Story continues below this advertisement
ing with me! You all love David Bowie, right? Ch-Ch-Changes, Turn and face the strange Ch-Ch-Changes… It’s never dull here at Getting Nostalgic ground zero. First of all, like many of you in this crazy economy, I have a new job. I want to publicly applaud Bobby Hansen for putting up with me for ten years. We split up. Hansen Chassis is still in business and is ready for all of your chassis needs. (626) 969-4054. Nothing to see here folks, move along, no drama.
Ok, the new job. I can’t say too much about what I do at this point. It’s not at Area 51 and doesn't involve the government or anything dark and mysterious. I could only hope to get back into that circle. However, I'll take back the mysterious part. I’m working on maintaining doorslammers. For me this is mysterious. Not just any doorslammers, mind you, but a pair of NHRA doorslammers. A Super Gas car and a Super Stock car. I’m quickly learning just how technical these things are. I have a new found respect for the folks that build and run these types of cars, especially the class cars like Super Stock. Just what does this have to do with Nostalgia, you might ask. Both of these hot rods are late ‘60s Mopar products with 440 big blocks in them. American iron, kids. That’s what it’s all about. I’m finding some similarities to the 426 nitro motor. Block size, bolt patterns and firing order. After that, you can throw your lame ass nitro pre-conceived tribal knowledge out of the window. I guess this means you’ll be hearing more from me on the bracket and index side of things. Hey, it’s all new to me and I’m not afraid to look stupid in front of my friends. I do it all of the time in front of the Things…
Up next is a new 2009 NHRA rule amendment that has had the web buzzing with fervor for awhile now. The heinous nonsense begins in Section 4B- Advanced E.T. Page 68 Support Group: 9 Fire Extinguisher System. They have a Delete: Blah, Blah, Blah, with the zinger, Replace With: “Minimum 5-Pound NHRA accepted system mandatory on front engine open-bodied alcohol non-supercharged/turbocharged car and on any rear engine car with an enclosed cockpit. Minimum 20- pound NHRA accepted system mandatory on all front engine open-bodied alcohol burning supercharged/turbocharged cars. See General Regulations 9:3 for accepted agents.” SAY WHAT? You now want hordes of A-Fuel, 7.0 Pro and Nostalgia Eliminator 1, 2, and 3 car owners to install a costly and cumbersome 20 pound system on cars that really have no room for such an addition? True, A-Fuel and 7.0 Pro have had to run a 10 pound system just like Nostalgia Top Fuel. So what gives? Why the change? I can’t recall anyone getting seriously burned (all burns are serious by the way) in a front motor car except for my buddy Brendan Murry and that might have been because he was upside down with a slow responding safety crew. I’m just saying.... Ok, I’ll take a stab at why they have done this. You all have seen the pictures of Mike Fuller trying to keep Mike McLennan’s eyebrows from growing out, I’m sure. DRO had some awesome ones in a slide-show. I have a hunch someone in the legal department at NHRA saw those pictures and deemed all front engine dragsters Satan’s Slaves. Never mind that Larry Dixon, Antron Brown, Doug Kallitta and scores of other Big Show Top Fuel cars have no fire system. Never mind that they have 20 gallons of fuel in front of their feet. Never mind that they have a 3 ½ inch fuel line running between their legs under forty thousandths of aluminum. Never mind that when one of these cars does blow up (and they ALL do), the low pressure pulls the fire into the cockpit. Just never mind. You are fighting city hall.
So, what do you do? Where can you mount the extra bottle on a car that didn’t have the room for the first 10 pounds to start with? Well, you could take a page from the Funny Cars and mount the bottles one on each side of the chassis forward of the motor. Hey, it doesn’t say that the bottles have to be inside of the frame rails anymore, only the activation cables need to be. If they argue, I would bring up EVERY Fuel Altered running today with a modern chassis with the fire bottles outside of the frame rails flappin’ in the breeze. I might even fabricate up a little air deflector to clamp on the blunt end of the bottle. Just for looks, of course.
I don’t have an answer for this. Some say these folks should just show up with the ten pound system and try to tech. Some say they should just stay home. Others have singularly tried to contact NHRA for a solution to this problem, but to no avail. Sorry guys. You are not Kenny Bernstein or John Force. Your sponsors' advertising revenue within the Glendora confines doesn’t buy you a "get out of jail free" card.
This is a tough one. I really feel for the sportsman racers who have been unjustly singled out with this “rule.” I think you racers can resolve this. I think there is hope.
Recently our country celebrated the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. The Flight Director for the landing was Gene Kranz. He was also the Flight Director for Apollo 13, the greatest recovery and rescue mission NASA has ever experienced. Kranz headed up the “Tiger Team” that problem solved and brought the astronauts home despite seemingly hopeless odds. I’m stretching here to get it to relate to Nostalgia racing, but hey, you dragster folks need to set up a “Tiger Team.” Work the problem. Keep your emotions in check. Remember, “Failure is not an option“.