It’s a new year and there are so many unanswered questions

Just Wondering … Can anyone explain why the NHRA or the IHRA have had absolutely nothing -- as in No Thing! -- to say to their fans, sponsors, and racers regarding the economic crisis as it will affect the sanctioning bodies? Virtually every other major sport from Major League Baseball to NASCAR has reassured their fans, sponsors and participants through press releases and/or press conferences that they know there are issues and they are working to deal with them. What are Tom Compton and Aaron Polburn waiting for?

Just Wondering … Where’s the support for Chris Blair and The Strip at Las Vegas? For years that Bruton Smith facility has provided a venue for nitro testing at no small expense to the track getting very little return financially, yet this year, apparently, instead of testing at Vegas most of the teams are headed for Palm Beach International Raceway on the same weekend as the Vegas test. Could it be that the NHRA ban on testing at national event tracks extends to the pre-season tests or are the nitro racers just unappreciative of the efforts that the Vegas track management has put forth for them in the past?

Just Wondering … Can the IHRA survive as a series without either Nitro Funny Cars or Nitro Top Fuel cars in 2009?  Without a cash-paying points program I believe that the IHRA and their national event track operators and racers will soon have to deal with that question.

Just Wondering … Did the NHRA management team award themselves yet another salary raise in 2008 and will they do so in 2009?  You betcha! Who’s going to stop them?

Just Wondering … Did you know that as it stands today the only female pro drivers in the NHRA in 2009 will be Erica Enders in Pro Stock and Ashley Force in Nitro Funny Car.

Just Wondering … How Bruton Smith’s daughter Anna Lisa is doing and is there any chance we’ll ever see her in a Top Fuel car, or any race car for that matter, in the future?

Just Wondering … When will the NHRA get a clue, follow the lead of
NASCAR and make most of their races finish on Saturday night?  Keep the Pomona races, Indy, and E-town special events that are three- or four-day races, but the rest should be two-day races. Three qualifiers on Friday, eliminations on Saturday, go home and rest on Sunday! Neither the economy nor the spectators will support three- and four-day racing meets anymore.

Just Wondering … Hasn’t the fact that so many of the NHRA’s major sponsors left the sport proven that the TV package isn’t the benefit the NHRA and racers would have everyone believe? Like the races themselves, the TV program has just become too long and frankly borrrring! Give us a solid hour on Saturday and Sunday (or Friday and Saturday) and maybe NHRA won’t have to spend in the neighborhood of $10,000,000 each season for TV air time and production.

Just Wondering … Suppose the ADRL experiment with nitro doorslammers is wildly successful. Like eight or ten of them running Friday and Saturday night with freakin’ flames over the roof, under the lights,  at  tracks in major markets such as Houston, Dallas, Bristol, Las Vegas, St. Louis and Rockingham. The fans get to see nitro-burning cars with bodies they recognize driven by certified hero racers, and they don’t have to buy a ticket to attend. Add that to the show ADRL has already and do you think that the stands at those major venues won’t be packed, mainstream media including network TV won’t pay attention, or sponsors won’t want to get involved? 

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