Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 2, Page



oised, as we are, on the cusp of a new drag racing season, I'd like to muse a bit on what I would like to see happen in the near to intermediate future. It's already too late for 2006, as far as seeing anything new and radically different on the drag racing landscape. Change takes time you know. Make no mistake about it, there are many areas within the sport that could benefit from an overhaul. No regime changes, mind you, just car changes, class changes, rules-of-the-road changes. Let's start off by taking a look at the Blown Alcohol classes.

WHAT'S UP WITH THIS? Personally, I think it was a big mistake to dump the old Pro Comp setup. Altereds, dragsters and funny cars all duking it out in one big eliminator. I thought is was a great show, and in retrospect, no more difficult to regulate than the current state of the union. The biggest problem these racers face is rule changes, aimed at keeping the playing field level. The real problem is one, level can't be achieved, and two, every racer's cost goes up with every rule change. Maybe it's time to quit trying to regulate, and implement a format that would allow all alky racers play the game of their own choosing.

In short, why not go to eight car fields in blown alcohol dragster, A / fuel dragster, blown alcohol funny car and A / fuel funny car? That's right, A/fuel funny car. And in a perfect universe, go ahead and include blown alcohol altereds and fuel altereds. You run against your own kind, no more weight penalties, overdrive issues, gearing issues, or any other BS. In light of their recent tax return disclosures, NHRA can't exactly cry poor, so the money is there to do something innovative. At worst, such a setup would give NHRA's marketing department more inventory to work with.

If NHRA doesn't want to add any alky classes, they could at least rethink their position of limiting which nationals events the alky classes run at. Anyone trying to get some sponsor dollars isn't helped by not having access to the full national event menu. and while the onus isn't on NHRA to aid racer's marketing efforts, neither should they put up roadblocks for no good reason. I realize the divisional program is still there, but what every racer in these classes really wants is to race on a national event level surface, in front of a big crowd, with at least an outside shot at garnering some TV face time on ESPN2's taped shows. And you can't do any of that at a divisional race.

THE MATCH RACE TRAIL Where is it? I hear a lot about the resurgence of nitro funny car match racing. I've actually seen some if it. But it was more by accident than by plan. With the exception of the VRA / Goodguys races on the West coast and at Indy, most of today's nitro match race action comes and goes without much fanfare. In the old days, drag fans didn't need much fanfare. They just went out to their local track, and lo and behold, the place was full of funny cars! And it was pretty much that way all across the country. Now, it just isn't that way. With no constant flow of race cars and race dates, the buying public and the racing press needs some warning as to when some real match race action is scheduled to take place. If nitro nostalgia racing is to become the viable economic force it wants to be, it is essential for racers and tracks to get the word out. If you own a track, or a car, let someone know what you have planned. It's interesting stuff -- if anybody knows about it before it happens. Get smart, and get busy!

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