: Why do you think that back in the day the NHRA basically ran you out of producing NHRA videos?

DP: Well, the fact is I was never in to be run out. But the best compliment I ever got was from Harvey Palash (The P in Diamond P.
At the 1988 Gatornationals I was giving away the first copies of my video to my press pals when Harvey Palash just about declared war on Main Event Video saying, "We consider you our number one competitor."
Which I actually took as a compliment. I'm one guy with a camera and I'm considered competition? With the mighty Diamond P, official TV producers of NHRA shows? Wow!

: So I’ll ask again, why did they basically “86” you out of NHRA tracks?

DP: Backstory first: NITRO WARRIORS, the Super Bowl of Drag Racing, got rave reviews in PEOPLE magazine and ironically in NHRA's National Dragster. Its success was due to the dramatic shift in the way we showed the race. The lens took you into the firehole window of the “Bud King” and you sat next to Kenny Bernstein as he prepared to race.

Or jumped out of the way as Gary Ormsby backed up his Top Fueler and you were in the path of his slicks. Such shots brought the race to life. And the sound! Burnouts and dry hops rocked in all their glory.

Well, all this didn't sit very well with Diamond P. The tape sold like crazy. But if I was a competitor I was the only one. Not really, because I was making videos not TV shows. At the time, no one was making videos. There were no drag racing videos.

Diamond P just didn't want any competition. I was not allowed to shoot any NHRA national events from that day to this day. I really can't blame them. They actually gave me the incentive and time to write my movie and raise my kids.

Papadeas with NHRA founder Wally Parks in 1984.

: What do you think was your most significant accomplishment as a video producer?

DP: I pride myself on one fact. Go to a race and EVERYONE has a video camera. But in 1979 I was the first to bring the new prototype SONY software video camera to an NHRA race, the 1979 U.S. Nationals. And summarily asked to leave by Harvey after I was invited there by the NHRA press people. I had no rights, he said. All I wanted to do was make a Funny Car tape. 

At the next race, signs were posted that no video cameras were allowed at NHRA races. Determined to do this, I became E-town's first cameraman making the Sunday, Sunday, Sunday TV commercials for Vinnie Napp. He let me shoot his nitro shows to get the footage to make the first drag racing video. The Funny Car Experience was released in 1986. Ironically, Diamond P released their first video a few months later. It was a race they showed on TV. We've made 26 more drag videos since then.