough prize money to warrant justifying full-time personnel, or the ability to recoup even a portion of their monetary investment.


Therefore, many races that are being promoted by outside interest of the track are two-day events. Qualify one day, race the next. Usually a Friday-Saturday deal.

 Crew members and team owners are only missing one day of their regular jobs. Team are only paying for two nights in hotels, and flights if need are generally much less expensive on Sunday morning rather than Monday morning when a large group of business people fly.


There is always a differing point of view. Race tracks make money when people are in the seats and race cars are coming into their establishment. Most tracks have a limited inventory of dates for which to generate capital so there is the rub. Events too long makes it hard for racers to show up. Not enough days for the track to generate positive cash flow makes it hard to stay in business. Compromise is the best solution but how to get to that compromise is the 64,000-dollar question.


Nevertheless, it is good to see the nostalgia racing, doing so well. UNFC seemed to have a successful first year, plus a successful outing in Tucson, Arizona a few weeks back.


Chris and Tera Graves are doing an excellent job in their Funny Car Chaos events in the mid and southwest. Therefore, it is good to see the growth of nostalgia racing, and the success. Nostalgia top fuel is starting to show signs of becoming a much stronger class. So that is good news.


It is very exciting to see our slice of heaven doing well, and I hope that nostalgia racing continues to move in a positive direction.


Our plans here at DRO are to cover the Ignitor in Eagle, Idaho. This is the time and place where some big runs could occur. If conditions are right, and they have been there in the past where it we could see some legitimate fifties being run.


The track elevations is 2760 feet, but there have been instances in the past when springtime conditions have given corrected altitude as low as 1500 feet. If that happens, and the track surface is now arguably the best on the tour (not disrespecting other facilities), it would not be surprising to see a 5.50 by one of the hitter cars ring up on the scoreboards. It will be exciting to see.


We will be posting updates and have interview with drivers and crew chiefs through out the weekend on the DRO Facebook page.


If you can’t make the trip please check in on the DRO Facebook page for updates.


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