Cleaning out a cluttered Editor’s notebook

File this under the ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ category. I get taken to task by the so-called purists in this business about everything from paint schemes to paint jobs. Most recently I’m getting hammered for using what the NHRA calls a “Sportsman” Elimination ladder instead of the “Pro” Elimination ladder for my DRO AA/FC Challenge. The “Pro” ladder is set up to give the number one qualifier a definite advantage by pairing the number one qualifier against the last qualifier. On the other hand the Sportsman ladder pairs the number one qualifier in an eight-car field against the number five qualifier and in a 16-car field against the number nine qualifier.

I use that ladder because up until the 1970s the NHRA had only one ladder and that was the one versus nine version. The NHRA changed, according to what I’ve been told, to the one versus sixteen ladder because some of the corporately sponsored nitro teams of the day got beat in the first round and in those days TV coverage started with the second round. They complained that their corporate sponsors weren’t getting enough TV so the NHRA caved and went to the new “Pro” ladder.

That was great for the big money racers as their odds of going to the second round were greatly increased in their favor, but it made the racing a lot less dramatic and ENTERTAINING for the fans. So, when I started the AA/FC series four years ago and we called it nostalgia racing I figured I’d honor the old days and go back to the old or “nostalgic” ladder and it has proved to be pretty successful and a lot more entertaining in my opinion.

I’ve been told by a couple of nitro tuners that today’s Top Fuel and Funny Car tuners have the ability to make as many as 30 or more incremental adjustments in timing and fuel delivery using the current magneto systems and so-called “slide valves” for a 1,000-foot pass. I would ask if that ability isn’t at the very least a “pro-active” form of traction control? And if it is, why not allow “reactive” traction control? I can’t imagine reactive traction control devices are going to make a lot more adjustment than that in 4 seconds or less.

Just Wondering ... Is it probable that the replacement for Paul Page on the ESPN2 NHRA Drag Racing broadcast team could be Bob Frey? If he isn’t he should be.

Just Wondering ... Would Mr. Frey perhaps turn down that job?

Just Wondering ... How can you call a race car that burns anything but nitro a “fuel car”? Aren’t the words fuel and nitro synonymous in drag racing?

Just Wondering ... Am I the only fan who would rather see the return of a regularly scheduled Saturday one-hour NHRA Today show instead of the current Saturday qualifying show debacle? I’ll bet you that NHRA’s advertisers would.

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