DRO interviewed Don Prudhomme four or five years ago and usually we try not to interview the same person more than once but since the tragic death of Scott Kalitta and the obvious financial and safety issues nitro racers are facing and because he has been so outspoken about the issues lately DRO Editor Jeff Burk thought it was time to get Snake’s view of the current NHRA scene. He was extremely candid and forthcoming. We think you will really enjoy this “InnerView”.
: How did the cost of Fuel racing get to the point where it is almost unaffordable, and whose fault is it?
Don Prudhomme: Probably it all started about 50 years ago. It’s all of our faults. I always say that NHRA is sleeping at night (while) CNC machines are going all night, manufacturing new parts. So it’s all of our faults. It’s their… I don’t really want to use the word “fault” and I don’t really want to use the words “all of our faults”, but let’s just say that we’ve all created this. It’s similar to our energy problem in the United States; we all caused this. We all did this. We all want more, more, more. We want bigger and bigger engines, bigger and bigger motor homes. You know…your neighbor has a big motor home, you want a bigger motor home, And in drag races, it’s the same way.
A guy’s got a fast engine, he wants a faster engine and it just goes on and on. We all need to take responsibility for it. NHRA needs to take responsibility for the fact that several of us went to them in years past and said, “Hey, don’t allow these set-back blowers on these cars! Don’t do this, don’t do that.” And one of the officials said to me, “Hey, John Force has already got that stuff.” And we said, “Well, have John Force change it so we don’t all have to run these set-back blowers just to make more and more power.”
Well, that’s just one example. Mind you, along the way they’ve (NHRA) done a lot of good too. I could have been wrong (about the blowers), but usually when I do something like that I see that I’m not wrong, ‘cause I can see down the line where it’s going to go. Sure enough, Alan Johnson made the set-back blower, he made the manifolds. So we had to buy one too, because we didn’t want to be left behind in performance. But that’s just the way of the sport, that’s just the way it goes. I’m not faulting Alan Johnson, It’s just gotten out of hand. We’ve all witnessed that, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that one out.