Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 11, Page

By Ian Tocher
Photos by Jeff Burk

Like all announcers, when we put a microphone in Dave McClelland’s hand he kept talking until we gave him the “cut” sign. He must have thought he was getting paid by us. He talked about a variety of subject concerning his half-century of involvement in our sport. Here for your reading pleasure is the second part of his DRO interview.

What if we can make you the grand high inquisitor of all drag racing, what would you do differently?

DM:  As far as the NHRA is concerned, I would probably -- because I am a people person -- make the management team work a little harder in the way they deal with people.  I'm not being critical of what they do now, but again, since I’m basically from a different era I’d like to see them change that way. I have very little contact with IHRA. I know a lot of people (at that organization) and they are nice folks and obviously run some good shows and have a lot of appeal to a certain group of racers. 

  What are your thoughts about the Pro Mod class especially the ADRL brand of Pro Mods you’re watching here at Dragstock?

DM: I have probably seen Pro Mods run no more than five or six times.  I was invited as the Grand Marshal of a Super Chevy event on its 10th anniversary.  It was very early on in

the Pro Mod days and I would say there is radical change there.  I never got t o see themthat much on the NHRA circuit.  About the time (they came along) I was headed in the retirement direction, therefore, I really didn't have much contact with them.  I am extremely impressed by, one, the caliber of the cars, two, the guys and gals that are racing them, and three, the foresight of Kenny Nowling to put together a show like this of all Pro Mods.  I mean, this is impressive. They have a great crowd here at Rockingham… there are two qualifying shots and two eliminations all in one day.  This (kind of race) goes back to the old days of drag racing when you ran everything really quick.

What is your general impression of the Pro Mods, people and Dragstock III

DM: I want you to close your eyes and I'll take you into the pit area and I will tell you “Open.” You open your eyes and look around and practically everybody you see in one way or another is a rather unique character. I’m impressed with the  tremendous dedication, love and passion for what they are doing I see in these Pro Mod racers. Let me explain.  If you can make a living at (racing), as Kenny Bernstein has done, as Don Prudhomme has done -- John Force is the premier example of that -- more power to you.  But the passion to keep coming out here and doing it and never qualify, never win a race, never do anything, these are people that are totally unique in my mind. 

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