All that said, the Orlando race is, hands down, the cream of the crop.
You're certainly right on some of your critiques of the coverage. My problem was that I had to leave on Sunday before the race was over in order to get on an airplane, get film processed and sent to Drag Racer magazine, which was holding the presses for the story. Because of that I had to work off the sheets furnished to me by the track, so I was somewhat hindered.
In answer to some of your points. I believe Nick Scavo switched to a supercharged 400+ rat motor when he took the turbo 400 out and put the five-speed in.
I left around 5:00 pm on Sunday so I didn't get to see the final, but having done his PR for a year and knowing him for longer, I'm not surprised at all that the Bob Rieger team waited on Dantoni. Those guys are a class act.
There indeed may have been more than one Mopar in Pure Street, but it is not listed on any of the qualifying sheets that I have. I didn't mean to slight the Mopar guys.
As far as Gullett's 193 lap, he is indeed to be commended, but once again it wasn't on the sheets from the race. I'm not saying he didn't run it there, but it simply wasn't noted. Perhaps he did it on a time trial that wasn't part of the official qualifying. At any rate, if you could let me know what the speed was to the hundredth I'll get it in print.
As for identifying the wrong lane, again I wasn't there late enough and went on the word of a racer as to which lane went south.
Thanks for reading and setting us straight. Your letter will be at the top of the letters to the editor column.
At least I got one thing right - it was a wonderful race.
THE DIE IS CAST
Geoff's brief comments on Vintage Drag collectibles are what I would like to address. I am not as sure as Mr. Stunkard that the customer base is narrow. I believe the problem in the "real stuff" market is The Bourse. Too few dealers, too little professionalism, and too few shows to sell at.
I have had the experience of asking Die Cast Dealers why they did not bring any older merchandise. The answer I got, with a pole axed look in the eye, was "You can't find that stuff" and "It's impossible."
Sure, locating material is difficult, but it CAN be done. Imagination, investment and work will yield stuff. Until more people are selling and until there are more shows and web sites with quality material, there will be slow going for the nationwide market.
Gotta go now and pack up shipments for my "narrow range" of customers.
OF THIS AND THAT
I think NHRA is messing with Pro Mod not only because it is a great show, but to mess up the ever-expanding IHRA. Pro Mod is an IHRA invention and it is wonderful, but NHRA in their corporate "wisdom" will legislate it down where these pro racers will not want to become sportsmen.
It is a shame about Bill Kuhlmann. I wonder how well sealed that car was, after all, it is only running in an off-breed show (Super Chevy) and is not under the control of IHRA or NHRA, where the rules are well enforced.
I imagine Darlington moving to NHRA is a survival move as IHRA took their national event away, due to safety and size of crowds, I am told.
When sanctioning bodies change rules mid-year or eliminate classes, I wonder if they care what it does to the racers within that class, or if they realize that the racers are stuck with technology that now fits nothing, and the massive financial loss is to the racers that supported that sanctioning body.
The powers that be should always make room in a class for these cars in a way that makes them competitive.
Enough said for now.
FAST IS GOOD BUT SAFE IS BETTER
We saw that day that at 290 mph, a funny car could no longer protect a living being.
Currently, anyone seeking conformation of Jeff's observations, need only look to Jet Cars in the past year. Where once the safety record was excellent, we have seen at least two fatalities and now an incident of a lost arm. Those cars are not dealing well with 300mph performance either.
Smaller Top Fuel wings along with something like 400ci engines are the type of changes needed. Dragsters won't get down the track with the same power and smaller wings. Power levels have to be adjusted too.
We are in a must change situation. Drag racing has some big problems right now. Without restoring a safety envelope around the fastest cars, the sport is doomed.
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