09_09_2009_bazemoreI really do not claim to be an authority on peoples lives. Especially if I don't know them. This being said could there possibly be a bigger pair of lying back stabbing hypocrites in the sport than the pedrogon brothers. "small p" My only guess would be the producers at ESPN. Tony didn't mind getting all the benefits at JFR. - Mark F. Price



09_09_2009_bazemoreWhit Bazemore is one of my favorite drag racing drivers and spokesmen.  While I was out of racing fuelers before he began in them, he has always shown a strong quality for speaking his mind and doing so from an honest perspective, point-blank, regardless of what results might be rained down on him - such as Nhra’s revenge on him in the past for just that honorable quality.  His perspective on this current John Force debacle of cheating is accurate and reinforced by clear logic and what is also clearly obvious to all who WANT to see it for what it was.  Calling it a justifiable business decision reeks of opportunism and dishonesty when our sport is about one person honestly defeating someone else.  And bringing in other racing forms, such as Nascar, where drivers routinely let others move ahead temporarily to gain five points for leading, then taking that position back, or following a teammate instead of passing him if he needs those extra few points, is comparing apples and oranges since in drag racing, to give points to a teammate is to take yourself out of competition
completely for that day, and to cheat the thousands of race fans.  Would the Nascar drivers who admit to letting teammates pass to gain some points, take themselves out of that day’s competition completely to do that?  I doubt it.  If so they aren’t truly racers.

Also, I must agree with Whit that Tony Pedregon’s stance in interviews about the Force cheating did have a strong whiff of self-righteousness when he, Tony, himself almost admits that he also participated in manipulating racing results during his past when driving for John Force.  While that does bear witness to the well-known Force manipulations within drag racing circles, for all the public to now know, of Force’s past in cheating this way, it also does seriously impair Tony Pedregon’s moral standing in this issue.

Should someone with access to past television tapes of NHRA races over the years choose to go through them regarding those 14 championship runs of the Force teams, the evidence is there if you want to see it for what it is.  Again, like Force did this time, is there any ACTUAL proof?  No.  But the obvious is clearly there.

Why has the press media, excluding Competition Plus, dropped this issue once it was no longer current news?  It’s still taints whatever Hight does now, taints the NHRA’s bogus show of enforcing what is unenforceable, and worst of all, taints the entire sport of drag racing.

Why didn’t I write about these Force Racing manipulations when I was writing about the sport?  I did, but I wasn’t the editor, and with a few snips, all that was gone from public knowledge.

I don’t know Tony P in person, or in any way but from television and print media, and I’m no apologetic for his past or present actions, though I do admire that he let the world know about the routine Force manipulations.  Yet I wonder what I would have done given such an implied ultimatum as Tony P got from a boss to let a teammate win?  I seriously don’t know given when I was a youth and the pressure and passion to move up in the racing world.  Likewise, I’d like to ask

Whit if he was just starting out in Funny’s, had gotten on a major team where he could and did win, AND he was a minority in a sport that demands consistent visibility and such a monetary commitment, how would he have reacted to a subtle but clear indication by his boss that he was to “let” a team member win the next round?  Would Whit have honestly said back then, no, shove it, knowing it probably have meant a sudden decline in his status within the team, and probably dismissal at the year’s end - again, as a young man hungry, passionate, and a minority as Tony P was back then?

In no way am I excusing Tony Pedregon if he, in fact, did that in the past like he implies and almost states.  That kind of - it’s smart business - thing diminishes our sport and some past champions who did it, but I am still glad Tony P made it known.  That’s how things such as this problem get solved, and before the sport is ruined, not be keeping quiet and going along with the cheaters and their compatriots like Nhra has done and clearly still does by only appearing to react to what was obvious.  Let’s air it all out, call on the present and past champions to own up to it, and solve it so at least in drag racing, if not in other forms of racing, we can say our’s is a fair sport to apply your passions and money to, participants and sponsors and fans alike.

It’s really simple: cheating is any form has no justification, it’s cheating. - Ken Tesoriere


Throwing a race. Just one more reason why I have lost all respect for the NHRA (Not Hot Rods Anymore). The sad aspect about this Force fiasco is that the fans are the ones being cheated out of what they paid their hard earned dollars for. It is just a shame.

Hey Whit, you should think about driving a Pro/Extreme car in the ADRL. You'd love it because those guys do one thing and one thing only. They RACE. Period. - Chris Buck

Come on now fellas. We all know Ashley is going to win no matter whos in what lane. Its a NHRA media event made in heaven. - Wm Thiel

I really do not claim to be an authority on peoples lives. Especially if I don't know them. This being said could there possibly be a bigger pair of lying back stabbing hypocrites in the sport than the pedrogon brothers. "small p" My only guess would be the producers at ESPN. Tony didn't mind getting all the benefits at JFR. - Mark F. Price

10 - 02

As a long time JF fan, I am disappointed that it was such a blatant dive. I however understand why he thought it was a nessecity from a sponsor's standpoint. As a bracket racer, I think it shows how far NHRA has strayed from the original concept. As far as Tony goes I think Bazemore is 100% correct, just a tad hypocritical. - Don Thompson


It was a black eye to the sport. If you noticed, John never said he didn't throw the race, he just kept saying that he gets paid to get his teams into the championship fight. That's his job. Yea T.P. isn't innocent when he worked for John, but that's just it, he was working for John taking orders. Maybe that's part of why he left. I know since then, him and Cruz have raced straight up.

If Tony would have thrown a race a couple of races back against Cruz, Cruz probably would be in the hunt now, but he didn't. I don't care who you are, that run was ridiculous and should be punishable. Just look at how upset John was. Thru my expierience, the more upset you get, the more guilty you probably are. All I have to say is if Robert wins the championship, it should feel real hollow knowing what had happened.- Kevin Azar

As hard as it is to agree, he's right. First Tony P. should think about the way he won in 2003. He can't say Force didn't do the same for him. I think Tony could have handled this more adult-like.Secondly I am Team Force all the way, and I see John's reasoning but he should have raced heads up. I know this has happened many times with other teams. Team Force is alway going to be  targeted. We can only hope all parties have learned a lesson and this crap willn't happen again.But I have lost repect for Tony for airing His view on TV rather with Force and NHRA in private. - Barry Avery

I pay to see RACING and will not attend another NHRA event until a way is found to eliminate "thrown" races.  Multi-car teams within the same class encourage "cheating".  One car per team per class is the only way to eliminate the problem. - Jim Culp

I don't know if John Force took a dive or not.  It does look fishy though.  But why is there all this hype about John's "dive" and nothing of this magnitude of press coverage was mounted when Andrew Hines obviously took a dive at Pomona last year against Krawiec in the semis.  Chris Rivas was the victim there.  Chris won the event (World Finals) and, if the race before between Hines and Krawiec would have been a real race, Rivas would have been world champion by winning the event.  Why was there no mention in the press of the rule against taking a dive in that instance? - Tom Hogle

When it is team orders be man enough to say it. If it is business admitt it. - Gary Grant

It isn't often I agree with Bazemore, but when he's right, he's right. My only difference is that I don't think it's hurt NHRA's rep.  THAT'S bad enough. I think it's time for Pro Mods to be in the #2 place instead of Funnies. If you need nitro, how about Outlaw Pro Mods? - Gene Biswell

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