:::::: Editorials ::::::

ENCORE - THE BAZEMORE FILES: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION

bazemore leadMost drag racing fans who are familiar with my story, know that I worked as a photographer for many years before my own racing career finally got underway in 1986. Once I started racing, I put away my cameras and focused (pun intended) solely on my career. All of my past work was no longer important to me. But even though I no longer cared about my past, I did manage to lug around 11 big plastic bins of negatives and transparencies from the mid eighties all over the country. They've been stored in numerous storage units, moved from Atlanta to Indy back in 1994, stacked up in the not-so-dry 1932 era basement of my first house, and most recently, stored in the garage next to all of my and my family's cycling and ski equipment out here in Oregon. How I kept them, and why, I am not sure, but, boy, am I glad I did. I kept all of my camera equipment too, for the most part, although I did sell my 500mm lens to noted photographer and fellow Super Stock Magazine contributor Francis Butler after we had blown something up in the funny car in 1990. I last did a professional shoot (for WInston) in 1989 to raise some quick money when Gary Evans and I formed our own team, Bazemore Evans Racing. I next shot our car in 1996 for the cover of National Dragster. That was it until 2005 when my son Dashiell was born. In 15 years, I had picked up a camera exactly one time.

THE TOD MACK MEMOIRS: THE BIRTH OF THE MOUNTAIN MOTOR NATIONALS

BOBBY BENNETT: A LESSON LEARNED ABOUT MEMORIAL DAY

There's nothing "happy" about Memorial Day.

I rarely prefer to write commentaries, so when I do, it's something which I feel strongly.

Let me say; I am in absolute appreciation for anyone who has served our country. Additionally, I am in awe of those who have served on the battlefield. However, I do have a special place in my heart for those who served our country bravely in a war where they had zero chance to win.

Vietnam Veterans are my heroes. They were drag racing's solid hold on the 18 to 24-year-old market when drag racing could be found in popular television shows as part of network television storylines, significant media and even cartoons.

DAVE DENSMORE SPEAKS ENCORE: TIM RICHMOND BELONGED IN A FUNNY CAR

 

On August 13, it’ll be 29 years since Timothy Lee “Tim” Richmond succumbed to the devastating effects of the AIDS virus. He was 34.

The late Raymond Beadle, with whom Tim enjoyed his first real success on the NASCAR tour, was himself one of the “cool kids” in a very cool era but even he was overshadowed by Richmond’s larger than life persona. Tim was a modern day Errol Flynn, the movie swashbuckler from the 1940s. You may have seen him on American Movie Classics. If not, Google him because that was Tim Richmond.

 

 

LEE MONTGOMERY: YOU ARE FRIENDS WITH WHO YOU ARE FRIENDS WITH

 

My buddy Stan Creekmore died yesterday. 

Stan wasn't a driver or a crew chief or an engine builder. He didn’t work for a sanctioning body or a race team.

But, boy did he love racing – and racers.

I'm sure I met Stan at a race track years ago, though I don't remember exactly which one or exactly when. We were in NASCAR together for several years, and we continued our friendship in NHRA. 

THE TOD MACK MEMOIRS: A DRAG RACING RIVALRY

JON ASHER: ANOTHER FAILURE TO LEAD

 

I wrote an editorial under the above title, with a different subtitle, on April 2, but after re-reading it I decided to round file it. The first three ‘graphs addressed the continuing concerns about COVID-19 and how I felt NHRA was in error suggesting a return to racing with LODRS racing in mid-May. Late on the afternoon of April 24 NHRA wisely announced the postponement of those four events, but the initial announcement only appeared on nhraracer.com and was not in the form of a general press release distributed to the media.

Regardless of those postponements and how they were announced it does not make up for the tremendous amount of lost momentum that’s resulted from NHRA’s media inaction since mid-March. The last press release that scrolled across my screen from NHRA was dated April 2 announcing the proposed race dates. Glendora has remained silent for the last 22 days.

During the ensuing three weeks-plus, every media outlet known to publish motorsports news has received a plethora of releases from NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA and numerous other organizations. In addition, many of us are also being bombarded with a long string of releases prepared and distributed by the teams competing on those circuits. Sure, a great many of them – heck, most in fact – are in some way related to the virtual racing events those organizations are hosting online. So what if they aren’t what we’d call “hard news.” The point is, they’re out there.

THE TOD MACK MEMOIRS: THE BIRTH OF THE US PRO STOCK OPEN

TRACY RENCK: TIME FOR RACE TEAMS, NHRA TO PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER FOR A MORE ECONOMICAL SERIES

 

With NHRA races on hold due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, there’s no better time than now to discuss a plan for NHRA moving forward.

Because of the pandemic, a lot of NHRA’s top teams have let people go. Others who have stayed with their teams have had their salaries cut from 30 to 50 percent. Teams are trying to do what they can to survive.

Sponsors are renegotiating their contracts because their contracts were for 24 races. If the NHRA Mello Yello Series resumes June 5-7 for the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., it will be a 19-race schedule. The season is scheduled to end Nov. 13-15 at the Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Calif.

SUSAN WADE: DRAG RACING’S ‘IMAGINE’ – WITH NEW LYRICS, APOLOGIES TO LENNON

 

susan_01.jpgKasey Coler, the NHRA’s vice-president of track management and operations, wasn’t about to guess when drag racing would get the green light to resume. And he was non-committal about how likely Gainesville Raceway, which he oversees, is to get the Gatornationals completed by its June 5-7 date on the revised schedule.

He said, “The health and safety of our fans in the communities that we visit for each race weekend has been and will continue to be our No. 1 priority. We’re working with great care and extensive input from local, state and national health officials and government authorities in hopes of hosting a safe race weekend for our fans, competitors and staff. The fluidity of the environment is one that we’d never want to speculate on, because ultimately, the decision might be out of our control for the currently scheduled weekend, or any date that might serve as a back-up.”

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