Ted Jones had an open-door policy with IHRA founder Larry Carrier, and while he tried to not wear out his welcome, on a fall day in 1976 he couldn’t resist bringing his idea to the boss.
Jones was the VP of Competition for the five-year-old sanctioning body, and little did he know that his intuition would one day change the way the Pro Stock division would be contested. The IHRA was always searching for its niche in a drag racing world dominated by the National Hot Rod Association, and to a point the now-defunct American Hot Rod Association.
Jones wanted to do away with the status quo for the Pro Stocks. He was tired of following the NHRA’s lead of factoring cars into competitiveness, and the aggravation that came along with policing it. His idea of throwing the standard formula of pounds to cubic inch out the window had the potential to be taken one of two ways – (A) the greatest thing since sliced bread or (B) downright blasphemous. The bottom line is that Jones had to deal with the never-ending issue and not Carrier.
“It was a nightmare without end because you always had to adjust the rules,” Jones, who now owns a television production company, said. “You had several weight breaks and they were for every combination under the sun. You had them for staggered valves, cylinder heads, wheelbase, and so on and so forth.
“Most every Pro Stocker had to run a small block because if you didn’t, you’d have to run so much weight that it was unreasonable and the parts breakage for running such a heavy combination was unreal. It was a real headache.”