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Two articles by Jeff Burk have lit my anti-NHRA fire again. His slant on the media coverage at Pomona was dead on and RJR backing out of NHRA merely focuses on a deeper problem.

NHRA has been out of touch with what built (and maintained) a loyal fan and participant base for years. Pro stock truck? Give me a break! Pro stock bike? Like rice rocket pilots REALLY indulge in the 1320. The media show needs to stop.

People need to identify with what they see on TV (if we ever get coverage again) and what sits in the driveway. Isn't this "common" sense? After paying my last NHRA dues in '86 (and still being pissed when The County shut down!), I have been looking for a grass-roots organization to back. When the IHRA comes to Banning, I'm behind it all the way. I'll trailer the '68 out there over Palmdale ANY DAY to support them. I supported the NHRA in the '70s and early '80s because they supported ME.

Where is the backing for the "backbone" of drag racing? Does NHRA actively promote Wednesday night grudge racing or test and tune? NO. Why would I lay out money to go to a national event when the sanctioning organization doesn't support local racing? Where are the future supporters supposed to come from? Street racing in Rialto? Even Big Willie had more sense than that....

I'm done ranting, the Valium is kicking in....

Mike Wilson

"When I drive that slow, ya know it's hard to steer..." Sammy Hagar--I Can't Drive 55

Just read Burk's media article. I would have to agree with 99%, but I just attended the mile high nationals in Denver and found the Denver Post coverage of the event to be way above average. They had articles and results every day of the event plus an article and results on the Monday after. Just thought I would let you know. Keep up the good work.

C. Nova
Truckee, California

I am sure you are all aware of the NHRA's heavy handed decision on Pro Stock trucks. I have started a petition and I hope you can add a link to it from your sites


Ian Rae

Loved the article on fuel bikes. One correction, however. If memory serves, Russ Collins' Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe triple was powered by three Honda engines, not Yamahas. A minor difference, sorta like North vs. South, Ford vs. Chevy, etc.

John Kitzmiller

I couldn't agree (with Jeff Burk) more. I know I have done my part. I've covered NHRA drag racing events at Pomona Raceway since 1993 and have become a very big fan of the sport. So much that I convinced my editor in 1997 to run a NHRA notebook, which I write once a week.

I know your frustration with the L.A. Times, but there you are dealing with a editor (Bill Dwyre) who believes that tennis is god's gift to the world. I'm afraid as long as he is there, NHRA drag racing is never going to get its just due. And it's a shame because Shav Glick is one of the top motor sports writers of all time.

Keep up the good work,

Steve Ramirez
San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Chris Martin: Nice column on Cleo. I felt just the way you did when I read about her exploits. I had the honor to meet her at a national event in Epping in the early nineties, where she was racing with her son. You were right, she was a ticket. I'm sure she was used to it by then, but she was very modest and seemed both flattered and a bit embarrassed by the attention she got. Bottom line: I thought she was the best and still do, and I'll always remember meeting her. If that lady wasn't an inspiration, who would be?


Bill Horton
West Hartford, CT

What will it take to wake these people up? Again, Yo NHRA, injected nitro funnycar will put people in the stands. Its what we want. Remember us, the ticket buyers. Pro Stock truck maybe at the divisional level if you add nitrous. Otherwise, kill it! Alcohol funnycars, get over it, cost too much, you can't fill the fields. Nostalgia Top Fuel, simply the best thing to come along in a long time, what a show, and variety in engines and anyone can win!!! What a concept!!

Paul Cervenka
Orland Park Ill.

P.S. Good seeing jetcar BoB @ INDY. Keep looking for those Romeo Palamides chassis.

I just read the article about Sarver's car in the wind tunnel. Just how accurate could this test be without the motor running, the injector sucking gobs of air that would normally be going over the hood, and the headers blowing out massive amounts of air whipping the air stream over the top of the car, and sucking air from the bottom of the car? A better way would be to build some kind of an air suction pump to act as the injector, and another one to act as the exhaust pressure.

Geno Terenzio

" ... So, I say it's time for both sanctioning bodies to make some hard decisions and changes to increase fan interest in Pro Stock racing. Perhaps the most important is to re-invent the Pro Stock class so that it features fast street cars that look like they could have come off the dealers showroom floor, ... " Burk said.

Wow Jeff, what a revolutionary idea. That's what the class/eliminator originally was conceived as ... even before NHRA claimed they started it. It quickly got subverted by the techies at Chrysler with the Motown Missile and later really killed by Jenkins' Vega and NHRA's love of the SB Chevy and little motor, David vs. Goliath stuff.

Actually if you think about it, Pro Stock could be considered the first "nostalgia" class/movement in drag racing as the brake pedal S/S and Stk. Eliminator racing had the fans and racers longing for the good old daze of heads-up S/S-F/X racing. What Pro Stock needs (not that I really care about NHRA racing) is to become what it once was, race cars based on real cars that are not tech heavy ... nor specialty shop built slot cars.

I'd rather see outlaw type Pro Stocks based on the original concept of the class that run non-NHRA tracks, at races promoted by independent promoters not under any sanction.

Let NHRA have its weekly tent show however it wants ... in my opinion.

Joel Naprstek


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