VOLUME XXII, NUMBER 1 - JANUARY, 2020
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
DRAGRACINGOnline owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.
Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor, Jok Nicholson
Motorcycle Editor, Tom McCarthy
Nostalgia Editor, Brian Losness
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
Poet Laureate, Bob Fisher
Cartoonists, Jeff DeGrandis, Kenny Youngblood
Senior Photographer - Ron Lewis
Contributing Photographers - Aaron Anderson, Brad Baker, Scott Bessee, Donna Bistran, Steven Bunker, Pam Conrad, Adam Cranmer, James Drew, Don Eckert, Steve Embling, Jamie Shores Fraijo, Mike Garland, Joel Gelfand, Steve Gruenwald, Chris Haverly, Rose Hughes, Bob Johnson, Bret Kepner, "Bad" Brad Klaassen, Jon LeMoine, Eddie Maloney, Tim Marshall, Matt Mothershed, Richard Muir, Joe McHugh, Dennis Mothershed, Ivan Sansom, Paul Schmitz, Dave Stoltz,
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Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
COO Kay Burk
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Contact: Casey Araiza
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Three SoCal series open at Fontana
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ET DRAG RACING
Just sayin’ no to ‘No Prep’
I am a bracket racer and a class racer. I watch No Prep on tv but will not go to an event either as a participant or spectator. Those guys are legit but I don’t know how they replace all the cars they crash.
I lament the loss of the Saturday night bracket race. There used to be spectators at those until tracks started dragging them out into all-day affairs.
The Future of Factory Stock?
This isn’t rocket science... Consumers can identify with Factory Stock race cars which are what Pro Stock cars originally started out as – Factory cars designed for racing. I actually hate to see Pro Stock die because it is the ultimate doorslammer class, but NHRA treats them like crap as they do all racers except the nitro cars that are the bread and butter that pays the NHRA suits their lucrative salaries.
The one thing that will continue to hurt Factory Stock is the “equalization factor”. By handicapping the Hemi’s out of competition - just as NHRA did back in the 1960’s because GM spends the most money with NHRA, MOPAR will eventually drop their support and it will become a Camaro factory stock class like Pro Stock is currently.
It’s a numbers game
You are not the only one who has noticed the lack of attendance at all kinds of motorsports. Even Bruton (Smith) can’t paint enough seats to look like there are people sitting in empty stands. And it's not just drag racing.
Poor old NASCAR is even worse off. Don't know about IndyCar and Formula 1 because I rarely if ever take a look at them. Matter of fact, was the Indy 500 sold out this year? I haven't heard what the stands looked like. Of course, you can never believe the "official" figures. They go off sales figures, not how many butts are in the seats.
You can sell 100 tickets to a company and not have a dozen customers or employees be interested in going even with a free ticket.
I know how it works. When I was with Carolina Kenworth Trucks, we had a suite and a total of 33 PSL seats at Panther Stadium. For the first 5 years, we had customers waiting in line to go. But when the new wore off and the team started to suck, we couldn't get anybody, even employees, to go. It was so bad that the boss wasn't going to even open the suite for the last game.
Doug Herbert was a truck customer of ours and a good friend of mine. So I opened it and invited Doug and all his employees and team members to the game. Don't remember who was playing or who won, but we all had a great time because going to a suite was a once in a lifetime event for all of the workers.
When the figures don't jive with what the honchos want, they will just lie anyhow. Like everybody else. I wonder if anybody in this world knows Kyler Murray's real height? Every time I heard a figure, it had been stretched a little taller. I know the name of his growth hormone. It's called Lie Like A Persian Rug.
Seems like that same drug is making the rounds in the motorsports administrative offices these days. And the management teams of all types seem to have the same malady. They all suffer from The Peter Principle. Know what you got if you have 144 motorsports execs in one room? Gross ignorance.
I am chillin' at the computer thinking about Norwalk Friday. You wait a whole calendar year (and in this case for me, I have missed the last two years at Norwalk for work or weather reasons) and comes the news that sportsman racers will be eliminated from the program due to saturation of the pits. So disappointing - and I should recognize that the Top Alcohol categories will be run - but I am thinking more in terms of Comp Eliminator and Top Sportsman, the latter one of my favorite classes in the sport. Man, I would have the car packed the night before and be on the road for Norwalk by five a.m. and watching Super Stocks wheelstanding the morning in by eight.
I am provincial about what folks call where I live. As a Michigander and someone says I'm from the Midwest, I immediately interject and say, "No, I'm from the Great Lakes." The Great Lakes region has had an inordinate amount of rain this year and water levels have never been higher. It is downright frightening. So, I don't doubt, even with the water table in these parts able to withstand enormous amounts of water, that the grass pit area is questionable. A little sunshine goes a long way here to dry things up.
I am not really wondering if they pulled the plug too quickly on the move to eschew sportsman racers. Not too much anyhow. One of my worst days at the dragstrip was at Norwalk shortly after they took over the NHRA big show from Columbus. It was glorious sunshine all day long, seventy-some degrees, and just as the pro show was beginning the track started weeping water from the previous day's heavy rain. Nothing could channel it from the track; I remember Frank Manzo manning a backhoe to battle the problem. To no avail; they had to cancel the event. In broad daylight and sunscreen-mandatory rays. Cruelest irony ever at the races.
Oh, well, I won't have to be on the road by five am Friday.
Editor’s Note: The Norwalk sportsman schedule was changed due to flooding in the pits.
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