Volume IX, Issue 11, Page 107

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Cleaning out a cluttered email notebook

In my last column I included golf as one of the sports that didn’t have a “countdown.” I had many, many emails from you readers (I didn’t know so many of you are golf fans) including NHRA’s Anthony Vestal who reminded me that the PGA tour indeed does have a playoff at the end of the season. My bad. I also got several emails noting that the U.S. Nationals wasn’t the last race where racers could qualify for the “Countdown” but that the NHRA Brainerd event was. My apologies for that pair of “bogies” I made in that editorial.

Just Wondering … It no secret that Wally Parks was the largest supporter of the NHRA sportsman series while he was alive. I’ve heard that Bruton Smith offered to buy the NHRA professional classes in a deal similar to what HD Partners put together with the only difference between the two offers being that Bruton had no interest in the sportsman series. Supposedly because of Smith’s lack of interest in the sportsman, Mr. Parks quashed the deal. My guess is that Tom Compton made that issue clear to Mr. Hartenstein when they were negotiating the purchase, hence the $100,000,000 to the NHRA to perpetuate the sportsman program. With Mr. Parks no longer in the picture and Tom Compton serving on the board of the HD Partners, I wonder if the sportsman series still will have the importance it had when Mr. Parks was around?

Just Wondering … Will the NHRA put together a PR staff just for the sportsman series, devote more of National Dragster to sportsman coverage, pay more attention to bracket racing, and spend some of the $100,000,000 promoting sportsman racing once the pros and the sportsman racers officially split?

Just Wondering … Will HD Partners have their own association, magazine, and membership fees?

Just Wondering … Will my NHRA membership dues get split up between the NHRA and HD Partners?

Just Wondering … Will HD Partners take some of their races to non-cable networks instead of all of them being on ESPN2?

Just Wondering … How long will the IHRA continue to refer to their series as “Nitro Jam” when none of the fans, racers or media do?

Just Wondering … What did the rev-limiters in NHRA/IHRA Top Fuel actually accomplish?

Just Wondering … Why does the NHRA allow representatives of and salesmen for traction control devices to work the professional pits?

Just Wondering … If the NHRA really wanted to know who has these devices and where they are hiding them on the car, why don’t they just follow the salesman around?

Just Wondering … How long is the NHRA going to allow the drivers of Stock Eliminator cars that run  well under 11 seconds at well over 100 mph to race with stock seat belts, bench seats, no head and neck restraint devices, open face helmets and no firesuits? It’s not a matter of if but just when someone is killed in one of those cars.

Just Wondering … Does Evan Knoll actually think his fellow racers will support him in a boycott? Three part answer: 1) Ask Bob Glidden how his fellow IHRA Pro Stock racers actually supported him when he tried to lead a boycott in the late 1980’s or early ‘90s. His quote at the time was, “They were all behind me…about two weeks  behind me.”  2) The rest of the racers would welcome the fact that they wouldn’t have to race any Torco-backed cars  3) It isn’t 1981, Evan, and you aren’t Raymond Beadle.

Just Wondering … Will HD Partners move the NHRA or HDP awards banquet to the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York when they take over?

Just Wondering … How NHRA/HDP is going to spin the loss of sponsors and teams in the NHRA next year?

Just Wondering … Will the Goodguys look at Midwest tracks such as Cordova, St. Louis, or Tulsa for possible Goodguys events with Nostalgia racing as part of the event? The Midwest is starving for a professional Nostalgia show.

Just Wondering … Why are exhibition jets and jet trucks not restricted to eighth-mile racing? They’re not really racing, they already have performance restrictions, and I’ve been to more than one jet exhibition where the clocks were turned off or “tuned up.” So, what’s the point?

Just Wondering … Why someone hasn’t started a real heads-up (injected small-blocks, direct drive, nitro, motor in front) Jr. Fueler circuit? Now that was real working-man, affordable fuel racing.

Just Wondering … When will new specs for NHRA Funny Cars be coming? Surely they aren’t going to start the season with the same chassis/safety specs as last season, are they?

Just Wondering … Who are the more hardcore racers, the 48 bracket racers at a recent bracket race in Las Vegas who put up a “yard” ($1,000) each for a winner-take-all race or those fuel car racers who want $5,000 just to make an exhibition lap? What if at the winter test session at The Strip at Las Vegas the racers organize a winner-take-all race where everyone puts up $10,000 and one guy gets all of the cash. They’re all making laps anyway so they may as well make it interesting, right?

Just Wondering … Why the IHRA doesn’t just go ahead and split up the Pro Mod fields with eight qualifiers on the nitrous side and eight on the blower side and then add a lap to run the winners against each other? If the IHRA doesn’t do something their Pro Mod fields will be like NHRA’s -- all supercharged! YAWN!!!!