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Almost every week I get a letter, phone call, or get into a conversation with a fan, racer, or fellow writer who longs for the days when the NHRA’s Top Fuel or Funny Car class was an unlimited class.
They moan and groan about how NHRA drag racing, especially in the nitro classes, just doesn’t have the variety it once had and how the really talented tuners are handicapped by the current plethora of NHRA-mandated safety and performance rules. What those rules have done is to make the Top Fuel and Funny Cars about as far from being an unlimited class as a donkey is from being a Thoroughbred race horse.
Many of the readers of this magazine are of the age to remember when nitro cars were only limited by the racers’ imaginations and pocketbooks. Those days are long gone and the odds are very good they aren’t coming back any time soon. NHRA has, in the name of safety and the all-important “level playing field”, reduced nitro racing to a shadow of what it once was. It would appear that at least for the foreseeable future NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car racing will be a “spec” class.
So, if you are a hardcore drag fan or racer who still craves racing where innovative tuners, engine builders and crew chiefs aren’t punished for being innovative, where do you go? The answer, I believe, is the ADRL’s Pro Extreme class. The main thrust of the rulebook for all of their classes is to make the cars as safe as possible with very few rules that stifle the creativity of the tuner and engine builder.
The American Drag Racing League’s Pro Extreme class is the ONLY unlimited class left in auto racing that I am aware of.
There are no weight minimums, no cubic inch restrictions. Gasoline, alky, nitro, and nitrous are all approved fuels and can be used in any combination. Manually shifted trans, automatic trans, direct drive, Lencos with torque converters? Who cares? Traction control? No problem! EFI? Bring it! Electronic engine controls? Damn right! Cubic inch limits? No sir! Turbochargers, screw compressors or turbo or supercharging -- any and all are welcome!
Engine blocks and cylinder heads can be made with any bore spacing and material you want.
Pro Extreme is truly a class that holds to Mr. 200-mph Bill Kuhlmann’s description of an unlimited class, “Run what ya brung and hope ya brung enough.” And for pure drag racing excitement, no other sanctioning body has a class even close to it.
So, you may be saying, that’s just fine but I’ll bet they are dangerous and expensive. Yes, they are dangerous. All racing cars, no matter how many safety rules, regulations and restrictions are placed on them, are inherently dangerous.
DRAG RACING Online will be published on the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
DRAG RACING Online owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.
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