FEEDBACK FRIDAY – OPEN FEEDBACK FROM OUR READERS
BOBBY BENNETT BRINGS THE HEAT
I really appreciate Mr. Bennett's frankness re. the U.S. Nationals. I saw standing room only shows as a young man and watched the sport degenerate into an infomercial. Instead of advancing the racers' agenda, the organization milks the racers and fans for the benefit of the suppliers and manufacturers of racing products. The whole format needs rethought. Bobby Bennett is the first bright light since Steve Collison i.m.h.o. - Rich Kreider
THE NHRA'S TOP 60 MOMENTS
I look at this 60 greatest NHRA moments thing and I wonder just who or what is doing the voting. Then I realize I am getting old. Something that actually improved or changed for the positive our sport of drag racing should always outweigh someone’s personal accomplishments, especially when those personal accomplishments were given rather than earned. The legends are the ones that earned their recognition and molded our sport and made it better.
Milestones are a little different, when personal accomplishments are considered, but not much. Glidden’s 50 wins and Forces 100 wins are milestones and should be somewhere in the top 20 or so, but one above the other, never. This milestone is the only time the name Force should have been mentioned, but with all the mentions of what old “loud and obnoxious” and his poster children did, no wonder I call it Farce.
Things that stand out in our sport should have the significance of Wally Parks founding the NHRA and of the importance of the creation of the Safety Safari. The Christmas Tree and the lifting of the nitro ban formed out sport into what it is today. Introduction of the treasured trophy and the creation of the Funny Car class formed our sport, but I believe the creation of Pro Stock did as well, although it was left out. The building of the rear engine dragster was perfect timing by “Big” because dragsters were in trouble and too many good people were dying in those front engine cars. I do not call what Garlits did a personal accomplishment, I call it a necessity for the safety of our sport. As cool as the front engine cars are, guys like Garlits and Prudhomme, Kalitta and Karamesines, all know the pain of loss.
You wanna talk about great moments. How about the Mongoose taking Indy after the tragic loss of his son. Or the hard work involved to maintain a win streak against the country's toughest racers, Glidden and Prudhomme come to mind, but nothing or no one from any time period after Bernstein went 300. Moments that mold our sport are numerous and should have been top 10 stuff, not one name creating a farce and giving our sport a black eye by giving wins and championship possibility away like free ice cream.
The creation of National Dragster was a very important moment for our sport, fans and racers alike. There were two Shirleys that won events way back then, Shahan and Muldowney both fought tooth and nail for their privileges and their wins and to even suggest a comparison between them and someone who won a fixed race is just absurd and degrading to the women that worked so hard. The money from Winston was omnipotent for the advancement of our sport, but it is not in the top 10, have you lost your minds, voting for personal things instead of things that molded this sport. Shoot, I would vote for Jim Dunn and his rear engine funny car before most of the personal things, who else made that idea work well enough to win a national event?
Personal accomplishments are just that, personal to the individual. Can’t say anything about who got to 200 first, there are too many that did it before Garlits. Or that thing called the run, after blatantly disregarding the chief starters instructions. But since the top ten are now etched in stone I hope that moments that molded our sport are thought about seriously. NHRA would not be here if not for Wally Parks and I truly think dragsters and maybe even drag racing would not be around as we know it if not for that rear engine dragster. But as a Snake fan for life, I have to accept what the voters have done and vote for Wally Parks and his NHRA. Like Garlits said on the air recently, something about knowing the great ones, because they aren’t loud and obnoxious when good fortune come their way. - Mark Elms
1000 FOOTS DRAGS: YES, THE LAST ZERO IS GONE ON PURPOSE
We have no tracks left on Long Island so this was the next best thing. I entered for the first time and won the d*** thing in Street Eliminator. Thanks for your consideration. http://ecdnonline.com/100ftdrags.htm - Charley Powell
MIKE EDWARDS: MAN OF CONVICTION
Just want to say that Mike Edwards is a great example. He always thanks the Lord and keeps Him in the forefront of his racing career. The Lord needs to be proclaimed freely over the air waves. God Bless Mike Edwards and all ya'll. - Mark K. Elms
A STORAGE BUILDING TREASURE
Thank you so much for finding and posting these photos from Covington, GA. That track means so much to me and my family and there isn't much on the web about it. My parents went there from the early sixties all the way until it closed in the early 90's. My dad and mom raced there every single weekend so I guess you could say my sister and I grew up there. It was home to us. The soy burgers called mewen burgers, the vintage old win lights. We spent so much time there that us "track brats" even had a bubble gum tree. It was a landmark for our pit area. Years later my sister and I are the ones racing in the family and lucky for me.......I got to make my first pass down that drag strip before it closed. One day after a race, I made a pass in my dad's car although I was only 15. 10.62 E/T!!! Thanks for the memories. –Roy White
TIME FOR A "FORCED" RETIREMENT?
As much as I like to watch John Force compete I think it's time for him to go out on top of the "ole heap" and redirect his energy towards finding new ways to give back to the sport that has given him so much. There are many ways for him to use his talents and business contacts to make the sport better. He helped make cars safer and he can do a lot more to bring along the next wave of young drivers and owners and help NHRA find new ways to keep the fans interested in coming to the races. He'll always be a legend but he has a lot more to give in many other ways that would benefit his family, JFR, fans & sponsors. - Henry Perry
ANOTHER PLAYOFF OPINION
To be frank I don't like the playoffs in stick and ball games. Because of that I no longer watch them. I do not like the playoffs in motorsports either. I don't like the one in NASCAR and I don't like the NHRA one either. Just because it is new doesn't make it good. If a team works hard all year to be first and then the last few races is kicked to the side how can you call that winner of a few the champ of a lot? Just my opinion but I know other true watchers feel the same because I have spoken to them. So have your so called championship. Not the best is always the champion. - Adrian Fernandez
CHANGE THE PLAYOFF FORMAT
I love drag racing but find the NHRA playoff format completely lacking
excitement. Anderson clinched in qualifying on Saturday, Dixon clinched in the 1st round without having to race Schumacher, Force clinched in the 3rd round without having to race Hagan, and Tonglet clinched without having to race Hines.
All 4 clinched without having to win the race. Where's the excitement in that?
I would love to see a playoff format similar to what we have in the NFL, MLB and NBA. It could either be in a 4 race (16 cars) or 3 race (8 cars) format. The points would determine the pairings for the playoffs and then thrown out.
In the first race of the playoffs, If it's 16 cars, the pairings would be 1v16, 2v15, etc in a best of 5. There would be no qualifying but each car would have a couple practice runs in each lane. The top ranked car would have lane choice in the first two rounds. The lower ranked car would have lane choice in the 3rd round and if necessary, the 4th round. The top ranked car would have lane choice in the 5th round, if necessary.
Race 2: You now have an 8 car field. Big question here is whether to keep it as a best of 5 or change to a best of 7. The rest would be the same as above. If you go with a best of 7, lane choice would go 2-3-2, just like home field advantage in the other sports.
Race 3: Four car field and definitely switch to a best of 7.
Race 4: Championships.
I think an 8 car playoff series is probably more plausible. You could start with a 10 car field similar to the NFL & MLB wild card format. You would have 7v10 and 8v9 in a best of 3 with the top ranked car getting lane choice in race 1 and 3. The two winning cars would make the top 8.
I doubt this type of playoff format would work within the current national event format, meaning that the sportsman classes would be able to run at national events during the playoffs but I think the excitement this type of format would generate would more than make up for it.
Just imagine if over this past weekend, we would have seen Dixon vs. Schumacher, Force vs. Hagan, and Anderson vs. Edwards in a best of 7 showdown. - Chris Hannan
DISCLAIMER - The views presented in these feedback letters are the opinions of the individual author, and do not necessarily represent those of CompetitionPlus.com, its staff and advertisers.
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