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Move over all you old "Muscle Car" guys, there's a new kid in town. NHRA has just announced the six-race Summit Import Drag Racing Series. The series will run dial-your-own ET Bracket and five heads up, no break-out classes. No electronics (throttle stops, delay boxes or rpm activated shifters) will be allowed. Sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment, the events will be Texas Motorplex, April 28-29; Gainesville Raceway, May 19-20; Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, June 16-17; Sacramento Raceway Park, August 11-12; Houston Raceway Park, Sept. 8-9; and Pomona Raceway, Sept. 29-30.

Australian drag racing was plunged into further crisis on January 19 when, with just eight weeks remaining before the annual Nationals, controversial promoter Bob Jane 'handed' the event back to the Australian National Drag Racing Association. Jane's move follows his December decision to cancel all other national events at both his Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne -- the home of the Australian Nationals -- and Adelaide International Raceway in Adelaide.

His latest move, which, in effect, breaks a firm contract with ANDRA, now casts doubt over whether the sanctioning body can find the resources in time to take over and run the sport's biggest, most prestigious and longest running event, scheduled for March 15-17.

ANDRA, headed by CEO Tony Thornton, immediately began investigation as to whether it was able to run the event. One point of contention will be what costs Jane will levy on his facility, with sources close to ANDRA suggesting the multi-millionaire tire retailer's first 'numbers' were horrendous. Those sources said Jane's potential intake would amount to what is normally half the profit the venue makes on the Nationals.

Already industry insiders are suggesting that ANDRA should not take any backward steps, but run the event and also begin litigation against Jane to recover any potential losses and damages. The thought of damages litigation could also see racers and businesses associated with the sport joining in a class action against Jane, with suggestions that Jane's request for sanctioned race dates from ANDRA, his public commitment to them, then his subsequent back-down possible grounds for claims.

With so little time remaining, ANDRA's decision needs to come fast. It also needs to be the right move, with Thornton conscious of the body's financial plight in the mid to late '80s -- Thornton mindful of taking too big a risk. But, if ANDRA doesn't take the risk, and also take on Jane in the courts, then most believe the sport in Australia will reach depths never thought possible before. It is interesting times down-under...

-Gerald McDornan

Editor's Note: See Gerald McDornan's guest column giving background on this continuing drag racing crisis in Australia in our current issue in the Analysis section. Also, look for David Cook's column about the state of drag racing in Australia in the February issue of Drag Racing Online, which will be published Feb.8.

Veteran broadcaster Marty Reid has been named the lead announcer for NHRA telecasts this year. In his nearly 20-year career at ESPN and ABC Sports, Reid has covered nearly every form of motorsports from drag racing, CART, IRL and NASCAR to IMSA, off-road racing, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Cruz Pedregon leaves driving this year and will join Reid in the booth as color analyst for the broadcast team. Senior pit reporter Bill Stephens will return, along with pit reporters David Reiff and Shelly Anderson. Dave McClelland will be featured on each of the 24 national event broadcasts on special 50th anniversary segments designed (according to the NHRA press release) to take the viewer back through NHRA's "glorious history."

Joining Reid for play-by-play of the 15 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series broadcasts, will be Bob Frey.

April 13-15
ADRA West Coast Reunion
Fallon, NV
May 18-20
ADRA Ole South Reunion
Jackson, MS
June 1-3
ADRA Dixie Hot Rod Reunion
Darlington, SC
June 16-17
ADRA East Coast Hot Rod Reunion
Maple Grove, PA
June 29-July 1
ADRA Mid America Reunion
Great Bend, KS
July 13-15
ADRA Heartland Reunion
Noble, OK
Aug 3-5
ADRA Southern California Reunion
Banning, CA
Sept 1-3
ADRA Texas Shootout
San Antonio, TX
Sept 28-30
ADRA All American Reunion
Banning, CA



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