Archive for June, 2009

NHRA and The Missed Boat

June 15, 2009

I admit that I am not the smartest guy on the planet.  From what shape this country is in I do not believe the dude even resides in The United States.  But what dumbass decided that the cure for a death in racing is to totally take the guts out of the sport?

It has been a year since the death of Scott Kalitta and while I understand the need to make drag racing safer for the participants and the fans, the continued use of the 1000 foot race track is not only incorrect- it will kill the sport.  That is just my opinion, but it is shared by more than half the people I spoke with at the track just last week. 

The need for shortening the track was to make it safer since most engine damage occurs beyond that point and engines tend to stay together for the shorter distance.  The only problem with NHRA’s explanation is that it is an outright lie.  The Scott Kalitta death happened upon impact with a cement wall and his car exploded upon impact at over 200 miles per hour.  The course of action that is needed is to race at tracks that have an adequate safety area to stop the cars.  PERIOD.  NHRA should NOT be racing again at OLD BRIDGE RACEWAY until they can provide a shut down area free of obstructions.  And that goes for several other tracks where there are issues with the length of the track.  We have thousands of tracks in America capable of supporting a full quarter mile of track and another quarter mile for a shut down sand trap.  Any track where there is a road that cuts through the end of the track is also unacceptable such as another track has.  An actual traffic light stops traffic when a car runs down the track.  What kind of crap is that? 

The NHRA really needs to make things as safe as possible, and I understand that but changing the entire way they do it is wrong.  Make the engines smaller.  Make the tires smaller.  Make the cars run with added weight, but don’t make the race fit an unacceptable track- make the track fit the race.  Spend some of the money these races generate for the track owners.  They have an obligation to their performers to give them as safe a track as possible; or else move the race to somewhere that will.

It amazes me that NHRA thinks the product they are putting out this year is anything less than unacceptable.  Wally Parks would VOMIT.

Show some cajones and tell the fat cat track owners to either provide acceptable and safe tracks or else they will lose their tour dates.  PERIOD.

NHRA Finally Comes to Chicago

June 3, 2009

OK, actually Joliet.  It seems like it has been an eternity and yet it seems like the season just started.  But I got my tickets for the Route 66 Nationals and am planing on going for the day on Saturday.  The economy sucks but I still feel the need to blow my $200 for a day of Nitro fumes and cold beers while stopping in to see all the race teams and the drivers-owners-crew people.  Gotta say crew people because the ladies are as capable as most of us guys at doing the wrenching now.

I plan on seeing John Force as well as all his people and of course I have been following the other teams as well. Matt Hagen has come out storming this year and even though he may have cooled off a little he is due for his first Wally.  And then there’s his teammate Ron Capps who just won in Kansas and has been rolling through the points to keep the lead.  And this is Conrad’s 50th year in the drag race business….of course I mean Connie Kalitta.  Would be great to meet him personally and get a couple minutes time.  Dearly miss his boy Scott, and Eric Medlin as well.  Seems the past few years have been exceptionally hard on the drag race community.  I really feel for the losses and while I do not have as great a loss as John Medlin nor Connie Kalitta, I also feel the loss with them, since in past years I had the precious times of talking with these men and sharing their passion for the sport.

Anyways, this Saturday, maybe I will get a chance to catch up with some of the old faces and to meeet a few of the new ones.  Some drivers are with new teams and some teams are new as well and as we all know…..

the more things change- the more they stay the same.  Then again, change does not always mean for the better.  Maybe I am just getting too old.