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

STRAIGHT AHEAD by Jeff Wolf

11-19-06-jeffwolf_2.jpgIf divine intervention,
fairy tales, or fate isn’t on your list of beliefs, then it’s time to think
about reconsidering your position. The SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend was one of the most
memorable events in the sport’s history.

And it’s because of Eric
Medlen.

Eric’s teammate, Robert
Hight, wins the Funny Car title with a weak 5.126-second run because a blower
belt slipped off the engine of Ron Capps, who has won 11 straight rounds of
eliminations.

Eric’s best friend Brandon
Bernstein had one of his most consistent weekends to win the Top Fuel title.

Each gave their trophy to
a member of Eric’s family.

VALUABLE THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER by Ken Owen

sm_faithinthefastlane480x240.jpgAs our nation gears up for a new round of presidential elections
next year, there is much talk among the major parties and their candidates
about values; family values, social values, economic values, spiritual values,
etc. Being the certified political junkie that I am, I am always intrigued by
the various perspectives that people and political parties have on this
important subject. Some people want more values; some want less. What one group
embraces as relevant, another rejects as overbearing.
    
People may say that it’s not my business as a columnist to persuade you or
convert you to my personal value system (it doesn’t mean you can’t ask), but I
do want to make it my business to encourage you to at least think about your
personal values.
    
But what’s the big deal, anyway? Why are absolutes important in the first
place? Can’t a person simply decide to live without being ruled by values and
absolutes? Fair question. 

PRETTY FLY - APRIL

1-2-07-prettyflycover.jpg
I
was going to write about what a great and dramatic start this has been to the
2007 drag racing season.

I
was going to say a bit about the drama of the finish of last year in Pomona and about the
excitement of John Force and Ashley Force fighting for a qualifying spot in the
first race of this year.

I
was going to write something about the great turnout at the Torco’s CompetionPlus.com
Eastern Spring Testing Nationals at South
Georgia Motorsports Park.

In
addition, I was going to talk about the first IHRA event in San Antonio and how the IHRA made a brave
decision to turn the event into an eighth-mile national event.

DRAG RACING AN EIGHTH OF A MILE AT A TIME

3-29-07eightheditorial.jpgIt may have started as a way to make chicken salad out of chicken
you-know-what, but the IHRA’s decision to run an eighth-mile national
event may just prove to the drag racing community that short-track
racing is doable. It could be a safer alternative. It could be a
cheaper alternative.
 
It should be done.
 
The IHRA’s decision was made for two reasons. First, San Antonio
Raceway’s surface began to come apart Friday evening when a well-known
dip ultimately gave way, resulting in a potentially dangerous
situation. A paving crew was summoned, and they worked throughout the
night repairing a large portion of the right lane. That created a
curing issue, which could have compromised the newly paved area,
rendering it not much better than it was before the work was completed.

ALL IN THE FAMILY by Jeff Wolf

11-19-06-jeffwolf_2.jpg

In drag
racing, it’s all about family.
Thousands of families are involved in owning or operating teams from Top Fuel
to E.T. brackets.
The Forces fall into that category.
So do the Bernsteins.

The biggest stories of the preseason involved Ashley Force’s debut in Funny Car
and six-time champion Kenny Bernstein’s return this year to the category that
made him a motorsports icon.

 

UP FRONT with Jon Asher

01-25-06-asher.jpgNo publication worth the ink it’s printed with – although in our case
that probably means the pixels you see on your screen – lets the year
end without some sort of review. I could select the Best and Worst of
the Year, but in this instance I’ll just nominate what I think were the
most important stories of 2006. Of course, one man’s version of what
was important isn’t necessary another’s, so ultimately you’ll decide
what you think were the most meaningful stories of the past 12 months.

I don’t think there was one story that’s worthy of being the biggest
news of the year, but unlike Time Magazine, I won’t insult you by
suggesting that you are the story of year.

DO WE HAVE A VOICE? by Jeff Wolf

11-19-06-jeffwolf_2.jpgAs
members of the National Hot Rod Association we need to wrest control of the
organization from the fat cats now running it.

Or is that just my opinion?

We have as much input into its decisions as we do with how our government is
run. But at least we can vote as Americans.

The cry to unite should be loudest now as NHRA is a month away from
instituting its new points system, which is intended to fix something that isn’t
broken.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS by Roger Richards

1-2-07-prettyflycover.jpgRodney reached a milestone
on December the 10th of 2006. Rodney is the name that my frequent
travel companion Brian Wood and I have given to the Astro van in which I have
criss-crossed the country for the last 5 years. We gave it that name because
any time someone asked what I drive and I tell them an Astro they usually roll
their eyes and give me that “I’m Sorry” look. Since the Astro gets no respect,
it has earned that name.

However, not many vehicles
can boast of the accomplishment that occurred about 7 pm on the 10th
of December. Rodney rolled over 300,000 miles while rolling down the right lane
of Bristol Dragway. Each year, Bristol
allows cars onto the grounds to view thousands of Christmas (not holiday)
lights decorating the complex.

GETTING A FRESH START by Ken Owen

sm_faithinthefastlane480x240.jpgIf you’re like most people I know – and especially racers as a whole – you
probably find comfort in being able to turn the calendar from December to
January every year. It’s a new year, a fresh start, and an opportunity to put
the past behind and begin looking forward to a new beginning.
    
Due no
doubt to my background and training as a minister, every year at this time my
mind remembers a little portion of scripture located in 2 Corinthians 5:14-17,
in which this statement is made …
“old things are passed away, and all things are becoming
new.”
    
I can remember always being intrigued by that message.
What a comforting thought to know that we are given opportunities to start anew.
And even though the author was obviously speaking about new beginnings in a
spiritual context, it’s nice to also have fresh opportunities in other areas of
life.

WHAT IF? with DALE WILSON

sm_9-26-06-dalewilsoncover.jpg
Okay, so I’m king of drag racing, and I can make up whatever
rules I want. Here are some more “what-ifs” that I would recommend to the
association rules makers.

What if…NHRA introduced Top Dragster to the divisional
eliminators? Well, they’ve actually done it in Division 2 recently. Top
Dragster, the fast dragster eliminator that has been contested in IHRA country
for years, now comes to the NHRA, to go along with Division 2’s Top Sportsman
Eliminator. Division director Bill Holt made the announcement in the first part
of November, and Top Dragster will be a go for all 2007 divisional races.

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