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Photos by Tim Marshall

It you pick up any racing or car show calendar, there are mass quantities of Import/Sports Compact events going on. Just a couple of weeks ago Vision Entertainment had their 5th annual Hot Import Nites at LA Convention Center. Over 25,000 were in attendance along with over 300 of the finest machines both for racing and street use. Lots of manufacturers were also in attendance with the everything from the latest in stereo equipment to performance parts. The place was packed wall to wall with automotive enthusiasts and car junkies. The street dancers once again stole the show, and it was a girl watcher's delight! Hats off to David Gonzalez and his crew for a very well run, safe event. The only incident of mention was to people out on Figueroa Ave that met by accident! Two totaled cars, but that life in the big city.

We at thought we had some exciting news, as there was a "rumor" that Clear Channel/IHRA had been negotiating with NOPI on purchasing their Import/Sports Compact program. But after a few phone calls to both parties this turned out to be just that -- a rumor. IHRA VP and all-around guy, Aaron Polburn, stated to DRO that this was false -- and he would know. IHRA President Bill Bader has declared on more than one occasion that the Sport Compact World was the future of Drag Racing. So we'll just have to watch what the Norwalk, Ohio-based sanctioning body does.

Battle of the Imports and the Choi Boys are going to venture out and try a night time race at Bakersfield. NHRA is headed shortly to start their Sports Compact Western Swing (Woodburn, Oregon, then the brand new and beautiful Infineon Raceway located in Sonoma County California). IDRC still has a bunch of races left all over the country including a race in Hawaii. (Michael Ferrara, hear this, I'll volunteer if you need an extra body.) IDRC will do their final race of the Auto Trader series at the Bernie Plex in Palmdale. The NOPI guys and lady (Jennifer Liberman) will stay in the East Coast as they have had their one and only West Coast adventure in 2002.

Once again I noticed that there was a major mistake in setting up a race. Battle of the Imports is running their very first night event on August 10 while the CMI guys in the Sacramento area are going to run their annual North Vs South event. I feel that the Sacramento event will suffer the most, and it's really a shame. I would like to see both events and give you readers a full report, but it's just is not possible to be in two places at once.

Here are a couple of events to put on your race calendar. The guys from Drag Corner are going to host a Manufacturers Team Cup race featuring teams of racers from the Imports, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and MOPAR. It will be the 16 quickest of each manufacturer and done on a round by round race program. This event will be held at Irwindale's very quick eighth-mile track on August 23rd which is a Friday evening, Get in touch with Pete at (626) 334-1800 for all the details. It ought to be some great racing and lotsa fun too. Be sure and check out Miss Mopar, Miss GM, Miss Ford, Miss Import and Miss Drag Corners, as they will be tallying to official scores.

The other upcoming event will be the ground breaking ceremony for the long awaited Banning Drag Strip, which is about to become a reality very soon. I got an e-mail from both Andy and Ron Moracco. Banning has been these gentlemen's "dream child" for the past three years. There is always so much "red-tape" and clearances when you are talking race track in any town, but congrats to the guys. September 7 has been picked for the ground breaking ceremony with not only racecars scheduled to appear but some of drag racing's finest people on hand. Go to and check out what's going on. This is going to be a first class NHRA sanctioned quarter-mile track. They will have an Import/Sports Compact events planned in the near future.

Here's one to watch for in the near future: Richard Schroeder is best known for his twin engined, wheelstanding Chevy dually truck, but Schroeder has also handled many Funny Cars too! His latest vehicle is a 110-inch wheelbased Focus station wagon powered by a J 85 jet engine. Pix coming soon on this very famous "Wall to Wall" driver. (That was actually Richard's nickname before he lost about 75 lbs.)

Next month a run down on all the points races and "who's who" in the Sport Compact World. How about giving us your opinion of who the Top Ten Import/Sports Compact drivers are of All Time! Don't forget we have a place on the far right corner of the main page of strictly for you to voice your opinion.

Thankx and Happy Racing.

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