DRO: Like triple-A baseball?

PR: Exactly, and I don't think that's a slam to anybody because if you get two equally pitted teams and drivers, whether they are at this (NHRA) level or this (IHRA) level, they are probably going to put on a pretty good race and I think it's a good place to be to get some laps. There is certainly more spotlight over here, there's more at stake most of the time because it costs so much to run over here, so I think it's (IHRA) a good place to learn how to do it; I think that more people ought to take that mindset.

There are some guys over here that probably should go to IHRA. Now that's not against anybody in particular, but I've had that conversation with some guys that keep wanting to come over here, but you know IHRA is a good place to cut your teeth. If you can race on some of their tracks -- there's nothing wrong with their tracks, but racin' at night, racin' under some real extreme conditions, more than we ever do over here -- if you can do that and feel comfortable there, then it's time to move up. So I think there's certainly a place for both.

I've told Bill Bader and I've told the NHRA guys that Top Fuel is bigger than NHRA or IHRA, Top Fuel is bigger than both of them... it's bigger than life, but to have both of those sanctioning bodies is necessary for us to race or we'll go back to the old "Broadway Bob" deals and those Saturday night things that were crazy.

DRO: With 32 dragsters.

PR: Yeah, and maybe not get paid. This is much more fun!

DRO: What's your opinion of IHRA President Bill Bader?

PR: I really don't have problem with him. He's brought IHRA to another level, there's no question about it, with the Hooters involvement. Shoot, I'm old enough that I can critique people and I've done that a little bit, but it's always been constructive criticism. I certainly don't have any problem with him. Look, IHRA put me where I am today only because they offered a venue for me to race at. I've been very luck with my years with Clayton (Harris) and without Clayton I wouldn't be here doing what I'm doing today. So, it really didn't have anything to do with Bill Bader. I think they have a good organization. I just wish that they would pay more attention -- and I'm only talking about Top Fuel here -- I really wish that they would pay more attention to the racer's comments because we only want the best for them, because when they succeed we succeed and vice versa.

So I really don't have anything personally against Bill Bader, I've known Bill for lot of years and his wife Debby and my wife are very good friends and he's done a very good job over there, but certainly I'm an old drag racer so I gotta beef, I'll never be satisfied, ever be satisfied, but he's OK.

DRO: Is there much of a difference between the per round cost of running NHRA versus IHRA.

PR: If you are talking about actually what it costs to run the car, the car only, none of the peripheral expenses...no. You know the 25-percent over crap didn't mean nothin', you could blow stuff up if you had 18-percent over, that didn't mean anything, that was a handicap. If anything the 25-percent overdrive was probably easier to blow stuff up because you had to compensate for that blower by putting more compression in it and more lead in the mag and when you do that - it don't like that, it's not happy.

DRO: Is the $200,00 points fund payoff in IHRA better or worse than the $400,000 for the POWERade championship. Is it easier to make money running a car in a series that pays $200,000 and have a shot at the championship?

PR: The $200,000 deal, no question, it is easier... and I gotta qualify that by saying, not that it's easier (but) it's not as hard, I wouldn't say that it's easier, because nothing is easy. I won the IHRA championship, I'm sure you can ask (Clay) Millican and Peter Lehman and they will tell you the same thing -- it ain't easy. Even if nobody lines up besides you for every round it's not easy because you've got to continue to go down the track.

If you are talking about "dollar for dollar," which one do you get the most bang for your buck...I would say if you can win the IHRA deal for $200,000 you've got a better chance at doing that than getting that $400,000 away from Larry Dixon.



Cover | Table of Contents | DROstore | Archive | Contact
Copyright 1999-2003, Drag Racing Online and Racing Net Source