Volume X, Issue 11, Page 2

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More wondering

Just Wondering … Am I the only one who thinks that the gas mileage your daily driver gets is inversely proportional to the price of a gallon of the gas?

Just Wondering … Is nitro really a wonder drug? For me, one big snort of those fumes on a raceday cures all my ills, both physical and mental, for a little while.

 Just Wondering … Isn’t testing really only beneficial for well-financed teams while a financial burden to the non-funded teams? What’s the over/under on how many test laps Alan Johnson’s new Al-Anabi teams will make before Pomona 2009?

Just Wondering … Should the NHRA follow in the footsteps of NASCAR and ban any testing of pro cars at any tracks hosting an NHRA-sanctioned series race? Why not restrict pro testing to a couple of times a year at tracks designated by the sanctioning body?

Just Wondering … Which track will be the first NHRA venue to announce ticket price cuts for their 2009 NHRA national event? 

Just Wondering … Several prominent NHRA nitro team owners I’ve talked to believe, based upon the information they have, that currently there are just nine or ten Top Fuel teams with enough funding in place to race all 24 NHRA races next year. Does this really surprise anyone?

Just Wondering … Why so many readers seem unaware that the issues and problems that are forcing the rank and file sportsman racer to cut back also affect the professional race team owners like Force, Schumacher, Black and Kalitta the same way?

Just Wondering … Will the sanctioning organizations that control Top Fuel Hydros and Nitro Bike racing eventually shorten their tracks to 1,000 feet?

Just Wondering … Does it really make any difference how long a bracket race track is?

Just Wondering … How many of you remember when Hot Rod magazine want ads were the place to shop for used speed parts? And how we were all sure that some guy at that magazine was buying all the cool parts before we got our subscription copy.  

Just Wondering … Wouldn’t NHRA drag racing on TV have more impact if there were just a little less of it? A good, tight one-hour qualifying show on Saturday and a two-hour race show on Sunday would have more impact, be more entertaining and probably cost the NHRA less in ESPN production and air time fees. The downside would be fewer Team Force interviews and tours of the motor coaches of the rich and famous.

Just Wondering … What would it take to make bracket racing a fan sport?

Just Wondering … What nitro shortage?

Just Wondering … If the fuel car team numbers get to the point where they can only support eight-car fields, why does the NHRA need a four-day event to put the race on?

Just Wondering … What genius at the NHRA decided to punish their most faithful sportsman professional racers (i.e. past or defending World Champions, Gold Card carriers and others) by taking away some of the few perks those racers have enjoyed and in effect making it harder for them to attend NHRA national events?  The NHRA management continues be concerned only with the amount of money they can extract from their racers with seemingly little care or concern that they are making enemies out of many of their formerly loyal customers.

Just Wondering … When are the management types at the NHRA and IHRA that have been so eager to ask for and accept cars, money and tech support from Detroit’s Big Three going to publicly thank and offer support to those troubled companies?  You talk about ingrates.

Just Wondering … Why hasn't a big deal been made out of Team Force driver Mike Neff's sterling year in NHRA Fuel Funny Car competition using a "Ford" engine? The answer:  the so-called Ford that is used by Neff is really just a clone of the Chrysler Hemi everyone else uses. NHRA rules won't allow a true Ford or anything but a Chrysler Hemi clone with heads and blocks made to the current specs required to be used in a nitro car. You could look it up, as the man says.

Just Wondering … Where did some of the current Nostalgia Funny Car owners ever come up with the belief that just building a nitro burning Funny Car and offering it up for hire should mean that track operators should pay them  enough show-up money for them to  break even or even make a profit? I've owned and raced drag cars for nearly 40 years. I've never ever seen anything written or had anyone in authority hint of the possibility that any racer in any class has the chance of breaking even much less make a profit racing his or her car. Where does this BS come from? Racing for most of us is a gamble and for the majority, an amateur sport. In fact, most racers in so-called pro classes remind me of college athletes who get paid just enough money to live and play the sport they love with the faint hope that they might be one of the very small percentage who end up making a living playing that sport.

Just Wondering … How can racers and sponsors have much faith in the future of the IHRA? IHRA pres Aaron Polburn has been quoted as saying he doesn’t have a title rights sponsor for the sanctioning body for 2009 and that unless a class sponsor shows up the Alky Funny Car class also will be history. He goes on to say that parent company Feld Entertainment may not be inclined to fund the 2009 points fund for the professional classes that remain.  From my point of view the IHRA appears to be in more trouble, both financially and organizationally, than at any time in its long history. I wouldn’t want anyone’s job at IHRA these days.

Just Wondering … If, indeed, the Detroit Big Three do pull all of their support from the NHRA Pro Stock and Funny Car classes, wouldn’t that be the perfect time for the NHRA to restructure both of those classes?  How about real stock-appearing Funny Car bodies and stock-appearing Pro Stockers with flat hoods. Oh, and give the racers two-years to make the changes.

Just Wondering … How the NHRA justifies laying off personnel at the end of this year when their 2007 tax return shows they had over $120,000,000 in revenue in 2007 and about $6,000,000 in profit, and until recently they were telling everyone that 2008 was going to be an even better year? Uh, that would be the decision of Tom ($707,000 salary in 2007) Compton authorizing those cuts. Oh well, that’s the way a for-profit company does business, right?