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:::::: Editorials ::::::

DAVE DENSMORE SPEAKS (COMMENTARY): - HANDING OUT THE GRADES FOR THE 2016 SEASON

To become NHRA president, Peter Clifford won neither the popular vote nor the electoral vote. However, he did win the only votes that mattered -- those cast by the NHRA Board of Directors, a board that is neither elected by nor beholden to the rank-and-file membership of the world’s largest sanctioning body.

Simply stated, you and I are not really part of the process beyond that point at which we send our money to Glendora and get back our reduced-price ticket coupons, our decal, our NHRA pin and the membership number that provides on-line access to National DRAGSTER and our official NHRA rulebook.

That means that if we don’t like the job the president has done, we really don’t have any recourse beyond incessant whining. We can’t mount a recall campaign, we can’t have him impeached and, three years from now, we can’t elect someone else whose views we believe more closely mirror our own.

 

 

DAVE DENSMORE SPEAKS (COMMENTARY): - THE AIRING OF OUR DIRTY LAUNDRY DIDN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN

 I am not a big fan of labor unions, ironic insomuch as John Force, the man with whom I traveled so many backroads and interstates over the last 30 years, is a card-carrying member of the Teamsters and, had he not become the 16-time NHRA Funny Car Champion of the World, likely would have wound up running for office at local 388 in Fullerton.  
 
However, I do understand the concept.  I get that if employers could be trusted to do right by their employees, there would be no need for unions.   
 
Allegations by TV crew members responsible for producing the “live television coverage” of NHRA drag racing events on Fox and Fox Sports 1 suggest one of those “no other alternative” situations in which unions tend to thrive.

 

 

COMMENTARY: HOW THE WORLD SERIES OF DRAG RACING WENT FROM SOMETHING TO NOTHING

 

“The event could not grow any more in Cordova…we have potential to draw from a wide area coming to this venue.”

Those words, taken straight from the mouth of current IHRA president Mike Dunn in an interview with the Quad City Times this past week, are among the most haunting and damning words I have read in quite some time. 

“Could not grow any more…” Just let that marinate in your mind for a bit.

DAVE DENSMORE SPEAKS (COMMENTARY): TIM RICHMOND BELONGED IN A FUNNY CAR

 

On August 13, it’ll be 27 years since Timothy Lee “Tim” Richmond succumbed to the devastating effects of the AIDS virus. He was 34.

The late Raymond Beadle, with whom Tim enjoyed his first real success on the NASCAR tour, was himself one of the “cool kids” in a very cool era but even he was overshadowed by Richmond’s larger than life persona. Tim was a modern day Errol Flynn, the movie swashbuckler from the 1940s. You may have seen him on American Movie Classics. If not, Google him because that was Tim Richmond.

 

 

DAVE DENSMORE SPEAKS (COMMENTARY): - SINCE NO ONE WILL ADDRESS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM ...

​C’mon. Somebody’s gotta say something here. I simply cannot be the only person capable of seeing the elephant in the room. It’s a little room and despite what you may think, it’s not a pink elephant. It’s a regular African elephant. You know. With the big ears and the great memory.

It remembers, for instance, a time when the NHRA smugly scoffed at the plight of other sanctioning organizations which had to pay “appearance fees” to get pro racers to compete in their events. “Heaven help us if we ever have to resort to something like that” I believe was the NHRA mantra.

 

 

DAVE DENSMORE SPEAKS (COMMENTARY): - TO UNDERSTAND FORCE IS TO KNOW HIM

John Force is a freak of nature. He’s Vince Lombardi in a firesuit; the poster child for a generation of Americans who played as hard as they worked and whose goal wasn’t just a participation ribbon but to be the best at whatever they attempted. It was to prove themselves against their peers; to be champions whether the contest was football, baseball, hoops or hot rods.

And if you didn’t achieve that goal? That was okay, too, because you gave your best; you didn’t just go through the motions counting your endorsement dollars or waiting for your mama or your daddy to level the playing field so that “everybody wins.”

 

 

COMMENTARY - BOBBY BENNETT: TO SPLIT OR NOT TO SPLIT; SOONER OR LATER REALITY IS GONNA HIT

0730-03697

I've said it before, and my opinion hasn't changed.

On May 13, 2003, I wrote a commentary detailing the reasons why the NHRA has reached a point where it needs to separate the professional and sportsman categories from the national event scene. At the time, I suggested an all-out divorce was needed. 

As a divorcee, I understand the cruel nature of a divorce is inherently adversarial. So, maybe divorce is too hard of a solution. 

 

 

COMMENTARY - JON ASHER: WHEN IT IS TIME TO SAY IT IS OVER

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We have reached the end of Pro Stock’s viability as a category of competition. It’s time for NHRA to face reality and announce that 2017 will be the last year the class will be part of the Mello Yello series.

I’ll repeat what I’ve written many times before: Pro Stock has been, without question, one of my favorite categories of competition. I may not know a carburetor – or a fuel injector, for that matter – from an intake valve, but I know good racing when I see it, and what NHRA is putting out on the track is anything but good. It’s disastrous, meaningless and continues to be boring as hell. Small wonder that the fans continue to desert the stands in massive numbers when the cars come rolling out of the staging lanes. They’ve learned there’s more excitement back in the pits, waiting in the hot sun for an Alexis DeJoria autograph, than can be found on the track when Pro Stock is running.

 

COMMENTARY - BOBBY BENNETT: A TALE OF TWO PASSIONS

0730-03697

Some days are better served just by calling in sick. 

I had never wished a stomach virus or any other illness on myself, but with hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had been sick as a dog this past Saturday.

The second day of the Professional Drag Racers Association [PDRA] Spring Nationals dawned with a strange sense, at least for me, that something just wasn't right. It was windy, cold and not the kind of day you ever wanted for a drag race. 

 

 

MICHAEL KNIGHT - LOOKING BACK ON THE FIRST RACE WITH FOXSPORTS1

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I could see this one coming a quarter-mile away.

NHRA’s Brave New World of self-produced TV coverage on Fox Sports is exactly one race old. And, sure enough, some “Go Back to ESPN” deep thinkers have already taken to social media to share their insights.

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