A METHOD TO THEIR MADNESS?
Is it possible that NHRA is prepping the tracks less so that fuel car teams will set up for lower speeds so that the Goodyear tires don't destroy themselves at the high speeds they are currently reaching? It seems like track prep would be the only way to slow down teams who find a way to go faster and faster no matter what other restrictions are placed on them. If that is their idea, it would be nice if they conveyed that to the spectators.
DO THE BEST THEY CAN WITH WHAT THEY’VE GOT
Regarding the "One Lane" (or in the case of Houston, No Lane) race tracks NHRA has continued to provide. Since McMurtry retired, they have gone from "almost" to non existent. And this is nothing that the NHRA Track Prep Crew can really change; they prep what they inherit, and usually only have three days or less to do so.
AND... They don't/can't do a whole lot with the surface downtrack past the 330-foot point, other than squirt and drag a tire/rubber scrubber. The "Bump" at Houston is horrendous, the finish line roller coaster at Reading, SIR and several other tracks are equally disconcerting.
After first round of Houston, I turned the f---ing tube off, simply because the track they were racing on wasn't any better than the street most people drove on to get to the track. Sure, Beard figured it out, but racing is only racing when more than one competitor is involved. Not to mention, I'd bet ole Lee would've shot himself in the foot, had he had to run in the right lane... "soft" on the leave wasn't working over there. Actually, I don't think anyone there had a clue of what would consistently work in either lane. And Lee was doing something he's not worth a damn at usually: keeping the tuning dial off "KILL". He's learning!
Bottom line, and the racers can't/won't do anything about it, are the ACTUAL track surface conditions and the track owner's obligation to not only provide a smooth surface but a safe one. Dips, bumps and roller coaster finish lines are chassis killers on those 250+MPH cars.
'Course, I'm older now, but I sure as hell wouldn't make a second pass on a surface that put me in the air at any point on my first pass! Someplace in life one has to start making gray matter weigh at least as much as balls!
I attended the NHRA race at Houston from 1991 through to 2001. The transition from the concrete to asphalt was an issue back at that time. I would have thought, that considering Houston was considered one of the "supertracks", that the owners would have fixed that particular issue. I was quite surprised when I saw the qualifying and elimination E.T.'s in the Pro classes.