: Well, let’s talk about butts in seats at races. Obviously anybody can tell that NHRA, which is the big dog in drag racing, is having attendance problems, and also having attendance problems with teams. At the Dallas race they had sixteen or seventeen Pro Stocks. I can’t remember in my lifetime when we had seventeen Pro Stockers. I believe they also had seventeen Top Fuel cars and 21 Funny Cars. What do you think is causing drag racing’s largest sanctioning body, and basically the face of drag racing to the general public, to struggle?

SB: I think there are several reasons, and it’s not just drag racing that is struggling. I mean, you go to a NASCAR event and there are 43 cars to qualify for 43 spots where there used to be 60 cars trying to qualify for 43 spots.

I think what it comes down is that at most NHRA events the 16 cars who have a chance at qualifying in any professional class know who they are. And I’m pretty damn sure that if there are seventeen cars there, the seventeenth car is going to know he doesn’t stand a chance at qualifying. So they look at it and say, “Why the Hell should I go to that?” The competition element as we grew up knowing it is lost. It’s all a very scientific, very professional, very cut and dried thing of going up there and racing, and to be perfectly honest with you, the sixteenth qualifier has, in most cases, a better chance of winning the race now, as opposed to fifteen years ago.

: Didn’t  you used to have a Super Stock class car that you raced back in the day? What do you remember about racing then?

SB: When I was racing in Super Stock, it was two races in one. The first race was to win class. That was a big, big, big deal, because you probably had to beat twenty other cars to win class. The second race was to win the Eliminator. Almost everyone said they didn’t have a chance to do that, but they did have a chance to win class. But today they have so many classes that people look around and say, “Well, I think I’ll add forty pounds and move up,” or call their buddy and say, “What class are you going to run? I’ll run the other one.” Half of the class eliminations , at least, are bye runs. That’s not a race, that’s just clipping the ticket to get whatever class to win things. So they’ve lost an element of the heart and the soul of why we did it (race Super Stockers) at an early age. And that’s not even talking about how expensive it is now.

: What can NHRA do to solve some of the issues?

SB: Well you know I’ve been on a soapbox for a while about putting the passion back in it for the racers. I’m not sure that they (NHRA) can do it, if they stay on the path they’re on. They convinced themselves many years ago they needed to create heroes and entertainment and not so much racing.

: You’re talking about the NHRA management team?

SB: Yes.

: All right. Let’s talk now, not exactly about the management team, but about heroes and management. The biggest story in drag racing in the last 25 years that I’ve been in it is that John Force took some team orders to the top at the U.S. Nationals to get Robert Hight into the program. How do you feel about that? Good for drag racing, bad for drag racing? Are team orders just part of it?

SB: Well. Anyone who thinks that hasn’t gone on as long as I’ve been racing is crazy. I mean, I remember fifteen years ago maybe, in the early days of Pro Stock... it may not have been that long, Kurt Johnson taking a dive for his dad.