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They don’t make a ton of money on those tires, and every time something goes wrong at the dragstrip, Goodyear gets blamed for the tire problem. And I’d say that 80% of the time, they ran over something on the track and you don’t know what caused the thing. So I think they (NHRA) are happy to have Goodyear out there, because if it wasn’t for Goodyear, I don’t know who’d make a fuel tire that would run right. I don’t think there would be tires for the top cars if it weren’t for Goodyear.

With VP, I don’t know what the deal is with them and NHRA and the money. I’ve heard so many different things, lawsuits, and Schumacher, Kalitta, that kind of stuff. I really don’t know what the deal is with that kind of thing. I think that sometimes we should just be grateful that’s someone makes the stuff and we’re able to get it, because it’s such an exotic thing, and your insurance liability is so high that a lot of racers forget sometimes that if they couldn’t buy it, they couldn’t race. I think they forget about that.

DRO: In regards to liability, do you think NHRA’s decision to shorten the distance for fuel cars was a good idea or a bad idea?

TM: I think it’s okay. I think a thousand-foot track is fine. People are already over that issue now. I think racers would blow up their engines if they ran a hundred yards. I don’t think it would matter. What you need to do is remember that these tracks were made 40 years ago and they didn’t have enough shutoff distance then, so the biggest problem is getting the cars stopped when you have a catastrophe happen to you.

And you can still get killed at a thousand feet, if your chute doesn’t come out and the thing is running wide open, you’re off the end. But I think it doesn’t hurt it to shorten it up a little bit, and the shows are still good so I don’t think that hurts anything.

DRO: How do you feel about adding a class like Pro Mod as a professional class?

TM: I think Pro Mod is really good and I’m surprised they haven’t done more with it. I think it’s an exciting class to watch. I used to like to watch it when I ran at IHRA tracks. Everybody came up with a different body style and I liked all that.

I get bored sometimes with the Pro Stocks even though they’re running quick and fast, but I think the fans need some different stuff to watch.  I’m involved with Drag Racer magazine; I like to see things where the guys have to buy a lot of parts. The Pro Mod guys buy a lot of pieces and stuff and it’s very exciting, especially with Sheikh Al Thani from Qatar involved in the Pro Mod thing. He really likes that. That’s brought a lot of color and brightness into the sport I think.

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