More Wondering and clearing out a cluttered notebook

Just Wondering... Just how much more can the remaining few hardcore fans that have stayed up to watch NHRA qualifying at 2:30 a.m. for the last month put up with? This week I struggled to stay up until about 2 o’clock Sunday morning to watch the qualifying from the Strip at Las Vegas. My effort in doing so was rewarded by an abbreviated 30-minute qualifying show.

Just Wondering... Is the NHRA really going to bring back the Pro Mod class for 2014? That class had its last race of the 2013 season at Las Vegas and, despite a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and monetary commitment by many of the class’s racers, there is still no official announcement regarding NHRA’s plans for the class next year and beyond. The NHRA Pro Mod racers have jumped through some serious hoops to make a deal happen but the NHRA still remains silent, treating the racers and the class just like they have for the last decade or so -- and that is “You’re lucky we let you race with us.”

Just Wondering... What the NHRA will do with the great father/son human interest story that is Rickie Smith winning the NHRA championship in Pro Mod and his son Matt Smith winning the Pro Stock Motorcycle class at the same time? My guess is they will take the same advantage of that unique motorsports story as they did when African-American Antron Brown won a World Championship in Top Fuel… almost nothing. Their lack of promoting Antron Brown was, in my opinion, shameful.

Just Wondering... Regarding NHRA’s World Championship awards ceremonies for John Force and Matt Smith on TV Sunday, which I thought were well done, wouldn’t it be cool and fun if the reigning world champ in the class presented the new champ with the trophy if possible?

Just Wondering... Now that we know the “new” IHRA management has pledged $50,000 per event for their AA/FC class and that the winner’s share is reportedly going to be around $12,500, why don’t they just make that an open competition class? Based upon my own DRO AA/FC series, I know that kind of prize money will draw the best cars the class has to offer. In my opinion, if you don’t have open competition for a world championship and participation is by invitation only, then winning that kind of world championship is akin to winning the country club golf championship.

Just Wondering... Am I the only one that’s noticed John Force’s TV interviews are a lot less manic, a lot more coherent and heartfelt than they have been in the past? I’m actually enjoying his pre- and post-race interviews a lot more these days.

Just Wondering... So what will Ace Manzo do now? Although we’ve not received anything official from his employer Al-Anabi USA, the word was that right after sewing up his 17th NHRA World Championship at Las Vegas that he was retiring from driving and tuning his NHRA Alky Funny Car at the end of this season.

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