DRO: Dale Armstrong, you've always been classified as the innovator, by a lot of people -
ARMSTRONG: Yeah, you could say that.
DRO: And a lot your innovations have been challenged and banned by the NHRA from time to time.
ARMSTRONG: Yeah, I guess there's been a few of them, yeah.
DRO: Are there any of those innovations that have been approved and are in widespread usage? Are there any that were banned?
ARMSTRONG: Well, let me see. Two-speed blowers were banned.
DRO: Two-speed blowers?
ARMSTRONG: Yeah. I gotta tell you that wasn't really NHRA that initiated banning that thing at the time. Really what it was, that we tested and the other racers that were present jumped on the band wagon, put a whole lot of pressure on NHRA and then NHRA banned it. I gotta say that it wasn't really NHRA looking to ban that thing; it was the other teams at the time.
It was no big deal, but they're the ones that put pressure on the NHRA, contacted other racers in the Pro Racers Association, e-mailing and phone calls and all of a sudden there was a lot of pressure to ban it, so NHRA just sort of said you can't use it right now and it never did become approved. They didn't just come right out and say, No you'll never be able to use it, they said we just don't want you to use it until we look into it a little more.
DRO: When was that?
ARMSTRONG: It was in Funny Car. It was with Kenny (Bernstein) so it had to be about '87 or '88, somewhere in there. We were the first ones to ever run bead locks and we made a wide rim and made bead locks and tested with it at Phoenix before Pomona and it turned out to be terrific. It was like a full 18-inch wide rim, but by the time we got to Pomona they had banned them; they wouldn't let us use them. They were pretty neat; they were 18-inch wide bead lock rims and they were on center, (we were) trying to get rid of tire shake. Later on they made them legal.
DRO: What about using a computer at first?
ARMSTRONG: There was talk about banning the computer for a while,
but by then there was enough of them out there. Then they just starting
talking about making them illegal in some of the sportsman classes but
I think it had gone too far in the fuel classes already where they didn't.
They never did ban that, but there was some talk about banning the computer.
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