Changes for a New Year

A Happy New Year to all.

New Year is a time for making those resolutions that many of us try to but most often never keep. So why make resolutions? Better yet, why make them public, and open one’s self up for ridicule? In my case it really doesn’t matter because when I write my Getting Nostalgic columns, I open myself up to said ridicule, from all six (or is it seven?) people who read this. Which is fine; I am all good with that.

I just want people just to read the column. Once again, I must remind a possible new reader that this is an opinion column. Therefore, from this perspective it has the possibility for being one of the most exciting years in nostalgia drag racing. Why you ask?  

There are new items coming out for the 2015 season. It ranges from complete brand new cars to new bodies, new paint, and new crew chief and personnel.

So, lots of new stuff:

It appears as though both John Hale and Jason Rupert will be running new carbon fiber Camaro bodies out of the shop of drag boat super star Kebin Kinsley.

It sounds like Rupert might be in red again this year, after running black cars for the past couple of seasons, along with having a new chassis from Grand Downing. The team will run the old car at Tucson for the first IHRA event and then hopes to have the new car ready for the March Meet.

It is going to be a busy year for Hale. Hale has announced that in addition to driving his nostalgia funny car, he has signed on to drive Big Jim Dunn’s big show ride. There is word coming about a possible new-to-drag-racing marketing partner. Stay tuned. Furthermore, those Quarter Pounders guys, Dale Van Gundy and Keith Clark, the retired Honda tech line guys, are getting a new Monza body that is in the process of being painted. The ’77 Monza will replace the venerable Dodge Challenger the team ran for the past four years.

Jim Murphy is getting his car together to for 2015 after spending part of the winter remodeling his race shop. Murphy now will be redirect his efforts to working on the car and has planned a very aggressive testing schedule. “We plan on testing early in the year to verify that we figured some things out,” he says.

Over at Champion Speed Shop it sounds like Bob McLennan and team are turning up the wick. The canopy car is being fitted with new carbon fiber body panels. In speaking with driver Adam Sorokin it sounds like Champion is also on an aggressive testing schedule. Besides putting new body panels on the car, new paint is in store for the bubble car. Once the new paint is done, the car will go into an updated hauler. The vintage 1968 cab-over is being retired to make way for a new hauler.

So it sounds as though there are exciting things on the horizon for nostalgia racing in 2015.

Props where props are due: A couple of seasons ago, there was a lot of talk in Nostalgia racing pertaining to Top Fuel dragsters and their tendency to oil the racetrack. Many people, including yours truly, were harping on the dragster fraternity for the fact they were causing huge delays in the show due to the oil downs.

Well, for the past two years the dragster teams have been listening and the teams have started to police themselves better. As time went on the teams developed a better containment system, led by Jim Murphy. In addition the teams all were working harder to get tune ups to work and not kill a great deal of parts, resulting in oil downs.

In some cases it seems as though the tide is turning, and now some of the floppers are experiencing more and significant oil downs. It is a cyclical thing for sure. What goes around comes around. I hope that all the nostalgia nitro teams have an oil-down free year. That would be good for the sports as a collective.

Let us know what is new for your team; either reach out to me on facebook or email and we will spread the word about your new car, paint anything.

Happy New Year to all and we will see you again in February. Only about eight weeks to the March Meet!