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The latest update as of June 16, 2010
Calgary calling and other miscellaneous topics
It's almost time to start packing for the quick flight to Calgary on Friday morning. Despite the mess that AHRA created when they cancelled/postponed their Reunion Tour race scheduled for this weekend at Race City on short notice, there will be a race this weekend in Cowtown. Not as big as originally envisioned, but certainly something based in reality, and not some drug-induced fantasy, courtesy of an imaginary sanctioning body.
When I last checked the Race City website a few minutes ago, I was (pleasantly) surprised to see a banner across the home page, touting this weekend's event. First time I've seen much change on that page in quite a while. And the Calgary Drag Racing Association has essentially the same info on their home page with the addition of a few more details on the race.
Now all we need is some cooperation from the weather gods, and for a change, that looks like a strong possibility. While the probability of precipitation drops steadily over the next few days, reaching zero on Sunday, and the clouds seem to be slowly clearing, and the temps near 20 C (high 60's F), the weather isn't going to be perfect, but will be fine for racing and comfortable for the spectators.
Now all we need are some race cars and that may not totally be a given. With the word swirling in cyberspace about how rough the condition of the track is, some racers may be put off, but I'm betting there will be enough to put on a representative show for the fans this weekend. With not that many chances to run during a relatively short racing season on the prairies, every car that didn't break too badly at Medicine Hat last week should be there.
Not sure how much more info I'm going to be able to dig up before I arrive in Calgary on Friday, but if we can find an entry list or a guesstimate, we'll post it here a.s.a.p.
On the other hand we have Toronto
And they look to have a winner on their hands, with absolutely no input from the AHRA. The only connection to the A-team is a small logo on their website, but no mention at all of their supposed sanctioning. Most telling of all is that online tickets can only be purchased through the track website, not the AHRA site, as has been the past practice. Clicking on their sale page only gives the option of buying into the Marion County race, which takes place on the same July 4th weekend. At least there won't be any conflicts to deal with, as Marion is nothing more than a bracket race, while Toronto has fuel dragsters, funny cars, jets, pro mods, etc. etc.
So, as we near another major race weekend, what else is on the AHRA calendar for 2010? After the doubleheader weekend (Toronto and Marion County on July 4th) there's just the Quaker City, Ohio and Ashcroft, BC dates in August. Checking out the track's respective websites yields no information on either event, and even the series of Sportsman "Nationals" at Ashcroft aren't really detailed on the Eagle Motorplex website.
Despite their best efforts to keep pushing the dirt off and climb out of the deep hole they've dug for themselves, the A-team just can't seem to get anywhere. At least anywhere good. Or anywhere they want to be. Surprisingly, they managed to issue not just one, but TWO media releases yesterday, one bannering the BIG doin's at Marion County in two weeks time, and the other announcing another try to make something happen at Desert Thunder Raceway in Texas.
The first Desert Thunder event nearly sunk the association, with tornadoes and torrential rain belting the area, literally drowning the track, and scaring away almost anyone who might have been interested in spectating. The racers showed, and put on a show that unfortunately for them, resulted in (to this date) no payouts. Now they've found another group of racers to attempt a second event at that eighth-mile facility. The world renowned "Texas Automatic Pro Mod Asociation" - hold on, who are we trying to kid here ? and the "West Texas True Ten Five" class. No, I'm not making this up!
Before anyone starts lighting a rocket in my direction, let me state: while I'm sure the racers that belong to those aforementioned groups are serious, dedicated and competitive folks, after seeing some 4-second (1/4-mile) caliber Top Fuel cars try to entertain a handful of spectators, what chance do they have to promote a "major" event with these cars ?
However, checking the Texas Automatic Outlaws website reveals some interesting details about this group, especially on the rules page. Any fuel allowed, any size tire, no weight limits, with the only stipulations being NO screw blowers and NO clutches. Otherwise, run what you brung and bring plenty, brother!
As an addendum I'll add the following: the record performance for the group is 4.37 at 170 mph in the 1/8-th mile. Not exactly earth-shattering, working out to about a 6.85 - 210 mph clocking in the quarter, but it looks like they are a popular draw at the smaller Southwest tracks. So what about the 10.5 crew ? What's their deal all about ?
Checking out their website reveals the caveat that they must run quicker than 7.50 (1/8-mile) to qualify. Doing the math makes that 11.00 (roughly) in the 1/4. Not exactly fast, but the members gallery shows some good looking cars. The payout section of the website indicates "changes for each race" so that's a bit of a hint. Second clue to look at is the schedule, which consists of five events, all at Desert Thunder Raceway. Hmm, looks like a half-fast bracket group to me. Oh well, it all looks good on the AHRA home page, as part of one of their stellar promotions. Dream on.....
Anything else on your mind ?
Not really much else to say today, as it's time to get busy and get my Calgary and Edmonton feature pages started before I leave for my real job in a few hours. I'm sure there's something I've forgotten or missed, but I'm also sure we'll get to it later.... or sooner. Meanwhile, stay tuned!
To see previous updates go to the What's Old page