in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of August 11, 1998
We'll start this installment of "What's New" with even more feedback.
It's truly amazing what happens when I put a few words on a web page. Somewhat
like throwing gasoline on a bonfire, eh? Keep those "rockets" coming, folks.
- Reverend Phillip Bradford - "Racers for Coffee"
I'm a fan who started doin' this (writing for Nitronic Research)
'cuz Phil Elliott had bailed out of SS and DI and Drag News
was dead; ergo, nuthin' for me to read. So I started reading Full Throttle,
wrote L-O-N-G tirades back and forth with
Cole Coonce and he dared me to do it . . . so I did. I passed the dare
along to Dave Kerr (who was featured at the LIONS reunion) and
to Wrenchski, who as you know is now a regular contributor to Nitronic
Guess what BOB???? Now it's your turn. Don
Ewald is accurate as snot. YOU WRITE WELL. Glad for your site. Mind you,
even Cole never gets more than gas money, but you have a future in this. Suggest
you contact Richard Heath at "Full Throttle News". No. That's not a suggestion.
I DARE YOU.
My heart and mind is with you re: the not-so-distant future. Putting this
in context: I just crawled out of a tent after two months in the desert. AT
NO TIME did I (a hard core drag fan) feel the need to know what John F(arce's)
latest shenanigans in front of a camera were, who won (out of the predictable
"Same Sixteen" cars travelling the No Hot Rods Allowed circuit. Or the
Top Fuel results at the Yuppie Calling Card Nationals (complete with
no respect for lineage and history of the event) at Anytrack, USA.
The circuit (circus) must die. Fortunately, it has a death wish to
rival anything AHRA did to itself in the '80's. What we need to face
is, as you imply, the future of a sport that has only so much cash to fund it,
only so many well-heeled fans to underwrite that support and an ever-fading
corporate wellspring. Your UDRA analysis is pretty right on. The circuits
that resulted may be the real lesson for us; not the local chapter infighting.
Dave Kerr is one of the original 300 UDRA members --- he'll tell you about
the fine art of shooting yourself in the foot that was demonstrated at those
early meetings. Mind you, I'm on the LEFT side of the Nitronic Research
libertarian/zen anarchy ethos. Rev is for Revolution! I have far more than
middlin' nostalgic interest in west coast Goodguys-styled shows. These
affairs are largely racer-directed. They may be able to clue us in on HOW we
organize the future. I feel (sorry IHRA...) these shows (including the
monthly Front-Motored TF shows at LA County) are the only current self-sustaining
acitivites ongoing with NITRO as the soup d'jour.
Your fellow railbird-in-revolt.... Reverend Phillip Bradford
- Grant "Nitro" Stephens - Cackling
Pipes Syndey, Australia
I tried to access your page yesterday but it said URL not found, seems OK now
though. (Due to some heavy "tire shake" I "lifted" for a few hours) Have
just read your latest news section; don't hold back now Bob ! I dunno much
about Top Alcohol (if you could call it that) racing in the US, but I could
never understand why injected nitro cars are allowed to race with alky ones,
and why one's opinion would stir up so much reaction (suppose that's a good
thing). Anyway, keep it up, glad to see your site is getting a lot of deserved
attention. Gotta laugh at Vicky
Stojanovska's comments, I've had a few e-mails from her myself and a couple
of pics she sent me. (Presumably with lots of clothing on). Thanks for
the pic of the ROMAC girls, they are quite
a piece of work. Keep sticking it to 'em. (He means NHRA, etc. NOT
the Romac girls! At least I hope that's what he means!!)
- Jerry Kumre - "Submission to the NHRA rules committee"
I am a sportsman racer within Division 7 who runs Super Comp and the
Korbel Super Eliminator (7.90 index) series and have a vested interest in
the FM/D (Top Alcohol Dragster) class in that we are in the process of building
an A/Fuel car for next year. I have been involved in the alcohol classes for
many many years through my family. (The San Paolo brothers) I have seen
all the changes to the class since the mid 70's and I honestly cannot say too
many of these changes have been very positive. The change of the classes' status
to "Pro-Sportsman" was a welcomed addition but it is very obvious
that this was a promotion in name only. Kind of like at work when you get a
new title but no raise to go with it !
The time has come and to some extent has passed by for the Alcohol classes
to be given a level of well overdue respect. One good look at the "Winston
Top 10" shows how many of your "Superstars" of the sport came from the alky
ranks. 4 of the top 10 in T/F, including the top 3 and 5 of the top 10 in F/C !
It is time for the "pro-sportsman" classes to stop being stepped on and passed
by. There is no way NHRA can say there is not enough funding to up the payout
schedule when it can afford to add new pro classes. Look at the attendance
numbers at divisional events, in many cases 500 cars, the same type of numbers
as at a National event and a 20,000 plus fan attendance at many events.
Why has the class been left behind? It is obviously not in the same area
as a super class, no offence to any of my brethren (in super comp), and even
Comp (eliminator), which I feel gets more publicity and respect from NHRA.
Why is it that the NHRA pro-sportsman class doesn't get treated like NASCAR
treats it's feeder series like BUSCH Cup or even Winston West
or East ? Why do they get more professional treatment from their sanctioning
body than the alky classes do from NHRA?
When are the changes coming or is time for the members to pack it up, as
many have, or look into new options. I hate to throw this out for discussion,
but if IHRA were to come out west, I would probably jump ship. It seems as
though they treat their racers with more respect and have not lost sight of
the fact that the racers are the show and the VIP tents and hospitality areas
Respectfully yours, Jerry Kumre.
P.S: Please don't reject my license renewals, I have partners to answer to as
- Jim Sorenson - "Northwest fueler fan-atic"
I admire your unflinching stand on the Top Alcohol Dragster thing. Keep it up
as long as you can. Maybe it'll make a few people honest. Sounds like this
Chris (Blair) guy has a sense of humour. (See the August 10th update
for that story) But I doubt that Jerry Valentine will certify that
"throne" . . . to paraphrase Jerry, "Those things should be locked in museums,
they were unsafe then, and they're unsafe now." (Referring to AA/FA's.)
Hope this isn't the end for you and Larry (Pfister), website-wise. It'd
be a sad thing.
Many thanks to everyone who has expressed the same concerns that Jim
Sorenson did on that last bit of feedback. Speaking for myself, Northern
Thunder will continue in its present, complete form and over the coming
months I'll be working hard to improve and expand the content. And NO,
I will not get down off this Top Alcohol "reform" soapbox. Serious changes
are needed, and they are needed NOW. I will continue to do my (small)
part in trying to effect those changes.
Regarding Larry Pfister's incredible Horsepower
Heaven 3 web-site; the future of one of the best drag racing web-sites in
existence is strictly in Larry's capable hands. I've inadvertently and most
unfortunately caused him much grief this week with some ill-advised, untrue
and indefensible comments that were posted in his "Feedback" column. If my actions
are the undoing of all his great work, then I'll have to take a long hard look
at whether I should continue with the Northern Thunder website.
I've relayed these feelings to Larry several times in the past few days
and am fervently hoping (as we all are) that he can rekindle the fire for the
third time this (often turbulent) year. Let him know that you feel the same
way, as it will be a dark day for drag racing without his voice and creative
abilities on display for all to see. Don't delay, e-mail
Larry with your messages of
support right now! Tomorrow, or the next day, or next week might be too late.
And as always, stay tuned for the next riveting episode of "As the
Wheel Turns" sometimes known as . . . "wake up and smell the f#@$ing tire
More news as it happens, and if you wish to provide us with any news or information
to upgrade or correct any errors at this site: