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Just Wondering… Will we see some changes on the broadcast? I hear that all of the “talent” that works the NHRA drag racing broadcast for ESPN will have their contracts up for renewal for the 2010 season. That could mean some changes in the booth and in the pits as you can bet ESPN management will be negotiating with the idea of cutting overhead expenses for that show. Funny thing is, according the NHRA tax return, the production costs in 2008 were about $12,000,000 as opposed to $8,000,000 in 2007!

Just Wondering… If , as some promoters think, many drag fans are satisfied with just listening  to fuel motors idle  and getting a snoot full of nitro fumes, then why bother with  racing? Could promoters just stage cacklefests, have a couple of burnout contests and charge $25 for a ticket and save all the overhead that comes from actual racing?

Just Wondering… Did you know that, according to one group’s count, there are more than seventy active nostalgia nitro funny cars in North America? That is probably forty more active nostalgia nitro cars than the total amount of active NHRA-legal fuel coupes. Isn’t that an indicator that nostalgia racing is the fastest growing movement in drag racing?

Just Wondering… Why is it that nostalgia nitro Top Fuel and Funny Cars gained nearly instant acceptance with fans and racers, but when a nostalgia Pro Stock class was offered this year at two nostalgia races in the Midwest not a single car showed up?

Just Wondering…. Is anyone being groomed to replace Tom Compton when he gets tired of the NHRA deal and decides to retire like Dallas Gardner did before him?  Will he get a place on the board of directors and a six-figure retirement plan that requires him to work just one day a month to collect his $300,000 per year salary as a member of the NHRA board of directors? (The new tax returns indicate Dallas now works 10 hours a week.)

Just Wondering… NHRA Top Fuel cars have now run over 320 mph in a thousand feet. Funny Cars will be right behind them if there are no rule changes in 2010. It’s a safe bet that any car getting a 320+ mph time slip actually exceeded that number. So, are the extra 320 feet those cars and drivers have to shutdown in now enough to make the sport significantly safer?

Just Wondering… Have the added weight, chassis changes, rev-limiters, and shortened track actually resulted in improving the safety or controlling the spiraling costs, engine explosions and oil downs in the nitro classes? I am a supporter of the shortened track but I swear I can’t see any improvement.

Just Wondering… Isn’t world champion tuner, manufacturer, and the NHRA director in charge of the pro teams, Dan Olson, supposed to be finding ways to solve the above issues? Has he facilitated a single change that can be documented?

Just Wondering… Why can’t the NHRA -- which in recent years has regularly grossed over $120,000,000 per annum and pays Tom Compton more than $700,000 per year -- put $1,000,000 in the Sportsman World championship?  Anyone who believes that the “Sportsman” racers who follow the NHRA tour are amateurs is seriously misinformed. Many Sportsman teams are just as “professional” as a Pro Mod or Pro Stock Bike team.

Just Wondering… Could a case be made that NHRA’s Sportsman division, which is currently backed by Lucas Oil, is every bit as important to the NHRA and the drag racing industry as NASCAR’s Nationwide Series? I say it can.

Just Wondering… Is big-time drag racing verging on becoming a straight-line version of Formula One where the winning team budgets are in the hundreds of millions of dollars? It’s a stretch but you could make a case that the DSR teams are federally subsidized by its Army sponsorship. Certainly the Al-Anabi team would be considered to be backed by the royal family of Qatar.

Just Wondering… Has anyone heard who is going to finance the revival of the long defunct AHRA? Is Troy Moe the financial backer?  Aside from the one Louisiana track they have signed to manage, what other tracks are going to have AHRA races? What classes are they going to race: Top Fuel, Funny Car, small block, nitrous-injected Pro Stocks? And where are they going to get the teams?  So many questions and so few answers about this intriguing rumor.

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