FOR THE MEMORIES
Thank you for the article on Black History. As an African American, I was so glad to see the many accomplishments African Americans made in drag racing! I do wish you would have mentioned guys like Alonzo Moore, former IHRA Super Rod World Champ; Butch Peterson, crew chief for the 1999 IHRA Pro Stock World Champ; Ronnie Hood, former Carolina Quick-8 Word Champ (two times); Willie Evans, crew chief for many-time Super Stock World Champ Jeff Taylor; and the late Vinston Holmes.
Overall, it's a great article. I enjoyed reading it and sharing it with my racing buddies in Miami, Florida.
MORE BLACK HISTORY
Malcolm Durham also ran in Pro Stock towards the end of his active driving days. Killer Brooks was from youngstown, Ohio. Big Willie from Long Island should be mentioned as an original USSC Pro Mod racer. Captain Kirk was a tuner of alcohol and fuel cars in the east, late '70s and early '80s. Barry "Machine Gun" Kelly should get a mention. Finally, not remembering the first Stone Woods & Cook Funny Car as one of the great cars of all time, a sad omission from someone who actually thinks George Montgomery was the greatest AA / GS guy. In 1967, nobody, nobody could touch Cook. Nicholson was fast, Cook was kicking ass.
P.S. Just wait 'till Druid history week….
Super site, folks. Just a quick note re: the salute to the African American drag racing article.
While Rodney Flournoy isn't as well known as many of the folks featured in your tribute, I believe he deserves a mention. The few times I saw Rodney and family in action, he never failed to give it his best, on quite obviously a minimal budget. I believe his father was involved in the sport in the '60s as well.
Anyway…here's a pic from Firebird in the '80s.
Thanks, and keep up the GREAT work.
Thanks for the kind words, Chris. We agree with you about Rodney and his dad Eddie and that's why they were mentioned in the second paragraph of the article. Thanks for the photo of Rodney. -JB
JOK GETS 'A' FOR EFFORT
I've raced at events where Jok ran the show and can tell you his track was the best bang for the buck. Area tracks should hire him as a consultant (especially BIR, the worst-run bracket track in the Midwest). People always have their own opinions, like myself, but I sincerely believe he always tried to do his best.
The rapid increase in the dollars needed to race competitively (and the multiple entry issue) is short sighted and will continue to diminish the number of entries as people get priced out of the market or tire of the hassle.
There need to be classes where rampant spending is allowed, but at the same time there need to be classes where the rules should be crafted to deter simply spending one's way to victory circle. Someone with more resources in racing will always have a better shot than someone with no resources, but an appropriate class structure with rules designed to minimize the effect of cubic dollars (only if coupled with a good tech procedure and serious penalties) will go a long way to reducing the barriers to initial entry and later remaining in the sport. There are also people with the dollars to play the game who are without the time to play with all of the stuff needed to be successful - they just want to race with the least hassle possible to have the maximum amount of fun. Look at the tremendous success of spec classes in other forms of racing. There are a large number of people who do not have the money (and people with the money but not the time to find the trick of the week) who really want to compete but who cannot or will not without appropriate classes.
Nicholson's ideas in his follow-up column are well worth a try. Example: There is no reason to make the first red light the loser when the first breakout is not. This does nothing but drive people to faster, more expensive cars without any good reason. If the slower car is significantly handicapped needlessly, the driver thereof will soon tire of the fight and just quit.
Maybe your column will be read by some of the right people and some of your ideas will be adopted. I am new to the internet, but think it is great for the exchange of knowledge and ideas. I will be looking forward to your future columns.
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