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That question was posed to me last week and it started quite a lively debate. What race or event would you liked to have seen in person. The first two that came to mind were Don Garlits shaving his beard after winning the U.S. Nationals in 1967 and Kenny Bernstein's historic 300-mph pass at Gainesville. I couldn't count them on the list because I was actually there to see both. So if I could take a trip in the way back machine...where would I land?
-The list would have to include the very first NHRA National event in Great Bend, Kansas.
-I would like to peak into my first day working at Thompson Drag Raceway in 1963.
-I would like to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats when a world land speed record was broken.
-I would have liked to be there when Don Garlits, Bill Jenkins, and John Force won their first national event.
-I would have liked to be fan at the first 64 Funny Car show at Orange County.
-I would have liked to witness the AHRA Winternationals from Beeline Dragway in 1974. I was the event director at that event and it would have been fun to see how badly I screwed it up.
Things I Noticed
-I watched the NHRA professional finals from Houston. Has there ever been a race where so many people were on the starting line or just behind it?
-I have got to compliment Bruno Massel for his work on Fox Sports. His delivery is smooth, not forced. His knowledge of the sport is a huge plus but he never makes it complicated. People will say it’s because of his long tenure in drag racing despite his young age. I'm not buying it. I think it has everything to do with Bruno being a former underwear model. That statement, by the way, is absolutely true.
-Doesn't anyone do a good burnout anymore? The burnout was one of the most entertaining parts of the show and for whatever reason it has been castrated like balls on a bull.
-Is all that track signage really necessary? The starting line should be treated like a Broadway stage, not a single ‘A’ baseball park.
-What happened to all that rhetoric about the danger of 325-330 mph speeds when everything was 1320 feet? The car doesn't know if it's 1320 or 1000.
-With all the smoke, fumes, and chemicals that drag racing produces plus the on-the-road eating habits you would think drag racers would be the most unhealthy creatures on earth but that doesn't seem to be the case. Let Dr. Oz figure that one out.
-With the sellout Saturday crowd at the 4 Wide event at zMax Dragway, why is someone not asking, "How did they do that?'
MAY 5 2016: This was a significant day in motorsports. On that day the Indy 500 sold out. That is estimated at 230,000 seats plus another 80,000 stuffed in the infield. That is an increase of over 100,000 tickets over last year. Granted this is the 100th running of the most famous race on earth but numbers like this are staggering. I will be glued to the TV just so I can see something that may never happen in my lifetime. WOW.