Back on April 2, 2011, racing was the last thing on Top Fuel driver Mike Strasburg’s mind.
Strasburg originally was suspended for one year on April 2 and fined $2,500 for not complying with NHRA’s drug and alcohol testing policy at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas.
Strasburg, who resides in Lehi, Utah, fought NHRA over the sanctioning body suspending him for a year, and he won his appeal.
A three-person NHRA Review Panel modified the NHRA’s action against Strasburg, who was fined and suspended under its drug and alcohol testing policy. Strasburg was notified of the NHRA Review Panel’s decision in a letter dated July 6, 2011.
Strasburg’s suspension was reduced until the 2011 FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals July 29-31 in Sonoma, Calif. However, the initial fine was upheld, and Strasburg also was required to pay the $2,500 fine before he would be allowed to participate in future NHRA events, which he did. Per NHRA rules, Strasburg also had to pay $1500 to file the appeal.
“They (NHRA) said we were the first one to have this (suspension) changed or whatever,” Strasburg, 52, said. “They have rules and it is kind of hard to really blame them (NHRA) or whatever. We just do not even think about it. It is over with and we really have no bitter feelings. They (NHRA) did what they thought they should.”
Strasburg competed at NHRA national events at Phoenix last October and in February and he is going to compete at the Summer Nationals at Topeka, Kan., this weekend.
“We have not done any testing since Phoenix (in October), but we have put a whole new fuel system on our car and a bigger fuel pump, and a better blower and everything that way,” Strasburg said. “We need to go to Topeka and have it all sorted out for the West Coast swing.”
Strasburg heads to Topeka with realistic expectations.
“We are mostly going there to test,” Strasburg said. “If we leave there with a really good tune-up, we will be happy. We want to get the thing running in the 3s again.”
According to Strasburg, he also plans to race at Sonoma, Calif. (July 27-29) and Seattle (Aug. 3-5).
“After those two races, we will just see what happens from there,” Strasburg said.
Although Topeka will only be the third NHRA national event Strasburg has competed in since his suspension was reduced, he has been keeping plenty busy.
“We maintain and tune several other race cars,” Strasburg said. “We do (tune) Annie Whitely’s Top Alcohol Funny Car and we do (tune for) Rod and Dee Trower. They have two top alcohol dragsters that they race in the sand. Our business is extremely busy. It would be nice to run our car (his Top Fuel dragster) a little more, but we just have not had the time. We chose to run our car at Topeka because it is the one weekend we will not be running Annie’s Funny Car. At the end of this year, we will probably have run 25 races with our car, her car, and match races.”
Strasburg’s B&J Racing Transmissions company in Lindon, Utah sells transmissions to the top running alcohol cars, Pro Mods and Top Fuel Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
“I just go out and race for the love of the sport,” Strasburg said. “That is why we have always done it.”
Strasburg did compete in his Top Fuel dragster last June at the IHRA’s Nitro Jam event at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. That was the first time Strasburg got behind the wheel of his Top Fuel dragster since he was suspended in Las Vegas.
“We might do the Canadian deal again this year (July 6-8, at Edmonton),” Straburg said.
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