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OK guys, get yer wallets ready. If NHRA doesn’t get you, the craps tables will. And that may be the weekend’s biggest question. Whoever gets to keep the money, it won’t be you (or me for that matter).

Whatever, a fun time will be had by all. How many times does a brand new event come around after all? And after the races, you get your pick from a full buffet of life’s vice table. It just don’t get any better that this, fellas.

With the town’s main preoccupation in mind, let’s cut to the chase and lay down the odds on who gets the gold at NHRA’s first event in Las Vegas. After all, if ya can’t bet on it, it ain’t happening!


Tony Schumacher 2-1 Track’s an unknown quantity - Exide crew’s forte is consistency - slight edge over tough field
Gary Scelzi 5-2 If they’re done making collectibles, they might be ready to get back on top - would be no surprise
Doug Kalitta 7-2 The Lion roars! The budget is in place, and the boys are ready to rumble!
Kenny Bernstein 9-2 Bud Guy known for special feats in special spots. No better spot to roll out a show stopper!
Larry Dixon, Jr. 5-1 A win waiting to happen. Snake and set another bunch who thrive when the bright lights shine.
Joe Amato 6-1 Might still be in a funk after oh-so-close ‘99 title tilt. Numbers are in the ‘hood, but needs to put it all together.
Doug Herbert 7-1 A live longshot for the city of lost wages. Can go the distance, but must stay off the leak list.
Cory Mac 8-1 Why does this suddenly look like a second tier effort? Doubters have reasons, backers get the long price. Bet ‘em up!
Bob Vandergriff 10-1 It’s hit the number or hit the bricks time for the T-shirt king. Hit the hard six, or seven out - roll dem bones!
Don Lampus 12-1 IHRA to NHRA parlay not paying off so far in Y2K. E-money gets him a spot at he table - needs to bring his “A” game to win the pot.
Tim Gibson 15-1 Aero wizard gets some r&r from duties with Force. Would be a boxcar payoff for anyone willing to take a stab.



Jerry Tolliver 5-2 Doing the deed so far, but others showing signs of coming to life. A slim pick in a tight fit.
John Force 3-1 Man of the ‘90’s missed out on some big “firsts” on the way to Y2K. Will be motivated, for sure.
Ronnie Capps 7-2 Back to the Go-rilla setup. Might be the Steam Play of the day.
Whit Bazemore 9-2 Has to be absolutely tearing his hair out . Vegas not the easiest town to seek good fortune in.
Tony Pedregon 6-1 Has actually been outpunching da boss lately. Like so many, would be no surprise.
Jim Epler 7-1 Starting to look like one of the undercard, instead of a main eventer. Needs to get hardcore!
Scotty Cannon 8-1 Man, that’s one ugly race car! But it hauls ass, so a Vegas score isn’t out of the question.
Al Hoffman 9-1 Time for the hard core duo to get with the program. Go for the Gusto, fellas!
Gary Densham 10-1 Been at his best lately. Trip to the Las Vegas winner’s circle would put him higher than a Blue Angel.
Dean Skuza 12-1 Tough sledding so far. Needs to step up, and soon, if title contention is in his plans.
Del Worsham 14-1 He’s finding out about the rigors of the two car approach. Will be a better bet at a later date.



Warren Johnson EVEN Hoosiers, smoosiers! WJ ’s back in fiesty mode, so the rest of youse guys better look out.
Jeg Coughlin 2-1 Hard to take a strong stand against. If lineup didn’t have WJ, would be an underwater fave.
Troy Coughlin 3-1 If top two falter, TC could step right in and take it all back home with him.
Jim Yates 7-2 Seems to have survived the Rickie, exit left development. Consistent sort might just have got the attitude adjustment he needed.
Ron Krisher 9-2 An underdog anyone can get behind. Upsets do happen at curtain openers, so this one worth a look , at the very least.
Kurt Johnson 7-1 Still feeling the effects of Pomona tussle. Don’t miss the opportunity, if race day odds are long.
Mark Pawuk 8-1 Cowboy riding a bit taller in the saddle of late. Will still need a horse of a faster color to pull it off in Vegas.
Richie Stevens 10-1 Another longshot player who will be worth a look on race day.


That’s enough for now. Don’t forget to e-mail with any and all rants.

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photo by Jeff Burk


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