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Talk about a "Big Surprise" announcement.

The news has been out for about a week that NHRA has cancelled the Pro-Stock Truck program! Surprised? Some of you are and some thought they were boring so who cares, right? How about the 50 or so Pro Stock Truck teams that had $300,000 to $750,000 invested in their operation and R&D? Some teams had two or three trucks and maybe a half-dozen $50,000 to $70,000 state of the art small block engines.

They have to be devastated. NHRA offers Comp racers a place to turn Pro and after a couple years they jerk it out from under them on a moment's notice. Talk about RUDE! In Burk's column he covers a lot of this and I have been on the road so some of my opinions mix with his (scary huh!).

Whether you were a fan of the Pro Stock Trucks or not what NHRA did was not called for. Then for them to try to revive the Alcohol Funny Car and Alcohol Dragster classes is really beyond belief. Have you watched the Alcohol cars run lately? Talk about cookie cutter type cars that are boring to watch, can't attract major sponsors and are super expensive to run. Another example of NHRA being so far out of touch with what is interesting to watch.

Want to make the trucks more interesting? How about nitrous? How about allowing more freedom on hood scoops? How about a blower on a small-block? How about NO wheelie-bars? How about getting Angelle Savoie or Stephanie Reaves to drive a couple of them? With as many racers and fans that own daily driver trucks I think the class could work. I don't think $70,000 small blocks are the answer, though.

OK, enough about the trucks, their fate is sealed I think. Should make for some nice S/Comp and S/Gas race cars though!

I am just getting back in the groove after being on vacation (Barb thinks seven race days out of 12 days of vacation isn't a "real vacation") so I'll keep this "Dead-On" a bit short. I was surprised my opinion on "buy-backs" didn't catch more flack but then I figured "I WAS RIGHT."

I know buy-backs have their place at some races and some tracks, but to offer two rounds of buy-backs even when there are enough cars is ridiculous. It means the "big money" guys carry a distinct advantage and that carries over to the local tracks too. I talked to several racers who basically race for a living and they would like to see buy-backs disappear. Start a consolation or loser race but leave the main race alone. We have chased a lot of racers off and we need them back. Now we will see if track owners are listening and willing to give it a try.

Remember my article in Dead-On that mentioned the insurance "surcharge" that NHRA charged the national event participants? We never heard from NHRA at all and I know several racers forwarded the column to them. I thought they might AT LEAST say I didn't know what I was talking about....but NO...not even a word. I guess I might be ashamed to if I was bringing in $20,000 to $28,000 a race on some scam called "insurance surcharge".

Insurance for WHAT!? They already have Participant Medical -- it is required. Oh well, maybe if they IGNORE it the problem may know, like with the Pro Stock Trucks! Hey IHRA: Why not let these guys with the trucks run in your Pro Stock class with a weight break for the lack of aerodynamics? (I know Bill reads my column so maybe he will reply to me.)

One last thing, when you are hopping around within do you VISIT our advertisers websites? I sure hope so. Some of our advertisers offer visitors from lower prices than they normally have. How about those free catalogs, get on there and sign up for them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that it costs a lot of money to keep an electronic magazine up and operating. That money comes from advertisers and they advertise because they want a return on their advertising dollars by getting new customers. YOU are the customers; please keep supporting our many sponsors so we can keep bringing you an INDEPENDENT VIEW of the sport of drag racing.

Be sure to check out "World Tour" with Project 4-Link. It is a little insight to racing at big money bracket races and IHRA National and regional events. I had a good time writing it and I hope you enjoy the observations I made.

Until next month, be safe and enjoy our sport!

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