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

SUSAN WADE: KING COUNTY, YOU HAVE LOTS OF NERVE

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With its Thursday announcement that it has canceled the July 31–Aug. 2 Flav-R-Pac Northwest Nationals near Seattle, the NHRA is yet another casualty – not of coronavirus restrictions, as it appears, but of Washington State’s and Seattle’s incredible hypocrisy.

The Glendora, Calif.-based sanctioning body said in its prepared statement that the event at Pacific Raceways is off the 2020 schedule “due to COVID-19 restrictions in Washington state and King County that would not allow fans to attend the event.  . . .  For the event to proceed with fans in attendance, King County, where the track is located, would need to reach Phase 4 of Washington’s reopening plan. As of today, King County is still in Phase 2 and with the time required before moving into subsequent phases, it would be very unlikely, if not impossible, to arrive at Phase 4 in time for the rescheduled 2020 event.”

THE TOD MACK MEMOIRS: NASCAR DRAG RACING - WHAT WENT WRONG? PT. 1

 

Tod Mack, a former owner of Maryland international Dragway, had his fingerprint on many promotions and innovations from the heralded facility located in Budds Creek, Md.

Mack, whose promotional home runs included the US Pro Stock Open, Mountain Motor Nationals, and The Wild Bunch, solidified his name in the ranks of significant drag racing contributors.

Mack was the first to use a pairings ladder based on qualifying times for the nitro cars when he ran the NASCAR Drag Race Division in the 1960s. Tod and Larry, along with Lex Dudas and Mike Lewis, created the ET Bracket Finals program in the early 1970s, which the group finally turned over to NHRA after a few years. MIR was the winner of the Inaugural event held at York US 30 Dragway. All in all, Tod Mack owned or operated six tracks over his career, and MIR fans benefited from his decades of experience.

DRAG RAGS OF 1963: FUEL IS BACK - OR IS IT? JETS RUN WILD

Entire books could be written about the many historical milestones recorded during this single season. In February at Pomona, fuels other than pump gasoline returned to NHRA for the first time since the 1956 Nationals—if only unofficially and "experimentally." Immediately afterwards, NHRA president and outgoing Petersen Publishing Co. editorial director Wally Parks expressed buyer's remorse to his editors at Hot Rod, Car Craft, Rod & Custom: "Due to limited field of Fuelers that appeared for participation in the Winternationals, and the great amount of difficulty a number of them provoked, it is doubtful that NHRA will continue to include these classes at its major events," began a February 19 internal document unearthed only a few years ago in the PPC archive (by longtime, now-ex-archivist Thomas Voehringer). Indeed, just as president Parks wished, NHRA stubbornly continued to enforced the gas-only formula for its next (and only other) 1963 national event, Indy’s Big Go. Nearly no one outside of PPC and NHRA knew at the time how close Wally came to extending the unpopular ban beyond its seven miserable years.   

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.

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.

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