Story continues below this advertisement
As we enter the (and I will say it with pride) Christmas season, it generally gives one a chance to think back and reflect on the past year, and what it means individually and collectively.
When it comes to the sport or our little part of nirvana we call nostalgia drag racing many things have happened both good and bad over the past twelve months.
First off, I would be remiss if I didn’t say it is a shame that we lost some really wonderful people this year. Dan Horan Sr., Bill Condit, and Mark Lyle to name just a few, but the one that hit home the most was the loss of Joel Eggers, the long-time starter here in Boise.
Joel was not just a racetrack friend, Joel was a friend who was kind and caring, and was an old school gentleman. He treated people with respect and kindness, and had this very subdued smile and laugh. You could see in those eyes, that is was heart felt.
When God calls someone home it is tough on everybody left here on earth. However, to have someone taken the way Joel was at the hands of an individual with malice in their hearts and minds, makes it hard to deal with.
Joel left his mark on not only the drag racing community in Idaho, but he left it throughout the Boise community. People from his work, to friends and even business owners and the owners of the Idaho Steelheads Hockey Club (Joel was a passionate fan of hockey and a season ticket holder) paid homage to Joel with his passing.
He was my friend for 22 years and I miss him dearly.
As with every off-season, there is a time known as “Silly Season”. And so far Silly Season is in a full rolling boil. The rumor mill is in a full of juicy tidbits.
There is much speculation on what drivers are doing next year.
What do we know for sure, defending Funny Car champion “Hollywood” Kris Krabill will have a new car for 2017 in the form of a Victory Race Cars 1969 Camaro. Krabill and Bucky Austin are not resting on their laurels. Bardahl is returning again for 2017 in the marketing partner role.
Defending Top Fuel champion Tony Bartone was rumored to be stepping out of the seat of the dragster and jumping into a Funny Car. However, Bartone did recently confirm that his brother Michael is having a flopper built and is assembling a team, and getting those processes in place. No word on when that team will surface and run races.
Bartone will be back in the seat of his dragster in 2017 with crew chief Steve Boggs once again. “We are looking to defend our title,” stated Bartone.
One of Bartone’s biggest threats in 2016 was Jim Murphy and his WWII team. That team will be back in force for next year with crew chief Roland Leong. “We are very optimistic about 2017, we found some things and look to improve on last year. We will test at the NHRA test in Phoenix in February,” Murphy said.
Former DRO AA/FC Challenge Champion John Hale has reportedly stepped away from his big show ride with Jim Dunn, and going to focus this year on his businesses and driving his nostalgia flopper in the renewed DRO series.
Some reports have drivers expanding their schedules and branching out to other disciplines. Many teams are still up in the air about their plans with crew chiefs and drivers.
On the entire team aspect, it was noted that Team Neale and White, along with John Rasmussen do have their operations up for sale. Both are quality pieces, so if someone is interested in either moving up and or crossing over to Top Fuel, there ya go.