Volume X, Issue 3, Page 59

It’s not all ‘Funny’ at the March Meet

Howdy, folks!  It's about damn time we get back to racing. The off season really blows. Too many rumors; the tongue wagging that goes along with that just gets old. I'll admit I get caught-up in it too. This year though, I'm just not in the mood. Let's race.

The nostalgia groups have gotten to knock a few cobwebs off lately with a couple of test dates and an exhibition showing at the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona "Whatever It's Called Now" Raceway.

My team was lucky enough to be included in the Pomona date(s?). The featured Top Fuel cars were team Neil & White, Brendan Murry's period piece, Mike Fuller's NTF with Hoosier tires bolted on for test mode, and that big, ugly orange car that Brad Thompson drives and Steve Faria tunes. These guys suck…I'll tell you why later.

The Funny Car stepchildren had the Future Flash, the Northwest Hitter, the Bubble Up and the Pisano & Matsubara flop bringing up the rear. You've probably already read the highlights, I'm sure, but cover me. We're going in again.

Let’s do the Funny guys first, shall we? Just to quickly re-cap: Steve Plueger and Bucky Austin ran a 5.79 in their Arrow Funny Car. A 5.79! Great! Most of us are still trying to run a 5.99. Congrats, guys! Terry Capp along with Roland Leong and Ron Hodgson ran a 5.86 best with the Bubble-Up fizzy car. Thanks, Roland! Another, "Jeez, guys, wait for us!" The Future Flash of Gary Messenger ran a 6.29 best after the team's first driver had his license do the Filing Cabinet Fandango. Steve Gibbs played the role of your favorite neighborhood dry-cleaner by proclaiming, "No tickie! No laundry!" Meanwhile, crew chief Donnie Couch was beating the big-show types who wanted to drive out of his pit so that former VRA Funny Car chump, I mean champ, Kris Krabill could step in to save the day. Who did I forget? Oh, Danny Pisano's Pisano & Matsubara ran a best of 6.01.

It's dragster time! Or, as the folks at the funny car board I frequent call them, "horizontal oil derricks" or "pipe racks." Not fair.

The long skinny group's replay goes like this: Neil & White had a 5.95 best. Brendan Murry's bunch had a 6.02 total. Mike Fuller’s beast ran a 6.21 on M&H tires and a 6.22 with some "Hoosier Daddies." I can't remember anything else significant from this class. Oh! The unstoppable Big Bad Orange car ran a 5.63 exclamation point. Wow! Next stop, Bakersfield.

As I type this, Famoso is in the midst of the last test session prior to the 50th March Meet. All the under-the-radar talk most definitely has this race as being the most significant, or at least the most hyped, nostalgia race ever. The car count could have been upwards of 600 cars, if the Bowsers had let it happen. Amazing! This only proves that nostalgia is healthy and growing right in the face of us coming into a recession. I hope the momentum holds and gets the ANRA group its biggest car counts as well at their season opener on April 5th at Famoso.

Some random thoughts as we head into our own form of 'March Madness'. For my group it's been a busy off season with the usual last-minute loose ends. All is well, though, in Danny Pisano-land, thanks for asking. Dawn Mazi-Hosvepian recently built our team a website, check it out www.pisanoracing.com.

Am I the only one out there who is tired of hearing about the March Meets Funny Car count? "It's going to be a fiberglass forest!" Let's hope that the 'Forest' can keep most of the branches connected to the tree and that we don't have any more burning bushes on our collective plate. Here is to a safe and trouble-free March Meet to everyone...not just the Funny cars!

I wish I owned some stock in whatever oil company is supplying the major players at the March Meet. Forget the major players, how about all of the players. Even with no oil on the track, there is a ton of it dumped in the drums and the surrounding moat that has beckoned Thing 1 and Thing 2 since they were in diapers. Some of you might recall that Thing 1 actually went for a swim in the oil pit that surrounds the oil dump drums at the CHRR some two or three years ago. Another of those 'it's funny now' moments that parents relish. Yeah.

Lee Paul Jennings and his lovely bride, Lisa, have fallen into the sullen world of race promoting. Next will be Lee Paul wearing pinky-rings and chompin' on cigars as he scurries with briefcases of cash, out of the side gate before the pay window opens. Hardly.

They are promoting the first Nitro Funny Car race in 20 years at Sacramento Raceway, however. "Funny Car Fever" it's called and I can only imagine what a huge undertaking this must be. It's April 12th and they have a website with all the details: www.vintagefuel.com/funnycarfever. This page also has the latest spy photos of the famed Beach City Corvette being built by the Estrus racing mob.

With all of that disjointedness, it brings us to the end of this month's edition. All eyes are on Bakersfield. See you there! Stop by and say "Hi!" 

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