I have been a drag racing official since 1965 and have seen a lot of changes. I have seen top fuel winners money go from $500 to $40,000 (and $75,000 at Indy) and I would have to agree with the pro's that they probably do need a raise. NASCAR winners get $200,000-plus, but what you have to remember is that they only have one eliminator (not 10-12) like drag racing and they only pay 43 cars, while in drag racing NHRA pays 16 top fuel, 16 funny car, and 16 pro stocks which is 48 cars to start with besides all the sportsman racers who get money.

Now, on the other hand we have the "minimum wage dummies" as Gary Selzi so stated on the coverage of the U.S. Nationals, who make only $5.25 per hour and haven't had a raise since Moby Dick was a minnow. It's not the money anyway...it's knowing you done your part to help put-on a race.....it's hanging out with your pals and legends of drag racing.....it's 60-hour weekeknds from 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (unless you have oildowns, wrecks, or rain).....it's straining your eyes to watch the t.v. coverage to try and spot yourself (because I was right there, if only that truck was out of the way I know you could see me) ...it's all this and more, and it's worth every cent of the $5.25.

So yes, I would love to give the top fuel and funny car a minimum of $50,000 and the pro-stockers a minimum of $30,000 to win every race, with Indianapolis being doubled and double the points of all eliminators, but I have to be content with my $5.25 because I know NHRA is probably doing their best.

All of us should be patient, because we still have a sport after 50-yrs, we can all bitch about everything, and who knows? Maybe Warren Johnson will get his rabbit's foot back, maybe top fuel will be won in a front motored Chevy dragster, and maybe NHRA will provide us lunches again like they used to do several years ago. Let's just all wait and see what happens.

Don Vanhook


I saw the Bustle Bomb make the first 150-mph run in 1955 at Santa Ana, and in 1964 at Long Beach I saw Frank Cannon make the first 200-mph pass. (First Zoomy Headers). The most exciting race I ever saw, was between the Greek and the Snake one night at Long Beach in a match race. Both had difficulties, with the Greek getting out of shape and the Snake doing a wheelstand at the same time, about 300 feet off the starting line, both getting back on the throttle at the same time and going through the finish line together. They were only going 190 mph, both with about 80% nitro in the tank with flames out of the exhaust. I will never forget that race.

325 mph is not needed to put on a great show. If the tires would not chunk at 300 mph, then NHRA should slow them down to that speed, 300 MPH is still very impressive! The way to do it is very simple, take fuel and air away from the engines! Slow the blower down to 1 to 1 and reduce the fuel volume with a mandatory size fuel pump. Somewhere around 50 Gallons per minute at 8,000 rpm (engine speed). Or they could just drop the percentage down to 70%. That would do it too.

I like the first idea because they still have that sound of a large load of nitro, because they could also go back to 90%. They would probably have better, closer racing which is what I want to see anyway.  I could care less if someone goes 335 mph and the other guy shuts off for whatever reason, which happens way too often.

Gary Adams


Welllllll, I am not sure there are any smart guys at NHRA. Look at the TV coverage, I don't know how many times I turned on my TV at the scheduled time and got volleyball, skating or some other BS. NHRA has a poor contract with ESPN. Most people can't deal with 4 days to run a race. There is too much down time. You want to slow them down, make them use the same engine throughout.


Bill Sterling

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