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in the world of drag racing

Black Bar

The latest update as of July 29, 1998

One problem with trying to report the "news" is that by the time it reaches the web, it's not new anymore. Unless I could sit at the keyboard 24 hours a day, that is. And with the demands of a fulltime job (seven days a week), a Top Alcohol Dragster that's still under construction and the time- wasting necessities of eating and sleeping . . . there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. With another birthday coming up later this week (trust me, it'll be a couple of boxes of candles on the cake !), the passage of time seems to be accelerating faster than a top fuel dragster.

Speaking of Top Fuel dragsters, this weekend I'll be in Seattle for the (take a deep breath and talk fast). . . NHRA PROLONG SUPER LUBRICANT Northwest Nationals presented by Al's Auto Supply (and anyone else we can sell space to !). With the hot weather we're currently " enjoying " in the Northwest, it should be a real " barn burner " of an event. At least there's a new track surface at SIR this year, so the performances should be fantastic even if the on-track temperatures are in the egg-frying range. Despite my dire predictions about the health of the Top Alcohol class(es) and NHRA drag racing in general, I'm hoping to see full fields in all the blown categories.

I had intended to finish my "treatise" on the state of drag racing by today and post it here before leaving for Seattle, but I'm still at the starting line with it. The working title "Money, Marketing and Nitro" is about as far as I've gotten so far, but I've received some great ideas and comments from Ken Lowe in Australia and Jerry Kumre in California that I'm planning to incorporate into the document. And I'll be asking all the Alcohol racers who'll talk to me about it for their views this weekend.

With my car still unfinished and not being able to attend the races regularly, I don't feel really in touch with the situation from ground zero. When it's finished I'll be sending it to NHRA Division Six Director Chris Blair for him to take to the next meeting of the Rules Committee at the US Nationals in September. I doubt that it's going to have any real impact, but if I don't say something about the situation confronting the "PRO - Sportsman" classes, then what right do I have to sit here and whine about it ?

In the meantime, if YOU have anything to say about NHRA Sportsman racing, please e-mail your comments to Chris Blair or Division Tech Director Jerry Valentine.

To close this piece, some updates on the bad news of the past weekend: Shelly Anderson has been released from hospital after suffering 2nd-degree burns on her ankles and hands at Sears Point's Autolite Nationals during a qualifying crash on Saturday. No word yet, but it's very doubtful that she'll be at Seattle (racing that is) this weekend. The three crew members on the In-N-Out Burger injected nitro car that were injured by a massive engine explosion (hydraulic) while starting the car for the final qualifying session on Saturday are all okay. Again, I doubt we'll see them at Seattle this weekend.

Finally, my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the three spectators killed at the Indy car race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. Despite being at one of the best constructed and safest oval tracks in the world, a wheel/tire assembly from Adrian Fernandez's car vaulted the fence and landed in the grandstands. I don't know how the fence(s) at the track could be built much higher or stronger without severely limiting the spectators' view of the race and this very unfortunate accident must be put in the "freak" category, and will hopefully never be repeated. The accident certainly took the shine off local (Vancouver) hero Greg Moore's great victory performance.

Remember what it says on your ticket stub or on the waiver we all sign upon entering the pits: Motor Racing is a dangerous sport. No guarantee can be made as to the safety of the participants or spectators. Death or serious injury may result (despite the best efforts of the sanctioning bodies, track operators and competitors). Keep your head up, be aware, be safe.

Black Bar
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