Volume IX, Issue 12, Page 1

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EDITORIAL
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Kay Burk
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Chris Martin
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Jok Nicholson
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Jeff Utterback
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Ro McGonegal,
Dale Wilson

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Jon Van Daal
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Ivan Sansom
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Bob Fisher
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PHOTOGRAPHY
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Ron Lewis
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Adam Cranmer James Drew
Todd Dziadosz Steve Embling Steve Gruenwald
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Rose Hughes
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Dennis Mothershed
Mark Rebilas
Ivan Sansom
Jon Van Daal

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It’s Christmas time and he’s
just wondering

Just Wondering … Drag racing is perhaps the most diversified of all professional motorsports so I’m just wondering what do racers like Peggy Llewellyn, J.R. Todd, Tom Hammonds, Harold Martin, and Antron Brown -- role models for young men and women of color -- have to do in order to receive financial support from the minority-owned Fortune 500 companies of America?

Just Wondering … On that same subject, is there any other major sport, automotive or stick and ball, that offers minorities as much opportunity to compete and succeed at the highest level as drag racing? There are five starters in basketball, nine in baseball, 11 in football. In drag racing the minimum number starts at 16 per class and goes up from there -- and even more in bracket racing. 

Just Wondering … How many more tracks must O. Bruton Smith build before he could and would start his own sanctioning body?

Just Wondering … Who decided that a quarter-mile was the official distance for a “legitimate” drag race? Does that make those racers and races on eighth-mile or 1,000-ft tracks somehow less legitimate than those on a quarter mile?

Just Wondering … What percentage of jr. dragster drivers go on to drag race as adults?

Just Wondering … When will drag racing get a charismatic leader who is as passionate about the sport itself as he is about making a profit?

Just Wondering … When will somebody successfully promote a race for nostalgia fuel racers with a large purse at a national-event track? I’d like to see if a race like that would attract a large crowd and fields of racers at a venue other than Bakersfield, CA.   

Just Wondering … If a majority of the professional class racers in the NHRA don’t like the Countdown, why haven’t they begun some kind of PR campaign to change the NHRA/HDP management team’s dedication to the program?

Just Wondering … If the NHRA will be able to show the racers and fans some empirical data to prove  that their Countdown actually did anything to improve the popularity of the sport with the casual fans and press?
 
Just Wondering … Couldn’t that money be spent better? A television broadcast for a ten-race series cost whoever foots the bill around $500,000 per year, according to my sources. I often wonder if the racers get any real benefit from TV on one of the obscure cable networks?

Just Wondering … Why drag racing sanctioning bodies don’t hold their Championship banquets at the start of a new season using it as PR to kick off a new season instead of having it immediately after the end of the season when all the racers and the media are burned out and just want to go home?

Just Wondering … same subject … Maybe the NHRA POWERade banquet would get some coverage from the mainstream press if it weren’t competing with NASCAR’s. (Yeah, I know that the IHRA has tried that but they aren’t the NHRA.)

Just Wondering … Am I the only one who really likes the fact that drag boat racers have really cool and often very funny names on their drag boats?
 
Just Wondering … Am I the only one who likes walking around national event pit areas watching crew members thrash on their cars late into the night? 

Just Wondering … What would be wrong with cutting down the number of qualifying laps or just adding one more lap and running the first round of professional class eliminations on Friday nights and final rounds on Saturday at IHRA and NHRA national events? 

Just Wondering … How it would affect the outlook and attitude of the elite drag racing management types if at a national event they had to buy their own food and use the same restrooms/porta-potties and park in the boonies like the paying spectators have to?

Just Wondering … Why doesn’t NHRA have a real national event maybe with eight-car nitro fields in Florida over the Winter months? The race would be the lead story in every print and electronic outlet and wouldn’t compete for space with NASCAR or any other motorsport.  

Just Wondering … Can’t the organizers of the SEMA Show in Vegas and the PRI Show in Orlando find better place on the calendar to stage their conventions than the weekend of the NHRA World Finals and two weeks before Christmas respectively?

Just Wondering … Why couldn’t someone apply the same business model that has made the ADRL successful to an alternate nitro Funny Car, Top Fuel and fuel altered circuit? Wouldn’t something like that be perfect using nostalgia Top Fuel and Funny Cars?

Just Wondering … What the hell the Chairman of the Board of the NHRA (Dallas Gardner) does in the one hour a week the NHRA tax return says he works to earn around $400,000 per year as a salary? I don’t begrudge him the money, I just would like to know what he does for it.

Just Wondering … Will they renew the liquor license at Bob’s Berserko Lounge for another year?

Just Wondering … Am I the only one who just can’t wait to see what HD Partners and Bruton Smith are going to do next season? It’s going to be interesting you can count on that.

Just Wondering … Isn’t the measure of a really great leader or company their ability to admit they made a mistake or an error in judgment and have the courage to admit that and have the courage to reverse the decision?

Just Wondering … Isn’t it time for John Force to quite blaming himself for Eric Medlen’s death, quit punishing himself, and get on with the rest of his life? I think Eric Medlen would want that for him.

Just Wondering … Will NHRA president Tom Compton or IHRA president Aaron Polburn ever give the NHRA’s faithful fans and racers an annual state of the sport report? It sure would be helpful and stress relieving for drag racing businesses, fans, sponsors, and teams.

Just Wondering … Isn’t it time that the NHRA and IHRA started thinking about a concrete wall down the middle of their tracks? The thought occurred to me after watching the Force-Bernstein crash and remembering other crashes where cars would hit one guard wall and then the other with the throttle stuck wide open.

Just Wondering … Why don’t all NHRA and IHRA national events let active duty soldiers, airman, and sailors in for a buck? What a nice gesture that would be.  


jeffburk@dragracingonline.com