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Boy the last week was a remarkable one in the world of drag racing and I have a lot of info and opinions to share with you readers, so as they used to say back in the days, let’s go to press!
Over the course of my career as an auto racing journalist, I can honestly say that there have been just two news stories that caught me completely by surprise. The first was when NHRA pres Tom Compton announced that the NHRA World Championship points system would go to a six-race “countdown” format. The second was when my friend Cark Weisinger announced his sport compact race at Orlando Speed World Dragway two days after he announced the cancelation the 2010 World Street Nationals, and that the sport compact race would be on the same weekend as the World Street Nationals had been scheduled. I have to say that both Tom Compton and Carl Weisinger proved they could keep a secret.
Carl Weisinger changing his race format has left some of his racers and fans of his World Street nationals with their shorts in a bunch, and some of those same fans and racers are working old Carl over on the outlaw message boards, I think, without any real reason. If you want to attend or race at a big “Street Legal” race, there are still big races on the calendar scheduled at Englishtown and Palm Beach International the two weeks before Carl’s import race, and a big race at Bradenton the week after. And let’s not forget Mel Roth’s big race at the Strip at Las Vegas towards the end of the year. What promoter in his or her right mind wants to be in the middle of four straight weeks of races basically drawing from the same pool of cars and fans? One or more of those races will suffer from lower crowds, car counts, or both.
So Carl once again did the same thing he did when he first held the World Street Nationals eighteen years ago. He looked at the drag racing scene, saw an opportunity, and took it.
I was at the World Street Nationals last year when he had 27 sport compacts going for eight qualified spots. I was impressed not only by the quality, variety, and performance of those cars, but also by the fact that there were so many young racers involved. Drag racing desperately needs more Pro classes with cars that the younger generation can identify with (something sorely lacking at NHRA and Pro Street events).
I’m buying my tickets for Orlando today. I won’t miss that race.
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