DRO: But why not just run 10 or 11 NHRA races and avoid paying the entry fees that IHRA requires?
JO: The points is a big thing for me to consider because I'll probably end up with another $30,000 or so at the end of the year here (IHRA), and it would be nothing over there. There's also one less qualifying lap here and I'd have to run my car a lot harder over there, even to get into a 16-car field.
It's also just easier to run this circuit (IHRA) because everything is kind of close to home (Waterford, MI). Of course, next year they've got us going to San Antonio and Edmonton -- which might as well be in Alaska, as far as I'm concerned -- but I'll probably at least go to San Antonio because I've got a bunch of friends down there, guys like Bobby Rex and Jody Smart. I'll probably just go down there and see everybody that I know for a couple of days.
Plus, all I have is volunteer help and I don't know that I could get my cars turned around as fast as they want over there. I mean, I've got some pretty good help, but they're still just volunteers. The guys that have to fly in, I get them plane tickets and whatever, but I don't have the money to pay them and that's kind of tough, you know? I'm sure they're thinking sometimes, 'Hey, you bought a new trailer; how come we don't get paid?' but I'm just trying to make everything better for everybody that comes.
DRO: What about Louie's career? What are the two of you aiming for?
JO: I don't know, he just wants to work on the car and keep driving, and wherever we want to go is fine with him. He lives up there in Denver so I'd really like to go run the car up there, but that's a terrible place to go run a fuel car just once a year. I mean, they need to dig a 5,000-foot hole and put the racetrack in there instead, 'cause I think it's almost impossible to make your car run up there.
DRO: So, do you plan on running the IHRA circuit with a two-car team again next year?
JO: Probably. I think I might have someone coming on to give me some tuning help next year and if I do -- and if the car will go run 4.70s and 4.80s consistently and not tear stuff up -- I might go over there (NHRA) and run a couple of the close races, too, like Memphis and Chicago and places like that.
DRO: Would this tuner be familiar to us?
JO: Yeah, but I don't want to name anyone right now. We'll wait until the season's over. It might not even happen and I hate it when rumors get started and then everyone looks bad when it doesn't happen.
DRO: How much longer do you plan to continue driving in Top Fuel?
JO: Oh, I don't know; I thought I would've quit years ago when
I was 40 or so. But that didn't happen, so as long as it stays fun,
Copyright 2002, Drag Racing Online and Racing Net Source