in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of August 29, 1998
Where does the time go? As I get older, the hours, days, weeks and months seem to accelerate faster than my Northern Thunder dragster. The critics out there would say that almost anything goes faster than Bob's car, but let's not go into that subject right now. Believe me, our old motto, "it may be slow . . . but it sure is ugly" will be put to rest as soon as we spin the tires for the first time (at Willowbank Raceway in Australia, next January)
Lots of news to report, and for a change, I'm not throwing rocks at anyone, or inciting riots, or flaming anyone. My aplogies to those who just can't get enough dirt, gossip and generally bad news, perhaps the Drudge Report would be more to your liking. NO, I'm not putting up a link to that infamous mud slinger.
On the local scene, Rob Murphy began licensing runs at Mission Raceway last weekend in his self-built Daytona doorslammer. The 500+ cid blown alcohol KB, backed with my old Hays clutch and Lenco 3-speed, made several "squirts" and only gave a hint of the car's potential. Jay Syvertson's MOPAC Performance 67 Nova was scheduled to be at Mission this weekend, but a close inspection of the borrowed 6-71 blower on Thursday night revealed a cracked end plate. An even closer inspection confirmed his worst fears: the unit is history, so no racing for Jay and crewchief Tom Mohan this weekend. Guess he'll just have to buy my 10-71 blower and start living closer to the edge. . .
Also on the local scene, this week saw a world-wide web first, in the form of a Real-Audio editorial on Larry Pfister's Horsepower Heaven 3 web site. Quite an experience to sit back and listen to the editorial while checking out all the other neat new stuff on his site. Give it a listen, and let him know that you want him to continue with the new format. The fact he mentioned me several times during the piece is NOT the (only) reason for plugging it, but simply shows his "good" judgement. Give us a break, Bob !
As reported last week, old friend and former MOPAC main man, George Duda and his Langley Little League team represented Canada at the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania this week. Unfortunately, a true fairy-tale ending was not to be, as the team lost the International final in extra innings to Japan. This was despite a World series record pitching by George's son, Jeff, who recorded 17 strikeouts in a losing cause. A great disappointment to the boys to be sure, but a great performance on behalf of Canada. They can all be proud of what they achieved. Well done guys !
From the grass is always greener (over the septic tank) department: Checking out the results from the IHRA World Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio yesterday revealed some very interesting information. For those of you not too familiar with that association, they have quite a different eliminator structure, including many classes not run by NHRA. They don't have a Nitro Funny Car class, nor a Top Alcohol Dragster class (boo!!!), but they do have quite a few fast classes not seen at NHRA events. By the way, the Alcohol Funny Cars are considered a PRO class at IHRA events. Are you listening, Glendora ?
Another IHRA pro class is of course, Pro Modified. After the first qualifying session, which had 40 contestants, the field ranged from 6.51 to 6.72 and the first eight alternates were also in the sixes. The mountain motored pro stocks (as long as the engine fits inside the body and the carbs are below the roof line . . .) field ranged from 6.77 to 6.85 with again, eight alternates in the sixes after just one qualifying session. How about the Top Fuel Harleys? 12 bikes, with the low qualifier at 6.79. Alcohol funny car: 25 cars in the first session, ranging from 5.74 to 6.37, with a lot of cars ready to pick up the pace in today's final two qualifying sessions. Oh yeah, low qualifier Scott Weis, 5.74 - 244.89 is running an injected nitro car; can you hear the alarm bells ringing in Glendora?
The biggest surprise though was in some of the "sportsman" categories. Super Eliminator: 26 cars ran, the top 16 were between 6.27 and 6.68. Top Dragster: 64 cars ran, the top 32 were between 6.76 and 7.11. Top Sportsman: 70 cars ran, the top 32 were between 6.67 and 7.29. I won't even mention the hundreds of cars running in Super Rod, Hot Rod, Modified, Super Stock and Stock eliminators. Suffice to say, there were very healthy fields in all those eliminators.
The bottom line is this: It looks like a lot of racers are out there having an awful lot of fun and the spectators must be seeing quite a show. Maybe IHRA doesn't have all the polish and glamour of the "big boys circus", but for the racers and spectators . . . it must be well worth the effort and money to attend the events. What a concept: a place to race for almost any combination you can think of; no orphaned race cars, relaxed rules, relaxed atmosphere, an association that really wants to see the racers bring out their cars and "run what you brung". Is this what it used to be like with NHRA (No Hot Rods Allowed) or what?!?
End of editorial, I'm going back to see the latest results from Norwalk. If you're interested in seeing the "alternative", go to Drag Race Central and have a look at the latest updates.
Last blast for the day: It's been a good week for the "sales department" at Northern Thunder as we sold our Brad Anderson heads, Birdcatcher injector and a few other pieces to Don Gryte for use on the injected KB-powered dragster he's building for son Kyle. Now that Kyle has nearly reached graduation age from the Junior Dragster, it's time to get something a little more serious together. However, a supercharged alcohol burning "Briggs and Stratton" has to be considered a fairly serious effort. If anyone is looking for a very radical Junior Dragster for next season, you better give Don a call. E-mail Northern Thunder for his phone number.
More news as it happens (or at least as soon as we hear about it). Remember, If you're not living on the edge . . . you're taking up too much space !