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

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.”

DRAG RAGS OF 1962: GARLITS IS NO. 1, WALLY IS ALL GAS

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BOBBY BENNETT: GO AHEAD AND THINK YOU'RE INVINCIBLE

The problem with many drag racers is the unfounded belief they are invincible.

This sense of invincibility is not on the drag strip where they rightfully respect the race cars they drive.

The sense of invincibility is off the strip.

Coronavirus, COVID-19 ... that's the stuff which happens to other people.

JON ASHER: AN OBVIOUS CASE OF KNEEJERKISM

 

Mr. Bennett’s “Welcome to the Participation Trophy Era” treatise was spot-on – and there are many topics with which I strongly disagree with Mr. Bennett.

NHRA’s hastily altered plans for the Countdown are as transparent as a plate glass window – and there was no need to cheapen qualifying for a chance to run for the championships in the manner in which they did.

Just one of the things they seem to have ignored is how the most exciting aspects of recent U.S. Nationals has been the frantic maneuvering by numerous competitors as they sought to move from eleventh or twelve into one of those treasured Top 10 spots. Those battles not only spiced up the action for the fans in the seats, it helped attract additional media coverage for both the event and the NHRA itself. In point of fact, NHRA often touted those very back-of-the-list points battles as just one more reason for the fans to attend.

BOBBY BENNETT: WELCOME TO THE PARTICIPATION TROPHY ERA

The NHRA’s decision to revamp the Countdown to Championship has many scratching their heads, including me. 

It’s not hard to see what NHRA is hoping to achieve; they want to inspire more participation and competition amongst the teams they expect to follow them along a not always financially feasible 24-race schedule. 

As many people and I see it, Glendora doesn’t want a part-timer to manipulate the system to be in contention for the championship. If this were NFL football, imagine if a team forfeited three games in the 17-week schedule, and still made the playoffs, it would make a mockery of the playoff system. 

ENCORE: BOBBY BENNETT: IT USED TO BE MY PLAYGROUND

12_02_09_playgroundThe fences still remain, as do dilapidated buildings, a reminder that a once proud drag strip occupied the land.

To the drag racing community, Spartanburg Dragway was just another drag strip that fell victim to a new neighborhood where the neighbors created a community around the strip and then realized that drag strips are loud.

Spartanburg Dragway wasn’t purchased for a real estate investment. It was purchased to be silenced.

SUSAN WADE - 20 WISHES FOR 2020

 

susan_01.jpgIn no particular order, here are some wishes for the new year in NHRA drag racing:

COMMENTARY: TORRENCE-FERRE SKIRMISH IS WHAT IT IS

Be careful what you ask for because you might just get it. NHRA got what it wanted Sunday, unfortunately in a controversial incident, which, in turn, has left them with a decision to make. 
 
Drag racing’s social media sphere reacted in shock on Sunday as then championship contender Steve Torrence took an open palm and pushed Cameron Ferre in the face to the point his head flew back like a Pez dispenser. It was not a punch; it was a shove. However, in legal terms, the shove would be viewed as assault, an arrestable offense. To put things in perspective, grabbing someone by the arm can also be viewed as assault. 

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