LESS FILLING OR TASTES GREAT?
The "Countdown" Should be referred to as "The Watered down to the Championship"
If the Full Throttle Trophy is supposed to be crowning a champion for the season ( And I believe that is what the trophy says "2009 Full Throttle Championship") then why is it just a representation of just the last 5 races?
How bout having Miller, or Budweiser, maybe Coors kicking in after Indy for this final run for the "Championship lite trophy" - hear me out!
I think this year with HeightProck nailing it the last 5 races, but sucking in the previous 18 races, can't help but leave an astrix next to his championship (
I doubt that he is totally happy with how it all played out, you can see it in his face.) The year before we were all robbed of the chance to see Tim Wilkerson crowned with the championship that he and his team had as underdogs had very obviously earned throughout the entire season. We the fans felt even closer to Tim because along with him we were "all" denied the "Cinderella season", Hollywood ending drama only because of the countdown. I feel sorry for Cruz Pedregon for the "Yeah But" that follows the mention of his 2008 Championship - Yeah but if it wasn't for the countdown we all know Wilkerson was the run away Funny Car Champ that year!
Make The Countdown "a side bet" keep the "Full ThrottleFull season Championship" separate from the Watered Down 5 race "Miller Lite" Championship! "Less fulfilling/tastes great"
It's how us fans perceive it all anyway! Might as well do both! - Tim Hart
WHERE HAS MY LEGEND GONE?
One by one, the legends of the great sport of drag racing retire and ride off into the sunset. Don "The Snake" Prudhomme is the next in line of a long list of
lengendary names. Let's hope he maintains a connection in some capacity to the sport for the fans sake because it's racers like "The Snake" who are the stuff the true legends of the sport are made of and I'll truly miss the honesty and grit that was and is Don "The Snake" Prudhomme.
In closing, I personally hate to see the day when any legend retires... Thanks for the memories Don, I'm glad I'm alive to have witnessed them happen. - Steven Blowers
TONE DOWN THE WAR STORIES
I'm wondering how many other readers and drag racing fans are of the same opinion as me. The "War Stories" series certainly are not complimentary to either drag racing or the subject.
Both of the entries so far show the subjects to be loud mouthed, ill-mannered jackasses. Pat Musi deserved a term in jail for his conduct and the entire Muldowney incident could have been avoided by having a little thicker skin and not walking around with a big chip on the shoulder.
Maybe it would be better to tell stories based on the experiences at the racetrack rather than interaction with the public off the track. - Jeff Benedict
Certainly your opinion is both appreciated and respected. The stories you commented on were highlights from last year's event.
Yes, there are some in the War Stories who chose to go the boisterous route and run closely in the PG-13 limits. However, by virtue of the readership participation in the event, the more rambunctious the story, the more popular it is amongst the readers. There is a feeling amongst many of the readers that they see a different side of the racers -- away from the sanitized PR images and it enables them to see that the challenging life on the road is not all glitz and glamour.
It's almost like your favorite celebrities, we would yawn about stories of their everyday job. However, throw in a story about a time they took an RV trip and everything went wrong, and that's a recipe for reader interest.
Hope this year's stories "tame" enough for your liking. -- Bobby Bennett, Editor
DSR'S OPEN CHECKBOOK?
Why don't Don Schumacher just buy the NHRA and then he could have his own races and he could win them all. That way they won't have to complain about John Force Racing.
There are alot of one man teams that operate and don't complain or afraid to lose. DSR wants to buy everything. - Frank Bannert
WHAT DID YOU ENDORSE MR. GLIDDEN?
Seriously Bob with all due respect hights title is a clear joke! Barely got in at 10 thanks to his idiot blabber mouth boss who would sell his own daughter out for a sponsor. Your ford loyalty is amazing as they dumped you like Force's car turned left at indy against Hight yet after all this time and countless surgeries you feel the need to speak out on Hight's (Ford's title) Do us a favor Bob go back to the golf course, i dont see a ord deal in your futrue! No way Robert can say with a straight face, "Im the champ" cause it was a sham! - Rick Rzepka
FORCE DID THE RIGHT THING
Yes, Force threw the race and he should have. He had an opportunity to get one of his cars in the count down and he did it. Everyone plays this innocent role, I've seen over the years at the local track season points, where multi family team cars give up a round to allow the second car move to the next round and the only thing on the line is bragging rights. So if that happens at a local track why wouldnt it happen at the big stage. Hope to see team Force with many more championships - DC Hall
A MAJOR LEAGUE RANT
Championship time again. Competitors compete and then the ones that are not even close get a second chance. What an idiotic points system. IS THIS REALLY DRAG RACING ??? One winner, one loser??? Not anymore. Why not have buy backs in nitro classes?
It seems to be OK for the sanctioning body to “re-read” the rules in order to accommodate their favorite poster children. It seems to be OK to have a rule that cannot be en-force-d. It seems to be OK to have to lie to the whole world about diving and I ain’t EVEN talking about one time but several times. It seems to be OK to have a championship altered in such a manner as to have it given to you. What a disgrace. This ain’t drag racing anymore. Hight gets a gift in the form of testing, then many gifts in the form of opponents diving time after time. Like many folks are crying and whining about, why is ESPN even talking about Indy, Hight was given a round or two at 4 of the last 6 races. People can say what they want, but I raised my son to be honest and to earn what he gets. He fully understands that if we ever had the opportunity to race eachother, that he must beat and defeat all the competitors, including his father. We don’t take quarter and we won’t give quarter. So we hope Robert enjoys this gift called a championship, because he did not earn it period
As far as extra testing is concerned, if you test this late in the season you should NOT be allowed to participate in the remaining events. Even though you are not gaining points, you can still knock out someone that is trying to gain points. If you willfully decide to test, then you should not be allowed to participate at the next event. You have to give John credit for one thing however. He got in Robert’s car and almost immediately knew what was wrong with it and the “Prock Rocket” had a handle on it from that point on.
Hooray for Mike Edwards. He and his team have been bustin’ it trying to win this championship. Good for them. Mike is a great example for kids and adults alike to follow. Maybe Hight should take a lesson from Mike on how to “earn” his own championship.
Schumacher in 2006 was not the champion. He did not follow the chief starters instructions and should have been docked at least the qualifying points. Doug Kalitta was the Champion that year and I do not care what the records show, Doug will always be my champion that year.
Can’t figure out why all the Buell folks are worried about Buell closing. They are just glorified Harleys. But it was GRRRREAT to see one of the older than 50 guys do it. Congratulations Hector “the Hammer” Arana. All those industrial water pumps are the same, just race them and call them all Harleys.
No more Fords in this family. I told them all that I would take a sledge to itif they bought a Ford. No more Castrol oil. No more AAA insurance, two family members already canceled. No more Brand Source anything. We don’t buy anything made in China or any other foreign country, including gasoline (when a choice exists). No more NHRA, after 30 years. So there is our new year’s resolution in a nutshell. I will not support companies or organizations that support the willful manipulation of a championship.
Nostalgia, Prostalgia, or whatever it is. 14-71 huffers are not nostalgic in any manner. When this high dollar stuff is allowed then the car numbers will begin to dwindle. Nostalgia is 6-71’s and bug catcher’s. The majority cannot afford that high end stuff. Hmmm, maybe the AA/FD folks need to put a stop to all the exotic stuff that did not exist in the 70’s.
One last rant, where is the safety in the 55 to 65 minute turn around? There is no safety. Money rules over safety rules and no one wants to listen or challenge such stupidity. To heck with the driver’s safety, the crew’s safety, and all those wasted pieces, we have to film this show for entertainment regardless of lives lost or injured. “CAN’T FIX STUPID” Have a great winter. - Mark "Wild Man" Elms
THE 1,000 FOOT ISSUE ONCE AGAIN
Did anyone notice how NHRA killed all the Top Fuel and Funny Car speed and ET records? Never mind that the ¼ mile records also had 1000 ft times that are quicker than the new 1000 ft. records they suggest. Why didn’t they mention the 1000 ft numbers on the real record runs that went the full ¼ mile length and use those? Also, shouldn’t there be a “ * “next to a 1000 Ft. Track record? 1/8th mile records have their own listings. Look at the NHRA web sight for quickest speed and ET for Fuel cars on the drivers fan page. They replaced everything with 1000 ft numbers. For Tony “The Shoe” they are way off. If they want a record quickest run for that year, fine. Don’t pretend ¼ mile fuel racing never happened.
When is NHRA going to use the opportunity to slow the fuel cars down as a way to make fuel racing more affordable? Instead they seem to be more interested in keeping the super teams happy because they have all their money tied up in the current engine configuration. The result seems to be that there are no new quality teams and some old teams can’t afford to be competitive, or even try. I believe this is the Driving Force keeping the 1000 Ft alive. No fan prefers that 50 years of records and tradition be thrown away and races cut short. Safety you say? The tires are the only thing affected by the last part of the race and the new tires work great everywhere else on the globe but a NHRA track. Personally if I had to choose between a 336 mph dragster with a chute, carbon brakes and a roll cage or a 200 mph motorcycle, Id take the dragster any day. The moral of the story is don’t go fast on a short track with a concrete wall at the end.
Those are called ADRL 1/8th mile tracks. Why do the long safe tracks be made to suffer for the short tracks?
I propose a boycott of NHRA professional events till the big multi-car teams and NHRA can get their act together. PRO can’t tell the fans what to do and a boycott would be best for the sport in the long run. Force the NHRA and the “task force” of crew chiefs and owners to do what they swore and promised they would do at the Mile High nationals in 2008. Remember, this is when they had their first “only temporary” short 1000 ft. race. Now it seems as though they are trying to erase that ¼ mile fuel racing ever existed. NHRA better thank their lucky stars the IHRA is more screwed up than they are.
While I'm at it, do you think the new point’s format has withstood the test of time? At least with the traditional old points system we didn’t have to ride out
Paul Page constantly harping on how every round effects the points chase.
Frankly If you want more little guy coverage this is the perfect way for them NOT to get mentioned. Small budget racers pray for the “every dog has his day” win and all ESPN can do when small racers do well is speculate how a little guy winning will effect the points race.
In closing, I have loved Drag Racing long as I can remember. It’s easy for me to boycott a short 1000 ft race because I paid good money to see one last year. - Mark Suttle
10 WAYS TO SAVE THE NHRA
Open Letter to All NHRA Staff, Participants, and Enthusiasts
I have watched the systematic destruction of the sport I love starting with the tragic death of my friend Eric in 2007, reaching a fever pitch with my friend
and hero Scott last year, and can hardly believe where the leaders of NHRA have steered my beloved sport to today.
I don’t want to be another voice in the crowd pointing out only the things wrong with the NHRA, and the evidence for its certain demise if left at the hands of the current NHRA leadership.
I would like to offer a short list of ways to save the NHRA, offered from the standpoints of a Fan and Participant, and also a professional in the advertising
Ten Ways to Save the NHRA
11. (Honorable Mention: Fix the NHRA website. The new format is difficult to use and extremely uninteresting, even for the most dedicated fan)
10. Limit National Events to the following categories:
Top Fuel Dragster
Top Fuel Funny Car
Top Fuel Motorcycle
Top Alcohol Dragster/ A-Fuel Dragster
Top Alcohol Funny Car
9. Allow Pro Stock to return to National Event Competition when there is viable participation from all three major American Auto Makers.
8. Utilize the space previously occupied by sportsman classes at National Events for a “Mega-Midway” for Sponsors.(Sampling, Merchandising, Fan/Driver interaction, etc)
7. Eliminate Category exclusivity for all sponsors (Energy Drinks and Military included)
6. Give Away (yes free) HALF of each events attendance capacity worth of tickets on local Television, Radio, Websites, Public Schools, Colleges, and Bus Stations three weeks prior to the event.
5. Discount the other half of the tickets by 50% (Don’t worry, you will recoup all your revenue through actual perceived value for your event sponsor- thus you can charge them more per event)
4. Slow the Nitro Cars down with restrictor plates. NASCAR didn’t change CID or Fuel concentration to limit speeds, why would we? (Also it is the least costly- most reliable and effective method. If you need a baseline, start with 75% of the current opening and test the results, reduce as needed; when a TF Dragster gets to about 310 mph in 1320, you’re good. If Alan Johnson figures out how to make it go 315, reduce the opening for everyone.)
3. Fix ALL sandtraps/catchnets/containment systems at all NHRA Sanctioned Tracks…starting with the ones NHRA owns. (Indy and Charlotte are good examples of proper sandtraps)
2. Return the newly slowed, safely stopped, Nitro Cars to 1320 foot racing. (P.S. a hung throttle at 1,000 feet is equally or MORE dangerous than a car at 1320 feet. The only thing that will save a drivers life is an appropriate sandtrap, AND 300 mph racing to 1320’ is exciting; 300 mph to 1000’ is not)
1. Relieve anyone at NHRA Corporate that asks "How this will save NHRA?" of their duties, starting with Tom Compton. (If you ask “Why Tom Compton?” you don’t get it either.)
While this is not a complete list, I believe this addresses a majority of the pressing issues at the forefront of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing.
Thank you for your time. - Chad Worton
DICKIE HARRELL TO THE HALL
Finally! After all this time one of the sport's first true showmen gets his richly deserved place in Garlits Hall of Fame. Younger people, who never met
Dick, don't know what a great ambassador to the sport he was. Sure he was AHRA Driver Of The Year and Driver Of The Decade for the 60s, but he was much more than that. When we first started racing with Dick, he taught us so many valuable lessons. He never "bad mouthed" a competitor; he never showed up at a race with dirty clothes or equipment - He was truly a "class act". He was one of the greatest people I ever had the pleasure of meeting, and we who knew him still miss him.
Super addition to the Hall of Fame! - John Martin
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