Public Forum – July 28, 2010
Just Good, Hard Racing
Most people think what Carl Edwards did to Brad Keselowski was uncalled for. I disagree, and I consider myself somewhat of a BK fan.
If the roles were reversed, I think BK would’ve been justified by taking out Edwards. It’s unfortunate because of the big hit the No. 22 took after he came to a stop, but as a fan I appreciate the wild action as opposed to just watching Edwards follow Keselowski to the line.
It was just hard, action-packed, green-white-checkered racing. Frankly, it was a pleasure to watch a Nationwide race where Kyle Busch didn’t run off with the show.
As far as Bob Keselowski getting out his old racing suit and going after Edwards, please don’t, Bob! You tore quite enough stuff up in your day already.
Racers Should Race Clean
The headline in the Indianapolis Star Sunday read: “Edwards Nudges Keselowski Out Of Way For Nationwide Win.”
Flash back to Thursday at the USAC Indiana Sprint Week program at Brownstown, Ind. Chris Windom and Jon Stanbrough battled for the lead down low. Windom can pull Stanbrough off the corner but Stanbrough can pull alongside through the turn and this went on for four or five laps with no contact.
Meanwhile, Brady Short rides the rim and is coming like a bat out of you-know-where and passes them both for the win. Professional drivers racing hard and clean.
Shame on you, NHRA! We do not pay $50 per seat (and bring 10 people) and drive 250 miles round trip to watch sportsman and bracket racers while the promised schedule of pro racing and nitro goes blissfully by the board.
Last week at Infineon your own published schedule said that the pro bikes and stockers would start at 6:30 p.m. and nitro at 7:15 p.m. At 8:30 p.m. we were still watching bracket racing. Bracket racing is great, but not at $50 a pop! Spare me!
Then at 9:40 p.m., while you were still trying to complete fuel Funny Car qualifying, you announced that the 10 p.m. curfew is cold and firm and we will not see Top Fuel under the lights. Well folks, that is why we came, to see Top Fuel under the lights.
I brought people who had never seen big-league drag racing, and they were very excited about the prospect of great cool, breezy conditions, lots of big numbers and tall stacks of flame. Instead we got shown the gate, not because of curfew, but because of your unwillingness to follow the published schedule.
While it was only a minor part of the delay, twice in the late minutes of Funny Car runs a driver felt compelled to pop the chute after an aborted run, both times at 60 miles per hour.
With the excellent shutoff lanes at Sonoma, that means instead a dead stop and at least five minutes to find a tow vehicle to drag off the long-expired racer. If oiling the track is worth point penalties, then this type of brain failure should have the same fate, just my opinion.
This was my 20th season to attend “Friday Fire Under The Lights.” One more show like this one and they can find someone else (and the 10 people I always bring) to sit in the chilly night air and watch local guys going at it.
The State Of Drag Racing
My brother, cousin, best friend and I just attended the three-day IHRA Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend, Ontario. Considering ourselves professional race fans, we were anxious to see IHRA’s new format and later talk shop about the event. Here are our collective thoughts:
1. IHRA made a good decision to offer an alternative program vs. competing head-to-head with the NHRA. That is a battle it would lose. The program is ideal for the casual fan and the serious drag racing fan.
The nostalgia funny cars, jet trucks and wheel standers are great entertainment, complimenting the drag racing action. Since Top Fuel is the marquee draw, we wish the field would be at last eight dragsters and perhaps another pro class. However, Pro Mod does fill the void quite nicely. With no Pro Stock, it is no wonder the NHRA is flooded with entries at its events.
2. Only two alcohol Funny Cars were at the event. I attended NHRA events in Gainesville, Atlanta, Charlotte and Bristol this year and saw very few alcohol cars, if any. What is going on here?
The alcohol classes provide great entertainment and are essential to the development of drag racers who want to progress to the other classes.
3. Pro Mod should be a pro class. Nitro is awesome, but Pro Mod is the coolest!
4. Index racing sucks. There is nothing more disappointing than watching two wicked dragsters take off like rockets only to stall-out 60 feet down the track and then take off again.
There has to be a way to have similar cars go head-to-head by classing them up by block size, carburetion or whatever. Worst case, give the handicapped car a head start off the tree and let them go for it.
5. The scoring boards are bad all over. You never can tell who won the race. The boards should be bigger and read: ET, RT, TT, speed, index time (agh!) and indicate the winner by a big flashing light.
6. Because of recent incidents, the tracks need to get into the 21st century. The technological advances of the cars have outstripped the capability of the tracks resulting in safety issues. This may be the biggest challenge facing drag racing today. Unfortunately the costs, environmentalists and city ordinances may close tracks before modernization.
7. Drag racing events do not draw as much on Sundays as they do on Saturdays. It is a conundrum — qualifying is more popular than the finals! A reduced ticket price and better marketing might fill the stands on Sundays and should generate more total revenue.
Either way, drag racing is the best deal and best value in professional sports.