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Black Bar

The latest update as of August 10, 1998

And the hits just keep on coming. Received a very humourous and surprisingly friendly response from NHRA Division Six Director Chris Blair last night. Despite the "cheap shots" I've been taking at him through this website lately, he does have a sense of humour and didn't take (too much) offence at my jibes. He's asked me to post his message just to let everyone know that he did SURVIVE the Northwest Nationals, more or less intact. (For a look at his earlier "response" see the "feedback" section.)

Chris Blair (NHRA Division Six Director) to Bob Wilson (Northern Thunder):

Jeez Bob, I'm in the middle of nowhere (a.k.a. Montana) doing some track visits, working on a newsletter, taking one day off to head over to Sturgis and then heading north for Calgary and you crucify me?!? What did I do to deserve that?

I've been busy trying to decide if I want to have the throne chrome plated or get a neat flame paint job on it. Right now I'm waiting to see if Jerry (Valentine) will certify the thing and I'm awaiting licensing runs.

I finally got to read your articles on Sunday night. The one on Federal Mogul classes has been printed out and will be faxed to everyone on the rules committee. (Oh, oh, now I'm really done for). I'm sure that everyone has seen your other article so I probably won't be able to help it along.

From now on take a swipe at me on e-mail to "wake me up" to let me know that you have gotten that "stirring stick" out again. Do that again and I'll try to get a rule passed that all racing websites must be "certified" by Jerry V(alentine).

Please post this response so everyone knows that I did survive the Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals presented by Al's Auto Supply. You're giving that title a hard time . . . when I was at PACE, we once had the following event . . . "Subway and WTVQ present the Camel AMA Supercross Coors Extra Gold Challenge featuring the Parts Unlimited Shootout brought to you by Ford Truck" (seriously folks, I'm NOT making this up!!). That was the event title, on everything that went out from stationery to TV spots. So you see . . . there are still plenty of "titlement" deals available.

I will try to get some more to you when I'm not having to pay hotel long distance rates to check these things out. Take care . . . Chris Blair.

I have to give Chris a lot of credit for not sinking to my level of
"writing" and for the fact that he did respond as quickly as he was able to. It's further proof that the web really does work, information does get out to the "people" and that even those in powerful positions are responsive to it. It's apparent that they are listening, so before the rapidly approaching rules submission deadline arrives, please write, fax or e-mail Chris Blair or Jerry Valentine or the NHRA Technical Department as soon as possible. Remember, if you sit back and wait for other people to do it for you, then don't complain when the rules changes aren't the ones you want.

The "fallout" from my S.I.R./Northwest Nationals "editorial" is still coming in, and in one case, a very upset local racer has expressed his great concern and dismay at a particular part of it. Unfortunately some VERY incorrect information was published by me, concerning Jeff Johnson. After enjoying his kind hospitality in letting me hang around his pit area most of the weekend, I returned the favour by making some untrue, unfounded and downright stupid accusations directed towards him.

Let me set the record straight: Jeff is much like me, a hard-working, honest, dedicated drag racer, out there trying to have some fun and enjoyment with his Top Alcohol Funny Car. He has always been helpful to fellow racers, has never sold any parts that weren't "as advertised", and he certainly didn't need or in any way deserve the rocks that I (inadvertently) threw at him. I've extended my sincere apologies to him in person and now wish to do so via this website. My apologies also go out to Jeff's fine and loyal sponsors: Cummins/Onan and Valvoline and to my good friend (at least he was before this episode) Larry Pfister at Horsepower Heaven 3.

Jeff qualified in the Top Alcohol (Federal-Mogul) Funny Car field at the Northwest Nationals, outperforming a number of better-financed teams and put down three consecutive qualifying runs in excess of 230 mph. Ending up in the #15 position, with a best lap of 6.15 at 233.40, in his first ever national event appearance, Jeff matched up with Bucky Austin in the first round of eliminations. Despite holeshotting the many time national event winner Austin, Jeff lost traction early in the run, and with the car almost completely sideways in the (now infamous) right lane, was forced to lift and concede defeat.

Still, for a first ever national event appearance, Jeff's performance was a credit to himself, his crew and sponsors, and another success for Canadian drag racing. Gradually "sneaking up on the tuneup" is paying dividends for him, and that long-awaited first five-second pass can't be too far away. All he needs now is a good track and good air to finally do it.

Late breaking NEWS from Mission Raceway Park . . .

The Langley Loafers' BC OLDTIME DRAGS was successfully run under sunny skies and warm temperatures over the weekend. A standout performance by good friend and ace tuning consultant, Jason Howell came to an unfortunate end on the starting line in the final round as he was shut off with a minor oil leak. Previous runs in his and father Bruce Howell's former "M and M Special" had broken the Northwest Top Eliminator Association mile per hour record, culminating in a best of 206 mph. Pretty stout for a 1957 Chrysler Hemi, don't you think? Remember that's with 12-inch tires, direct-drive, blower size and overdrive limits and a short wheelbase 30 year-old chassis!! Congratulations guys, it's great to see the old iron running so well in '98.

Special thanks too to Jason for his generous assistance in helping tune Jay Syvertson's MOPAC Performance '67 Nova. With his help, my crew chief Tom Mohan was able to extract consistent 8.50's from the blown alcohol small block Chevy. Once the transbrake is operational, Jason guaranteed it will run in the 7's! The boys can hardly wait for their next chance on the Mission Raceway quarter-mile. Jason also provided some invaluable fuel system advice for Northern Thunder that should put us in the "ballpark" almost immediately. When the car is finally finished and running, that is. Believe it or not, that day may be coming sooner than you all might think. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for some exciting news about our new Top Alcohol Dragster (no, it's NOT a Federal-Mogul car!)

Black Bar
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