Volume X, Issue 5, Page 42

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More Wondering

Just Wondering … With the obvious drop in the Top Fuel car count (twice this year there have been only the minimum 16 cars) does the NHRA have a fall back or contingency plan for attracting more cars or perhaps going to eight-car Top Fuel fields?

Just Wondering … On that same subject, would the NHRA fan base be happy and continue to buy tickets if the NHRA went to an eight-car Top Fuel field?

Just Wondering … Wouldn’t the JEGS Pro Mod series be more interesting if, instead of basically inviting the same 20-24 cars to every meet, the JEGS folks guaranteed only the 18 quickest qualifiers from the previous race an invitation to the next race and then invited four or six new teams to the next race?

Just Wondering … Speaking of JEGS, wouldn’t it be cool if they put together a program for the SPORTSnationals events for NHRA-legal Pro Mods? NHRA has a class for both blown and nitrous-injected Pro Mods in Competition Eliminator. Why not a qualified shootout similar to the SS/AH class just for NHRA-legal Pro Mods at the sportsman races? They could do just blown cars at one event and just nitrous at the next which would add an entertaining, ticket selling, heads-up class to the sportsman races.

Just Wondering … Why doesn’t the NHRA lower the index for Super Comp from the ultra-boring 8.90 index to something more entertaining like a 7.00 index and perhaps do away with stutter and delay boxes?

Just Wondering … When will professional drag racing sanctioning bodies take the obvious step and mandate a switch to E-85 fuel instead of gasoline? It makes sense no matter what axe (economic or environmental) you have to grind. We grow the corn here in the U.S., the fuel companies make the stuff and it uses a minimum of imported oil.

Just Wondering … Why Danica Patrick got the cover of Sports Illustrated and Ashley Force didn’t? Obviously the editors at SI are graduates of the Leonard Tose school of journalism. Who goofed? I’ve got to know! (With acknowledgement to the late, great sports commentator Jim Healy.)

Just Wondering … Why the rest of the sports world can’t take a lesson from drag racing and correct their mistakes? When Steve Johnson got jobbed out of the win at the U.S. Nationals a few years back Graham Light and the NHRA took their medicine and reversed their decision. When Kenny Nowling and the staff of the ADRL made an error regarding a record-setting pass by Billy Harper they admitted their mistake and corrected it. In the rest of sports for the most part they don’t change decisions once they are made.

Just Wondering … Why hasn’t someone offered commentator Mike Dunn a nitro ride? It’s painfully obvious that he wants one.

Just Wondering … Did the promised checks from Evan Knoll to sponsor two NHRA national events and for sponsorship of the IHRA fuel classes ever arrive? Will we ever know even if they don’t?

Just Wondering … How many different versions of so-called Pro Mods are there? Answer: too many. There isn’t any general rule for Pro Modifieds any more. There’s a series for every iteration of a Pro Mod you can imagine. In other words, no matter what weight, tire size, engine combination or body make there’s a “Pro Mod” series for that car.

Just Wondering … Why don’t the premier sanctioning bodies use the AA/FC and AA/FD classes as a developmental league to develop new teams and drivers for the big show? Couldn’t the IHRA and NHRA put some money into two or three of their big sportsman races in the Midwest and East coast and feature those cars? The sport desperately needs a feeder series for those nitro classes.

Just Wondering … Why not make the final rounds in the 8.90, 9.90, and 10.90 classes a real heads-up deal with no index? If a guy with a 6.90 or 7.90 car is good enough to get to the finals in a 8.90 or 9.90 class I say take the gloves off and let ‘em race.

Just Wondering … What Alan Johnson knows that the rest of the Top Fuel tuners don’t?

Just Wondering … Why the NHRA and IHRA don’t have more 18- to 22-year-old Gen-Y drivers in the premier classes? NHRA is sponsored by an energy drink as are several of the premier teams. They need a driver that buyers of those beverages can identify with. NASCAR, F-1 and IRL teams have already done so.

Just Wondering … Would drag racing get more recognition from the stick-and-ball-obsessed press as a major motor sport if the NHRA and IHRA were to put the European and Australian National Championship drag races on their schedule as points races?

Just Wondering … Since it is really not the national championship any more, why couldn’t the NHRA alternate Top Fuel and Funny Car as the only fuel class at the U.S. Nationals, make it an all-run class, and pay the winner a million bucks to win? Then the U.S. Nationals would once again be a must cover for the mainstream media instead of just another race on the schedule!

Just Wondering … Shouldn’t there be some kind of performance criteria
in fuel racing so that fans aren’t paying to see 11-second nitro cars?

Just Wondering … Did you know that the NHRA pays the 17th and 18th qualifier $3,000 non-qualifying money? Sounds pretty good but on the Sunday NHRA broadcast from Bristol the ESPN guys had a chart that showed the cost of one nitro funny car or dragster pass was $5,900. That $3,000 suddenly seems a little weak.

Just Wondering … Will the NHRA management wait until there is a full-fledged nitro crisis before they admit they screwed up the manner in which they dealt with the Don Schumacher issue? They are going to have to swallow their angst and talk to the man eventually; better make it sooner than later, guys.

Just Wondering … I hear that one of the issues NHRA has with Don Schumacher selling nitro is they don’t feel it’s a good business practice for a racer to be selling nitro to the teams he races against. If that is an issue, why does NHRA allow Alan Johnson or Brad Anderson to sell blocks and cylinder heads to fuel racers?

Just Wondering … Doesn’t this whole nitro fiasco remind you of the old joke about the crew arranging the deck chairs while the Titanic was sinking?  


jeffburk@dragracingonline.com