From personal experience, I have seen two Divisional event locations that seem to do well with spectators and that is Bandimere and Firebird in Idaho.

JR: Yes, that is right. You know why? The New boys [the New family at Firebird] do a hell of a job. You know Scott and those guys. That was their dad’s place and they took it over, and they WORK at it, so they do a lot of marketing. That place supports three or four families while most tracks lose money for one family. Those boys work hard. Bandimere is the same way. That family works hard. They have water running underneath the track to keep it cooler! You think they care about the racers, damn right they do. They are on it.

Then there is Bruton Smith, and that four wide, it is junk. Nobody likes it, racers don’t like it, I DON’T LIKE IT. But Bruton likes it, so let him watch it by himself. It looks like a traffic jam. Trying to watch four cars and two guys are racing and then one of the other ones is blowing the body off of something. The drivers hate it, trust me. If you ask the drivers, would you like to keep doing this or wouldn’t ya? They’re all so chicken shit that they are afraid to say no. They are all going “Well, if Bruton likes it then I like it.”  When they first went there all the drivers were dead against it, remember that? Then Bruton says “I’ll take my tracks and go home.” Well shit, the next day the drivers were like, “It isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

It’s all bullshit. I’m an educated spectator now, and it is shitty, it’s junk. Guys who lose actually win and it is confusing as hell. A while back they had dragsters racing funny cars, hell it was like bracket racing fuel cars. So if you run too fast and you’re out? That bracket racing is bad enough without doing that shit.

A lot of drag racing folks say bracket racing is the backbone of the sport. Where a lot of people get their start in the sport.

JR: I know it is, that is very true. I see these kids in Junior Dragsters and see where they are now. Lots of second and third generation racers are making their way into the sport like Shawn Langdon and Leah Pritchett. So I can’t argue with that. I hate to watch those bracket cars leave the starting line, with their stutter starts and shit like that, but if it keeps people drag racing then I will deal with it. I feel that NHRA is trying to keep from driving everybody out of the sport. From being too expensive to being too competitive. Not much into dial-in racing, I like heads up racing ’cause, hell, I’m old fashioned.

You have mentioned Leah Pritchett quite a few times. Why?

JR: She is very marketable.

Leah also knows which end of a wrench to hold. She can do the clutch, she can work on the motor, she isn’t afraid to get dirty.

JR: You’re right, she reminds me of Kim LaHaie (Richards). Kim was kinda a tomboy. I think she carried a knife on her, but she was smart and was very good doing the clutch on cars. But I don’t think gender is all that important. I think that NHRA over-did the woman deal “THE YEAR OF THE WOMAN”. Are those ladies good? Yeah, they’re good. Do they deserve the attention they are getting? Yeah, sure. But let’s not forget there are a lot of guys out there as well. Are women drivers better than men? NO. They are about the same.

Is there another driver you like?

JR: Antron Brown is the best pure driver on the tour right now. Leah is right behind Antron. But Antron is the complete package, as far as driving and marketing, and overall. He is just a wonderful person.

The NHRA used to have nitro pro classes as part of their Divisional meets. Now Divisional events are for only the sportsman cars. Do you think they should bring the pro classes back to the Division races?

JR: I keep hearing about Funny Cars being faster than the Top Fuelers. Why don’t the dragsters go as fast as Funny Cars? Cause the dragsters have a damned rev limiter on them. So the rev limiter starts knocking cylinders out 7900 RPM. The funny cars don’t do it till around 8100 RPM. If they made the rev limiter rule the same for both cars, the dragster will run off and leave them. And the announcers say the funny cars are faster due to aerodynamics. I haven’t heard one announcer even use the term rev limiter, maybe one guy. Am I missing anything?

 Nope, that about covers it. Thanks for your time.