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LB: There is a spec motor rule, but it’s pretty wide open. I don’t believe as far as engine blocks go, that there’s any performance advantage to what the Force camp has versus what Alan Johnson produces, or what Brad Anderson produces.

DRO: What about cylinder heads?

LB: What you see is a lot of media hype calling it a Ford. It is still designed around the Chrysler 426 Hemi block that Keith Black and Milodon first designed and built. And then we went from cast blocks to forged blocks, and John Rodeck developed that first forged block and Al Johnson bought it out from him. There’s no problem with our blocks. We get very good life out of them, they do what they’re supposed to do. I think it’s a lot of media hype.

DRO: What can your teams do to mitigate the cost of racing these cars? Is there something that could be done to make it more affordable?

LB: Well, I think there’s a lot of things that have to be looked at. Let’s look at the logistics of the travel schedule. To me, it makes no sense to have a race on the East Coast, and then the next week you’re way back over here in the Midwest, and then the week after that you go right back to the West Coast. I think that if we as a racing community wanted to look at how to lower the expenses of racing, we’d look at every little detail, and we’d look at travel logistics, we’d look at what gives us the best spectator base. I firmly believe that in the warmer days of the summer we should be racing on Saturday nights. I grew up going to those Saturday night races at Orange County and Seattle, and remember we used to have great shows at night time. So to me, that’s what built our sport: building the spectator base, then that has a domino effect of bringing more money into the sport that can be channeled into different areas. You’ve got to look at every little detail.

DRO: One of the changes I’ve noticed recently is that when the race is faced with a   weather problem they’re continually reducing the amount of time you guys have to turn these cars around. Sixty-five minutes, 55 minutes. Do you see that as a problem, or do your guys service a car to your satisfaction in 65 minutes every time?

LB: Jeff, I think that if we were told we had to turn them around in half an hour, then we as engineers and racers could come up with a program to turn them around in half an hour. And if that would improve the show for the spectators and improve out television package, I would be all for it.

DRO: They’re continually trying to get the Sunday package down to three or four hours of action and get it out on time to make the evening news. What would you think of running the first round of Top Fuel and Funny Car on Saturday night, and then Sunday would just be three rounds, eight-car elimination. Then you’d keep the Pro Stock at sixteen, so you’d have something to fill in between the real race cars.

LB: I think there’s pros and cons there. I think one of the downsides to it is that if you have a big sponsored car and they’re going to have two or three hundred of their corporate people at their hospitality area on Sunday, and yet that car raced and was eliminated Saturday night and so doesn’t even run on Sunday, I think that could be detrimental to that end of the program.