in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of August 13, 1998
The biggest difficulty most writer's have is in coming up with the raw material to produce a story. In my case, the NHRA is such a fountain of material that it makes my job simple. The stories on this "editorial" page are almost writing themselves these days. Seems that almost every media release from Glendora lately has been geared to invite a reaction from me. Of course, they don't even know I exist, but given time, they will know that yet another critic of their "New Drag Order" has sprung up on the internet.
Yesterday's announcement about next year's Winston Showdown scheduled for the NEW Bristol Dragway on July 8-10, 1999 is a prime example. For the past few weeks rumours about the deletion of Nitro Funny Car from NHRA events had been circulating on the "net" and I wondered where the information was coming from. Obviously the announcement of the format for the "Showdown" has answered my question.
For those who haven't seen/heard the news yet, here's the basic format for this new extravaganza: A 24-car fuel field; 12 funny cars and 12 dragsters. Dragsters vs. Funny Cars??? Yes, you're not hallucinating. It won't be heads-up though, as some form of handicap head-start will be given to the funnys. Is nothing sacred??? Apparently not, as NHRA seems so desperate to attract attention, spectators, and most of all ... MONEY, that they will go to almost any extreme to achieve it.
My mind is reeling with thoughts of what they can do to top this show. By the way, this "show" will almost exclusively feature the "superstars" of drag racing, with only 2 open spots for the funnys and 2 for the dragsters. The other 20 "qualifiers" will be those who have won an event in 1998 and 1999. The same type of fields will be offered to the other "PRO" classes also; Pro Stock - 16 cars; Pro Stock Bike - 8 bikes; Pro Stock Truck - 16 trucks. And the winner's share in the fuel field will be a new all time high: $ 200,000, from a total purse of $ 727,000.
You might ask, where's the Alcohol Dragsters? Where's the Alcohol Funny Cars? No mention of either class, (what a surprise) and don't hold your breath waiting to hear about them being included as "filler". Presumably, to appease the easily-bored (and who wouldn't be after the fuel cars are done!) patrons, there will have to be some of the sportsman eliminators brought in to fill in the downtime. Unless they put on a rock concert, wrestling matches, fashion parade, freak show or something of that sort to "entertain" the masses. Anyone know the current whereabouts of "Benny the Bomb", E.J. Potter, aka: "The Michigan Madman" , or "Captain Jack McClure" (Rocket-powered Go-Kart !)??? If so, please contact Cliff Pennell President of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s Sports Marketing Enterprises, as I'm sure he'd love the opportunity to book them.