Volume X, Issue 6, Page 162

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What the hell is going on?

Just Wondering … Just exactly how much money did VP Fuels have to pay the NHRA for the exclusive rights to sell fuel at NHRA tracks? And on a similar subject, does the nitro that VP is currently selling at $1405 a 38-gallon barrel reflect the price they originally paid for it or the price that it costs them today? Ah well, it doesn’t matter; when you have a monopoly on a commodity you can name your own price.

Just Wondering … Is anyone really surprised by the bad news coming out of the Evan Knoll/Torco fiasco? Just a reality warning to those of you who may be owed money by Evan Knoll or Torco: don’t expect any more money from that deal…ever.

Just Wondering … When the IHRA will be going back Leicester, NY, since the former track owner sold out?  That race was always one of the best stops on the IHRA tour and a big benefit to racing there is that it services the Canadian racers without forcing the American racers to cross the increasingly difficult Canadian border.

Just Wondering … What does the NHRA have now for their new, very expensive marketing and promotion agencies to promote and market that they didn’t have for the previous agencies and… uh what was their name? Oh, I remember now…HD Partners didn’t have to promote and sell.

Just Wondering … I saw a quote from an interview that IHRA pres Aaron Polburn gave in which he said (and I’m paraphrasing just a little here) that his sanctioning body didn’t need any NHRA Funny Car racers coming to their races and using up their nitro for testing purposes.  So, when the Pedregon brothers want to race in their home town of San Antonio or Del Worsham or the Kalitta teams wanted to race at Martin, Mich., or if Bob Tasca (!) wanted to race at Epping, they wouldn’t be welcome?  I’ll bet Steve Earwood at Rockingham Dragway had a coronary when he read that quote.

Just Wondering … Why, in a press release from one of the new marketing/PR  agencies regarding their work with the NHRA it referred to the series as a “League”?  Perhaps that was just a Freudian slip, but it got me to thinking that perhaps the NHRA could split the current series into 12- race Western and Eastern leagues determine points winners in all classes winners then use the last race of the season to  determine the NHRA “World Champions”?  (Or maybe the American Drag Racing League is doing a really good job at PR.)

Just Wondering … Does anyone aside from those racers in the system actually give a damn about the NHRA “Chase” points system? Has it actually generated any more mainstream media interest in drag racing? The answer to both questions is a resounding NO! 

Just Wondering … Same subject. As the season goes on and the price of nitro, gas and diesel keeps getting higher, how many pro teams are going to be inclined to stay on the NHRA tour just for the qualifying money?

Just Wondering … What will be the crisis that forces the NHRA and IHRA to raise the qualifying money to pro teams to a level that will at least allow them to break even financially if the qualify for a race.

Just Wondering … Could the IHRA replace their current Top Fuel and fuel Funny Car classes with AA/FD and AA/FC classes and still put on a “Nitro Jam” with those  five-second, 250-mph nitro cars that paying spectators would pay to see? I think it’s worth at least considering if Top Fuel and Funny Car teams keep dropping from active rolls.

Just Wondering … Will the nitro shortage -- despite the assurances that there is enough fuel to supply the racers -- eventually cause some races on the IHRA and NHRA circuits to be dropped from the schedule?

Just Wondering … What happened to the AA/FC car count? There were around 30 of the cars at this year’s March Meet at Bakersfield now they are hard-pressed to deliver eight nitro cars for an event much less 16.

Just Wondering … Why I used to be an NHRA Top Fuel and fuel Funny Car snob. I admit it.  But I’ve changed, AA/FD and AA/FC give me the same charge I used to get from watching their NHRA big brothers, especially when I see cars and teams I never saw or heard of before at a race. The current crop of Nostalgia cars still snort and cackle and the fumes still make me gasp, gag, and wheeze with delight. I say turn the clocks off, announce the speeds and let’s race.

Just Wondering … What’s better, paying $50-60 to watch the same NHRA fuel cars every year for just one day or paying $20-$30 to see 30-40 AA/FC and AA/FD?  For me I’d just as soon do the latter so I can see nitro racing and still have money for beer and brats, but that’s just me. 

Just Wondering … Am I the only one that feels like the female drivers and the NHRA have kind of forgotten about national event winners and World Champion women drivers such as Lucille Lee, Shirley Muldowney, Shelly Anderson, Lori Johns and the other women who came before them? Maybe it’s just me, but Ashley, Melanie, and Hillary seem to be treated by the much of the media as if they had broken some kind of new ground instead of following in the footsteps of their peers.

Just Wondering … Why the ESPN2 folks and the NHRA haven’t gotten together to emphasize the accomplishments of women and the acceptance of women in drag racing, which began long before Danika Patrick was born. I think NHRA and ESPN are really missing a marketing opportunity here to advance drag racing. How about some press releases or a 10-minute segment on the ESPN broadcast?  


jeffburk@dragracingonline.com