by Michael Knight Thu, 2015-12-31 16:12
A hearty Happy New Year’s to all CompetitionPlus.com readers.
That being said, it’s time for this column’s annual listing of the year’s Top 10 stories in the Business and Politics of Drag Racing.
by Susan Wade Thu, 2015-11-12 17:00
Diversity in NHRA drag racing, taken in the historic sense, undeniably is a right fulfilled, a blessing, a mark of acceptance, welcome, and forward-thinking.
But frankly, in its practical sense, diversity has become an exhausted buzzword.
With Top Fuel’s Antron Brown and Pro Stock’s Erica Enders clinching their respective series championships last weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the tattered old blanket has been hauled out of the closet and paraded around again.
BY Dave Densmore Thu, 2015-09-24 23:37
Contrary to the dictates of conventional wisdom, I believe that paranoia is contagious, just like the flu. I suspect this because there was a time when I didn’t have it – but now I do. Mine, I’ve decided, is the result of years of exposure to the most potent natural source of the paranoia virus: John Force.
The 16-time Champ never has given an interview after which he hasn’t expressed concerns that he might have offended someone. I call it “interview remorse,” the day after need to call everyone in your phonebook and apologize. The problem is that while he is paranoid about offending fellow racers, the NHRA, fans, sponsors, vendors, the occasional midget (i.e., ‘little person” for the PC-sensitive), he just can’t stop talking.
by Susan Wade Fri, 2015-09-18 23:57
Anytime a panel of so-called experts undertakes a project to name “the best” athlete in any kind of category, it inevitably encounters both unbiased and unjust criticism.
But ESPN’s recent attempt at identifying the Best Female Athlete Ever is at best incomplete without the mention of three-time NHRA champions Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey or Pro Stock champion Erica Enders.
However, the National Hot Rod Association also has missed a golden opportunity. Perhaps NHRA officials have missed it for the same reason "Street Outlaws" producers and participating NHRA member racers have ignited the controversy: the NHRA has been a poor judge of how to attract a crowd and a TV audience.
Written by Jon Asher Thu, 2015-08-06 10:43
A relatively minor activity that was part of the California Nationals in Sonoma may ultimately become a major factor in the future of NHRA Drag Racing. That activity was the Pro Bike Battle, which included the eight competitors who had amassed the most points during qualifying at a year’s worth of previous national events. The race was to have been sponsored by Miramonte Records, the same firm which backed the program last year, but when they apparently failed to provide NHRA with the funding for the Battle, their name was removed from the program’s publicity. More importantly, the purse for the race, which was originally posted as $61,000, was dramatically reduced by NHRA to $10,000, half of which came from Sonoma Raceway. The total payout including the qualifying money was to have been $75,000.
Dave Densmore Mon, 2015-07-20 18:00
It’s no secret that new NHRA president Peter Clifford inherited a litany of problems that for years were ignored in the apparent hope that they would fix themselves.
As a result, at his first press conference, he identified six initiatives he wants to address during his presidency. Not unexpectedly, his No. 1 priority was NOT doing away with 1,000 foot racing. It was putting in place a workable TV package.
Written by Bobby Bennett Fri, 2015-07-17 07:22
Coming into his new leadership role, newly appointed NHRA President Peter Clifford knew he needed to make an impact.
Two weeks into his administration, he's made two key moves which have done just what the NHRA needed.
Right now it looks all good on paper and computer screens.
Dave Densmore Fri, 2015-07-10 23:59
Finally! Something positive.
Kudos to new NHRA president Peter Clifford for making his first big decision a universally positive one. NHRA’s hiring this week of writer, columnist and commentator Terry Blount as its new vice-president of Communications and Public Relations was a huge step forward for the sanctioning body and the sport.
That said, it’s not a move that immediately will restore any of the credibility lost in the debacle of the previous four months when no one, at least no one in a position of authority, saw fit to provide racers, fans, the media or anyone else an explanation for the extended absence of the company’s then president, Tom Compton.
Michael Knight Wed, 2015-07-08 23:08
Sometimes, old sayings have the advantage of actually being true.
“You only have one chance to make a good first impression.”
I’m pretty sure Dallas Gardner and Peter Clifford have heard it. I’m absolutely sure they don’t understand it.
Dave Densmore Sat, 2015-07-04 23:00
The NHRA once again has proved that in this era of transparency, it’s about as transparent as a block of granite.
After being MIA for four months, Tom Compton suddenly emerged to announce his retirement and there was no attempt on the part of the NHRA to provide any sort of explanation. According to the NHRA, all of us were told just as soon as they heard the news from Tom. So, apparently, Tom talked to no one for 120 days. Yeah, right.
These, of course, are the same people who later this year will wonder why the media continues to ignore our sport. Duh!