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

GUEST COMMENTARY - BOB VANDERGRIFF DELIVERS

7-16-08vandergriff.jpgI am writing about a topic that has been a discussion piece for a long
time but due to some recent developments and numerous questions about
what my opinion is on the subject I have been prodded into sharing
them. In doing so I want to remind everyone that this is my opinion, it
always irks me when people are asked for their opinion and when giving
it get barbequed for it. You don’t have to agree with it that’s why
they call it an opinion and not fact.

The recent “rivalry” that has developed between Tony Schumacher and Hot
Rod Fuller, in my opinion, is a great and needed addition to our sport.

In Denver, Hot Rod had a shirt made that while I thought was hilarious
evidently infuriated quite a few people. I am not sure how or why
someone or a group of people would find this so offensive, in fact Hot
Rod pretty much made fun of himself on the front of the shirt and made
no actual derogatory reference to Team Schumacher, he left it there for
everyone to connect the dots.

LITTLE ROCK ROLLS by Roger Richards

1-2-07-prettyflycover.jpgLittle Rock, my travel van named in honor of Eric Medlen after his
favorite cutting horse, just keeps on rolling. Little Rock fell right
into the routine of hitting the road almost every weekend and heading
to a racetrack somewhere. He has thrown a shoe (flat tire/blowout) on a
couple of occasions (he is the proud owner of 4 new Goodyear shoes now)
and has gotten a burr under his saddle once or twice (alternator and
water pump failures) but he has proven to be a valiant steed and seems
anxious to get back on the road when we are back home at the Double R
ranch in Greer, SC. In the short time he and I have been partners, we
have traveled close to 50,000 miles on the trail. Roll on Little Rock.
God Bless Eric.

FAITH IN THE FAST LANE – THE UNANSWERABLE QUESTION

WHY?sm_faithinthefastlane480x240.jpg

No other question is more common or seems more relevant in the light of
extreme tragedy than this single-syllable inquiry. Occasionally in the
world of racing, this question is asked from hurting hearts with
painful concern. Having been a minister for 35 years, I’ve been granted
the opportunity of helping people face the tragedy of death on many
occasions. While never a pleasant experience, I have repeatedly seen
God comfort the deep hurt to which we are all so vulnerable during such
times.

Two very important issues need to be settled at the very onset when
coping with the tragedy of death. First, we must realize that God does
not will tragedy to take place. Second, it is sometimes best not to ask
"why."

Christianity teaches that Christ was sent into this world that we might
have life, and that we might have it more abundantly. God is a God of
life; he is concerned with life and wants us to know and enjoy life
more fully. 

UP FRONT - ITS TIME FOR A COMPLETE HOUSE CLEANING AT NHRA

4-17-08asherupfront.jpgThe
embarrassment that was the Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas
should be placed directly where the blame belongs – at the doorstep of
the National Hot Rod Association.  The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is completely blameless for the fiasco, particularly after

track management reportedly informed NHRA that they had already scraped
the track, but NHRA went ahead and scraped it again anyway.  The
NHRA not only owes track owner Bruton Smith a sincere apology, they owe
the same apology to Summit Racing Equipment, their other sponsors, the
competitors and, most of the all, to the fans who paid good money to
see a lousy show.
 
Compounding
an already disastrous weekend was NHRA’s bumbling of the announcement
of the $100,000 fine levied against Don Schumacher for an alleged fuel
violation.  Rather than wait until Tuesday, when
the media would have been scattered to the winds, and getting reactions
from Schumacher and Graham Light would have been problematical, the
announcement was made Sunday afternoon, resulting in a media feeding
frenzy.  That was further compounded by Light’s reported less-then-professional statement during the event telecast Sunday night.
 
While
we’ve heard cooler heads were advising holding off any announcement,
Light was apparently adamant about its immediate importance, forcing us
to ask, Was this about a real issue, or was it more about Light being
desirous of demonstrating his own power and importance?

AS WE SEE IT – A STRONG CASE OF INEPT TRACK PREP AND MORE

4-15-08vegastrack.jpgMaybe the NHRA truly just doesn’t get it.

Maybe they just don’t understand true race fans are no longer
interested in forking out hundreds of dollars to watch nitro cars
compete in quarter-mile burnout contests.

When thirteen of sixteen races are won in the same lane in the same
round, which occurred this past weekend in the first round of the
SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas Dragway, there is a serious
problem. A problem not explained away by suggesting the track was hot,
because both lanes were under the same sunny conditions yet one lane
was garbage and the other was a little bit better.

The NHRA's defense of the product touts attendance figures which are at
an all time high. While attendance may be up, the quality of the
product is moving in the opposite direction.

On television, the presentation looked horrible. In person it was even
worse. Event after event, one of the announcers stands on the wall
prior to the finals and delivers his traditional speech of gratitude to
those in attendance.   “We realize you have many options when spending
your entertainment dollar and on behalf of the NHRA, we’d like to thank
you for spending it with us.”

NORM FROSCHER: GOD BLESS THE LADIES

2-18-08froscherladies.jpgThe ladies, God Bless them!
  
No, this isn't about Hillary Clinton.
  
Or even one's wife as a means of making up after an argument.
   
This is about the fairer sex, some pretty danged hard-nosed, in the
rough and tumble world of racing. Yep, driving, riding, publicizing and
writing about.
     
As you probably realize, it wasn't always so.
  
Far from it, in the arena or even in the garage or on the media side of things.

GUEST EDITORIAL WITH DON LONG - "IT’S TIME TO STRAIGHTEN OUT THIS CHASSIS MESS"

2-15-08donlong.jpgMy name is Don Long.  For
more than five decades I’ve designed and built Top Fuel dragsters, cars that
have won more races than I can count, along with numerous championships and
builder’s awards that I’m very proud of. 
But, the thing I’m most proud of is my chassis safety record, which is
perfect.

I’ve been actively involved with SFI since it first came into
existence.  I was the senior member of
the former (disbanded June 7, 2006) SFI Chassis Committee.  There’s been enough written about the SFI in
recent months for it to be unnecessary for me to explain what it is and what
it’s supposed to do.

For those of you having difficulty understanding – and even
coherently reading – the recent SFI Top Fuel Chassis Spec, please be assured
that it’s not you.  This spec has become
almost completely incomprehensible on both the scientific and interpretive
levels due to a number of factors.

UP FRONT - RANDOM THOUGHTS AS THE SEASON BEGINS

2-13-08asherupfront.jpgDrag racing, on both the
NHRA and IHRA side of the track, is at an important crossroads.  The decisions made, or not made , over the
next year or so will go a long way towards determining the sport’s long term
future.  Will it grow into the mega-sport
many think it could become, or will it continue to more or less muddle along,
never quite reaching the heights we’d all hoped for?

UP FRONT - RANDOM THOUGHTS AS THE SEASON BEGINS

2-13-08asherupfront.jpgDrag racing, on both the
NHRA and IHRA side of the track, is at an important crossroads.  The decisions made, or not made , over the
next year or so will go a long way towards determining the sport’s long term
future.  Will it grow into the mega-sport
many think it could become, or will it continue to more or less muddle along,
never quite reaching the heights we’d all hoped for?

AS WE SEE IT - LEAD, FOLLOW OR GET OUT OF THE WAY

1-20-08asweseeit.jpgIn this world there are leaders and there are followers. As we see it, in the drag racing world, NHRA management has settled into a position that suits them well -- following.

Where do we start; with the championship format or maybe we should make a run at the still unpublished Funny Car specs?

Forgive us, isn't the SFI responsible for providing the specifications; at least that’s what the NHRA has said for years and is even now telling their critics. John Force Racing and Ford’s engineers are designing a new chassis and we are waiting for the results of their tests. 

Since when is an entity outside of the SFI and a competing race team responsible for establishing  chassis designs and specifications?

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