:::::: Feature Stories ::::::

TOM TOMLINSON: THE MAN WHO PLANS TO TURN HOLLEY AROUND

The last 20-plus months have been a challenge for the storied Holley Performance Products Inc.

Since February of 2008, the company, which is headquartered in Bowling Green, Ky., has filed for bankruptcy twice.

Despite Holley’s difficulties, Tom Tomlinson, the company's recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, says Holley has a bright future.

STEVE COLLISON: THE MAN WHO LOVED DRAG RACING TO DEATH

01_22_2010_collisonGifted writer, talented photographer, innovative editor – Steve Collison was all of that and so much more.

He passed away at age 54 nearly a decade ago, on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2000, fittingly while hard at work at his desk, pounding out the latest issue of Drag Racing USA.

Collison, who was inducted into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2003, left behind a legacy as one of the premier photojournalists in drag racing history. More important were the relationships he forged with others in the industry – photographers, writers, manufacturers, and, especially, racers. With him, it was always about the racers. Collison – "Stevie" to his friends – may have been on a first-name basis with every pro driver in the sport, but he valued his relationships with no-name little guys at least as much.

EVENT ANNOUNCED, NOW THE REAL WORK BEGINS FOR NHRA'S 4-WIDE NATIONALS

fourwidenatls_10_250x150There’s definitely a buzz surrounding NHRA’s announcement Thursday that it’s hosting the inaugural Four-Wide Nationals March 25-28 at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C.

Not lost in the excitement of the upcoming event is how the NHRA is going to run the historical race from a technical and administrative level.

Graham Light, the NHRA’s senior vice president-racing operations, believes the sanctioning body is ready to hold this historic event, especially at a top-rate venue like zMax.

2009 DOT COM AWARDS - WINNERS

01_07_2010_dotcomsEvery year since Attitude’s CompetitionPlus.com began publication in 1999, this Internet magazine has offered race fans the chance to choose the best driver/individual suited for awards based off their performances on and off the track. The following are the results of our reader ballots offered during the Christmas holidays. Each year's competition grows in size as Attitude’s CompetitionPlus.com continues to expand its readership. For the fourth consecutive year, the vote totals have exceeded the previous years totals.

THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT DOT COMS

The staff of Attitude's CompetitionPlus.com, in the spirit of free speech, offer up our own flavor of Dot Coms, tongue-in-cheek, regarding the good, bad and ugly of the recently completed. The following is our list compiled at the water cooler.

SPENCER MASSEY: FACING THE HARSH REALITY

01_07_2010_masseyThe most difficult reality to swallow is the harsh reality of the end.

“It's life,” said a very pragmatic Spencer Massey, the day after Don “Snake” Prudhomme announced his retirement from drag racing after over 50 years in the sport as both a driver and a car owner.

“We all knew it could happen. But, as a team we all stuck together and we all knew it was a gamble.”

Less than six months ago, in the midst of the biggest drag race of the year, the U.S. Nationals, Prudhomme let the world know he was losing US Tobacco as a sponsor and the prospects for going forward did not look good. Prudhomme outlined at that time how he either needed to find a new sponsor, a business partner or an auctioneer.

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2010

robert_patrick_20100105_1425663146Attitude’s CompetitionPlus.com opens its annual “What’s New” gallery to prepare you for the upcoming 2010 season. This annual feature will run through February. If you have a new car rendering or photo, please send it to us in .jpg format and make sure it is a minimum of 700 pixels wide.

BUTCH LEAL: RACING WENT BY IN A FLASH

01_01_2010_butch_leadHis days used to be consumed, thrashing and coaxing additional horsepower out of his various race cars. Butch Leal is now a proud grandfather; and a darn good one if he might say so.

Those daily thrashes now pertain to spending time with them, heeding to their activities, and he’ll tell you that a seven and eight year old will keep a grandfather on his toes.

“I never had much time to raise my own kids because I was off racing all the time,” admits the 65-year old Leal, who resides in Tulare, Ca.

LIFE SIMPLY HAS CHANGED FOR SKUZA, FORMER FUNNY CAR FAVORITE

12_21_09_dean_skuzaThe excess was intoxicating. Drag racing, particularly its nitro Funny Car class, was the loudest, smelliest, most gut-churning, and in Dean Skuza's words, "the most luring thing I'd ever seen."
 
Today, Dean Skuza says he has "lost interest in it, pretty much."
 
How could that be?
 
The young man from Brecksville, Ohio, had been hypnotized, nearly, with it all. "The whole idea behind a Funny Car -- the short wheelbase, trying to go that fast -- it almost defies physics," he had said. Skuza, who naturally gravitated to things defiant, didn't take long to climb from the top of the grandstands at the IHRA race at nearby Norwalk and into one of the swoopy, crazy-fast machines. And he became one of the best on the NHRA tour.

STAT MAN LEWIS BLOOM: LIVING THE DREAM ONE STAT AT A TIME

12_15_09_lewis_bloomOne trip to the drag strip was all the inspiration Lewis Bloom needed to become a drag racing addict. Growing up eight miles from the sounds of Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, the ten year old kid who would later become the official ESPN drag racing statistician, used to hear the sounds of the strip emanate every time he played tennis with his friends.

He really didn’t know what was making those strange sounds.

The young Bloom asked his father for clarification, and the response was, “I think there’s a race track, do you want to go?”

On May 2, 1970, his eleventh birthday, Bloom received the present that would forever influence his life. The elder Bloom took him to the drag strip.

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