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ell this is the second of my columns. I’m not as nervous as before, since I haven’t received any packages in the mail that required me to dunk them in water before opening them up. That’s a good thing. So I will begin with a follow up to the first column.
I stated that I think that there should be a standardization of engine rules so that the funny car guys and the top fuel guys run the same set of rules. Well now we are starting to hear rumblings of such a thing. A group of top fuel guys in the Midwest are going to just that thing. I really think it is the way to go. Keeping the costs in check in all types of racing is paramount to making sure that that portion of the sport will be successful, in my humble opinion. This opinion is shared by people who are far more intelligent than I, so I feel comfortable saying it. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Those of us who love nostalgia fuel car racing need to have both floppers and long cars both at events. We will see if those rumors come to fruition and those rules come into play.
As I talk about nostalgia racing, I believe I would be remiss if I didn’t write about the birth of the nostalgia effort. This, in my opinion, would have to be the AA Gassers. Now this might start an argument, but that isn’t always a bad thing. I can see that there would be some who would call me ignorant, because they feel that the gassers never went anywhere, but have always been a part of the active drag racing fraternity. Gassers have always been a part of drag racing. As far back as many of us can remember, there have been guys wanting to take that Willys or Anglia and stuff a supercharged gas or alcohol burning motor in it, and attempt to shove a brick through the air and see if it would go straight. Now some fifty years later, that same thing is still going on.
In the western part of the United States, we are lucky enough to have a couple of groups that run the supercharged gassers. I would like to talk about the two groups that I have been able to watch in the past couple of years. Both of the groups have just put on excellent shows, no matter where I have seen them. The first of these two are the AA Gassers, a group that runs a majority of the teams out of central California. Leading that group of racers is the legendary racer Steve Woods. In the opinion of many, Steve Woods has forgotten more about running a AA Gasser than most people will ever know. This group has some wonderful cars, but their take on the gasser theme is a bit more expanded, including sedans and coupes such as Corvettes and Chevelles. This group also allows for the use of two steps and powerglides/Lenco glides and other electronics.
There is another group up in the northern part of California, Oregon, and Washington, called the AA Supercharged Association. This group of cars seems to hold more true to the gasser body types: no electronics, manual shifted Lencos, no automatics. The body styles are more traditional than the AA Gassers. This group of wonderful racers put on a great program a few weeks ago at the Oldies but Goodies Race at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho. Close, tight, side by side racing. The only slight drawback was the fact that the group could only bring seven cars for the event. This was due to mechanical issues from the previous events, which happens in these regional series.
I guess I’m just going the long way around the tree and asking, “Would it make sense for these two very good groups to sit down and maybe work to get these series to merge?” There is a plethora of reasons that point to this being a win/win for both parties. A more positive car count, a great angle of marketing, such as early body style vs late model coupes. All things that promoters love. Both groups have great looking cars, and there are even a few that run both series, so I’m just wondering that in the economy
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